Father Hennepin

Most mornings I go for a walk down to the river, but when it’s dark like it’s been, sometimes I don’t make it, so I go for a walk during lunch or after work at Father Hennepin State Park. I park at the picnic area, walk the gravel trail to the boat landing at the campground, then take the paved trail through the woods to the beach. I follow the sand to the swimming area, turn around, and head back.
Last night I took my walk at about 5 p.m., as the sun was hanging just over the trees. When I got to the beach, the orange light on the sand and the small waves lapping against the shore and the footprints and the endless horizon and the changing leaves … It was like I was in some magnificent place, not little ol’ Isle in boring ol’ Minnesota.
This morning it was still dark when I left the house at 6:30. Most of my walk was in the dark, but as I came back toward the house from the river, the sky was just starting to turn orange and green and pale blue, and Venus (or some other planet) was bright and bold in the East. This is why Diane and I chose to live in a rural area instead of the city. Sometimes when I’m visiting friends in the Cities, I think it would be nice to walk to the coffee shop or the grocery store, but mostly I feel lucky every day.

Lots of crime

Reading through the Mille Lacs County court calendar each week, I get a real sense of how much serious crime there is in the county. This is the calendar for Friday, Oct. 16. These are only the felonies. There are several other cases on the docket as well.

Omnibus hearing for David Wayne Sam, Jr., 40, of Onamia, who is charged with 18 felony counts of criminal vehicular homicide or operation from an accident on Dec. 5, 2008, in which Sam’s 1996 Dodge Ram pickup turned in front of a southbound 2005 Dodge Caravan.

omnibus hearing for Julie Lynn Bassett, 47, of Milaca, on a felony charge of overwork/mistreat animals from Jan. 13, 2009.

Omnibus hearing for Shane Thomas Davidson, 40, of Onamia, on felony burglary charge from July 15, 2009.

Omnibus hearing for Kelly Jean Friend, 19, on gross misdemeanor charges of child endangerment from June 21, 2009. Friend allegedly left her child, Tila Friend-Ballinger, at the home of the child’s father, Lance Ballinger, after the two had been drinking. The child was found dead in Ballinger’s home several hours later. Ballinger has been convicted for assaulting the child in November of 2008 and endangering his three children on June 21, 2009.

Omnibus hearing for Robin Paul Heryla, 52, of Princeton, on felony charge of financial exploitation of a vulnerable adult on Aug. 2, 2007.

Omnibus hearing for Sarah Frances Hindsley, 33, of Cumberland, Wisc., on felony DWI charge and other charges from Aug. 16.

Revocation hearing for Justin Lee Mitchell, 27, of Onamia, for felony assault charges from Aug. 11, 2007. Omnibus hearing for violating no contact order, a felony, from May 21, 2009. Omnibus hearing for felony assault with a dangerous weapon from May 11, 2009. Settlement conference for felony charge of violating no contact order from March 5, 2009. Settlement conference for gross misdemeanor assault charge from Jan. 10, 2009. Settlement conference for felony domestic assault charge from Feb. 7, 2009. Settlement conference for felony burglary and assault charges from Nov. 30, 2008. Among other things, Mitchell is charged with burglarizing a home on Nov. 30, 2008 and hitting a 20-year-old man in the head with a piece of wood, and with punching his girlfriend in the face on Feb. 7, 2009, after accusing her of cheating on him while the two were in the car with Mitchell’s infant child.

Omnibus hearing for Sheri Ann Storer, 48, of Keewatin, on felony charges of selling narcotics from April 28, 2009.

Omnibus hearing for Ricki Arlene Boswell, 26, of Onamia, on felony charges of burglary from Aug. 16, 2009.

Sentencing for Edward George Cooper, 44, of Zimmerman, on felony domestic assault charges from June 21 and Oct. 25, 2008.

Sentencing for Tyler Jay Eastlund, 35, of Princeton, on felony charges of criminal sexual conduct in the second degree with a victim under 13.

Sentencing for Michael Dean Fahey, 29, of Brainerd, on felony drug possession charges from Oct. 3, 2008.

Settlement conference for Benjamen John Kegg, 43, of Onamia, on felony DWI charges from Aug. 7, 2009.

Settlement charge for Mario Montes, Jr., 29, of Onamia, on felony charge of violating a no contact order from May 12, 2009. Sentencing for April 20, 2009, felony charge of domestic assault.

Contested omnibus hearing for Edward James Dorr, 42, of Onamia, on felony charge of violating order for protection from FEb. 6, 2009.

Contested omnibus hearing for Jody Susan Gronlund, 44, of Aitkin, on felony charges of receiving stolen property and possession of drugs from March 29, 2009.

Revocation hearing for Lee Robert Arndt, 30, of Milaca, on felony criminal sexual conduct charge from June 1, 2003. The case was reopened after a probation violation report in October of 2008.

Contested omnibus hearing for John Michael Hildreth, 39, of Isle, on felony charge of receiving stolen property from Jan 26, 2009.

Revocation hearing for Frank Edward Sonczalla, 21, of Princeton, on felony charge of tampering with a witness by threatening injury from April 7, 2008.

Contested omnibus hearing for Andrew Garret Walters, 21, of Foley, on felony charges of criminal sexual conduct from Feb. 25, 2009.

Contested omnibus hearing for Andrew Allen Carwell, 43, of Milaca, on felony assault charge from May 7, 2009.

Settlement conference for Brittany Ann Davis, 20, of Onamia, on felony charge of fleeing a peace officer in a motor vehicle from June 7, 2008. Settlement conference on felony charge of assaulting a police officer from May 30, 2008. Pre-trial on several lesser charges. Sentencing on felony drug possession charges from March 23, 2007.