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Lake Crystal Police Allegedly Dump Cat in the Country, Missing 8 Days

(Lake Crystal, MN) – A Lake Crystal man’s cat has now been missing for eight days, after it was allegedly dumped in the county by officers with the Lake Crystal Police Department.

According to Chasity Lynn Marquette, her dad had the cat named Target at his shop in Lake Crystal for 6 years, but it went missing last Wednesday. Marquette says when her dad contacted police, they initially refused to tell him anything, but later admitted that they brought a live trap to a man at the industrial park who wanted the “cats” gone.

Marquette says the man trapped the cat and officers returned to get it, but instead of taking the cat to a shelter, they took it “way out into the country and dumped him.” 

Marquette says since Target has been missing, customers, employees and farmers have been searching for him, but with no luck. 

SMT spoke with a Lake Crystal Police Officer, but he was not involved in the call and directed us to speak to the Blue Earth County Sheriff’s Office. We have left a message with an official there seeking comment, but have not yet heard back.

Anyone who’s possibly seen the cat is asked to contact Marquette at 507-461-2108. She says it’s thought the cat was dumped in the country near Crysteel.

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Floodwaters Close Land of Memories, Solstice Moved to Food Truck Hub

(Mankato, MN) – With the city of Mankato closing Land of Memories Park because of high river water, plans have now changed for this weekend’s Solstice Outdoor Music Festival.

Because of the park’s closure, Festival Solstice is being moved to Hub Food Park on North Riverfront Drive. Music Friday will be from 6p-10:30p and Saturday from 11:30a-11:30p. A total of 11 bands will play, including the Fat City All Stars and the Big Wu.

There will also be “Urban Hipster Camping.”

Meantime, the high waters have also made an impact elsewhere around the area.

The river trail from Kiwanis Recreation Area to the U.S. Highway 14 bridge and from Riverfront to Sibley parks has also been closed due to high river water.

Judson Bottom Road will be closing Friday at 12:00 p.m. due to rising levels of the Minnesota River and will be closed throughout the weekend.

In addition, no wake restrictions have been put in place on Lake George, Lake Ballantyne, Duck Lake, and Madison Lake. That means “Operation of a watercraft at the slowest possible speed necessary to maintain steerage, but in no case greater than 5mph.”

The high waters have also caused the upstream boat barrier at the Rapidan Dam to fail.  The absence of the boat barrier creates an enhanced risk to anyone accessing the Blue Earth River upstream of the dam and the public is urged to avoid that for their own safety.

Furthermore, the road maintenance scheduled for next week on Highway 93 from Highway 169 to the Minnesota River Bridge near Le Sueur has been postponed until later this summer due to anticipated flooding.

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Nicollet County Landlord Accused of Sexually Assaulting Tenants

(Nicollet, MN) – A 55-year-old landlord who lives north of St. Peter in rural Nicollet County is accused of sexually assaulting two of his tenants.

Mark Michael Osborne is charged with four counts of 5th Degree Criminal Sexual Conduct, along with one count of Prostitution-Patron.

One victim told police that she moved into the basement apartment on May 8th and Osborne repeatedly hugged her and grabbed her breasts throughout the day.

On May 11th, the victim says Osborne invited himself over and showed up with a bottle of wine. As they sat on the couch, Osborne allegedly began rubbing the woman’s shoulders and breasts. He then flipped her over and pushed her head down into the couch as he touched her butt and breasts. She told him to leave.

The next day, police say Osborne bought the woman a $700 car and told her she could repay him by doing work on his farm. Later, he allegedly called her and said she could repay him by spending one night a week with him and giving him oral sex. She refused.

The next night, Osborne allegedly grabbed the woman’s breasts and buttocks again before agreeing to sign the lease for her apartment.

Investigators say a woman that lived in the upstairs apartment told them Osborne also sexually assaulted her by grabbing her breasts on multiple occasions. She also reported to police that Osborne told her he was going to rent out the basement apartment to a female, in hopes of getting an “oral sex for rent” agreement.

When that woman told her boyfriend about the sexual contact, he confronted Osborne and says Osborne offered him two months of free rent ($2,800) in exchange for not telling his wife or calling police.

All three of the tenants and Osborne met on May 27th to discuss the incidents and the victims recorded the meeting. Investigators say on the tapes Osborne is heard telling one woman “I thought that by helping you, I could get some sexual deeds” and telling the other victim “I am sorry for touching you in inappropriate ways. I thought by helping you once in a while I had that right.”

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Four of MN’s Seven Domestic Violence Deaths This Year in Southern Minnesota

(St. James, MN) – It has been a deadly first half of the year when it comes to domestic violence in southern Minnesota.

Of the seven domestic violence deaths in the state so far in 2018, four have been in southern Minnesota.

On February 16th, 49-year-old Lori Wiederhoeft Moore of Beauford (pictured above) was shot and killed by her husband Timothy, who then took his own life. Family and friends said Timothy was abusive and Lori was attempting to leave the relationship.

On March 23rd, 58-year-old David Riess was found dead from multiple gunshot wounds in his Blooming Prairie home. He was allegedly murdered by his wife Lois, who then fled the state and killed a woman in Florida before being arrested on April 19th in Texas.

In an update from Dodge County authorities on Wednesday, they noted that the body of David Riess is now being released to family, while murder charges remain pending against Lois. Those are expected to be filed once ballistics/firearms testing is completed to determine if she used the same weapon in both killings.

