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Burglar at Cameron car wash
Police have no suspect

Police are investigating a car wash burglary that was discovered the morning of Nov. 4.

Cameron Police Department Chief Mike Lynch said that the Cameron Car Wash's self-service bays were entered, and the wash machines and change machine were broken into during the overnight hours.

The car wash's machines were destroyed, and cash and $500 in quarters was taken, according to owner Chad Neeser.

Neeser estimated the damage at nearly $30,000.

He expects the business to be closed for at least a month

while repairs are made.

The car wash's utility room was entered and the DVR recording device connected to the security cameras was taken. The cameras themselves were blacked out with spray paint. Chief Lynch said that historically these crimes are committed by someone from more than 50 miles away, and that proximity to Hwys. 8 and 53 provide avenues of access and escape.

Police notified regional agencies of the burglary and requested information on any similar cases.

Lynch said that he has already gone through 8 hours of surveillance video taken from nearby locations and that there is more to review.

Police have no suspects at this time.


County budget passed

With no concerns expressed at a public hearing before its regular meeting on Nov. 4, the Barron County Board of Supervisors approved a $66 million budget for 2020.

It is the same amount as presented at the County Board's Sept. 16 and Oct. 21 meetings.

Two transfers were approved at the recommendation of administrator Jeff French, neither of which will affect the tax levy or financing resolution, which matches the published budget.

French recommended earmarking $10,000 from its $100,000 Contingency Fund for the purpose of a one-time expenditure to the Barron County Economic Development Corporation. He also approved of a $20,000 transfer from the Sheriff's Department's operating budget in the General Fund to the Capital Improvement Capital Outlay Fund for outfitting squad cars.

A $21.9 million tax levy will offset expenditures. The mill rate is $5.05, down 7 cents from last year, thanks to raising equalized valuations and county sales tax revenues.


Man charged in Barron stabbings

Emmanuel Torres

The teenager accused of stabbing a father and son in Barron's Anderson Park on Halloween made his initial court appearance Tuesday.

Emmanuel Torres, 18, of Cumberland was charged in Barron County Circuit Court on Nov. 5 with the felonies second degree reckless injury and battery with intent of bodily harm. He was also charged with two counts of felony bail jumping.

Torres faces a fine of up to $25,000, or imprisonment not to exceed 12 1/2 years or both on the second degree reckless injury charge and a fine up to $10,000, or imprisonment not to exceed 6 years or both on the battery charge.

The stabbing victims, Edward R. Deacon, 41, and his son Brady R. Deacon, 18, have been released from the hospital.

The charges filed Nov. 5 refer to Brady Deacon. The District Attorney's Office stated it is waiting on medical information concerning Edward before deciding any additional charges.

Torres called 911 at approximately 5:38 p.m. on Halloween to report he had stabbed two people.

The criminal complaint draws on multiple witness statements.

Torres and a 15-year-old girl were walking from the Birchwood Apartments across the bridge to his black Dodge Magnum parked by the Anderson Park pavilion.

Brady, Joey D. Illa, the

15-year-old's sister and other minors were at the skate park when they saw Torres and the girl. A group walked over to Anderson Park, and Brady and Illa drove over.

Edward was driving into town when he saw Brady and Illa turning off of N. Mill St. and into Anderson Park. He had seen the group at the skate park earlier while driving home from work.

Brady and Illa began verbally confronting Torres about being with the 15-year-old. At the time, Torres' bond conditions included having no contact with underage females beyond his immediate family. He had been charged with bail jumping 2 weeks prior after allegedly driving the 15-year-old and her sister to a Barron grocery store.

At this point, witness accounts in the complaint begin to differ.

One witness told police that Torres had the driver's door open, as if he were going to get in, when Brady pushed him. Torres pushed back and then stabbed Brady. Edward went after Torres and was also stabbed. This witness said they stayed at the scene and called 911.

Another witness told a different account. Illa was kicking the door of Torres' vehicle and telling him to take off his glasses. Brady then punched Torres in the face. Edward became involved because Torres went after his son and he was then stabbed. Brady lifted his shirt and "was gushing blood," according to the witness.

Edward told police he walked up to Brady and Torres because it sounded like they were going to fight. He told Torres to "get the 'F' out of here" and that he didn't need this. Torres then stabbed him. He blocked a second strike and then Brady stepped in and was stabbed. Edward told police that Illa came over and got Torres away from Brady.

A first-responder on their way to the scene encountered the two sisters walking a few blocks from the park. They appeared "frazzled" in the criminal complaint and police took them to the Sheriff's Department.

The 15-year-old who identified Torres as her boyfriend avoided questions, according to the complaint, but said that she had not talked to him because "he's been getting into trouble with being around minors."

Her sister told police that the 15-year-old girl had been with Torres at the park. The sister said he stabbed Brady first and then Edward.

Police arrived at the park and located Torres to the east of the playground equipment, according to the criminal complaint, and he was taken into custody.

