15August 2022

Deep-frying galore State Fair / 12

FALCON HEIGHTS, Minn. – Legends to the contrary, not every food booth at he Minnesota State Fair deep-fries everything. But a lot do. These are among 38 entrees this year, all deep-fried:

Vegan corn dog. Plant-based vegan hot dog hand-dipped in plant-based vegan corn dog batter and deep-fried. At Daryl’s Dog House booth.

Tirokroketes. Mix of spicy feta, cream cheese and mozzarella blended with Dino’s Greek seasoning, then rolled in a gluten-free panko, deep-fried and sprinkled with lemon juice, Parmesan cheese and Dino’s seasoning. Gluten-free, vegetarian. At Dino’s Gyros booth.

Tot dog. All-beef hot dog dipped in corn dog batter, rolled in a mixture of minced tater tots, cheddar cheese and onions, then deep-fried. At LuLu’s Public House booth. Images: Minnesota State Fair

Earlier: State Fair: No time for timid appetites / 11

14August 2022

Motorist hits roadside barrier, dies

RED WING, Minn.  A Woodbury man was killed when his car crashed into a roadside barrier on the Highway 63 bridge into Red Wing.  Kenneth Fritze, 54, was ejected from his 2000 Subaru Forester. This was about 11:30 p.m. He was alone.

14August 2022

Fiery bike crash kills driver; rider in peril

GENOA, Minn. – A Kellogg motorcyclist was killed and his passenger critically burned in a fiery crash northwest of Rochester. No one saw the accident occur, but a passing motorist saw smoke and stopped and pulled the vehicle off the woman who had been the passenger. Killed was Kurtis Zomok, 33. His passenger, Cassandra Carter, 37, of Millville, was transported to a Rochester hospital and then moved to Regions Hospital in St. Paul for burns. She was in critical condition. The accident was on 75th Street Northwest just east of Genoa a little after 12 noon. Deputies said skid marks indicated that Zomik was traveling east and skidded into the westbound lane at a curve and then slid on its side into a sign and burst into flames. Neither Zomok nor Carter were wearing helmets, deputies said.

14August 2022

Two bikers hurt in I-90 lane change

NODINE, Minn. —Two Indiana bikers were injured when they crashed into the median on Interstate 90. Keith Alan Hurst, 64, and Denise Lyon Hurst, 61, of New Paris, were taken 18 miles to a LaCrosse hospital with non-life threatening injuries. They had just climbed the Four Mile grade and passed the I-90 ramps at Nodine. This was about 9:10 a.m. Another driver, Maggie Louise Rivera, 21, of LaCrosse, said the Hursts were attempting a lane change. They were on a 2015 Harley-Davidson Ultra.

14August 2022

As U.S. House newbie, Finstad settling in

WASHINGTON – Congress member Brad Finstad, a Republican elected from southern Minnesota last week, is awaiting his committee assignments. He has told House leadership that he’s interested in economics, education, energy, health and veterans. He didn’t list agriculture, which sttook observers by surprise Not only is Finstad a fourth-generation family famer, he was President Trump’s designee as the U.S, Department of Agriculture’s rural development director for Minnesota. He also had been agricultural policy advisor to former U.S. Representative Mark Kennedy. In the Minnesota House, where he served three terms, he was on several legislative and statewide agricultural committees. He also had been an area director for the Minnesota Farm Bureau.

Earlier: Finstad instated for MN-1 in Congress

Comfy fit, nice leather. New MN-1 Congress member Brad Finstad tries out his seat, one of 435 in the U.S. House chamber, on his first day in office.

How to contact

> Capitol: Longworth Office Building, Suite 1422.

> Mankato: 11 Civic Center Plaza, Suite 301.

> Rochester: 1530 Greenview Druve,Southwest, Suite 207.

13August 2022

Week’s summary: August 13, 2022

13August 2022

Biker hurt at twisty rise out of Elba

ELBA, Minn. – A biker missed a corner at a junction in Elba and fell off his machine. Atter Kulng Mogndal, 28, of Rochester, was taken 30 miles to a Rochester hospital with non-life threatening injuries. The accident was about 4:15 p.m. at State Highway 74 and County Road 26. He as riding a 2000 Honda.

