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Rice Man Arrested After Operating Bus While Intoxicated And With A Suspended License

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01/11/2019 - 10:45 AM

A Rice man was arrested after attempting to drive a school bus while intoxicated on Thursday.

The Benton County Sheriff's Office says the Rice Police Department first learned that 46-year-old Erik Richard Bonde's driver's license was suspended on Thursday.

At around 1:30 p.m., a Rice police officer notified Bonde that his license was suspended and reminded him that he could not drive until it was reinstated.

However, at 3:05 p.m., police learned that Bonde had driven a van-sized school bus to Rice Elementary School. Authorities approached the bus and started talking with Bonde, where they once again told Bonde his license was expired.

It was during this time that officers discovered Bonde had been drinking. They discovered an open alcoholic beverage on the bus and requested Bonde submit a PBT test, which showed Bonde's blood alcohol level was over the legal limit.

No students were on the bus when Bonde was driving. He was arrested and sent to Benton County Jail, where he was issued a citation for misdemeanor DUI and possessing an open bottle. He was released on bail once he became sober.

62-Year-Old St. Cloud Woman Arrested on Felony Drug Charges

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01/10/2019 - 1:40 AM

62-Year-Old St. Cloud Woman Arrested on Felony Drug Charges

The Central Minnesota Violent Offender Task Force arrested a St. Cloud woman who had multiple felony warrants for her arrest. Commander Jay Salzer says officers conducted a search warrant Tuesday in the 1300 block of 9th Avenue South.

Investigators had information that 62-year-old Linda Ann Merritt had methamphetamine inside her home and they knew she had multiple felony warrants for her arrest. Investigators knew Merritt was inside when they executed the search warrant. Once inside they found approximately 150 grams of methamphetamine.

Merritt was ultimately arrested for 1st degree possession of controlled substance and five outstanding warrants. The warrants were for 2nd degree controlled substance, 3 warrants for 3rd degree controlled substance, and 4th degree DUI.

Merritt was taken to the Stearns County Jail. 

The Central Minnesota Violent Offender Task Force is made up of investigators from St. Cloud, Sauk Rapids, and Little Falls police departments as well as deputies from Stearns, Benton, Sherburne, Todd and Morrison County Sheriff Offices.

 

A Busy Intersection in Waite Park is Getting Attention From the County

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01/10/2019 - 10:00 AM

Due to increased traffic in west Waite Park the city and Stearns County are considering their options of how to improve busy intersections.

The City of Waite Park says they will hold a public information meeting about proposed changes to the intersection of County Road 138 and 28th Avenue. The intersection in front of Mills Fleet Farm has seen more traffic in recent years and improvements are needed.

The meeting will be held Monday, January 28th from 5:30 to 7:30 p.m. at the Stearns County Public Works Building.

Wind Advisory In Effect In St. Cloud On Tuesday

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01/08/2019 - 3:30 AM

A wind advisory is in effect in St. Cloud on Tuesday.

St. Cloud State Meteorology Professor Bob Weisman says winds gusts are expected to reach 40-50 miles per hour. Those are strong enough winds to shove a vehicle over.

The wind advisory is in effect for southwestern Minnesota.

Wind has picked up to 20-30 miles per hour on Tuesday, and it will be accompanied by wind chills that will drop to the -25 to -15 range by Wednesday morning.

The wind advisory will remain in effect until 6 p.m.

 

Subway Employee Admits Theft Outside Restaurant Never Happened

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01/08/2019 - 2:30 AM

A robbery that was supposedly held outside a Waite Park Subway did not actually happen, according to authorities.

The Waite Park Police Department says their investigation led to 41-year-old Stacy Rymer, a Subway employee. She admitted to authorities that she made it up and the robbery never happened.

On Friday, December 28, Waite Park officers were called to a Subway restaurant at 1301 2nd Street South. Rymer told officers she had been walking to her car when a man knocked her down and took a bag of money from her possession. 

Rymer also admitted she was the one to steal the money she claimed was stolen from her. The total amount was over $700.

The case has been sent to the Stearns County Attorney's Office and Rymer could now face charges for falsely reporting a crime and gross misdemeanor theft.

Crash With Power Pole Closes Roads and Disrupts Power

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01/07/2019 - 9:45 AM

A crash at a power pole in St. Cloud disrupted traffic and left a few roads closed on Monday.

The St. Cloud Police Department says a crash with a power pole at the intersection of County Road 136 and 40th Street South just after midnight left both roads with major closures.

County Road 136 was closed between 34th Street South and 255th Street South, while 40th Street South was closed at the intersection in both directions.

All roads are open to traffic once again. 

There were also minor power outages in St. Cloud due to the crash. Xcel Energy is working in the crash area to restore power. Drivers in the area should use caution around work crews.

St. Cloud Man Arrested After Domestic Incident In Le Sauk Township

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01/07/2019 - 11:15 AM

A domestic incident near Sauk Rapids led to the arrest of a St. Cloud man early Friday morning.

The Stearns County Sheriff's Office responded to a call about a domestic assault in Le Sauk Township just after 2 a.m. The caller reported that 34-year-old Nathan Aaron Johnson had struck them.

When deputies arrived, they were able to gather details and talk with the caller. They were able to make contact with Johnson not long after and arrested him.

Johnson was taken to Stearns County Jail. He is booked on 5th Degree Domestic Assault charges and will be held in custody pending an upcoming court appearance on Monday.

Two St. Cloud City Council Members Could Be Appointed To Authority Positions

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01/04/2019 - 10:45 AM

St. Cloud Mayor Dave Kleis will be attempting to appoint two city council members to authoritative positions on Monday.

