Gretchen Schlosser is the public safety reporter, and writes about agriculture occasionally, for the West Central Tribune. She's been with the Tribune since 2006 and has 17 years of experience working in news, media and communications.
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WILLMAR -- A 22-year-old Willmar man made his first appearance Friday on a first-degree drug sale charge for allegedly selling 14.1 grams of methamphetamine to a confidential informant in October. Unconditional bail was set at $50,000 for Justin Paul Nelson, with conditional bail allowed for $1,000. His next appearance in Kandiyohi County District Court is Feb.
NEW LONDON -- The New London Spicer School Board identified a range of $225,000 to $280,000 for possible budget reductions at the regular meeting Thursday, which was postponed from Monday due to the weather. With that action Thursday, the list of possible budget cuts has expanded to $860,613, from the district administration's list of $559,241 in potential cuts presented at the Feb.
WILLMAR -- Oscar Manuel Trochez-Martinez, 17, of Willmar, has been certified as an adult on felony charges for allegedly robbing a downtown Willmar business at gunpoint. Trochez-Martinez made his first appearance Thursday in Kandiyohi County District Court on the adult charges, first-degree aggravated robbery and second-degree assault. Unconditional bail was set at $200,000. His next appearance is Feb. 22. The young man had faced the same charges, but in juvenile court. He and Angel Guzman Rodriguez, 20, of Willmar, were both charged after the Nov. 13 incident.
WILLMAR -- A 34-year-old Willmar man, who is already in prison on other drug sale and paraphernalia charges, made his first appearance Thursday on a second-degree drug sale charge for allegedly selling methamphetamine to an informant last August. Unconditional bail was set at $100,000 for Gerardo Cory Lopez, who is in the Minnesota Correctional Facility at St. Cloud. He was sentenced in January to 11 years in prison on another second-degree drug sale charge for selling meth to a CEE-VI Drug Task Force informant on Aug.
WILLMAR -- A Kandiyohi County jury has awarded $23.2 million to a Paynesville family whose daughter is severely handicapped due to complications during her birth in June 2007 at Rice Memorial Hospital. The verdict was returned Tuesday evening in Kandiyohi County District Court and found Dr.
HECTOR -- A Hector man was transported by ambulance to Renville County Hospital after an early morning snowmobile crash. The Renville County Sheriff's office was notified around 12:35 a.m. of a crash near the intersection of 770th Avenue and 440th Street, approximately eight miles southwest of Hector. Chad Edwards was reported as the driver of the snowmobile and sustained a leg injury. The crash is under investigation by the sheriff's office.
Update 2 p.m.
WILLMAR -- Ernesto Pacheco Nieto, 49, and Susana Nieto, 42, of Willmar, made their first court appearances Thursday on felony charges of wrongfully obtaining assistance for taking more than $7,000 in public benefits while he was employed. Unconditional bail was set at $10,000 for both, with conditional release allowed on their personal recognizance. Both make their next appearances on Feb. 16 in Kandiyohi County District Court. According to court files, this is the second time the couple has been charged with welfare fraud in the county.
WILLMAR -- A jury found Mowalid Muse Hirsi, 25, of Willmar, guilty on Thursday of aggravated robbery for robbing a man at knifepoint in November. The verdict came after a one-day trial in Kandiyohi County District Court. He will be sentenced March 8. The charges were filed after a man called police around 2:40 a.m. Nov. 8 from the area of Ella Avenue and Seventh Street Northwest and reported he had been robbed at knifepoint.
BENSON -- The Benson City Council will continue to work with the same engineering firm on city projects. The council voted Monday to continue working with Bonestroo Inc., according to Benson City Manager Rob Wolfington. The city had invited other engineering firms to present information and offer proposals.