Weather Forecast



This is the records summary for Dec. 6.

Law: Forecast calls for extra drunken driving patrols

WILLMAR — This holiday season, you don’t have to have yourself a merry little time in jail if you plan ahead for a sober ride.

Just in time for the holiday parties, officers from the Atwater, Benson and Willmar Police departments and the Kandiyohi and Swift county sheriff’s offices will increase drunken driving enforcement patrols as part of a statewide and nationwide Drive Sober or Get Pulled Over DWI enforcement effort in December.

The campaign is coordinated by the Minnesota Department of Public Safety Office of Traffic Safety. The enhanced DWI enforcement and education campaigns are a component of the state’s Toward Zero Death initiative.

Citizens are asked to use these tips to prevent drunk driving:

n Plan for a safe ride by designating a sober driver, using a cab or public transportation, or stay at the location of the celebration. Let family/friends know you are available to offer a safe ride home.

n Buckle up, it’s the best defense against a drunk driver.

n Report drunk driving. Call 911 when witnessing impaired driving behavior. Be prepared to provide location, license plate number and observed dangerous behavior.

In Kandiyohi and Swift counties between 2009 and 2011, just under 300 motorists were arrested for driving while impaired. In Minnesota during this period, 344 people were killed in drunken driving crashes. Each year in the state, around 30,000 people are arrested for DWI. State officials say enhanced DWI campaigns have helped to reduce drunk driving crashes by 40 percent from a decade ago.

Rural Litchfield man trapped under tree

LITCHFIELD — A 70-year-old Litchfield man was trapped under a large piece of tree for about two hours Tuesday afternoon before he was freed by emergency personnel.

According to the Meeker County Sheriff’s Office, emergency crews were called just before 6 p.m. Tuesday to 20202 600th Ave. in Greenleaf Township.

When deputies arrived, they found Donald Matheson, 70, with his legs trapped under a large piece of the tree. He told the deputies that he had been cutting on another section of the tree when the piece fell and rolled causing his legs to get pinned. He was pinned for approximately two hours before his wife found him.

The officers were able to lift the piece of the tree that was pinning Matheson’s legs and put small pieces of wood underneath it relieving the pressure on his legs. When Gold Cross Ambulance and Litchfield Rescue arrived Matheson was removed from under the tree.

Matheson didn’t appear to sustain any injuries from being trapped, and refused any further medical attention at the scene and was transported by a private party.


WILLMAR — A 25-year-old woman was arrested on charges of driving while impaired around 1:30 a.m. Wednesday near the intersection of Litchfield Avenue and Dolson Street Southeast.

Gary Miller

Gary Miller is a Designer for Forum Communications Co. Born and attended public schools in Willmar, Minn. Served 20 years in U.S. Navy as a photojournalist. Worked at West Central Tribune and Forum Communications since retiring from the Navy in 1994.

(320) 214-4344