He told police that he dropped the knife between the pavilion area and where he was arrested, but it has not been found. Witness reports compiled in the complaint describe it as being medium-sized, 5-6 inches long, and having a black blade.

Officers found the victims by the pavilion leaning against Ed's red Volkswagen Jetta.

An officer retrieved a first aid kit from his squad and gave both men gauze. Both had puncture-type wounds in the upper left abdomen, and Brady was reported to have a significant amount of blood on his shirt.

Edward told The Chronotype he felt a lot of pressure when he was stabbed, then a little burning before it really hurt. He said his rib cage prevented a deeper wound.

Edward was released from Regions Hospital in Minnesota on Nov. 1, the day after being stabbed.

Edward said Brady was released from Mayo Clinic Health System Hospital in Eau Claire on Nov. 3 and that the knife had penetrated less than an inch from his heart.

Illa, 21, is being held on a probation violation in Barron County Jail. "If Joey hadn't hit [Torres], I don't know how many times more he would have stabbed [Brady]," Edward told The Chronotype.

Edward estimated the whole conflict lasted about 10 minutes, and the stabbing about 2 minutes. He said after the situation calmed, Torres walked towards the slides.

This is the fourth criminal case filed against Torres in Barron County since September.

He was charged Sept. 19 with second degree sexual assault of a child. The criminal complaint states he forced a 13-year-old to have sex with him at a Cumberland beach in June. Torres was 17 at the time.

On Oct. 11 Torres was charged with misdemeanor sexual contact with a child age 15 by an person under 19 after allegedly having sexual contact with a girl after the Fall Formal.

Torres was charged with bail jumping on Oct. 14 after allegedly giving the two sisters a ride and was released on a $10,000 signature bond.

A restraining order against Torres that does not appear related to the stabbing was granted on Oct. 31. On Nov. 5 a $2,000 cash bond was set for Torres, and a preliminary hearing was scheduled for Nov. 20.


Memorials awesome, mail call endearing

Dave Lhotka

Dave Lhotka of Rice Lake was honored Nov. 2 to take an Honor Flight from Minneapolis to Washington, D.C. He was accompanied by his two daughters, Pam and Sue and their husbands.

The day included visits to the Air Force, Iwo Jima, WWII and Korea memorials and the Navy Museum. He also caught the Changing of the Guard at Arlington.

They missed seeing the Lincoln and Vietnam memorials and a drive by the U.S. Capitol and White House, but traffic was more congested than usual due to the Washington Nationals baseball parade.

He said the most endearing part of the trip was mail call on the flight, when he received a bag of 82 cards and notes thanking him for his service to his country. It made him feel special and reminded him of getting mail from his wife, who wrote to him every day he was overseas.

Lhotka will meet back up with those with whom he took the Honor Flight on Nov. 17 at Roseville, Minn., where they will view a video and share photos.

He was born and raised in Minneapolis and was drafted into the U.S. Army on April 16, 1960. He spent infantry training at Fort Benning, Ga., with a specialty in communications and wire.

It was the perfect program for him as he had 5 years in at Northwestern Bell Telephone Company before his service, and his position was waiting for him upon his return.

Before getting shipped out to South Korea, he married his wife Lynn, and they spent a couple months together in Georgia. Lynn passed away in 2011.

Active duty

When the time came, which was April 3, 1962, he flew from Minneapolis to Oakland, Calif., then boarded the U.S. Patrick Henry, a military transport ship en route to South Korea. The ship men landed at Ingh'on, then boarded a train to Seoul and onward by bus or truck, he has forgotten, to Camp Kaiser, which is just 11 miles from the demilitarized zone, the border separating the Koreas.

He was stationed there 13 months. It was originally for 1 year, but they were held over 1 month because of the Berlin Crisis. Lhotka returned to Oakland aboard the ship, the U.S. Barrett.

Once back to Minneapolis, Lhotka had orders to report to Fort Snelling, where he was put on active reserve. He served once each month for 3 months. He was then given the opportunity to continue on with a 2-year commitment or be placed on inactive status until discharge. He chose the latter and was discharged on March 31, 1966.

He spent the next 30 years with the telephone company, moving from Crystal and Brainerd, Minn., to Omaha, Neb. and back to Brooklyn Park, Minn., as his positions changed as he climbed the corporate ladder.

When a friend informed him on a cabin for sale on Red Cedar Lake near Birchwood in 1973, he bought it and after retiring in 1991, sold it and built a new home. After his wife passed away suddenly in 2011, he sold his lake home in 2013 and moved to the Orchard Beach Shores condos, where he is secretary of the condo association.

He is also active in the hospital's Volunteer Partners and its hospice program and is "chief" of funeral meals served at Bethany Lutheran Church.

"The whole experience was awesome, and I highly recommend it," Lhotka said. "You'll never regret it."

He added that two other local men, Bob Johnson and Owen Anderson, are also taking Honor Flights this year.


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