Recent Area News

Former Kasson cop sentenced to 18 yrs; Nfld grapples with regulations for ADUs; The last of last years road projects begins Wednesday

April 15, 2019
The former Kasson Police Officer convicted of multiple sexual assault cases stemming over a period of years, was sentenced in 3 counties on April 3rd.  52 year old Julio Baez of St. Charles, pled guilty to criminal sexual conduct with 3 female children over a period of several years in the early 2000’s.  All 3 victims, now adults, testified of being abused in multiple ways and locked in rooms with monitors. Baez was convicted in Dodge County of 2nd degree misconduct with a victim under 13 and received 27 months, in Olmstead County of 1st degree misconduct with a child 13 to 15 years old and received 216 (more…)

Woman on Cell Phone Sentenced for Traffic Fatality and Injuries

April 13, 2019

Dakota County Attorney James Backstrom announced that Lori Janine Hoefs, age 57 of Oronoco, was sentenced today by Judge Jerome Abrams in connection with a fatal crash that occurred on October 22, 2016, which killed Brenda Travis, age 78 of Rochester, and caused serious injuries to three others. Hoefs pled guilty last November to one count each of Reckless Driving (Caused Death), Reckless Driving (Caused Great Bodily Harm), and two counts of Careless Driving (an amended criminal complaint). With regard to the Reckless Driving (more…)

Smith sentenced in swindling case; Bridgewater Incorporation meeting tomorrow; Dundas Admin candidate bios; It’s all about the animals! PEHS fundraising event

April 12, 2019

Jeremiah Jon Smith preyed on the kindnesses of others when he told people he had terminal cancer.  The now 39 year old, pled guilty in October of 2018, to theft by swindle in a case that began in October of 2015.  He set up a gofundme page claiming that he had stage 4 cancer and had 18 to 24 months to live. A month later, he said he had 6 months to live.  He received $6800 in donations. A benefit on Feb. 6th, 2016, netted Smith $6600. Another benefit, held at the Northfield Ballroom 2 weeks later, netted $9000. For months, Faribault and Northfield police questioned Smith and asked for medical records. In total, Smith bilked the local community for $23,000. Smith was sentenced this week in Rice County Court.  Attorney John Fossum said there was a plea agreement.  He received 10 years probation, $3600 restitution, pay fines and 480 hours of community service.  The idea is for Smith to repay the community.  He’s also not allowed to play video games.  Fossum said, “as part of (more…)

Woman sentenced in Castle Rock animal cruelty case

April 12, 2019

A woman who was operating an animal rescue in Castle Rock pleaded guilty and was sentenced today in Dakota County Court.   A felony count of cruelty to animals was lowered to a gross misdemeanor.  In addition she pleaded guilty to 12 misdemeanor counts of mistreatment. 26 year old Caycee Lynn Bregel, of St. Paul, was the owner and operator of “Minnesota Animal Rescue” a non-profit who had been renting a residence in Castle Rock Township.  On May 9th of 2018, a deputy was dispatched to a home on the 3800 block of 250th St. W. in Farmington. On arrival the deputy smelled an overpowering odor coming from inside. The owner of the property was contacted, he went inside and found several animals including several cats that were “skin and bone”. There was no food or water for the (more…)

Missing persons alert

April 12, 2019

7:35am Cancel Lakes Area PD missing persons Christopher and Stephanie Hendren alert. Stephanie has been located safe and Christopher is in custody. Thank you to all who helped look for them.

Update – Damien and Jordan have been located but Lakes Area PD is still trying to locate Christopher and Stephanie to ensure their welfare.

The Lakes Area Police Department is asking for assistance in locating Stephanie Jo Hendren, 33, of Chisago, and her two children Damien Hendren, 3; and Jordan Christopher, 7.  The three were last seen at their residence earlier in the evening of 04/11/2019. They may be traveling with Christopher Hendren, 35, and because no one has been able to reach them, family members and authorities are concerned for their welfare. Stephanie is described as 5’09”, 145 pounds with blond hair and green eyes; Damien is 3’06”, 40 pounds with brown hair; Jordan is 4’00”, 55 pounds with light brown hair and blue eyes. Christopher Hendren is 5’10”, 195 pounds with hazel eyes. They are believed to be traveling in a black 2007 Chrysler Aspen with Minnesota plate AYG733. If you think you have seen them or know of their whereabouts please contact the Lakes Area PD at 651-257-4100 or dial 911

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