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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ST. PAUL -- Two area citizens and a state trooper were honored Tuesday by the Minnesota State Patrol, during its annual awards presentation. Each year, the Patrol honors citizens, troopers and State Patrol employees who performed life-saving acts or excelled in a crisis or in efforts to ensure safer Minnesota roads. Honorees include Trooper Ryan Marthaler, who on Jan. 30, 2009, responded to a report of an attempted suicide in Yellow Medicine County. He woke a man, seated in a running vehicle inside a garage and dragged him into the house.
WILLMAR -- Daniel Amor, 45, of Montevideo, pleaded guilty Monday to a second-de-gree criminal sexual conduct ch-arge for molesting a girl over a period of three years. Amor en-tered the Alford plea in Kandiyohi County District Court. As part of a plea agreement, three additional first- and second-degree sex charges will be dismissed. Under an Alford plea, a defendant does not admit guilt, but does acknowledge there is likely enough evidence for a jury to convict.
LITCHFIELD -- Meeker Memorial Hospital is hosting a community open house on Sunday and hospital officials want the public to come and visit the new and improved facility. "We want to show it off," said Kyle Rasmussen, hospital CEO. "We are happy to have the public come and have a tour." The open house marks the completion of 2½ years of renovation and $26.5 million in contruction costs at the facility. The hospital has been reorganized, with updates to the emergency room, surgical suites, rehabilitation center and birthing suites.
WILLMAR -- A 34-year-old Eden Prairie man faces two first-degree burglary charges, plus four misdemeanor counts, for allegedly entering a woman's home and assaulting her Tuesday in Spicer. Unconditional bail was set at $20,000 for Troy Darnell Elmore. Conditional bail was allowed on his personal recognizance. Elmore also faces misdemeanor charges of domestic assault, fifth-degree assault, property damage and trespassing. His next appearance in Kandiyohi County District Court is scheduled for April 26. According to the complaint, a Kandiyohi County Sheriff's deputy was called around 9 p.m.
WILLMAR -- Jennifer Ann Jacobson, 45, of Willmar, was sentenced Wednesday to 110 months in prison and ordered to pay a $1,500 fine for her role in selling methamphetamine to a CEE-VI Drug Task Force informant Dec. 22. As part of her sentence handed down in Kandiyohi County District Court, she was given credit for 83 days already served in jail. Under a plea agreement, two additional felony drug charges and a gross misdemeanor for child endangerment, plus two other first-degree drug sale charges from a September 2009 sale, were dismissed.
WILLMAR -- Liban Hassan Osman, 28, of Blaine, pleaded guilty and was sentenced Monday on a gross misdemeanor charge of theft for his role in stealing more than $500 in baby formula from a Willmar grocer in January. Osman was sentenced in Kandiyohi County District Court to 365 days in jail, which was stayed, a $500 fine and a year of probation. Under a plea agreement, a felony charge for fifth-degree drug possession was dismissed. Osman and Ismail Abokor Mohamud, 27, of Minneapolis, were charged after the Jan. 14 incident at Cub Foods in Willmar.
WILLMAR -- Eddie Eleazar Rincon, 20, of Paynesville, pleaded guilty and was sentenced Monday to 21 months in prison on a second-degree assault charge for attempting to stab a Wal-Mart security officer in December. Under a plea agreement reached in Kandiyohi County District Court, an additional felony for terroristic threats, a gross misdemeanor for fifth-degree assault and misdemeanor charges of obstructing the legal process and theft were dismissed. He was given credit for 116 days already served and ordered to pay a $50 fine. The charges were filed after Dec.
WILLMAR -- Jarod Denis Siegfried, 28, of Kerkhoven, was sentenced Monday to 36 months in prison and ordered to pay a $3,000 fine for fourth-degree drug possession with intent to sell. As part of a plea agreement reached in Kandiyohi County District Court, the charge was lowered from first-degree and three additional felony charges were dismissed. Siegfried and Ashley May Anderson, 26, were charged after CEEVI Drug Task Force agents served a warrant around 6:30 a.m. Nov. 25 on a home in the southwest quadrant of the city.
WILLMAR -- Kristy Lynn Blinsky, 31, of Willmar, pleaded guilty Monday to charge of second-degree controlled substance sale. As part of a plea agreement reached in Kandiyohi County District Court, the charge was reduced from first-degree. Four additional felony drug sale and possession charges and two petty misdemeanor charges will be dismissed.
WILLMAR -- Data from the Willmar Police Department's annual report show a 3 percent increase in overall crime in the city in 2009. Due to an increased number of thefts, serious crime increased 5 percent last year. Police Chief Jim Kulset presented the report to the City Council at its recent meeting. In an interview last week with the Tribune, Kulset noted that violent crime -- murder, rape, robbery and aggravated assault -- dropped almost 18 percent in 2009. There were no murders in the city in 2009, 19 rape cases, four robberies and 32 aggravated assaults.