13August 2022

Still-to-be-clad Winona jail progressing

WINONA, Minn. – Ten months ahead of its scheduled occupancy, the new Winona County jail has taken clear form in the shadow of the historic 1889 Courthouse. The jail is designed to accommodate 80 prisoners, about the same as the outdated and condemned facility it will replace. Target for completion of the $25.6 million jail: June 2023. The squarish structure with plenty of 90-degree angles contrasts starkly with 1889 Richardsonian Romanesque stone courthouse. Aesthetic apologists say the contrast makes the courthouse stand out even more.

Massive jail. The new Winona County jail streteches from the current Law Enforement Center to the Interstate bridge between Second and Third streets. Its massiveness underscored the temporary Darth Vader construction sheathing. ImageSteve Lunde

Earlier: Jail on schedule: All black? Only for now

Earlier: Winona jail status: Many hurdles remain

Earlier: Whether jail could comport with aesthetic rules

Earlier: Exterior sketch for Winona jail unveiled

12August 2022

Finstad instated for MN-1 in Congress

WASHINGTON – With a hand on a Christian Bible, and so too his wife Jaclyn’s, Brad Finstad was sworn as southern Minnesota’s representative in Congress, Finstad, a Republican, was elected by a 50% to 48% margin Tuesday. The 21-county MN-1 Congressional District had been with representation for six months, since the death of Jim Hagedorn. Politically Hagedorn and Finstad were soulmates as conservative Republicans and Trump toadies.

Ceremony. House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, her right arm raised, administers the oath of office to Congressman Brad Finstad. He’s Flanked by his wife and four of their seven children. Three other children and his parents were with him.


Finstad:  “It is an extraordinary honor to have been chosen by my fellow Minnesotans to serve in this Congress. Minnesota’s First Congressional District has been home to several generations of my family, and I believe it’s the greatest place on Earth. Having the opportunity to bring our values to Washington, D.C. is an important job, and I am committed to working hard for the people of our district every day. Let us take time to remember my predecessor, the late Congressman Hagedorn. He was a man of honor and worked hard for the people of the first district.”

12August 2022

Enough already: Vos kills vote fraud probe

RACINE, Wis. — The Wisconsin House speaker, disillusioned finally with charges that the 2020 election was rigged, fired the man he once had put in charge of finding evidence to prove  the charges. Robin Vos, R-Racine, gave walking paper to Michael Gablemen.  The dismissal would seem to end a costly 14-month saga in which Gableman, a fanatic devotee of Donald Trump, fueled skepticism about Trump’s loss in Wisconsin’s  November 2020 election. There was never any evidence to support the theory of an anti-Trump Democratic conspiracy to throw the election. But it was a theory that Vos embraced until recently. It also was a theory for which Gableman, a retired state Supreme Court justice, campaigned fervantly.

Gableman. An ultimate Trumpee.

^ Vos. Finally fed up with Gableman shenanigans.

< Bye,  bye, judge. Gableman removed, endingfeverush project to find evidence tat Democrats rigged 2020 vote against Tump.

Cause and effect

Observers attributed Vos’ about-face to:

> Deteriorating support for Trump amid a wide range of issues, including his persistent claims of voting 2020 voting fraud

> Trump’s endorsement of Vos’ opponent in the August 9 primary as punishment for Vos’ waning on the voter fraud conspiracy theory.

> Gableman’s lockstep endorsement Vos’ opponent.

> Gableman appearing with Trump at week at a Milwaukee rally.

> The strong showing of Trump-endorsed Adam Screen against Vos, an eight-term unbent, in the August 9 primary – less than a 3% margin.

Tax dollars

Less than three days after the primary, Vos pulled the plug on funding for Gableman’s investigation. Vos had arranged $1 million state funds on the investigation. Does the word “boondoggle” come to mind.

12August 2022

Walz: Extradite Mall of America suspects

ST. PAUL, Minn. – Governor Tim Walz initiated proceedings to prosecute two men for the “brazen attack” at the Mass of America on August 4. Shamar Lark and Rashad May were arrested Thursday in Chicago. Walz wants them back. “I am ready to act quickly to extradite the suspects who fled to Chicago,” Walz said. Interstate transfer of fugitives is fairly routine. Walz issues about 100 interstate extradition requests a year.