The St. Cloud City Council says a requested action on the agenda will be to appoint Mike Conway to the Housing Redevelopment Authority and Dave Masters  to the Economic Development Authority during Monday's regular council meeting.

Conway was recently elected to the 4th Ward. Masters has been a member of the St. Cloud City Council since 2006.

The meeting will be held at the City Council Chambers at 6 p.m.

 

Kimball Receives Grant For Library Construction

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01/03/2019 - 2:30 AM

The Minnesota Department of Education has awarded a large library grant to the city of Kimball for the construction of a new library.

The Great River Regional Library says Kimball was awarded almost $440,000 in the Library Construction Grant, a grant program that provides funding for library construction, renovation, and improvement.

The city applied for the grant in late October, which included a local match of over $560,000. The city eventually received about $121,000 less than requested, but project volunteers believed more funds can be raised.

The community hopes the project can begin in the spring.

 

House Near Sauk Centre Severely Damaged By Flames

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01/02/2019 - 9:45 AM

House Near Sauk Centre Severely Damaged By Flames

A home near Sauk Centre was severely damaged Tuesday afternoon after flames began to travel up the walls.

The Stearns County Sheriff's Office says their Communications Center was called just after 1:45 p.m. due to a house fire in Raymond Township. The caller said that the fire was traveling up the wall and that they were unable to put out the fire.

Stearns County Sheriff deputies, Sauk Centre Fire Department, Sauk Centre Ambulance, and Villard Fire and Rescue all assisted at the scene. 

The house, owned by 58-year-old Robert Edgar Dean and 54-year-old Ann Marie Dean, was severely damaged. The fire was believed to have been caused by electrical issues.
 

 

 

Stearns History Museum Expanding Hours for 2019

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01/02/2019 - 11:00 AM

Stearns History Museum Expanding Hours for 2019

The Stearns History Museum is adjusting its hours for its visitors.

The museum says starting this month, the museum will be open until 7:30 p.m. every third Tuesday of each month. This would allow people who work during the day to visit the museum during the evening.

There will also be changes announced in May that will affect summer museum hours.

The museum will continue to be open from 10 a.m-4 p.m. on Saturdays.

 

Big Lake Man Killed In Fatal Crash Near Zimmerman

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01/01/2019 - 11:30 AM

Big Lake Man Killed In Fatal Crash Near Zimmerman

A Big Lake man was killed after colliding with another car near Zimmerman on Saturday.

The Sherburne County Sheriff's Office says 19-year-old Noah Kawika Johnson was driving west on 263rd Avenue Northwest at around 6:40 p.m. when he lost control of his car and spun into the eastbound lanes. A car driven by 41-year-old Tamra J. Korbel then T-boned Johnson's car.

Johnson was pronounced dead at the scene. Korbel and her 12-year-old passenger, Davianna M. Keller, were pinned inside their car and had to be extricated. Korbel was airlifted to North Memorial Health Hospital and Keller was sent to the hospital via ground ambulance.

A third car came by after the initial collision and crashed into Korbel's car. He was checked at the scene for injuries.

Employee Robbed Outside Waite Park Subway

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01/01/2019 - 11:15 AM

Employee Robbed Outside Waite Park Subway

A Subway employee was robbed as she made her way to her car in Waite Park Friday morning.

The Waite Park Police Department says the incident took place just before 7:45 a.m.

The female employee was headed to her vehicle after leaving the Subway at 1301 2nd Street South when she was knocked down by the male suspect. The suspect took a bag of money she was carrying before fleeing the scene.

No weapons were displayed, and the employee was not injured.

The suspect has been described as a black male wearing a black jacket with a black mask, blue jeans, and white tennis shoes. If you have any information about the robbery, you can call the Waite Park Police Department at (320) 251-3281.

 

Big Lake Man Killed In Fatal Crash Near Zimmerman

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01/01/2019 - 11:15 AM

Big Lake Man Killed In Fatal Crash Near Zimmerman

A Big Lake man was killed in a collision near Zimmerman on Saturday.

The Sherburne County Sheriff's Office says the crash happened just after 6:30 p.m. at the 18200 block of 263rd Avenue Northwest.

The crash took place when 19-year-old Noah Kawika Johnson of Big Lake was driving west on 263rd Avenue when he lost control of his car and spun into the eastbound lanes, where it was T-boned by a car driven by 41-year-old Tamra J. Korbel.

A third car arrived after the initial crash and hit Korbel's car. The driver was checked at the scene for injuries.

Johnson was pronounced dead at the scene. Korbel and her 12-year-old passenger Davianna M. Keller were pinned in their car and needed to be extricated. Korble was airlifted to North Memorial Health Hospital, while Keller was taken to the hospital via ground ambulance.

 

Former Rocori School Superintendent Pleads Guilty to Four Counts

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12/31/2018 - 9:00 AM

ST. CLOUD, Minn. (AP) - The former superintendent of the Rocori School District has pleaded guilty to four counts of indecent exposure under a plea deal.

Scott Staska agreed to complete 80 hours of community work service within 60 days and undergo a psychosexual evaluation. Staska entered his plea Friday in Stearns County court.

The St. Cloud Times reports the plea agreement dismisses the remaining 15 counts of indecent exposure. Staska was accused of exposing himself at stores in St. Cloud and Waite Park between May 2017 and April 2018. Staska pleaded not guilty to all 19 counts in May.

The judge ordered Staska to return for sentencing Jan. 31. Staska had been superintendent since 2002. The Minnesota Association of School Administrators named him the state's top superintendent in 2010.

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