Newsletter: Friday, November 17th, 2023

Newsletter: Friday, November 17th, 2023

--A 51-year-old man who pleaded guilty to sexually assaulting two children from 2013 to 2018 in the Brainerd lakes area was sentenced in August in Crow Wing County District Court. Thomas William Dalench was charged with eight counts of criminal sexual conduct in September, 2021 which included four counts of first degree criminal sexual conduct with penetration or contact and four counts of second degree criminal sexual conduct. Dalench pleaded guilty to two counts of second degree criminal sexual conduct with a person who was under 16 years old and had a significant relationship with. Dalench was sentenced on the first count to 90 months imprisonment, but the sentence was stayed for 10 years with conditions. He was also ordered to serve 365 days in jail divided into two segments, serve 10 years of supervised probation, attend a sex offender program, register as a sex offender and abide by all terms of his release from custody. On the second count, sentenced to prison for 130 months. The sentence was stayed for 10 years while on conditional release.

--The Brainerd Fire Department responded to a grass fire at 1pm Wednesday on the 12000 block of Eagle Ridge Drive in Baxter near the Mississippi River. Brainerd Fire Chief Tim Holmes said when fire crews arrived, they found grass and leaves on fire had spread to a vehicle and a wood pile on the property. Holmes said the property owner was in his yard burning brush when the fire started to spread. After trying to extinguish it himself, the property owner called 911 when the fire became uncontrollable because of shifting wind. Fire crews extinguished the 80-foot by 80-foot fire and were on scene for about an hour. No injuries or damage to structures were reported.

–A superseding indictment was unsealed Wednesday in Minnesota charging 14 additional members and associates of the Minneapolis Highs gang with racketeering (RICO) conspiracy and fentanyl trafficking. Additional charges include firearms violations, kidnapping, assault, and carjacking. In addition to the previously charged conduct involving a years-long pattern of violence, the superseding indictment alleges an extensive fentanyl trafficking operation involving Arizona-based suppliers. Between the summer of 2020 and the spring of 2023, Highs members are alleged to have made numerous round-trip flights from Minneapolis to Phoenix, at times carrying large sums of money, to obtain fentanyl pills for re-sale in Minneapolis. During the same period, Highs members shipped numerous U.S. Postal Service packages containing fentanyl pills to Minneapolis from Arizona. Through the course of the investigation, law enforcement has seized approximately 11.6 kilos of fentanyl, at least 36 guns, and over $218,000. All of the defendants have been formally charged.

--The 19th annual Little Falls Community High School Madrigal Dinner will have their festivities start at 5:30pm Sunday, December 3rd at the Little Falls Community Middle School in the commons. Ticket prices are $30 for adults and $25 for seniors and students. Sales are going on now through next Tuesday. No tickets may be ordered after November 21st. Ticket order forms can be picked up in the LFCHS activities office. For more information call (320) 616-2207. All proceeds made from the ticket sales will help raise money for the Little Falls Concert Choir Triennial Tour.

--Some parts of the state in the northern tier continues with one more weekend of deer hunting through the 19th. Good luck to the hunters heading north this weekend. The DNR says play it safe.

--The Little Falls City Council meets Monday at 7:30pm at City Hall.

--The man who attacked Minnesota congresswoman Angie Craig inside her Washington, D.C. apartment earlier this year was sentenced to more than two years in prison Thursday by a federal judge. 27-year-old Kendrid Hamlin, 27, was arrested in February after he assaulted Craig in the elevator of her building. Police say Hamlin was displaying erratic behavior at the time and began doing push-ups in the elevator before punching the congresswoman in the face and grabbing her neck. Prosecutors sought 39 months in prison, citing Hamlin's previous history of assaulting officers during arrest. The judge ultimately sentenced Hamlin to 27 months in prison, to be followed by three years on supervised release. He agreed to recommend Hamlin be placed in a federal medical center where he could hopefully receive substance abuse and mental health treatment. Hamlin will receive credit for time served since his arrest.

--Bridges of Hope coordinates a Thanksgiving meal program each year as a part of its mission to build bridges of support. This year they have matched 205 families in need with generous individuals, clubs, businesses and churches. The project is operated at Bridges of Hope for more than 15 years and is a community favorite. That number is up 15% from the previous year. For more information on Bridges of Hope contact them online at

--Weekend events include Lindbergh Lions Bingo Extravaganza tonight at 6pm at the VFW, Pierz, Royalton, Upsala and Swanville schools have play performances either tonight and Saturday night or also some on Sunday afternoon. Ramey/Morrill Lions breakfast on Sunday at 8:30am at the church in Morrill, Bingo Sunday at 1:30pm at the church in Belle Prairie and more at

--Darlene “Donna” Lemke, age 93 of Sartell.
--Dr. Cathy Donovan, age 56 of Onamia.

TODAY= mostly sunny, cooler, high 44.
TONIGHT= clear skies, low around 27.
SATURDAY= sunny and warmer, high 52, clear night, low 33.
SUNDAY= sunny skies, high 48, clouds increase late, low 35.
MONDAY= cloudy, rain showers, high 42, rain/snow at night.

HS FB= yesterday in State Semi-Final football, Nevis shutout Ottertail Central 35-0 and Rocori held off Byron 7-0 to move to the finals. State Football semi-finals continue through Saturday, the Prep Bowl Football Championships are next Friday and Saturday.
TROT= The Pierz Cross Country program is hosting their annual Turkey Trot on Thanksgiving day at Pierz Healy High School. Registration forms can be found at the Turkey Trot Facebook page or through Pierz Community Education. Proceeds go right back into the Pierz Cross Country program for uniforms and other need items. Registration starts at 7:30am on Thanksgiving Day at the High School. There will refreshments to warm up with after the race.
GHK= Brainerd/Little Falls wins 1-0 last night over Willmar in girls hockey and will host Eden Prairie on Saturday at 3pm in Brainerd.
COL FB= Gophers at #2 Ohio State Saturday at 3pm.
NFL= Vikings are at Denver Sunday night at 6:30pm on KLTF then on Monday 27th they have Chicago at 7pm also on AM960 KLTF.