The most recent domestic violence deaths came Saturday when 59-year-old Scott Engelbrecht of St. James shot and killed his wife, Joyce, after an argument because he forgot their anniversary. Engelbrecht then shot and killed Joyce’s daughter, 48-year-old Rachel Linder.

Advocates working to end domestic violence in Minnesota will display a blue “Live Free Without Violence” flag this week to honor the lives of Joyce Engelbrecht, and Rachel Linder.

Hundreds of organizations and agencies around the state of Minnesota will participate in
the campaign spearheaded by the Minnesota Coalition for Battered Women.

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Mankato Woman Hospitalized After Crash on Highway 22

(St. Peter, MN) -A 45-year-old Mankato woman was one of two people hospitalized Wednesday after a crash in St. Peter.

The State Patrol says Jocelyn Raabolle was eastbound on Highway 22 when her pickup T-boned a car that was northbound on Washington Avenue and didn’t yield the right of way.

Raabolle was taken to River’s Edge Hospital in St. Peter.

The driver of the car, 18-year-old Catrina Alexandra Toeben of Milaca, was taken to MCHS Mankato.

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Deadline Looms: St. Peter Orders Removal of “Yarn Bombs”

(St. Peter, MN) – The city of St. Peter says the street art known as “yarn bombs” that have been put up along Minnesota Avenue have got to go.

In a letter to the St. Peter Arts Center, officials say city code doesn’t allow for private citizens, businesses or organizations to attach anything to boulevard trees, street posts or fences.

The city says it doesn’t believe there were “nefarious intentions,” but it has set a deadline of June 29th for the removal of the yarn, put up by young artists affiliated with the Arts Center.

Arts Center Director Ann Rosenquist Fee says the city was truly gracious and lenient in its request.

“We love & support their concern for tree health & the integrity of downtown,” said Fee, ” AND/BUT ALSO we are so Basquiat right now we can’t even stand it.”

Last year, a couple blocks of Front Street in downtown Mankato were the subject of a yarn bombing from the 410 Project, with the city’s blessing.

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Warrior Dash Returns to Le Sueur Next Week

(Le Sueur, MN) – The Warrior Dash is making its return to Le Sueur next week.

The 5K obstacle course will be set up near the Caribou Gun Club on Saturday, June 30th, for the “Elements Tour,” where participants will battle Earth, Air, Fire and Water across 12 obstacles. They include Upslide Down, Pallet Jacked, Bridge The Gap and Mud Mounds (pictured above).

Anyone age 10 and up is eligible to register and run the course. For those ages 3 to 9, the “Little Warriors,” there will be a Kids Training Grounds, with mini obstacles and mud.

The Warrior Dash will also feature a free post-race festival for participants and spectators with a live DJ, food, beer and other beverages, dancing, games and contests. Contests include Stein Standoff, Best Costume, Best Beard, and more.

The cost to partake is currently $75.

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Waseca Takes Part in World’s Largest Swimming Lesson Thursday

(Waseca, MN) – What’s billed as the World’s Largest Swimming Lesson is set for today (Thursday) at some 700 waterparks, pools and swim schools across the globe.

Among those in southern Minnesota taking part are the Waseca Water Park and the Faribault Family Aquatic Center.

The purpose of the event is to raise raising awareness about the critical importance of teaching kids and parents to Be Water Aware to prevent drowning.

Childhood drowning remains the second leading cause of death for kids under age 14. More drowning and near-drowning accidents take place in June than any other month and the July 4th holiday traditionally sees an increase in drowning accidents.

Research shows participation in formal swimming lessons can reduce the risk of drowning by 88% among children aged 1-4.

An estimated 45,000 kids are expected to take part in today’s lesson.

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New Ulm Man Charged for Bar Fight, Victim Left Face Down & Motionless

(New Ulm, MN) – A 55-year-old man from New Ulm has been charged for a fight at a local bar that left the victim unconscious.

Juan Escamilla Tenorio is facing a felony count of assault, along with three other charges for drunk driving and not having insurance.

According to the complaint, New Ulm police were called to Rodney’s Tavern around 1:30am Monday, June 18th. Responding officers found the male victim on the sidewalk “face down and motionless,” while Tenorio drove away from the scene, going the wrong way down Minnesota Street.

When Tenorio was eventually stopped, police say his hands and arms were bloody with fresh cuts and it was apparent that he was very intoxicated. A preliminary breath test put his blood alcohol level at .244, more than three times the legal limit. Tenorio was placed under arrest and later brought to detox.

The victim told police he had never met Tenorio before and didn’t know why he was assaulted. A witness also said there was no provocation for the attack.

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Three Hospitalized After Head-On Crash in Nicollet County

(Nicollet, MN) – Three people were hospitalized following a two-car accident Wednesday afternoon south of Nicollet.

The Sheriff’s Office says the head-on crash happened just before 1:30 on Nicollet County Road 23.

One vehicle was driven by a 26-year-old woman from Fairmont, who was airlifted from the scene with serious injuries.

The other vehicle was driven by a 48-year-old man from Lake Crystal. He was transported from the scene by Gold Cross Ambulance. A passenger in his vehicle, a 50-year-old woman from Lake Crystal, was also injured and transported by ambulance.

The cause of the accident is still under investigation.

Assisting with the call were, Nicollet Fire Department, Gold Cross Ambulance, Mayo One Air
Ambulance, North Memorial Air Ambulance, North Mankato Police Department and the
Minnesota State Patrol.

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