NEWS –Today (March 30th) Minnesota National Guard competitors will be joined by Croatian and Canadian Armed Forces members to find this year’s best non commissioned officer and Soldier during the 2023 Best Warrior Competition hosted at Camp Ripley. The Army National Guard Best Warrior Competition is a four-day competition that tests competitors on their Army knowledge. The competition includes an appearance board, written exams and essays, the Army Combat Fitness Test, weapons qualifications, medical evacuation tasks, an obstacle course, a live fire exercise, and a ruck march. This year’s competition will feature the “Valor Ruck,” which includes five stations: each highlighting the story of a Medal of Honor recipient. One non commissioned officer and Soldier will advance to compete at the Region IV Best Warrior Competition hosted by the Ohio National Guard in May. “Camp Ripley is a world-class training site, and we are excited to host not only Minnesota’s best non commissioned officers and Soldiers, but also seven competitors from Croatia and Canada,” said Army Command Sgt. Maj. Rian Hofstad, Camp Ripley’s Garrison Command Sergeant Major. “The Minnesota National Guard is one of the best organizations in the Army, and we will test these competitors to showcase their passion, dedication, and expertise for the world to see.” The event is scheduled to begin this morning at 10am.
--Mille Lacs County Sheriff Kyle Burton stated this week there investigation into the death of Rodney Pendyagosh Jr. continues with both Bradley Weyaus and Alexis Elling in jail accused of disposing of the body into totes where one was found by a Mille Lacs County worker last week. Burton stated that initial findings now believe that Pendyagosh may have died from a fentanyl overdose before the body was disposed of. A revenge factor has been announced from Weyous's girlfriend against the victim which also led to his death. As the medical examiner shows that the drug was found during their examination of Pendyagosh and also a gunshot wound but that may have come after the fact. Again the BCA and Mille Lacs County Sheriff continue their investigation into the death. As of Monday both Weyaus and Elling were still in jail.
--A fish kill on the Mississippi River is related to the Monticello Power Plant, but not due to a recent Tritium leak. Xcel Energy has reported more than 250 fish have died near the Monticello Nuclear Power Plant due to the plant shutting down to repair a water leak permanently. Because the plant was taken offline, the water temperature dropped faster than some fish could handle, which led to their demise. The power plant was taken offline in steps to mitigate the effects on wildlife. Xcel Energy officials are working with the Minnesota Pollution Control Agency and the Minnesota Department of Natural Resources to monitor the effects on fish and other aquatic life.
--A South Haven man has pleaded guilty to felony criminal sexual conduct after sexually assaulting a woman while she slept. 21-year-old Nathan Valley used his hands to assault the woman in December 2021. He pleaded guilty to 3rd-degree criminal sexual conduct with a helpless victim. Records show the victim and Valley were friends of three years but had never had a romantic relationship. Valley picked the woman up and brought her to his house to hang out. She told sheriff's deputies that she took a nap because she had been up all night and later woke up to Valley sexually assaulting her. Records show the victim told Valley "no" and moved away, but he allegedly pulled her back and did it again. After being told "no" again, Valley allegedly got upset, left the room, and started hitting the walls. The victim got a ride home from a friend and went to the hospital for a sexual assault examination. Valley will be sentenced on May 23rd.
--Another blast of wintry weather in the spring is heading into Minnesota later today. The system will start as rain in southern and central Minnesota with some freezing rain and snow possible. Accumulation will be light into tonight but icy roadways are likely with the freezing mix. Then Friday strong winds pickup near 40mph, rain and freezing rain will change to all snow with the heaviest in the later afternoon and Friday night where 3-5 inches could fall over central Minnesota with heavier bands to the southwest with blizzard conditions in western and southwestern Minnesota. The storm will be done by late Friday night early Saturday. Southeastern Minnesota could see strong thunderstorms on Friday with nasty storms possible through Iowa, southern Wisconsin and Missouri Friday night. Continue to listen to Little Falls Radio and online at fallsradio.com for the latest weather details over the next days ahead.
--Officials are warning the public about a potential new scam affecting residents. They say residents have reported seeing text messages and emails from Benton County asking for a response to a survey. The messages contain a link to the website SurveyMonkey asking for thoughts on Benton County issues. The county says they are not conducting any surveys, have no connection to the messages, and are not sending them out. Authorities warn against clicking links from a sender you don’t know. The links could redirect users to fraudulent websites, links containing a virus or malware.
--A woman was hurt and a man was arrested in Becker Tuesday afternoon. The police department says the victim told officers she was attacked by her boyfriend in their home. She was taken to St. Cloud Hospital with non-life-threatening injuries. Officers responded to the home in the 12000 block of Willow Street in Becker and found that the man had barricaded himself in the house. Officer got a search warrant and found him hiding inside the garage. No injuries were reported to the suspect or officers. He has been identified as 42-year-old Troy Hansen of Becker.
--Congratulations to Little Falls Community High School student Alex Oberton on his selection as one of two Region 8AA winners of the AAA award. Alex and the other finalists were recognized at the Boys State Basketball Tournament last weekend in Minneapolis.
--Royalton High School and their Royal Playhouse presents the Little Shop of Horrors this Friday through Sunday at the Royalton High School. March 31st at 7pm, April 1st at 7pm and April 2nd at 2pm. Tickets can be purchased at the event. They state that the show is not for younger viewers and ask for the young children to stay home.
DEATH NOTICES --Dolores “Peanut” L. Larson, age 91 of Little Falls
WEATHER WINTER WEATHER ADVISORY 3PM TODAY TO 10AM FRIDAY WINTER STORM WATCH 7PM FRIDAY TO 7AM SATURDAY. TODAY= cloudy, high 33, rain and freezing rain by later afternoon. TONIGHT= rain, freezing rain and snow, ½ inch, low 26. FRIDAY= snow likely after 3pm, gusty winds, high 35, low 13. SATURDAY= sunny and breezy, high 33, low around 14. SUNDAY= rain/snow shower early, then sunny, high 47, low 31.
SPORTS TWINS= Twins open the regular season today at Kansas City with pregame at 2:30pm on Q92 WYRQ.