A second Blue Earth Area High School football player has been sentenced after pleading guilty to a felony assault charge in the brutal beating of a teammate last year.

Blake Barnett, 18, was sentenced last week to 40 hours of community service and will be on probation until he turns 19. He must pay an undetermined amount of restitution and also write a letter of apology to the victim, who was 16 at the time of the attack.

The victim suffered primary and secondary concussions, and his family moved out of state because of tension in the community.

Barnett and three other players were charged with beating their teammate at a house party last October.

One of the four, Dalton Nagel, was sentenced in August to 15 days in jail for his role in the attack. Charges remain pending against Wyatt Tungland, another player accused in the incident. The status of the fourth player’s case is unknown because he was under 16 at the time of the attack and records in his case are not public.



Agency trains ‘Dementia Friends’

More than 450 residents of northwest and west central Minnesota have been trained as Dementia Friends by the Land of the Dancing Sky Area Agency on Aging.

The program, operated in conjunction with the Alzheimer’s Society of America, aims to help community members understand dementia and learn small things they can do to make a difference for people living with dementia.

The Land of the Dancing Sky Area Agency serves older adults, caregivers, people with disabilities and home- and community-based providers in 21 Minnesota counties.



Officials warn of phone call scams

Phone scammers hit at least two Minnesota counties particularly hard last week, calling enough residents to prompt warnings from local sheriff’s offices.

St. Louis County received more than 100 reports of phone scams on Monday, including messages claiming residents owed taxes to the IRS or had outstanding warrants.

On Tuesday, Stearns County issued a warning after receiving reports of a phone scam in which residents were told they had pending criminal charges against them, directing them to contact the IRS at a number provided or face arrest.

Officials noted that the IRS doesn’t contact residents by phone for such matters.

They urged residents to ignore such calls and to never divulge financial information or agree to send any kind of payment.