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This is the records summary for Oct. 4.

Lightning starts South Haven barn fire

SOUTH HAVEN — Firefighters from four departments were called around 6 p.m. Wednesday to a barn fire caused by lightning at a rural South Haven residence.

According to the Meeker County Sheriff’s Office, the fire at the Dale and Linda Atkinson residence at 31252 733rd Ave. was reported by multiple parties, including a neighbor. Neither of the owners was at the home at the time.

The Dassel, Litchfield, Kimball and Cokato fire crews, and linemen from Meeker Co-op Light and Power Association, responded to the blaze. The fire claimed a 32-by-60-foot barn used to store antiques and household items, plus an attached shed, another shed and a chicken coop. About 50 young laying hens were caught in the fire.

The barn was insured and the loss was estimated at more than $200,000 including the buildings and contents.

Lindberg Excavating, of Cokato, was called to assist in spreading the rubble, to extinguish hot spots in the debris.

Motorcycle driver injured in crash at railroad tracks

WILLMAR — A 19-year-old Kerkhoven man was taken by ambulance to Rice Memorial Hospital for treatment of injuries sustained in in a two-vehicle crash just before 4 p.m. Wednesday near the intersection of U.S. Highway 12 and 30th Street Southwest.

According to Willmar Police, Travis J. Wennerberg was driving a 1983 Yamaha motorcycle that struck from behind a 2010 Toyota Sienna van driven by Celeste L. Vorhees, 48, of Murdock.

Both vehicles were eastbound on Highway 12 and Vorhees stopped suddenly just before the crash because there were two semi trucks stopped on the highway for the railroad tracks.

Also responding were the Willmar Fire Department and the Kandiyohi County Rescue Squad.

Property damage

WILLMAR — A hit-and-run property damage case was reported around 2:15 p.m. Wednesday long the 1500 block of Sixth Street Southwest. A car hit a garage, causing damage to the door of the building, before backing away, striking a tree and fleeing. The person reported that the vehicle was a tan car that fled southbound.

RAYMOND — Damage to a door and walls was reported around 6 p.m. Wednesday along Cofield Street.


WILLMAR — The theft of jewelry and cash was reported around 4 p.m. Wednesday along the 1400 block of Willmar Avenue Southeast.

WILLMAR — The theft of a game system and two tablet computers was reported around 6 p.m. Wednesday along the 1400 block of Fifth Street Southwest.


NEW LONDON — A 63-year-old man was arrested on charges of driving while impaired around 10 p.m. Wednesday near the intersection of Highway 71 and State Highway 9.

District Court

Kandiyohi County

- Joseph Balboa, 28, of Willmar, was sentenced Thursday to 39 months in prison and a $50 fine on an amended charge of fifth-degree drug possession for selling methamphetamine to an CEE-VI Drug Task Force informant in April.

As part of a plea agreement, the charge was reduced from a third-degree sale count and another third-degree sale count was dismissed.

The charge was filed after April 3, when an informant met Balboa in a downtown Willmar parking lot and purchased 1.5 grams of meth for $120. The drugs were turned over to CEEVI agents and tested positive as meth.

The other sale charge was for selling meth to an informant on March 26.

- Marcel Dylan Zephier, 23, of Redwood Falls, made his first appearance Thursday on a felony charge of second-degree assault for allegedly assaulting a man with a broken aluminum crutch.

Unconditional bail was set at $30,000. His next appearance is Oct. 14. Zephier also faces a gross misdemeanor charge of domestic assault.

According to the complaint, Willmar Police officers were called around 4:30 a.m. Tuesday to a motel in the city on a fight call. They arrived to find a man with blood on his face, hands and clothing. He said he was intoxicated and didn’t remember what happened.

Zephier was interviewed and said he also had been drinking and that he and the man had argued and that the man had broken an aluminum crutch. Zephier alleged admitted to stabbing and beating the man with the crutch and hitting the man with his fist.

Officer located blood and the crutch in the room where the assault happened. The man was taken to the emergency room at Rice Memorial Hospital for treatment of his injuries.

- James Cheyenne Lussier, 39, of Redby, pleaded guilty Thursday to a felony charge of making terroristic threats.

He will be sentenced Nov. 14.

The charge was filed after July 22, Lussier was heard by a doctor at Rice Memorial Hospital making threats toward the parents of an ex-girlfriend. Lussier was a patient at the hospital at the time. He said he was going to get a gun and “take out the whole family.” He also threatened the woman on the phone.