ST. PAUL -- Jerry Rosendahl, the Minnesota State Fire Marshal, reminds citizens to change the batteries in their smoke alarms when they change their clocks on Saturday evening or Sunday morning.
Daylight Saving Time arrives in Minnesota at 2 a.m. Sunday. The process of changing the clocks takes a few minutes, Rosendahl said in a news release. Checking the batteries in the smoke alarms takes even less time and could save lives.
Research shows that about 92 percent of American homes have smoke alarms, but nearly a third of them contain dead batteries, or the batteries have been removed for use elsewhere. Statistically, alarms cut your chances of dying in a fire by at least half. When you remove those batteries, you're borrowing against your life.
Change your clocks, change your batteries, and if your home lacks smoke alarms, install them now. They can save your life, your children, your property and your pets -- but only if they work, he says.
WILLMAR -- A 44-year-old Willmar man was taken to Rice Memorial Hospital after a car-pedestrian crash around 8:40 p.m. Wednesday along Willmar Avenue Southeast.
Paul G. Boehnke was struck by a 1991 Chevy driven by Diana L. Abram, 30, of Willmar.
WILLMAR -- A 19-year-old Willmar woman reported a case of identity theft around 1:15 p.m. Wednesday at the Law Enforcement Center.
WILLMAR -- A 34-year-old Willmar man reported a case of identity theft around 1:30 p.m. Wednesday at the Law Enforcement Center.
WILLMAR -- The theft of three rings was reported around 2:45 p.m. Wednesday along the 1300 block of Highway 71 Northeast. A woman reported the jewelry went missing from her desk while she was on a break from work.
WILLMAR -- The theft of money from a vacuum machine was reported around 7 p.m. at Karnak Handi Stop, 605 First St. S.
WILLMAR -- Damage to a vehicle and theft of a financial transaction card was reported around 3:15 a.m. along the 700 block of 10th Street Southwest. A vehicle window had been smashed and the card taken.
WILLMAR -- The theft of an iPod, valued at $275, was reported around 8:50 a.m. Thursday at Willmar Senior High School, 2701 30th St. N.E.
WILLMAR -- The Willmar Fire Department was paged to a dumpster fire around 8 a.m. Thursday at Rice Memorial Hospital, 301 Becker Ave. S.W. The department was on the scene for about 30 minutes.
- Jose Angel Quilantan, 32, of Pennock, made his first appearance Thursday on five felony charges of wrongfully obtaining assistance, aggravated forgery and perjury.
Unconditional bail was set at $50,000. Conditional release was allowed for $25,000. He was ordered to cooperate with immigration authorities. His next court appearance is March 16.
Quilantan, along with Nadia Italia Martinez, 31, of Pennock, have been charged in the case. She faces 11 felony charges of wrongfully obtaining assistance and perjury and makes her next appearance on Wednesday.
According to the complaint, in April 2007, Martinez applied for public assistance from Kandiyohi County Family Services for herself and three children. She listed Quilantan as a resident of the household, and the father of the children, who was in the country illegally and therefore not entitled to assistance. However, his income was to be reported to determine eligibility for public assistance.
Martinez repeatedly reported that Quilantan was a member of the household but was not working or receiving any income. An investigation revealed that he was working for Lake Country Resources, under someone else's Social Security number, from April 2007 to Sept. 2008 and that his income had not been reported to family services. The resulting overpayment was $6,239 in assistance from May to September 2008.
- Culisa Ann Thomas, 38, of Willmar, made her first appearance Thursday on two felony charges of fifth-degree controlled substance sale for allegedly selling 6.2 grams of marijuana to a CEE-VI Drug Task Force informant.
Unconditional bail was set at $35,000. Conditional bail was set at $1,500. She was ordered to have no contact with Pamela Nganga, 48, who also faces two felony charges and has a warrant for her arrest.
According to the complaint, a CEE-VI agent had contact with a confidential informant on July 3, 2008. The informant was going to buy marijuana from Thomas for $30.
The informant allegedly went to Thomas' apartment, picked her up and they traveled around the city going to various homes looking for pot to buy. Later that day, Thomas had the informant go to Nganga's home, where the informant allegedly received the drugs. The informant later turned over the drugs, which tested positive as marijuana and weighed 6.2 grams.
- Michael Mario Buzzeo, 54, of Willmar, made his first appearance Thursday on a felony charge of possessing pornographic work for allegedly having child pornography on his computer.
Unconditional bail was set at $50,000. Conditional release was allowed on his personal recognizance, provided he have no child porn or material of any kind and allow law enforcement officials to review his computer history. His next appearance is May 1.
According to the complaint, in July 2008, as part of an ongoing child pornography investigation, the Willmar Police were working with the Bureau of Criminal Apprehension. Through internet protocol addresses, officers found a computer at the Buzzeo residence was distributing pornography through file sharing. On Nov. 17, Willmar Police served a search warrant on the home and seized two computers. Buzzeo allegedly told officers he does look at pornography, but not child porn.
A forensic examination of one of the computers failed to turn up the file that was being distributed, but did reveal that the computer had been wiped by an "eraser" program just before the search warrant was served. In the existing files, eight video files were identified that contained child pornography, plus lots of video editing software and hundreds of film clips, suggesting that Buzzeo was familiar with downloading, editing and manipulating files.