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5 suffer minor injuries in rollover

BELGRADE -- Five people suffered minor injuries in a one-vehicle rollover Wednesday night south of Belgrade, according to the Stearns County Sheriff's Office.

Jacki Maine, 46, of Staples was driving a sport utility vehicle north on U.S. Highway 71 when she lost control on the slippery roadway at County Road 198. The vehicle left the roadway and rolled over once in the ditch.

The driver, along with passenger Robert Maine, 46, also of Staples, and three juvenile passengers all received minor injuries, according to the sheriff's office, and were transported to Rice Memorial Hospital in Willmar for treatment.

The Belgrade Rescue Squad responded and ambulances from Brooten, Paynesville and Willmar were called to transport the occupants of the vehicle.


WILLMAR -- Willmar police are investigating the theft of $1,200 cash from a storage closet at Kennedy Elementary School. Principal Scott Hisken reported the theft Thursday to the police department.

WILLMAR -- Willmar police received a report from a Willmar woman of the early Wednesday morning theft of $609 from the glove compartment of her car parked at Cash Wise Foods.

WILLMAR -- Willmar police received a report of the theft of a purse containing checkbook, debit cards and other items from an unlocked car in the 1100 block of Lake Avenue Northwest.

WILLMAR -- Family Marine of rural Willmar reported the theft of a Four Winds boat and motor and boat trailer to the Kandiyohi County Sheriff's Office. The theft was reported Tuesday morning.

Agencies plan statewide DWI crackdown

ST. PAUL -- The Minnesota State Patrol will team up with approximately 400 local law enforcement agencies to conduct one of the largest state DWI enforcement crackdowns of 2009 throughout the month of December.

The stretch between Thanksgiving and New Year's is typically deadly on Minnesota roads. From 2006 through 2008, alcohol-related crashes in the month of December accounted for 44 traffic deaths and 76 serious injuries. During this same period, 9,903 motorists were arrested for DWI.

"Impaired driving is one of the holiday traditions we hope to stop with added patrols,'' said Capt. Matt Langer of the Minnesota State Patrol. "While everyone knows the dangers of drinking and driving, it's clear not everyone understands the consequences.''

A DWI arrest results in loss of license for at least 90 days and fines up to $20,000 when factoring increased insurance rates, court and lawyer costs, driver reinstatement fees and more, said Langer.

Each year, alcohol-rated crashes account for up to 200 traffic deaths and nearly 400 serious injuries. These crashes and fatalities have been declining in recent years, and enhanced DWI enforcement campaigns have been a major factor in Minnesota's continuing trend of lower alcohol-related traffic deaths.

Despite the drop in alcohol-related deaths, drinking and driving crashes still account for more than one-third of all traffic deaths a year, said Langer.

District Court

Kandiyohi County

- Bail was set by Judge Donald Spilseth at $3,000 cash or $30,000 bond for Jesus Garcia, 23, of Willmar who made his first appearance Thursday morning in district court on a felony charge of third-degree criminal sexual conduct with a victim between the ages of 13 and 15. Garcia was charged with engaging in sexual penetration with a 15-year-old female in Willmar in April 2005.

Garcia had originally pleaded not guilty to the charge during a March 13, 2006, hearing but failed to appear for another court appearance two months later. He was arrested on a warrant in September 2006, was released, but failed to make further court appearances, according to court records.

Another warrant was issued and he was arrested Wednesday.