Newsletter: Monday, August 1, 2022

Newsletter: Monday, August 1, 2022

--27-year-old Zachary Wayne O’Brien of Brainerd was ordered in Morrison County District Court to pay $1,315 in restitution and sentenced to five years of supervised probation after he was convicted of first-degree damage to property. The conviction stems from an incident that occurred April 12, when law enforcement received a report of a vehicle that had rammed into the front of Red’s Auto and Bait in Pierz. The caller reported that he saw a male subject enter the store and come out a short time later. The vehicle later headed southbound on Highway 25. An officer from the Pierz Police Department arrived a short time later and observed “massive damage” to the exterior wall of the business. Inside the building, the officer observed blood spatter throughout the building and took samples for DNA evidence. Law enforcement received information that the suspect vehicle had been located in Benton county. Following a short chase by a Benton County deputy, the suspect vehicle crashed and the driver, O’Brien, was arrested. The vehicle turned out to be stolen out of Brainerd. During a statement to law enforcement, O’Brien said he had been drinking with his family earlier in the evening. He got into an argument and “wanted to try to kill himself.” He told officers that he stole his neighbor’s vehicle and tried to crash it into a tree to kill himself, but was unsuccessful. He then drove to Pierz and smashed into Red’s Auto and Bait to break in and steal cigarettes. After the crash, he got confused on his direction of travel and headed south into Benton County, rather than back north toward Brainerd. At the time of the incident, it was estimated that the damage done to the Red’s Auto building was in excess of $50,000. O’Brien was given credit for 94 days served in local confinement. A charge of third-degree burglary was dismissed as part of a plea deal.

--A 24-year-old man was arrested after police allege he shot and killed his father inside their Aitkin County cabin. The Aitkin County Sheriff’s Office said they found 62-year-old Daniel Bzdok of Buffalo on Wednesday with a single gunshot wound to the back of the head after he was reported missing the day before. Authorities say Daniel left for his cabin in Fleming Township on Friday, July 22, with his 24-year-old son Ronald Bzdok. However, Daniel’s brother became concerned for his safety after several phone calls went unanswered, and the last time anyone heard from Ronald was Saturday. On Wednesday, July 27, Daniel’s brother went to check on him at the cabin. When he arrived, he found a padlock on the main door and no other vehicles around. Deputies with the Aitkin County Sheriff’s Office were dispatched to the cabin to help locate Daniel. While conducting a search, deputies looked through a cabin window and saw a man dead. The Minnesota Bureau of Criminal Apprehension along with their crime scene team responded to the scene. Law enforcement obtained a search warrant for the cabin and located Daniel inside with a single gunshot wound to the back of the head. Police arrested Ronald Bzdok and he is being held pending charges. This case remains under investigation.

--The Brainerd Police Department Friday released the name of the man killed when he fell from his motorized scooter back on Tuesday on Maple Street. The man was 62-year-old Gregory Crocker of Brainerd. The Brainerd Police Department stated that this is still an active investigation and final autopsy reports are still pending.

--The Little Falls Summer Musical this year is Treasure Island and will be performed August 11th-13th in Little Falls. More details to come.

--KLTF Party Line at Crow Wing County Fair Wednesday at 10am.

--Road Construction continues in Minnesota with some projects being completed and others beginning. All lanes were set to open and the detour lifted on Highway 71 from Browerville to Clarissa in Todd County on Friday. The two Highway 71 double-box bridges are installed in Browerville, the Harris Creek in the north end and the Drayer Creek in the south end. While that ends another Highway 371 project began last week south of Brainerd with a detour and lane closures expected for up to two weeks around the work zone. More road work continues on 371 north of Baxter near the Raceway and also Nisswa north. The St. Cloud area has up to 5 different projects working on right now with slow downs expected. Mn Dot reported they are planning still to start a project this month on Highway 10 near Randall. City and County projects also continue including work in Little Falls. The latest road work info is found at the site

--One person was hurt and another was cited after a two-vehicle crash in Stearns County Friday morning. The sheriff's office says it happened at around 6:20am in Holding Township. An SUV driven by Scott DeZurik was going east on 395th Street when deputies say a car driven by Paige Klaphake was entering the road from a driveway and failed to yield. The two vehicles collided and caused serious damage to the front ends of the vehicles. DeZurik was taken by ambulance to St. Cloud Hospital. Klaphake was ticketed for failure to yield entering a roadway.

--A Sauk Rapids man is charged with two counts of criminal sexual conduct after allegedly having sex with a 13-year-old girl. According to the charges filed in Benton County District Court, 19-year-old Daniel Nguyen was having a sexual relationship with the girl despite knowing she was only 13 years old. The girl was found at Nguyen's residence after she ran away from home. According to court records, the family discovered the relationship from evidence on the girl's phone. The victim admitted to the sexual contact during a forensic interview at the Child Advocacy Center. Nguyen also allegedly admitted to the sexual intercourse when he was interviewed by police. Nguyen is charged with felony 1st and 2nd degree criminal sexual conduct. His next court appearance is on September 21st.

--Matt and Tracy Woitalla of Pierz had a baby girl born July 27th.
--Jacob and Kelsey Zets of Burtrum, a baby boy born July 28th.

--Evelyn Ortman, age 100 of Pierz.
--Kathy Kemper, age 89 of Melrose.

TODAY= partly cloudy skies, high near 80.
TONIGHT= partly cloudy, isolated storm toward morning, low 64.
TUESDAY= sunny and hot, humid, high 94, storms late, low 72.
WEDNESDAY= storm early, then sunny and windy, high 82, low 61.

TWINS= Padres rout the Twins Friday night 10-1 in San Diego. Twins hold on to win Saturday 7-4. San Diego wins Sunday 3-2. The Twins host Detroit tonight at 6pm on Q92 WYRQ.
VL= The Region 8C Amateur Baseball Tournament begins Saturday in Freeport. Teams include Avon, St. Stephen, Freeport and Randall from South/West, Nisswa, Pierz Lakers, Buckman and Foley from the North/East. Games start at 10:30am Saturday on AM960 KLTF.