7December 2022

THC gummy bear attorney: They’re safe

FARGO, N.D.. — The Moorhead company that manufactures hemp-derived gummy bears has denied that the product is dangerous. An attorney for Northland Vapor, Tyler Leverington, said there is no evidence of anyone being harmed from proper use of the product. A Minnesota Pharmacy Board lawsuit against the company is “shameful,” Leverington said: “Northland is a small business committed to making a quality product.” Northland has been producing the gummies since THC products became legal in Minnesota in July.

Earlier: State agency: Destroy hemp-derived gummies

6December 2022

Minnesota prep

Basketball (boys): Lewiston-Altura Cardinals 67, Dover-Eyota Eagles 64

Basketball (boys): Wabasha-Kellogg Falcons 63, St. Charles Saints 55

Basketball (boys): LaCrescent-Hokah Lancers 64, Winona Cotter Ramblers 48

Basketball (girls): Winona Winhawks 58, Faribault Falcons 41

Basketball (girls): St. Charles Saints 53, Wabasha-Kellogg Falcons 28

Hockey (boys): Rochester Mayo Spartans 4, Winona Winhawks 3

Hockey (girls): Black River Falls Tigers 4, Winona Winhawks 0

Basketball (girls): Dover-Eyota Eagles 75, Lewiston-Altura Cardinals 47

Basketball (girls): Chatfield Gophers 55, Plainview-Elgin-Millville Bulldogs 47


6December 2022

Wisconsin prep

Basketball (boys): Bangor Cardinals 67, Galesville-Ettrick-Trempealeau Red Hawks 58

 Basketball (girls): Bangor Cardinals 58, Galesville-Ettrick-Trempealeau Red Hawks 28

Basketball (girls): Augusta Beavers 45, Melrose-Mindoro 38

Basketball (girls): Cashton Eagles 43, Independence Indees 27

Basketball (girls): Whitehall Norse 57, Plum City Blue Devils 44

Hockey (girls): Black River Falls Tigers 4, Winona Winhawks 0

Hockey (girls): LaCrescent-Hokah Lancers 9, West Salem Panthers 0


6December 2022

Iowa J-grad is new reporter in town

WINONA, Minn. – A recent University of Iowa journalism graduate, Jacob Shafer, has joined the local reporting staff at the Winona Daily News. In college he covered arts and other news for the Daily Iowan. In Winona his beat includes police and local government. Shafer grew up in a small farming community in north central Iowa.

Shafer. At Winona Daily News.

6December 2022

Negotiators reach deal to avert nurses strike

ST. PAUL, Minn. – The Minnesota Nurses Association reached a tentative contract agreement that could avert a strike against major hospitals in the Twin Cities and Duluth areas. The union, representing 15,000 nurses, was prepared to strike Sunday. The union president, Mary Turner, said the most significant point in the  agreement gives nurses a voice in staffing. The deal, if approved by the union membership, would raise salaries 17% to 18% over three years.

Earlier: Minnesota nurses again gird for strike

6December 2022

State budget surplus passes $17 billion

ST. PAUL, Minn. – The Minnesota revenue surplus has swelled to $17.6 billion, the state budget department reported. This is almost double the $9 billion sum when the Republican Legislature and Democratic Governor Tim Walz deadlocked in May on how to spend the money. The surplus equals roughly seven months of state spending at the current rate.

6December 2022

Bye to Stumpy’s: Owners’ retirement ahead

RUSHFORD, Minn. – A fixture in Rushford for 40 years, Stumpy’s restaurant and bar, is closing down the weekend after next. Proprietors Pat and Judy Christian posted a notice on the wall that their last full day of service will be December 16. “Judy wants to retire,” the notice said. The Christians have owned Stumpy’s 25 years. All their kids have been on the payroll at one time or another. A farewell party for loyal customers will be Sunday the 17th from 3 p.m. to midnight.

In the shadow of grain elevators. Just off Main Street downtown.

Judy Christian. Her call, the message read.

5December 2022

Minnesota prep

Basketball (boys): Lewiston-Altura Cardinals 68, Winona Cotter Ramblers 66

Basketball (girls): St. Charles Saints 48, Pine Island Panthers 44


5December 2022

Wisconsin prep

Basketball (boys): Independence Indees 87, West Salem- Coulee/Providence 80

Basketball (boys): Melrose-Mindoro Mustangs 46, Viroqua Blackhawks 39

Basketball (girls): Fall Creek Crickets 61, Mondovi Buffaloes 42

Basketball (girls): LaCrosse Logan Rangers 73, Arcadia Raiders 61

Basketball (boys): Whitehall Norse 63, Thorp Cardinals 54


5December 2022

More charges possible from Sioux Street drug raid

WINONA. Minn.  – More criminal charges may be filed in the wake of the massive police operation Friday on a suspected drug house on Sioux Street. There was only one arrest in the raid — a man wanted on a felony warrant for armed robbery in Mower County. Besides the arrested man, Antoine Davis, six other people exited the house on police command. Chief Deputy Sheriff Jeff Mueller said these six individuals were questioned but not arrested at the time. Still to be determined, Mueller said, was who owned guns and drugs seized in the operation. Once connections are made, if any, the individuals can be summoned to court in writing.

