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Area News

May 23, 2016

Fire destroys former New Auburn saloon

A fire May 15 resulted in the destruction of the former Lazy S Saloon on Seventh Avenue (Highway 22) in New Auburn, the McLeod County Chronicle reported. Fire Chief Roger Trebbensee said a resident noticed smoke coming from under the eaves at about 9:35 a.m. A lower level occupant of the building, which is no longer used as a business, was evacuated.

The Gaylord Fire Department provided mutual aid, and the Glencoe Fire Department provided a tanker. Once the fire was controlled, an excavator was used to push in the remaining walls. Firefighters remained on the scene until about 5:30 p.m. The cause of the fire is still under investigation, but a wood stove is considered a likely culprit. There is no estimate yet on the dollar loss of the building or its contents.

Buffalo native running for president of the United States

Buffalo native Vlad Draculea, who now lives in St. Cloud, is conducting a campaign to run for US president with only $1,300, the Wright County Journal-Press reported. He is registered with the Federal Election Commission as an unaffiliated candidate. He will need 2,000 signatures to get on the ballot this fall.

Born as Christopher William Chamberlin, Draculea said he changed his name to reflect his heritage. He has been disabled by fibromyalgia the past 10 years, he said. He is in favor of all the rights provided by the US Constitution, supports defeating ISIS, and calls for better care for veterans. He said he would like school payments made for people on welfare, so they can earn a degree or enter a trade and become contributors to society rather than a burden.

Man found dead in fishing boat in St. Michael

Wright County Sheriff’s Office deputies found an elderly man deceased in a fishing boat on Beebe Lake in St. Michael May 12, the Wright County Journal-Press reported.

The man, Thomas Leduc, 73, lived nearby. The sheriff’s office does not suspect anything suspicious in the death, which appeared to be from natural causes. He was alone in his boat at the time. Police were alerted to the situation by another boater, who had discovered that Leduc was unconscious. Leduc was survived by his wife, Jane, three children, and several siblings and grandchildren.

Meeker County has 39 chronically truant students

Thirty-nine students in Meeker County have been determined to have serious school truancy problems, social services worker Deana Carlson told the Meeker County Board Tuesday.

The Litchfield Independent Review reported that students in this category miss 18 or more school days during a year. Carlson discussed efforts taken through a recent Bush Foundation grant to reduce truancy. Students with attendance problems often have difficulties like chemical abuse, depression, and being bullied, she said.

Hutchinson police rescue ducklings from sewer system

Hutchinson police officers Tyler Schmeling and Greg Nadeau were summoned to the 100 block of Shady Ridge Road the morning of May 15 after a resident reported seeing as many as 10 ducklings falling through the grate of a storm drain while following their mother, the Hutchinson Leader reported.

With help from Assistant Fire Chief Casey Stotts, the two men rescued all but one of the tiny creatures using a long-handled net. By the time most ducklings were lifted from the manhole, their mother had left the scene.

Organizers end Norwood Young America Relay for Life

Organizers have decided to end the NYA Relay for Life benefitting the American Cancer Society, the Norwood Young America Times reported. Held annually in the summer and fall, the NYA Relay for Life has raised nearly $975,000 for the past 11 years according to tri-chairs Pat Zellmann, Dar Mondor and Kim Tellers.

Mondor said the 15-member committee that put on the NYA Relay for Life has dwindled in recent years due to family commitments. In addition to the amount of volunteer hours required and the declining team participation, Mondor said the addition of the Waconia Relay for Life to the area was a factor as well. The Waconia Relay for Life is set for Aug. 19 to 20 from 6 p.m. to 6 a.m. at the Carver County Fairgrounds.

Annandale’s Heinrich sued by alleged abuse victim

The legal weight bearing down on Danny Heinrich of Annandale has increased again, with the filing of a civil lawsuit recently by Jared Schierl, the Annandale Advocate reported.

Heinrich, whom authorities have named a person of interest in the 1989 abduction of Jacob Wetterling, has remained jailed in Sherburne County since he was arrested last November and later charged with 25 counts of child pornography.

Schierl, 40, filed a suit against Heinrich accusing him of sexual battery and imprisonment in January 1989, when Schierl was 12 years old. The suit seeks more than $50,000 in damages, but Schierl reportedly said the suit is worthwhile even though there is little chance he will be compensated monetarily.

Monticello family leads March of Dimes walk

Jim and Kristen Handy, along with their twin daughters, lead the March for Babies, an annual March of Dimes fundraiser, in Monticello May 14, the Monticello Times reported.

The twins, Josie and Daisy, were born weighing less than 2 pounds each at birth. They were two weeks old before they were strong enough to be temporarily taken out of their incubators for their parents to hold them. They spent 109 days in the hospital before being released, and suffered prematurity-related health issues such as elevated blood pressure, low iron, and severe acid reflux. They’ve also been diagnosed with developmental delays, but have made great strides through therapy. According to the March of Dimes, one in 10 babies in the US is born prematurely, and prematurity is the leading cause of infant deaths.

Minnesota employers added 15,600 jobs in April

Minnesota employers added 15,600 jobs in April, with professional and business services leading all sectors with 6,700 new jobs, according to the Minnesota Department of Employment and Economic Development.

The Pioneer Press reported that the state’s seasonally adjusted unemployment rate held steady in April at 3.8 percent. April job gains were the most for a month since September 2013. March employment figures, meanwhile, were revised downward slightly from 2,900 jobs lost to 3,200 jobs lost. The US unemployment rate in April was 5 percent.