Earlier: FBI arrests pair for Mall of America shooting

12August 2022

Drug raid arrests handed to prosecutor

ROCHESTER, Minn. – Police released the names of seven persons arrested Wednrdday in a drug raid at the Motel 6 in Rochester.

>Anthony Dominique Lindsey, 31, Rochester. Charges recommended to the county attorney: Violating a domestic abuse no contact order and gross misdemeanor 911 Interference.

> Heather Nicole Nery, 30, Rochester. Recommended: Two counts of fifth-degree controlled Substance.

> Shomari Haneef Carter, 27, Rochester. Ticketed for obstructing the legal process.

> Malik Lincoln Hilton, 25, Rochester. Arrested on outstanding misdemeanor warrant

> Kanell Powers, 23, Rochester. Recommended: Fourth-degree and fifth-degree controlled substance.

> Charles Harrison Hadler, 19, Lake City. Recommended: Fifth-deegree controlled Substance.

> Male juvenile, 16, Rochester. Recommended: Fifth-degree controlled substance.

Earlier: Cops knew drug deal details before motel raid

Earlier: Drug raid: Shock and awe at Motel 6

12August 2022

Mayo taps CDC leader as trustee

ROCHESTER, Min. – A former director of the U.S. Centers for Disease Control, Julie Louise Gerberding, has been elected to the Mayo Clinic board of trustees. Gerberding was the CDC director from 2002 to 2009. Previously she was chief patient officer at the Big Pharma company Merck.  Also elected to 31-member Mayo board was Martine Rothblatt, who is chief executive at United Therapeutics.

Gerberfing. Early reputation in responding to anthrax bioterrorism after 9/11.

12August 2022

Wisconsin smokies show off fancy livery

MILWAUKEE, Wis. – Wisconsin state troopers are popping the buttons off their shirts. Their cruisers and bikes were declared the best-looking in a national photo\o contest in which vehicles were shown in the context of their states.

Shiny, shiny. Gussied up for a photo-shoot at the Milwaukee Art Museum.

11August 2022

Death claims Iron Range senator Tomassino

DULUTH, Minn. — State Senator David Tomassino, a veteran lawmaker from Iron Range who championed efforts to find a cure for amyotrophic lateral sclerosis disease, died after a year-long battle with the incurable neurological disease. He was 69. Tomassino, a Democrat, was elected to the House in 1992 and the Senate in 2000 — a 30-year span in the Legislature. As one of his last major accomplishment, Tomassino authored a $25 million bill to fund research into ALS, as the disease is usually known, and to support caregivers. Governor Tim Walz signed the bill in March. Tomassino visited the Capitol for the ceremony, albeit in a wheelchair and communicating with a computerized speech synthesizer. “This bill means hope,” he managed to say.


Tim Walz, governor: “David was a champion for his constituents, the Iron Range, and all of Minnesota. I am honored to have known him and to have worked together to pass millions of dollars in funding for ALS research and caregiver support last session. His legacy will continue to help people in Minnesota for generations.”


Jeremy Miller, R-Winona, and Senate president: “It was an honor to work with him on the funding for ALS research this past session, I’m hopeful the funding from this bill will help find a cure for ALS and honor David’s legacy.”

Farewell applause.  Senators from both sides of the aisle offer an ovation for Tomassino. The occasion celebrated the passage of major state funding for ALS research.

Tomassino profile

He grew up Chisholm. He held a degree in business from the University of Denver. He spent 16 years playing professional hockey in Italy. He was on Italy’s national team for the 1984 Sarajevo Olympics. He was a member of the Minnesota House from 1997 to 2001 and served as assistant majority leader. He was elected to the Senate in 2000 and was majority whip from 2001 to 2007. His victory margins typically were 7:3. In 2020 when Democrats lost their majority in the Senate, Tomassino and Senator Thomas Bakk, also from the Range, left the Democratic party to form their own independent caucus. Although Tomassino then caucused with Republicans, he still identified as a Democrat. In an usual event considering the circumstances, Republicans elected him Senate president. In March 2021 he was diagnosed with ALS.

