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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BENSON -- During its regular meeting Tuesday, the Benson School board took comments from the public on about $100,000 in budget reductions. According to Superintendent Lee Westrum, the cuts include eliminating the full-time high school secretary, full-time media coordinator and half-time high school choir teacher. All three positions will be open due to attrition and therefore eliminate the need for layoffs, Westrum said. The reductions would leave an estimated deficit of $96,900 for the 2010-11 school year, which could be covered by reserve funds.
MONTEVIDEO -- The Minnesota Court of Appeals has affirmed Steven Allan Housman's commitment to the state sex offender program in St.
WILLMAR -- A 27-year-old Sauk Rapids woman made her first appearance Wednesday in Kandiyohi County District Court on two felony drug charges for allegedly possessing 90 grams of marijuana and a bottle of liquid Oxycodone. According to the complaint against Patricia Nancy Rosalie Peterson, she was arrested Monday after a Department of Natural Resources conservation officer, who was using a spotting scope to check on fisherman, spotted her around 2:45 p.m.
WILLMAR -- Jared John Netzke, 22, of New Ulm, pleaded guilty Monday to an amended charge of third-degree drug possession for his role in selling methamphetamine to a drug task force informant in February. As part of a plea agreement reached in Kandiyohi County District Court, the charge was reduced from second-degree drug possession. He will be sentenced May 5. Netzke and Esteban J. "Stevie" Ramos Jr., 24, of Willmar, were both charged after the Feb.
WILLMAR -- A 50-year-old Willmar man made his first court appearance Thursday on drug sale charges for allegedly selling methamphetamine to an CEE-VI Drug Task Force informant. Unconditional bail was set at $150,000 for Joey Gene Meyer, who faces two first-degree controlled substance sale charges in Kandiyohi County District Court. Conditional bail was set at $75,000. His next appearance is April 12. According to the complaint, a confidential informant for the drug task force made two meth purchases from Meyer on Aug. 28. Both deals were completed at a Willmar apartment complex.
WILLMAR -- Thomas Albert Wagar is appealing his misdemeanor conviction for receiving stolen property. Wagar, 25, of Minneapolis, was convicted in November 2009 for possessing military night vision goggles used by his father -- Scott Edward Wagar -- during a Sept. 16, 2008, homecoming incident in rural Willmar that included spraying teens with a squirt gun filled with water and fox urine. Both father and son were charged in January 2009 with a felony for receiving stolen property for having the goggles.
WILLMAR -- Tiffany Marie Stein, 22, of Willmar, pleaded guilty Monday to a third-degree drug sale charge for possessing methamphetamine. As part of a plea agreement in Kandiyohi County District Court, the charge was reduced from a first-degree charge. Two additional felony charges for drug sale and storing meth paraphernalia in the presence of a child and three gross misdemeanor charges will be dismissed.
WILLMAR -- The water quality study evaluating runoff from farmland near Blomkest and stormwater from the city of Willmar shows that the farmland is contributing less pollutants, in seven of the eight pollutants measured, than the city's stormwater. There is more nitrate coming from farmland water than from the city water, according to John Moncrief, a professor and extension soil scientist at the University of Minnesota who is coordinating the study.
WILLMAR -- Steven Douglas Byers, 55, of Kerkhoven, pleaded guilty Monday to one felony charge of financial transaction card fraud for stealing more than $17,000 from West Central Industries over a period of two years. Under a plea agreement reached in Kandiyohi County District Court, nine additional felony charges of financial transaction card fraud and theft against Byers will be dismissed. Byers agreed to pay $17,676.96 in restitution, the amount taken from the agency when his personal expenses were charged on a credit card paid by West Central Industries. Byers will be sentenced May 6.
WILLMAR -- David Wayne Chambers, 42, of Willmar, was sentenced Thursday to 77 days in jail and five years of probation on a felony charge of terroristic threats for threatening several officers during a five-hour armed standoff with local police on Jan. 7. In Kandiyohi County District Court, Chambers was also ordered to comply with the recommendations of a psychological evaluation, take his medications as prescribed, meet with his doctor to review his medications and possess no weapons.