Winona Journal – Home
29November 2023

Driver critically hurt in school bus crash

STOCKTON, Minn. – A Winona woman was critically injured when her car and a school bus collided on snow-covered and icy U.S. 14 while cresting Stockton Hill. Robin Rae Thelen, 62, was airlifted 36 miles to Gundersen hospital in LaCrosse with life-threatening injuries. Two adults and a 10-year old child on the bus were less seriously and were taken eight miles to the Winona hospital. Thelen was alone in her car, a 2006 Buick Lucerne. She was driving east toward Winona. The bus was driven by Theresa Ann Fedie, 64, of Winona. On board were Sara Jean Fenner, 46, of Winona, an aide, and a 10-year-old girl from Goodview, whose name was not released by the State Patrol. The bus was west-bound toward Stockton. The accident blocked U.S 14 for three hours, backing up Winona-bound commuters for a mile before police could block off trafffic at the foot of the bill at State Highway 23 in Stockton and, on the other side, at U.S. Highway 61 in Winona. Drivers already on the hill were guided to back down. The Patrol said the adults on both vehicles were belted. The school girl was not.

Earlier: Rescue helicopter dispatched to Stockton Hill

29November 2023

UM-Duluth football dies of heart disorder

DULUTH, Minn. – A leading University of Minnesota-Duluth football player, defensive lineman Reed Ryan, died of bcardiac arrest. He was 22. The death occurred November 21 but was not reported by the university for several days, Coach Curt Wiese said the university’s athletic staff and players were devastated. Ryan was a part of a UM-Duluth defensive unit that allowed a low Northern Sun conference average of 293.9 yards per game. Ryan earned one sack against Northern State on September 9 and posted a collegiate career-best three tackles at Minot State on October 21. Earlier he played at North Dakota State. He did high school in Waunakee, Wisconsin, and had seven tackles and assisted another for a total of eight tackles in nine games.

Ryan. Was finishing his studies in business and marketing.

29November 2023

Rescue helicopter dispatched to Stockton Hill

STOCKTON, Minn. – Police confirmed there were injuries in a multiple-vehicle crash on U.S. Highwayn14 at the top of Stockton Hill. A medevac helicopter was called.  The crash was near Ridge View Road, a dirt farm road south off Highway 14.

Earlier: Commute-time wreck blocks Stockton Hill

29November 2023

Commute-time wreck blocks Stockton Hill

STOCKTON, Minn.—A wreck on Stockton Hill closed the main east-west route in and out of Winona about 6:45 a.m. Motorists were diverted to alternate routes, either to Interstate 90 or to Minnesota City. Heavily traveled U.S. Highway 14 crosses Stockton Hill at 1,200 feet A pair of near-horseshoe curves flank the summit. The curvy two-lane route climbs 580 feet out of Winona and 480 out of Stockton, all in less than seven miles.

29November 2023

Wildlife Refuge photo contest: “Autumn Wonderland”

Isabelle Katwa image. Second place in the youth category in the Friends of the Refuge Headwaters centennial photo contest. In all there were 57 entries in four categories. Photos were from the Upper Mississippi River National Wildlife and Fish Refuge, which extends 260 miles from Wabasha to Rock Island in Illinois.

Earlier: Wildlife Refuge photo contest: “Grass Grove Visitor”

28November 2023

Roaming huffer makes rounds of store restrooms

WINONA, Minn. – A man apparently hooked on canned-air inhalants went store to store, took cannisters from store shelves, and went on a huffing binge in store restroom stalls. At Target, police found 11 depleted cannisters. Police said they knew the man and were looking for him. The huffing odyssey began late Tuesday afternoon:

> 4:20 p.m.: A man was discovered huffing at Burggraf’s Ace Hardware, 320 West Second Street.  Police were called. They decided not to issue a citation – huffing being only a misdemeanor. The man was sent on his way.

> 6 p.m.: Police were called to Walmart, 955 Frontenac Drive, that a man had been puffing in the men’s rom. He was gone. Surveillance video suggested it was the same guy as at Burggraf’s.