11August 2022

FBI arrests pair for Mall of America shooting

CHICAGO — Two suspects connected to shots fired a week ago at the Mall of America  in Minnesota were arrested in Chicago. An FBI task force arrested Shamar Lark and Rashad May in a car after they stepped out of a barbershop. The arrests, about 2:25 p.m., were without resistance. The two was being driven by a third person, the FBI said. A weapon was found inside the car, but officers were unsure whether it was the same weapon used at the Mall of America. Over the weekend, three suspects were arrested and charged with aiding an offender.

Earlier: Details emerge in Mall of America shooting

Lark and May. Freshly barbered.

11August 2022

Car rams cafe; morning klatchers hurt

DECORAH, Iowa – A driver crashed into the Family Table restaurant on the South Side. Five diners were injured but nothing life-threatening – just spieled coffee and lefsa. The driver, Laura Boice, 86, was pulling into a parking spot from Sanford Street and just didn’t stop. She was trapped in her vehicle and needed to be extricated by a rescue team.  he was unhurt. This was about 10 a.m.

Friendly Table they call the place. To reopen next week.

11August 2022

Finstad flies to Washington to take office

NEW ULM, Minn. — Newly elected Congressmen Brad Finstad departed from the family farm before dawn to catch a Delta flight from Minneapolis to Washington to be sworn in.  Finstad will serve 262 days – the remainder of the term of the late Jim Hagedorn. Finstad said he will get right to work and up-to-speed on bills in the House pipeline. He put it in a farm language way: “I have dirt under my fingernails. I’m a John Deere tractor-driving farmer that’s got his sleeves up and ready to get to work.” He also will be back and forth to southern Minnesota campaigning to keep the MN-1 seat in Congress in the November general election. He again will be facing retired Hormel executive Jeff Ettinger of Mankato. Ettinger lost Tuesday’s special MN-1 election to Finstad by two percentage points but won the primary the same day, as did Finstad, to run for a full term in November.

Earlier: Finstad victory takes brief victory lap

Earlier: Finstad wins tail-end of Hagedorn term

Earlier: ALMANAC: August 2022 Minnesota special election

Earlier: ALMANAC: August 2022 Minnesota primary election

11August 2022

State Fair: No time for timid appetites / 11

FALCON HEIGHTS, Minn. – Of 500-plus food items at the Minnesota State Fair, there are 38 new ones this year. Among them:

Sweet cheese blintz. Soft baked crepe filled with sweet vanilla-flavored cream cheese and sprinkled with powdered sugar. At iPierogi booth. Images: Minnesota State Fair

Tandoor-fired jerk chicken Mmini’zza. (White chicken meat, bell pepper, onion medley, whole milk mozzarella cheese and West Indies Soul Food’s signature Jamaican jerk sauce on a buttermilk naan crust baked in a tandoor oven. At West Indies Soul Food booth

Sundae sammie. Grilled sandwich with cinnamon bread, Minnesota strawberry jam, vanilla cream, fresh strawberries, whipped cream, toasted peanuts, confetti sprinkles and flaked sea salt. Gluten-free and vegan options available. At Jammy Sammies by Brim booth.

Earlier: Fair food fusion: Reuben egg roll / 10

11August 2022

Cops knew drug deal details before motel raid

ROCHESTER, Minn. – The drug raid on a Northwest Side motel Wednesday was spurred by growing police concern about overdosing with counterfeit pills, including one recent fatality. Police said they had tips also that at least one juvenile was involved in a pending deal at the hotel. Also, they had been led to believe that several rooms were booked at the motel, a Super 6 on U.S. Highway 52, for the transactions. They were ready for the worst, being told that at least one dealer, already a convicted felon, would be carrying a weapon. In the surprise raid there were no shots exchanged. Seized were dozens of blue look-alike M30 oxycodone pills, of the sort often juiced with fentanyl. Seized too was marijuana and related drug paraphernalia. And also a gun. There were seven arrests.

Earlier: Drug raid: Shock and awe at Motel 6

11August 2022

Army Corps: Big Lake river project a win-win

WABASHA, Minn. – The Army Corps of Engineers plans to lay out its thoughts to improve wildlife habitat in the huge Big Lake area behind the Alma dam. The Corps said is seeking public input. This will be at a meeting at 7 p.m., August 29, at the Wabasha-Kellogg High School. The Corps wants to build islands, plant trees, manage invasive species, dredge for fish habitat, and stabilize banks. Also, the project would be a location to move river sand from the main Mississippi River navigation channel.

