Weather Forecast



This is the records summary for July 3.

Rural Litchfield house

burns, used for fire training

LITCHFIELD — A rural Litchfield house that had been used for firefighter training and was scheduled to be burned in another training session next month was allowed to burn early this morning.

According to the Meeker County Sheriff’s office, deputies and the Litchfield police and fire departments were called around 1 a.m. to a structure fire at 62502 State Highway 24 in Litchfield Township.

The farm site was vacant and the house had been prepped and used earlier in the day by the fire department for training purposes. It is believed that one of the earlier training fires in the house had rekindled after the fire department and property owner had left.

Ryan Rathbun, 25, of Litchfield, is the property owner and gave the structure for the fire department training.

The house was allowed to burn down completely. The house had no monetary value and was scheduled to be burned on Aug. 4 during a controlled burn by the Litchfield Fire Department.


WILLMAR — The theft of a purse, which had been left behind by its owner, was reported around 2 p.m. Monday at Rau Park, 1000 Seventh St. N.W.

WILLMAR — The theft of a wallet was reported around 10 p.m. Monday at Wal-Mart, 700 19th Ave. S.E.


WILLMAR — Two people were cited for disorderly conduct after police were called around 12:50 a.m. Tuesday to a fight along the 600 block of Becker Avenue Southeast.

District Court

Kandiyohi County

- Jeffrey Scott Hookom, 16, of Willmar, was sentenced Monday to probation until his 19th birthday, 16 days at Prairie Lakes Detention Center and 50 hours of community service on a third-degree burglary charge for breaking into a rural Willmar business on May 13 and a second-degree burglary charge for stealing a safe from a rural Willmar residence in April.

Hookum was also ordered to pay $2,929.99 in restitution in the safe theft case and to pay $2,250 in restitution, jointly with his co-defendants, in the business burglary case.

He was also ordered to attend school regularly or complete the GED program, write an apology letter and remain law-abiding.

As part of a plea agreement, an additional felony charge of theft, plus misdemeanor counts of theft and property damage, were dismissed.

Felony charges against 16- and 17-year-olds are public record. Hookom was one of four young men charged in the business burglary case. James Harold Handt III, 21, of Willmar, and Tyler Chase Sanders, 19, of Kandiyohi, also face felony charges of third-degree burglary and misdemeanor charges of theft and property damage. Handt’s next appearance is Aug. 19. Sanders’ next hearing is July 31.

 Jesse Allen Maag, 17, of Willmar, was sentenced, as a juvenile, to 10 days at Prairie Lakes Youth Programs secure detention, probation until his 19th birthday and 45 days in jail on a felony charge of third-degree burglary.

 According to the complaints and petitions, Kandiyohi County sheriff’s deputies responded after the business owner reported around 10:50 p.m. May 13 that someone had broken into his shop.

 There was surveillance video that showed Hookom forcing open a door with his foot, while the others milled around outside, and Hookom and Maag rummaging around an office before Maag picked up a muffler and walked out the door with the item.

Deputies located Hookom, who was wearing the same clothing as he was in the surveillance video. The tread of his shoes matched the shoeprint left on the business door. Hookom was

The other three were located two hours later in Willmar and were interviewed. Sanders allegedly admitted to going to the business to steal items and claimed they left the location, leaving Hookom behind.

Handt also admitted to going to the business because he needed a muffler, which was located in a ditch and returned to the business owner.

Maag told officers that they went to the business to get some property and that he carried away the muffler.

The second-degree burglary charge was filed after a rural Willmar resident reported on April 2 that a lockbox safe was missing from his residence. The safe contained about $3,000 in cash and other items. The investigation, including interviews with two men, revealed that Hookom had taken the safe from the house and another man had broken it open at Hookom’s request.