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WILLMAR — The proposed Kandiyohi County budget for 2018 calls for $70.8 million in spending and a $34.2 million property tax levy. The County Commissioners had their first formal look Tuesday at next year's budget proposal. The net property tax levy is projected to go up by 1.68 percent in 2018. That's the smallest increase since 2014 and below the county's five-year average of 2.4 percent. Overall spending is projected to go down slightly.
MADISON — A Madison woman faces a charge of felony theft for allegedly stealing a package of narcotics during an emergency room visit five months ago at Madison Healthcare Services. Jeannie Marie Jensen, 60, made a first appearance Monday in Lac qui Parle County District Court. The disappearance of the drugs was apparently first noticed April 3 when a home health nurse was looking for them, could not find them and reported it to a supervisor. The Lac qui Parle County Sheriff's Office then was notified and launched an investigation.
WILLMAR—A Willmar man faces four felony charges of first-degree criminal sexual conduct for allegedly molesting a grade school-age girl on multiple occasions over the past year. Deangelo Maurice Monette, 33, made his first appearance Thursday in Kandiyohi County District Court. The allegations were reported to Willmar Police last month.
WILLMAR—A random survey by two Kandiyohi County Commissioners suggests the public isn't all that strongly opposed to a local option sales tax for transportation projects. Jim Butterfield and Rollie Nissen both had booths at the Kandiyohi County Fair Aug. 9-12. The occasion gave them a chance to visit with constituents and hear what's on the public's mind. The two commissioners especially wanted to hear people's opinions on the pros and cons of a local sales tax being eyed to help fill the funding gap for critical transportation needs in Kandiyohi County.
WILLMAR—The Kandiyohi County Sheriff's Office is continuing its investigation into the death of a dog found tied to an anchor in Point Lake earlier this month. The animal's body was sent to the University of Minnesota for a necropsy, said Sheriff Dan Hartog. "We're waiting for results on that," he said Thursday. "We're looking into some things."
WILLMAR—After evaluating all the options, the Minnesota Department of Transportation is making a preliminary recommendation to construct a J-turn at the intersection of Highway 23 and Highway 9 at the entrance to New London. MnDOT also plans to recommend the addition of turn lanes at Highway 23 and 153rd Avenue between New London and Nest Lake. The proposed improvements are the outcome of an in-depth assessment aimed at improving safety at key busy intersections on Highway 23 between Spicer and New London.
WILLMAR—The Kandiyohi County Board will have a full agenda for its meeting this coming week. The board meets at 10 a.m. Tuesday at the Kandiyohi County Health and Human Services Building. The meeting opens with the Highway 23 coalition and a request for a tax abatement for the GrandStay Hotel and event center project in New London. An update on a Highway 23 safety assessment by the Minnesota Department of Transportation will follow.
WILLMAR— At 82, Ralph S. Johnson still goes to work daily at Woodland Centers, where he's a licensed clinical social worker and marriage and family therapist. His schedule is always full. Many of his clients have been seeing him for years. This week Johnson reaches a milestone: 50 years with Woodland Centers. The time has flown, he said. "This field has been meaningful to me. I can't think of anything better to do with my life."
BENSON — An armed standoff last month in Appleton has resulted in criminal charges for a man who held a SWAT team at bay outside his house for 11 hours. The overnight standoff ended when William Steven Synowczynski slipped and fell on a staircase, enabling officers to subdue him and take him into custody. Synowczynski, 36, of Appleton, made an initial appearance Tuesday in Swift County District Court. He is charged with second-degree assault with a dangerous weapon and fourth-degree assault on a peace officer. Both are felonies.
BENSON — An ex-professional football player, formerly of Benson, is facing a criminal charge for allegedly making a fraudulent insurance claim over an AFC title ring he reported as stolen. Brent Dwayne Griffith, 51, made his first appearance Tuesday in Swift County District Court. He is charged with one felony count of insurance fraud. Court records said Griffith was returning from a trip to Mexico in March 2013 with his then-wife when he reported the ring missing from a shaving kit in his luggage.