Backwaters. Big Lake has lost much of its island complex and forest to wind and wave erosion and sedimentation.

11August 2022

Fair food fusion: Reuben egg roil / 10

FALCON HEIGHTS, Minn. – New this year at the Minnesota State Fair, which opens August 25, are these gullert-busters:

Reuben egg roll. Corned beef, Swiss cheese and sauerkraut hand-rolled in an egg roll wrapper. Deep-fried. Served with a side of O’Gara’s homemade Thousand Island dressing. At O’Gara’s booth.

Soulsicle. Fried chicken on-a-stick topped with candied yam sauce, cornbread crumble, mac-and-cheese. Seasoned 3ithcheddar cheese, hot sauce and green onions. At Soul Bowl booth. Images: Minnesota State Fair

Pork schnitzel sandwich: Breaded and deep-fried Minnesota pork loin topped with pickled cabbage and served with mustard mayo on a toasted bun. At Minnesota Farmers Union Coffee Shop booth.

10August 2022

Three-vehicle pile-up kills one driver

FOUNTAIN CITY, Wis. – A Fountain City man, Errol Doerr, 42, died instantly in a three-vehicle wreck that injured others crucially. Both Gundersen and Mayo hospitals dispatched air ambulances for a 39-year-old woman and 9-year-old girl riding with Doerr. They were in critical condition. The accident was a little before 5 p.m. Both lanes were blocked. Sheriff Michael Schmidtknecht said it might be midnight before traffic could be reopened on Highway 35. The highway is the main Wisconsin artery between LaCrosse and the Twin Cities. The sheriff said that Doerr was northbound on Highway 35 and had slowed to turn left onto Henry Lane. A car behind Doerr rear-ended him, apparently because the driver had looked down at a cell phone, the sheriff said. The impact propelled Doerr’s vehicle into the oncoming lane and a third vehicle.  The persons in the third vehicle, a 45-year-old woman and an 18-year-old girl, suffered minor injuries. The driver who rear-ended Doerr, Kylee Tiffany, 24, was unhurt.

Collision site. At the Henry Lane junction off U.S. Highway 35 south of the Highway 88 turn-off to Mondovi.


Vehicle 1: Kaylee Tiffany, 24. Of Cochrane.

Vehicle 2: Errol Doerr, 42, Denise Doerr, 39; and Samantha Doerr, 9. All of Fountain City.

Vehicle 3: Emily Allen, 45; and Emma Allen, 18, Both of Fountain City.

10August 2022

Drug raid: Shock and awe at Motel 6

ROCHESTER, Minn. – Police raided a budget hotel and arrested seven people and seized fentanyl and methamphetamine – and firearms. When police encountered resistance, they used a pepper bell. The raid, about 4 p.m. focused on five rooms at Motel 6 northwest of downtown just off U.S. Highway 52. Police had what they call “the element of surprise.”

Motel 6. $56 a night at 2107 Frontage Road North.

Witness accounts

Tarica Jones told KTTC: “They told everybody to move out the way and get on the ground. And the next thing I heard is them barging into the doors.”

Charles Hadler: ”They took everybody out and searched the rooms, ripped everything apart. They searched my car and took everything out of my car.”  Hadler himself was detained but later released. “I was just in the office filling up a lunch box with some ice so I could cool my drinks off,” he told a KTTC reporter. “And I turn around and there’s three cops and a sheriff trying to put me in cuffs. I barely knew what was happening at the moment.”

10August 2022

Volleyball promoter accused of teen sex

ROCHESTER, Minn. – A Rochester volleyball league organizer, Tommy Yang, was charged with sexual assault in a series of alleged meet-ups in May 2021. The arrest followed a teen-age girl’s report about four encounters after they started messaging. The girl said that Yang, who is 31,  touched her inappropriately at every meet-up and that he assaulted her sexually at the third and fourth meetings. The incidents, she said, took place in a vehicle at a Rochester parking ramp, at the parking lot at the Rochester Youth Baseball Complex, and at a farm. The charge against Yang: Third-degree criminal sexual conduct.


Yang’s response to police: That he knew the girl through volleyball, that they got together once, and that there was nothing inappropriate.

The complaint: That the teenager had an exam that collected evidence of sexual assault.


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