Newspaper Archive of
Tri-County News
Kimball, Minnesota
August 11, 2016     Tri-County News
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August 11, 2016

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PAGE 14 ...Au ust 11, 2016 O' By Iean Doran Matua, Editor August 25, 2015, is a date burned into the hearts of family members of two Watkins teens killed need- lessly when a drunk driver veered into their lane and struck their car. Zachary Rohrbeck was 16, and Travis Monson was 19. Both died at the scene. Apassenger, 16-year-old Kathleen Prestidge of Montrose, survived but was injured. Benjamin Lee Tate, 28 of Paynesville, was the driver of the other car. A preliminary breath test showed that his blood alcohol level was above 0.08 percent, the legal driving limit in Minnesota. Minnesota State Patrol officers reported that he smelled heavily of alcohol at the scene. Tate was arrested, and he has been in Meeker County Jail since then. (He will get credit on his sen- tence for those 349 days already served in the county jail.) June 22 Tate pied guilty in Meeker County Court. The county attorney Brandi Schiefelbein wanted more severe sentencing in this case, but victim families set- tled for the plea agreement, avoid- ing what could be a lengthy jury trial (and risking a lighter sen- tence for Tate). As part of the plea agreement, one of the three charges against him, gross misdemeanor driving while impaired, was dismissed at sentencing this week. The charges for which Tate is convicted and sentenced are fel- ony criminal vehicular homicide and gross misdemeanor criminal vehicular operation. Tate was scheduled to appear before judge Stephanie Beckman Monday, Aug. 8, for sentencing. First, family members of Tate's vic- tims had their say in court, speak- ing or reading victim impact state- ments. The boys' mothers pre- pared a slide show of the two; pho- Zach Rohrbeck and Travis Monson, 16 and 19, respectively, and both of Watkins, were killed by a drunk driver who veered into their lane on Highway 24 last August. That man, Benjamin Tare, was sentenced this week to 58 months in prison. Tri-County News file photos. tos ofahappyyouth cut short.In all, six people gave heart- "When my son Travis was felt victim impact statements at killed, a part of me died with him," the hearing before Tate was sen- Travis' mother Julia said. "His tenced. There was hardly a dryeye charm was everlasting. He lived in the courtroom. life to the fullest. Every day." Tate also spoke before hearing Zach's father Michael Rohrbeck his sentence. "I just want to sin- wrote his statement and asked cerely apologize for the outcomes Schiefelbein to read it. "I've cried of my actions and choices." He every day since he's passed away," turned to the gallery in the court- it read. "You took part of my life room: "I'm gonna use this as a away from me, and that I will pedestal and try to help out some- never forgive, body else." Prestidge gave her own state- His sentence: 58 months in ment. She has flashbacks of the prison. With time served, that's a accident, waking up in the pas- little less than four years. senger seat. She suffers from Nothingcan bring back the two post-traumatic stress disorder, boys, or calm the shattered hearts anxiety, depression, and insom- and lives of their families and nia. friends. Zach's family -mother Nora Tate was transferred Monday Osterberg, sisterKelseyOsterberg, to the Minnesota Correctional and uncle Paul Osterberg - all Facility-St. Cloud. He may serve believe that the stress of Zach's all his time there, or he may be death is what caused his grand- transferred to another prison in father Roger Osterberg to die of a Minnesota after the customary stroke just a month later at age 76. settling-in and sorting-out time at the St. Cloud prison. = ....... Local crime Eden Valley Police blotter OnAugust 5,PatrickNeilMarth, 36, There were 60 calls for police in of Maple Lake, was arrested in Maple Eden Valley during July 2016. These Lake on the charge of 5th degree pos- included 24 miscellaneous calls, session ofa controlled substance. 6 calls to assist other departments, There were 18 Property Damage 6 alarms, 5 citations, 3 motorist assists, Accidents, 5 PersonalInjuryAccidents, 3 verbal warnings, 3 arrests, 2 fights, 3 Hit and Run Accidents and 2 Car 2 dog complaints, 2 thefts, 2 calls to DeerAccidents. assist the public, 1 rescue assist, and There were 3 arrests for DWI, 3 1 domestic call. Underage Consumption arrests, No In June 2016 there were 80 calls: SchoolBusStopArmViolationsand66 29 misc. calls, 20 verbal warnings, 9 tickets for miscellaneous traffic viola- citations, 4 calls to assist the public, 3 tions reported this week. motorist assists, 3 calls to assist other Meeker County Sheriff's Office departments, 3 domestic calls, 2 res- Sunday, August 7, 2016 cue assists, 2 arrests, 2 alarms, I van- 9:23 a.m. the Sheriffs Office dis- dalism complaint, 1 burglary, and 1 patched the Eden Valley Rescue Squad dog complaint, and Watkins Ambulance to a medical, In May 2016, there were 87 calls for per the request of the Steams County police in Eden Valley: 32 misc. calls, 25 Sheriffs Office, at a residence on 183rd verbal warnings, 6 calls to assist other Avenue in Luxemburg Township. One departments, 6 calls to assist the pub- individual was transported to St. Cloud lic, 4 thefts, 3 citations, 3 rescue assists, Hospital 2 domestic calls, 2 arrests, 2 alarms, 1 11:22 a_m. the Sheriffs Office dis- motorist assist, and i dog complaint, patched the Eden Valley Rescue Squad Wright County Sheriff's Office and Watkins Ambulance, atthe request Aug. 2, Daniel Wayne Mace, 27 of of the Steams County Sheriff's Office, Annandale, was arrested in Buffalo on to a medical at a campground on MN aStearnsCountywarrantforthird-de- Highway 22 in Stearns County. One gree burglary, individual was transported to St. Cloud Aug. 3, Shawn Robert Payne, 52 of Hospital. Maple Lake, was arrested in Maple 1:11 p.m. the Sheriffs Office Lake on the charge of violation of a respondedtoandtookareportofcrimi- domestic abuse no-contact order, nal damage to property at a residence on Aug. 5, Kenneth John Michel, 61 North4thStreetinDarwin. of Maple Lake, was arrested in Maple Lake on a Wright County apprehen- Crime~To page 15 sion and detention order for third- degree DWI violations. Fire in Litchfield Thursday, Aug. 4, at 3:39 p.m. building at the time of the fire. the Meeker County Sheriff's The fire started in a 2000's model Office received a report of International semi that was stored a building on fire at a busi- in the building. The semi was a ness located in the 23000 block total loss. The building and the of Minnesota Highway 22. contents sustained some dam- The Litchfield Fire Department age as well. The dollar value is and Meeker County Deputies were unknown at this time. dispatched tothescene. Assisting on scene were the The fire was reported by an Litchfield Rescue Squad and The employee who was on the prop- Grove City Fire Department. erty. The building was used for Nobody was injured as a result storage and no one was inside the of the fire. f PROTE ME HOME THAT BRINGS TO UFE CAI_L ME AY. 39A Maus Drive #3 Kimball, MN 55353 (320) 8-3645 All of your personalized eyecare needs... close to COMPREHENSIVE EYE HEALTH ASSESSMENTS EYE DISEASE DIAGNOSIS & TREATMENT SURGICAL CO-MANAGEMENT URGENT CARE SERVICES EYEWEAR & CONTACT LENSES LAKES Eye Clinic Dr. Femrite, Optometrist 308 5th Ave. S #110, Cold Spring 685-5100 ~