--On Monday the Minnesota State Court of Appeals upheld the 2016 Morrison County conviction of Brian Rinkel for Assault in the Second Degree (Dangerous Weapon). On July 8th, 2016, after a two day jury trial, a Morrison County Jury found Rinkel guilty of assaulting an adult male by running him off the road with his truck. Rinkel was sentenced to serve 49 months in prison. The case stemmed from an incident on July 30th, 2015 where an adult male had found Rinkel on his farm property in Benton County. Rinkel had a trailer backed into the landowner’s storage shed at about 5:30am. The land owner went up to the truck and Rinkel suddenly drove away. The landowner got into his car and followed Rinkel in order to get the truck’s license number. This chase crossed into Morrison County where Rinkel turned his truck around and drove directly toward the landowner’s car in the landowner’s own lane. The landowner quickly backed off the road, but his car was clipped by Rinkel’s trailer. Deputies from the Morrison County Sheriff’s Office were able to locate the truck and trailer and Rinkel was charged with assault with a deadly weapon. A truck when used as a weapon is considered a dangerous weapon. Rinkel appealed the conviction, claiming his conduct was not an assault. The Court of Appeals rejected that argument ruling that the totality of Rinkel’s behavior that day showed his assaulting intent. The court said, “After driving in (the victim’s) lane for a considerable distance, and colliding with (his) vehicle, Rinkel did not stop to render aid. Rather, he brandished a tire iron and then drove off.” This was evidence, the court ruled, that Rinkel’s intent was to assault by causing fear.
--The Minnesota Supreme Court on Friday decided that Governor Mark Dayton's veto of the House and Senate Budget earlier this year was constitutional. The state court said that the Governor does have line item veto authority and was in the right to exercise his right to do this. The ruling, however, does not end the matter and ordered that both sides meet again with a mediator to address the matter.
--You can vote for Morrison County Fairgrounds to win a Grinnell Mutual Fairground Facelift grant as the fairgrounds in Little Falls was named one of 15 finalists for a Fairground Facelift grant sponsored by Grinnell Mutual. This began last Thursday. The public can visit the company’s Facebook page or the Morrison County Fairgrounds facebook page to vote on the fairgrounds for the grant money. Click the ‘Vote’ button on the fairgrounds project photo. Voting will close Wednesday, September 20th at 11:59am. The project with the highest number of votes will receive a $3,000 grant. The projects finishing second, third, fourth, and fifth place in voting will each receive a $1,000 grant. The Morrison County Fairgrounds would use the grant money to fund replacement of leaking, cracked toilets, installation of baby changing stations in both the men’s and women’s bathrooms, and painting. For information, call Dan McCue at (641) 269-8289.
--A motorcyclist was injured around 2:30am Saturday on Interstate 94 in Sauk Centre Township of Stearns County. 50-year old Donald Selmer of Farmington collided with a deer. He was treated at an area hospital with non-life threatening injuries.
--A Ramsey woman was injured Friday night when her vehicle left Highway 23 near Cold Spring and struck a pile of landscape rock. Around 9:30pm, 37-year old Tia Casida had the accident and was treated at the hospital with non-life threatening injuries.
--The Little Falls Area Chamber of Commerce is hosting a Highway 27 project meeting next Tuesday, September 19th from 9:00-10:30am at the Little Falls Area Chamber of Commerce. In preparation for the Highway 27 road reconstruction work through downtown Little Falls in 2019, representatives from the Minnesota Department of Transportation will be available for one on one questions from the public about how the project may impact their day to day travel through town. Business owners can learn how the project will impact their customers and employees. For information or if you have questions call Debora K. Boelz at (320) 632-5155.
--This past weekend the Minnesota Air National Guard sent 41 Airmen to support response efforts for Hurricane Irma. Six Soldiers from the Minnesota Army National Guard also departed Monday morning to support relief efforts. The unit recently sent two aircraft to Texas for five days in response to Hurricane Harvey where they flew a total of six missions, moving 29,000 pounds of cargo. The Minnesota National Guard also prepared a shipment of medical supplies from the warehouse at Camp Ripley which was scheduled to be transported by the Missouri National Guard to Florida Monday afternoon.
--Just after midnight Sunday, Foley Police Officers and Benton County Sheriff’s Deputies were dispatched to an address in the 300 block of 2nd Avenue in Foley in response to a citizen calling to report he was stabbed in the stomach. When officers and deputies arrived on scene they spoke with 31-year old Gregory Carlin of Foley. Carlin stated he had gotten into an altercation with 19-year old Brandon Cunningham. Carlin told officers Cunningham stabbed him in the stomach with a knife and left the scene. Cunningham was located and arrested for 1st degree assault. Cunningham was taken to the Benton County Jail where he is awaiting his first court appearance.
--A Baxter man found not guilty in a murder trial in 2016 has been arrested again in Crow Wing County. 29-year old Nathan Becker was charged last week with felony third degree assault to cause substantial bodily harm. Becker is accused of punching a man in the face on September 1st at a Brainerd apartment where the two men and a woman were sitting around drinking. The victim needed medical attention for a serious eye injury. In January, Becker was charged with three felonies, two second degree assault with a dangerous weapon charges and one charge of making terrorist threats for an incident that took place. Becker was also involved in a murder and an attempted murder in north Brainerd on January 4th, 2015 which ended with his acquittal and another suspect's conviction.
--Gregory Sauer, age 66 of Onamia
TODAY= sunny skies, high around 80.
TONIGHT= clear skies, low around 58.
WEDNESDAY= sunny and warm, high 84, showers late night, low 59
THURSDAY= partly sunny, high near 80, storms late, low around 60.
VIKINGS= Sam Bradford tosses 3 touchdowns, 2 to Stefon Diggs as the Vikings beat New Orleans 29-19 in their season opener.
TWINS= Twins host San Diego tonight 6:30pm on Q92 WYRQ.
WNBA= Lynx open playoffs hosting Washington tonight at 7pm.