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Family picks up the pieces after arson fire damages home


Fri, May 30th, 2003
Posted in Features

Bill Collett of Chatfield seemed fairly philosophical for someone whose house had been extensively damaged by an arson fire. Collett, his wife Jennifer, and their daughter Madison moved into their home less than a year ago.

“I am glad I was the one that was home when this happened, and not my wife and child,” Collett recalled.

Collett was outside working on the deck of his new house in the Conway Addition, in the southeast part of town on Friday, May 23, when police informed him that a man with a gun was seen running through the neighborhood. Collett was instructed to lock his house.

“When I went to shut the garage door, I had an eerie feeling and the hair on the back of my neck stood up,” Collett remembered. “So I shut the garage door using the automatic opener in the car in the driveway.”

Unbeknownst to Collett, when he shut his garage door he trapped Floyd Moose inside. According to the criminal complaint filed in Fillmore County District Court on Tuesday, Moose is alleged to have started the fire in Collett’s garage that later spread to the house, causing extensive smoke damage to the first and second floors. Many of the family’s personal items will need to be replaced.

Also destroyed in the fire was a Harley Davidson motorcycle and riding lawn mower that were in the garage.

In addition to first degree arson charges, Moose is charged with 10 other felony counts, that include attempted second degree murder, kidnapping, burglary and assault.

Collett expects that it will take two to three months to make the proper repairs to his house, which are estimated to be in the six figures. Meanwhile the family is living with Jennifer’s relatives in town.

“Everything will have to go down to the studs,” Collett said, as he stood in the kitchen and looked toward the living room. “All the dry wall, and anything covered in cloth, will have to go.”

The smoke painted both rooms with a greenish black hue.

“The couch and chair will have to go,” Collett said, pointing to the plaid furniture.

On the floor, children’s toys were piled neatly beneath a picture of Bill and Jennifer’s daughter Madison that was streaked with smoke.

“Oh, and I guess we’ll need to replace all those toys,” Collett said, his voice tr .....
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Commissioners focus on courthouse project

Fri, May 30th, 2003
Posted in Features

"Please ask about the 43 loads of sand brought in. I thought that’s why we did boring tests," requested Commissioner Helen Bicknese, as she wouldn’t be available during the courthouse project’s update.

Oh, yes, the other commis ..... 
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Moose arraigned on 11 felony counts from terror spree

Fri, May 30th, 2003
Posted in Features

Floyd George Moose, 39, Chatfield, was arraigned in Fillmore County District Court in Preston on Tuesday, May 28 on 11 felony counts, including second degree attempted murder, first degree arson, and several counts of attempted kidnapping, aggravated ..... 
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Once again, no public consensus on zoning issues

Fri, May 30th, 2003
Posted in Features

It was another long evening at the Fillmore County Planning Commission meeting last Wednesday as the commission tackled a long agenda of public hearings that covered a wide range of issues from a bluff ordinance variance to dwelling densities in the ..... 
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Is Silk Stocking Avenue an appropriate home for a recycled school bus?

Fri, May 30th, 2003
Posted in Features

The May 27, 2003 meeting of the Rushford City Council began with a visit from Duane and Sonja Cook.

Prefacing her remarks with a tongue-in-cheek reference to the "upscale neighborhood which has just seen a 51% increase in real ..... 
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Farmers Market in Lanesboro open for business

Fri, May 23rd, 2003
Posted in Features

"I’m very excited about buying food for my family from friends and neighbors," said Liz Dybing, volunteer Lanesboro Farmers Market manager. "I believe this market has the potential to strengthen our local economy and to serve as support for our commu ..... 
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Lanesboro City Council Report: Art center back on table maybe

Fri, May 23rd, 2003
Posted in Features

Ken Graner addressed the Lanesboro City Council on Monday and asked if they could reconsider their April 7 motion to return the $1 million bond by the state for the Lanesboro Art Center to the state. Graner urged the council to keep the money availab ..... 
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Preston City Council Report: Back to normal issues here

Fri, May 23rd, 2003
Posted in Features

Comparatively mundane business occupied the Preston City Council at it's regular Monday night meeting. Few citizens were in attendance as the controversial issues of the past several months were not being discussed.

Greg Johnson ..... 
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Agriculture Department launches 2003 Gypsy Moth trapping program

Fri, May 23rd, 2003
Posted in Features

Minnesota Department of Agriculture (MDA) Commissioner Gene Hugoson today announced that the department will soon begin its summer trapping program to monitor the state for evidence of start-up populations of gypsy moth, a destructive tree pest gradu ..... 
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