> 11:30 p.m.: Burglar alarms drew police to the Target department store, 860 Mankato Avenue. Police found an exit door had been breached, which set off alarms. So did motion detectors that had been turned o when the store closed at 10 p.m. Video showed the man in the same clothes as a Burggraf’s and Walmart. He emerged after hiurs  from the bathroom, walked around thendark store, and put merchandise in his pockets. He was gone when police and store security staff arrived. In the store restroom officers found 11 exhausted cannisters of the product Dust-Off.

Earlier: Huffer locked bathroom door, then passed out

Earlier: Duster-huffing man ticketed, then ticketed again

Huffing profile

Huffing with canned air or Dust-Off involves inhaling the compressed gas, which can cause feelings of excitement, lightheadedness, and a temporary high. Huffing dangerous and can cause serious health problems, such as damage to the brain, lungs, liver, and other organs.

28November 2023

Minnesota prep

Basketball (girls): Winona Cotter Ramblers 49, Rushford-Peterson Trojans 47

Basketball (girls): Chatfield Gophers 66, Lewiston-Altura Cardinals 53

Basketball (girls): Plainview-Elgin-Millville Bulldogs 82, St. Charles Saints 14

Hockey (boys): Winona Winhawks 4, Onalaska Hilltoppers 2


28November 2023

Wisconsin prep

Hockey (boys): Winona Winhawks 4, Onalaska Hilltoppers 2

Hockey (girls): LaCrescen-Hokah Lancers 7, Black River Falls Tigers 4

Basketball (girls): Cochrane-Fountain City-Pirates 58, Alma Center Lincoln Hornets 45

Basketball (girls): Arcadia Tigers 43, Black River Falls Tigers 31

Basketball (girls): Bangor Cardinals 59, Galesville Gale-Ettrick-Trempealeau Red Hawls 14

Basketball (boys): Cochrane-Fountain City-Pirates 63, Ellsworth Panthers 41

Basketball (boys):  Galesville Gale-Ettrick-Trempealeau Red Hawks 74, Bangor Cardinals 57

Basketball (girls): Whitehall Norse 75, Eleva-Strum Cardinals 46

Basketball (girls): Independence Indees 55 Alma-Pepin Eagles 42


28November 2023

Plan: Close three Rochester schools to save costs

ROCHESTER, Minn.—To meet a budget shortfall, Rochester Schools Superintendent Kent Pekel proposed closing three elementary schools. The district has 48 schools. The School Board will make the final decision. The change would mean drawing attendance boundaries and ending family choice to send children to any school.

28November 2023

Autistic 11-year-old trashes house, maims cats

ALTURA, Minn. – An autistic child left in the care of a 12-year-old brother went berserk and tore up the inside of the family’s home in Altura and tortured two pet cats. The brother called 911 in Winona, and the child, age 11, was removed 40 miles to a Rochester hospital for psychiatric evaluation. The father, a trucker, was notified and went directly to the hospital. Meanwhile, the county’s child protective service office was notified. The two badly injured cats were taken nine miles to the Lewiston veterinary clinic and euthanized. The incident, in the100 block of First Avenue Southeast in Altura, was reported about 4:30 p.m.

28November 2023

New zombie deer case in Wabasha County

WABASHA, Minn. – The deer disease CWD short for “chronic wasting disease,” has been detected in a deer killed in Wabasha County. The Minnesota Department of Natural declined to say exactly where the deer was shot except that it was in a new surveillance zone where hunters are required to submit the brains their deer for testing. The neurological disorder causes deer to stop feeding, even drinking, and to go into agonizing trances. Although highly contagious among deer, caribou and elk, the disease isn’t transferable to humans. The concern of wildlife experts is that the disease could wipe out deer populations. Two weeks ago the disease was found in wild deer across the Mississippi River in Wisconsin’s Buffalo County. The disease entered southeast Minnesota in Houston County several years ago and has been spreading northward.

Earlier: Deadly deer disorder present in Buffalo County

Wabasha County. Immediately north of Winona County. Across Mississippi River from a new CWD case in Wisconsin’s Buffalo County.

28November 2023

Cantaloupe scare spreads to Kwik Trip

LACROSSE, Wis.  – The 800-store Kwik Trip convenience chain recalled fresh fruit cups due to expanded concern about salmonella bacteria in cantaloupe. The Kwik Trip recall covers six-ounce mixed fruit cups, six-ounce cantaloupe cups, and 16-ounce fruit trays with expiration labels from November 4 to December 3. The products contain cantaloupe from the Kwik Trip supplier TruFresh. No illnesses have been reported from the Kwik Tip fruit products.

