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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.
WILLMAR — Kandiyohi County Commissioners will hold a work session next month for in-depth discussion about the future needs of the county's highway system and the pros and cons of a local option sales tax to help pay for the most pressing projects. The session will be at 1:30 p.m. Sept. 19, after the board's regular meeting that morning. A location will be announced later. It will be an opportunity to get all the information on the table, said Larry Kleindl, county administrator.
MONTEVIDEO — Four men face felony charges stemming from a brawl outside an apartment building in Montevideo last month during which a handgun and a loaded rifle were brandished. Albert Vanlier Hughes and Steven Lee Johnson, both of Montevideo, made initial appearances Wednesday in Chippewa County District Court.
WILLMAR — A Lake Lillian man convicted in a firearms incident last summer at a popular nightspot in Spicer won't go to prison but will have to serve time in jail. Dennis Michael Jacobson, 39, was sentenced Wednesday in Kandiyohi County District Court. A jury found him guilty in June on a felony charge of reckless discharge of a firearm within the city limits and misdemeanor charges of carrying a pistol while under the influence and fourth-degree driving while impaired.