The former bookkeeper at a grain elevator that was swindled out of more than $5 million is set to enter a plea in Grant County District Court.

Kimberly M. Dysthe Goeden, 47, of Fergus Falls is scheduled to enter a plea Aug. 3 on a felony charge of theft by swindle.

Dysthe Goeden worked as a bookkeeper at the Ashby Farmers Cooperative Elevator under the management of Jerry Hennessey.

Hennessey was sentenced last year to eight years in federal prison for bilking the elevator and its 200 farmer-owners out of more than $5 million. He used the money to pay for lavish big-game safaris, extravagant taxidermy, jewelry and property. Hennessey's 15-year fraud spree bankrupted the elevator.

Dysthe Goeden is charged with writing checks on the elevator's account for more than $88,000 between 2014 and 2018 and coding them for legitimate business transactions, but using the money for her personal benefit.

John Reinan


New charging station will serve I-94 drivers

A new charging station for electric vehicles was opened last week to serve travelers on Interstate 94 and throughout western Minnesota and eastern North Dakota.

The charging station in Alexandria is roughly halfway between Minneapolis and Fargo and should be a convenient stop for travelers to reduce "charge anxiety," said organizers with ZEF Energy, a lead partner on the project, which is supported by a variety of groups, including the U.S. Department of Energy, Runestone Electric Association and Great River Energy.

The charging facility is located at the Simonson Station Store at Exit 103, the intersection of I-94 and state Hwy. 29.

The station includes one direct-current fast charger and two Level II chargers. The 50-kilowatt fast charger provides 200 miles of battery range for every hour the vehicle is plugged in, while the two Level II chargers at the hub provide 25 miles of battery range for every hour the vehicle is plugged in.

"This station is filling a gap in the I-94 corridor for electric vehicle charging in western Minnesota and eastern North Dakota," said Lisa Thurstin, coordinator for the Twin Cities Clean Cities Coalition.

"This EV charging station is a key piece of a growing charging network being rapidly developed across the state," said Ryan Rooney, manager of energy services for Runestone Electric.

"Projects like this take the collaboration of many parties, as demonstrated here. We're thrilled to be a partner."

John Reinan