Confiscated in the house:

> Drugs. 607 grams of marijuana, 685.5 grams of psylocibin mushrooms; 26 suspected molly tabs, also known as Ecstasy; a jar of psychoactive cannabis wax; and 30 psychoactive cannabis cartridges.

 > Firearms. Three guns:  A loaded Glock 30 handgun, and two loaded AK47 pistols.

> Cash. $1,854.

Mueller said that the Sheriff’s Office had received information that Antoine Davis was staying at the Sioux Street house and had an active felony warrant for his arrest stemming from the robbery conviction in Mower County. Subsequent information was developed indicating the possibility of narcotics and other firearms at the Sioux Street house, Mueller said. Davis was turned over to Mower County authorities the day of the raid.

Earlier: Winona raid nets drugs, arms, arrest

Davis. Back behind bars in Austin.

Large police muster

About 25 officers, including some from the Rochester-based regional drug task force, were involved with serving the search warrant on Davis, interviewing his companions at the house, and searching the house. Officers were at the scene two hours.

5December 2022

State agency: Destroy hemp-derived gummies

ST. PAUL, Minn. – The Minnesota Pharmacy Board has sued a company selling hemp-based edibles whose potency, says the Board, far exceeds legal limits. Sued was Northland Vapor stores, which has shops in in Moorhead and Bemidi. Jill Phillips, at the Pharmacy Board, said the product Death by Gummy Bears has 50 times the THC legal limit. The Board estimates $7 million worth of gummies are in warehouses and on retail shelves

Gummy death?

The stated lawsuit follows a federal investigation that a 23-year-old died unexpectedly after eating Northland gummy bears. The cause of death, however, has not been established firmly.

5December 2022

Almost 500 WSU students to graduate

WINONA, Minn. –  Crews began configuring McCown Gym for the Winona State University midyear commencement ceremony Friday. Scheduled to be graduated: 497 students from the university’s five colleges:

> Nursing and Health Sciences: 137 and 1grad student.

> Liberal Arts: 110 and 1.

> Business: 82 and 5.

> Education: 73 and 13.

> Science and Engineering: 62 and 13.

Seating is first come, first served. The Somsen Hall auditorium will accommodate overflow with live video.  Details.


5December 2022

Cops investigate weekend burglary chain

WINONA, Minn. – A pair of burglars sashayed around Winona in a car and on foot, attempting to loot an odd medley of places and apparently getting very little. One target was the idyllic United Methodist Church in suburban Homer. It was there, well into an overnight break-in spree Friday that deputies found footprints in the snow, They followed the tracks 1-1/2 miles to the Fleet Farm store parking lot in Winona. Besides footprints, deputies also had a clue from a surveillance camera at Fleet Farm. Police haven’t reconstructed the thieves’ odyssey entirely and have a lot of loose ends, but in custody are:

> Tracy Allyn Benson, 51, of Minnesota City, who was arrested about 7:10 p.m., Saturday, after a police chase that began at Highway 61 and Pelzer and ended jn the Hidden Valley trailer court.

> George Alan Vanzee, 55, of Minneapolis, who was arrested at 2:07 a.m., Sunday, on the 1700 block of West Fifth Street.

The weekend had numerous thefts, some of which sheriff’s and police investigators say may or may not be connected:

> Twin Bluffs Tavern, on Highway 61 at Miller Valley Road. It was discovered that a cash register was opened during the night. No cash was missing. An ATM machine was carted out and vandalized. No case was taken.

> A storage shed way out on Old Homer Road, in the 36000 block. On ghe second of two entries, a roll of copper wire was stolen on the second entry.

> United Methodist Church, 36000 Old Homer Road. A window was broken for entry.

> Whistle Clean Laundromat, 577 Huff Street. A surveillance camera recorded iwo men using a small tool to open a soap dispense. About $6 in change was taken. The dispenser was undamaged.

Homer church. Along Highway 61.

Twin Bluffs Tavern.  Along Highway 61.

Vanzee. Booking charge: Burglary and drugs.

Benson. Booking charge: Fleeing police and speeding.

4December 2022

Uber, where are you? MSP ups parking fee

EAGAN, Minn. – Flying out of the Minneapolis airport soon will cost more if you’re driving. The Metropolitan Airports Commission approved a $2 increase in daily parking fees at Terminal 1, Terminal 2, and the Quick Ride Ramp. The  rate now is $12 to $19, The increase  is effective in January. Also: Valet parking is going up $5 a day.


