County board honors Sheriff’s deputies Tuesday

Published 12:00 am Wednesday, January 7, 2004

Tim Sturrock, Tribune staff writer

Three deputies were recognized by the Freeborn County Board for valor Tuesday, two of them for involvement in pursuing Gary Reichow, a convicted bank robber Nov. 3, and the other for rescuing a man whose car plunged into the channel flowing out of Fountain Lake. The Sheriff cited them in December.

Detective Scott Golbuff was involved in a gun battle with Reichow Nov. 3, after Reichow robbed a Freeborn bank with an AK47. Golbuff sustained a minor injury to his leg. Reichow was also injured. Deputy Ryan Merkouris came to that scene and bullets fired by Reichow barely missed him.

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Detective Charles Malepsy rescued a man from icy waters after the man’s jeep plunged into Fountain Lake’s channel on Dec. 5.

Reading a letter signed by Sheriff Mark Harig, Ron Gabrielsen said, &uot;Extraordinary circumstances do not make heroes, they only recognize them.&uot;

In other board action:

Glen Mathiason was elected unanimously as Freeborn County Commission Chair Tuesday. Dan Springborg was elected unanimously as vice chair by the board.

Mathiason succeeds Commissioner Mark Behrends as chair and Springborg succeeds Mathiason as vice chair.

Springborg said after the meeting that Mathiason was the &uot;best man for the job.&uot;

Commissioner Dan Belshan has been on the commission for five years but has never been chair, although three other commissioners with less tenure have or are.

&uot;They’ll do a fine job,&uot; Belshan said of Springborg and Mathiason. He said he agreed with the will of the board.

(Contact Tim Sturrock at or 379-3438.)