National Guardsman from area was killed in crash

HANSKA — James A. Rogers Jr., one of the National Guardsmen killed in a helicopter crash over the weekend, has ties to Hanska, according to residents there.

Rogers, who was born in Madelia in 1991 and graduated from St. James High School in 2010, lived near Hanska for a few years in the early 2000s according to Darlene Nelson of Hanska. His mother, Beth Rogers, was postmaster in Hanska for a few years.

“They lived on Lake Hanska, on the road just west of Hanska a few miles. There were some new homes built out there, and they lived in one of them,” said Nelson.

The family later moved, but Nelson remembers working with Rogers’ sister, who was a volunteer at the Hanska Library.

According to Nelson, the whole Rogers family has military history. “His father, mother and sister were in the National Guard, too,” said Nelson.