Duluth, $11; Eau Claire, $7; Fargo, $8; Grand Forks, $8; LaCrosse, $8; Madison, $6; Rochester, $12; Madison, $6.

4December 2022

Wisconsin prep

Basketball (boys): Blair-Taylor Wildcats 85, Nekossa Papermakers 64

Hockey (boys): Merrill Blue Jays 12, Park Fal;s Chequamegon Screaming Eagles 2

Hockey (girls): Hartland Arrowhead 4, Viroqua Blackhawks 3

4December 2022

Driver arrested in wee-hour stop

WINONA, Minn. – A Winona driver, Alexander Norman Gillette, 26, was arrested after a deputy observed signs of impairment during a traffic stop. Gillette was taken to the to the station house to draw blood to determine the level of intoxication. The stop was at Second  and Laird streets at 1:20 a.m. for bad taillights.

4December 2022

Driver’s blood sample being tested for booze

WINONA, Minn. – A Winona driver was hauled to jail for a conclusive test on his blood-alcohol level. Charges against Alexander Norman Gillette, 26, were put off until the tests come back from the state crime lab. A deputy had stopped Gillette for inoperable taillights about 1:15 a.m. at Second and Laird streets. Field sobriety tests showed impairment, the deputy said.

4December 2022

Driver skips stop sign, hits fence

UTICA, Minn. – A Kellogg man blew through a stop sign at County Road 18 and Burt Road southeast of Utica and ran into the ditch, then a fence. Joshua David Heins, 39, wasn’t hurt but was very drunk, said the first deputy at the scene. His blood tested at 0.25% alcohol, more than three the legal max. A juvenile was in the car, the deputy said. The accident was about 12:50 p.m.

Heins. Crashed at 90-degree corner.

3December 2022

Week’s summary: Ending December 3, 2022

3December 2022

Woman fears broken wrist in violent spat

WINONA, Minn. – A woman told police that her live-in companion turned violent during an argument and threw her to the ground. The man, confronted by police, denied striking the woman. It now may be a judge who decides what happened. Graylen James Jeffrey Gould, 29, was charged with domestic assault that caused physical injury. The woman said at one point an electrical cord became wrapped around one of her wrists, just before she was thrown down. She showed police red marks. Her wrist she thought was broken, she said. This was in the 100 block of West Seventh Street about 11:40 p.m.

Gould. Charged in she said-he said episode.

3December 2022

College scores

Basketball (men): Winona State 66, Concordia of St. Paul 63

Basketball (men): Saint Mary’s 85, Carleton 66

Basketball (men): UW-LaCrosse 84, UW-Eau Claire 77

Basketball (women): Concordia of St. Paul 58, Winona State 39

Basketball (women): Saint Mary’s 81, Carleton 67

Basketball (women): UW-Eau Claire 68, UW-LaCrosse 56

Hockey (men): Saint Mary’s 4, Gustavus Adolphus 3

Hockey (women): Gustavus Adolphus 3, Saint Mary’s 0

Wrestling: UW-LaCrosse 25, North Central of Illinois 20

3December 2022

Minnesota prep

Basketball (boys): Merrill Blue Jays 42, LaCescent-Hokah Lancers 41

Hockey (boys): Kasson Dodge County Wildcats 4, LaCrescent-Hokah Lancers 1


3December 2022

Wisconsin prep

Basketball (boys): Blair-Taylor Wildcats 84, Nekoosa Papermakers 64


3December 2022

Ski slopes sprayed for early opening

LACROSSE, Wis. – With a boost from artificial snow, the Mount LaCrosse slopes opened some runs to start ski season. Eventually all 19 trails will have enough snow to be skied. The day resort is under new ownership —  the Mathy family, through its Waloon Industries. The ski area has been on business 63 years.

Mount LaCosse. The slopes, south of LaCrosse and up Old Town Hall Trail Road, opened jn 1959

3December 2022

Where? Underground on Johnson Street

WINONA, Minn. — The Johnson Street Underground acapella group will perform a holiday concert Friday at the Winona Arts Center. It may sound like Green Day, Dolly Parton, the Beatles and Adele, said tenor Matt Schultz, a teacher at Jefferson Elementary School. Also in the group: Tenor Seth Flatten, baritone Charlie Opatz, and second bass John Chernega. Time: 7 p.m. Mingling and coffee: 6 p.m. Tickets: $10 to $15.

Home-grown quartet. At Winona Arts Center, 228 East Fifth Street.


The worthiest goal of journalism is to promote intelligent citizen involvement. Such is our goal with Winona Journal. We focus on local issues so you can go about your daily activities with confidence that you can be a genuine and valued part of informed public dialogue on the kind of community we’re building.

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John Vivian, editor