Archive for Hot Topic

Montrose woman injured in crash in Rockford

ROCKFORD, MN – A Montrose woman was injured in a crash at 7:36 a.m. Monday in Rockford.

According to the Minnesota State Patrol, a 2015 Kia Forte driven by Jacklynn Dell, 33, of Montrose, was making a left turn from a Maple Street business onto westbound Highway 55, and failed to yield to eastbound traffic.

An eastbound 2002 Buick LeSabre driven by Angela Tibbitts, 36, of Montrose, struck the Forte.

Tibbitts suffered noncritical injuries, and was transported to Buffalo Hospital.

Niether Dell nor her 11-year-old passenger were injured.

All individuals were wearing seat belts at the time of the crash.

The Minnesota State Patrol reported that alcohol was not a factor and road conditions were dry at the time of the crash.

Highway 12 safety improvements slated for 2021

DELANO, MN – When the Highway 12 Safety Coalition began in 2014, no safety improvements were on the Minnesota Department of Transportation’s 20-year plan for the stretch of road from Wayzata to the Meeker County line.

Since then, improvements include a centerline barrier erected between Hennepin County roads 6 and 112, centerline rumble strips added east of Delano, and lighting improvements.

Thursday, the Coalition learned that MnDOT recently added two more Highway 12 safety improvements to its list for 2021.

“As you know, we’ve been looking at trying to prioritize and understand where we’re going to put our money for safety improvements, and it looks like in ’21, we’re going to be doing the improvements: the interchange improvement at Highway 12 and (Hennepin County Road) 90, as well as the gap in the barrier,” MnDOT West Area Manager April Crockett said. “So, we have funded them. Unfortunately, it’s out in ’21, but it’s better than their current status of not being funded.”

The barrier will stretch from County Road 6 to County Road 29 in Maple Plain, and the County Road 90 interchange improvement will be a roundabout. MnDOT engineer Chad Erickson said the most recent cost estimates were $5.1 million for the barrier and $5 million for the roundabout.

He emphasized the significance of the projects being funded by MnDOT.

“Just to add to what April said about identifying funding, that may not sound like a big deal, but that actually means metro management, mostly because of probably the input from this group, determined that’s more important than the other programs,” Erickson said. “That’s taking up pretty much the entire safety budget for ’21 . . . I guess, from my perspective, that’s a pretty big deal and it happened directly because of you folks.”

Three other projects were deemed as not as urgent and removed from the 2021 budget to make way for the Highway 12 projects, Erickson said.

“I think it’s exciting,” West Hennepin Public Safety Chief Gary Kroells, the chair of the coalition, said after the meeting. “Before it was ‘might, maybe, I don’t know.’ It’s great news.”

For more from the meeting, see the May 8 edition of the Delano Herald Journal.

Montrose couple charged with multiple tax crimes

ST. PAUL, MN – The Minnesota Department of Revenue announced Thursday that the Wright County Attorney’s Office recently charged Susan Luanne McDonough and Michael Eugene McDonough, both of Montrose, with six tax-related felonies each.

The McDonoughs are charged with three counts each of failing to file Minnesota income tax returns and three counts each of failing to pay Minnesota income taxes, according to the Minnesota Department of Revenue.

According to the criminal complaint, the McDonoughs willfully attempted to evade filing state income tax returns and paying state income taxes for tax years 2012, 2013, and 2014. The complaint states that the McDonoughs had taxable income for the years in question, and willfully failed to file and pay their state income taxes. Department investigators determined that the McDonoughs knew of their obligation to file and pay state income taxes due to Susan McDonough’s job duties including preparing her employer’s tax returns and her profession as a personal and business tax preparer, according to the complaint.

The McDonoughs also filed state income tax returns in previous years and filed federal income tax returns for tax years 2012 through 2014, the complaint states, further showing that they knew of their obligation to file and pay Minnesota income taxes.

Each tax-related felony charge carries a maximum penalty of five years in prison, a $10,000 fine, or both. Defendants are presumed innocent unless and until proven guilty.

Although most taxpayers comply with tax laws voluntarily, the Minnesota Department of Revenue takes enforcement action against noncompliant taxpayers to ensure that tax laws are administered fairly.

Many of the department’s criminal case referrals come from citizen tips. The Minnesota Department of Revenue has a 24-hour tip line for anyone who suspects that a person or business is violating Minnesota tax laws. Local callers may dial (651) 297-5195 or call toll-free by dialing (800) 657-3500. Tips can also be submitted to the department by email at Tipsters may choose to remain anonymous.

Investigation into racist vandalism, burglary continues

DELANO, MN – It has been nearly a month since Latanza Douglas and her family returned to their Delano home to find it burglarized and vandalized with racist words and symbols.

No arrests have been made in the case.

“The investigation continues,” Chief Deputy Todd Hoffman said.

He acknowledged a number of rumors and theories regarding the case, but declined to address them.

“It would be nice to be able to address all the different rumors and theories,” Hoffman said. “Now comes the ‘however.’ We continue to weigh the public’s desire for information with the integrity of the investigation. At this time, we have nothing to release besides that the investigation is ongoing.”

Anyone with information regarding the case is encouraged to call the tip line at (763) 682-7733.

There is a $2,500 reward for information leading to an arrest and conviction.

Community organization in response to the event continues, as well.

Delano High School welcomed the Rev. Billy Russell, of the Black Clergy Speakers Bureau, to speak to students during an April 4 event that was closed to the public.

Russell will return for a public event at 7 p.m. Tuesday, May 2, at Light of Christ Lutheran Church. He will speak about growing up in Mississippi during segregation and lead a question-and-answer forum.

Contact the Rev. Matt Sipe at or (763) 972-3492 for more information about that event.

Prior to that event, a public meeting regarding a task force to address racial justice will take place at 6 p.m. Tuesday, April 25, at Delano City Hall.

For more information about that event, contact the Rev. Bruce Kuenkel at or (763) 972-2400 or the Rev. Aaron Sorenson at or (763) 230-6300.

350 units of suspected LSD recovered during search

DELANO, MN – A Delano man is facing three drug-related felony charges after law enforcement officers searched his home and discovered a variety of drugs, including 350 dosage units of suspected LSD.

Cole Daniels

Cole Daniels

According to a criminal complaint, the Wright County Sheriff’s Office executed a search warrant at the home of Cole Andrew Daniels, 22, in the 400 block of Babcock Blvd. E., Delano, at 4:28 p.m. March 23.

Daniels was present at the time of the search.

According to the complaint, a search of Daniels’ bedroom resulted in the recovery of 12.82 grams of a crystal substance that field tested positive for MDMA, 1.31 grams of a white powder substance that field tested positive for cocaine, 118.5 grams of green plant material that field tested positive for marijuana, and 17.8 grams of a wax substance that field tested positive for marijuana, in addition to the suspected LSD.

“It appears the suspected LSD was possessed with intent to sell,” the complainant wrote.

Because at least 200 dosage units were recovered, Daniels is facing a charge of first-degree sale of drugs, a charge that carries a maximum sentence of 30 years in prison, a $1 million fine, or both.

Because more than 10 grams of MDMA was recovered, Daniels is facing a charge of third-degree possession of drugs, a charge that carries a maximum sentence of 20 years in prison, a $250,000 fine, or both.

Daniels is also facing a charge of fifth-degree possession of drugs, a charge that carries a maximum sentence of five years in prison, a $10,000 fine, or both.

Delano United vigil photos online

DELANO, MN – Hundreds of people attended the Delano United Candlelight Vigil in Support of the Douglas Family Sunday evening.

See photos from the event here.