Earlier: Widened alert for bacteria-tainted cantaloupe

Recall. The products originated with Kwik Trip supplier TruFresh.

28November 2023

TikTok rumors precede girl-on-girl high school fight

WINONA, Minn. – Police cited a 15-year-old Winona High School girl with assault after a hallway attack on another girl. This was about 11:30 a.m. Police were told the girl ran up behind a 16-year-old girl, punched her several times, and pulled her hair. Why? Police were told the incident was preceded by unflattering rumors posted on the online site TikTok. Police said there were no serious injuries.

28November 2023

Army: About giving Minneapolis dam acreage to tribe

Upper St. Anthony Falls. The lock closed to boat traffic in 2015. There has been ongoing concern about the effect of a structural collapse of the deteriorating lock structure on downriver  water quality and navigation.

End point: No upstream Mississippi navigation any more

ST. PAUL, Minn. — The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers has proposed giving 5.2 acres within the Upper St. Anthony Falls Lock and Dam property to Owamniyomni Okhodayapi (formerly Friends of the Falls) for tribal cultural and environmental interpretive programming, tours and special events. The proposal is for a 25-year grant. The land deal would be part the evolving Corps project to deal with the abandoned lock and dam. The Corps invited public comment on the plan by December 29.

28November 2023

Wildlife Refuge photo contest: “Grass Grove Visitor”

Isabelle Katwa image. First place in the youth category in the Friends of the Refuge Headwaters centennial photo contest. In all there were 57 entries in four categories. Photos were from the Upper Mississippi River National Wildlife and Fish Refuge, which extends 260 miles from Wabasha to Rock Island in Illinois.

Earlier: Wildlife Refuge photo contest: “Reflective Beauty”

27November 2023

Wisconsin prep

Basketball (boys): Whitehall Norse 76, Independence Indees 62

Basketball (boys): Osseo-Fairchild Thunder 74, Augusta Beavers 37

Basketball (boys):  Blair-Taylor Wildcats 65, Elmwood-Plum City Wolves 51

27November 2023

Missing Red Wing man died at own hands

RED WING, Minn. – The death of a Red Wing man, who had been missing 10 days, was by a self-inflicted gunshot wound, authorities said. The body of Brad Nagel, 57, was discovered down a steep embankment on his rural property outside Red Wing on Sunday. Sheriff Marty Kelly said there was no reason to suspect foul play even though many unanswered questions remained about Nagel’s disappearance. These included why Nagel’s pickup was sunk many miles away in the Wisconsin backwaters of the Mississippi River.

Earlier: Coroner called into Red Wing man’s disappearance

27November 2023

Widened alert for bacteria-tainted cantaloupe

WASHINGTON – With 99 cases of salmonella poisoning and two deaths, the federal government re-issued its alert about pre-cut cantaloupe originating Arizona and Mexico. Infections were first reported November 17. Several brands of whole and pre-cut cantaloupes and pre-cut fruit now are added to the recall:

> Aldi whole cantaloupe and pre-cut fruit products.

> Freshness Guaranteed brand pre-cut cantaloupes.

> Malichita brand whole cantaloupe.

> RaceTrac brand pre-cut cantaloupes.

> Rudy brand whole cantaloupes.

> Vinyard brand pre-cut cantaloupe.

The most cases so far, 13, have been in Minnesota. Most seriously affected: Wisconsin, 9 cases; Missouri, 9; Ohio, 8; Arizona, 7; Kentucky, 5; Iowa, 4; Illinois, 4; Nebraska, 4; and Tennessee, 4. The recalled products were sold between October 16 and November 10 and lend themselves to refrigeration., which doesn’t kill ye bacteria. Symptoms: Diarrhea, fever and stomach cramps within six hours to six days. Illnesses can last seven days.

Earlier: Cantaloupe recall: Illness tagged to tainted melons

Minnesota leads in outbreak. Blue, 7 to 13 cases; green, 4 to 5; white, 1 to 3. Health officials in Canada are also investigating the outbreak. Most vulnerable