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 33-year-old Willmar man made his first appearance Thursday on a first-degree drug sale charge for allegedly selling methamphetamines to a CEE-VI Drug Task Force agent in October. Unconditional bail was set at $300,000 for Ricardo David Gomez. No conditional bail was set. His next appearance is Jan.
WILLMAR -- Thomas Albert Wagar, 25, of Minneapolis, was sentenced Thursday to 30 days in jail, which was stayed, a $500 fine plus $90 in court fees and probation for at least 45 days or until the fine is paid and the night vision goggles he was convicted of possessing are returned to the military and verified as undamaged. The sentence was handed down by Judge David L. Mennis in Kandiyohi County District Court. Wagar was convicted in December of a misdemeanor charge of receiving stolen property, which was reduced from a felony level charge. The goggles were used by his father during a Sept.
SPICER -- Ice conditions on Green Lake may have prevented the construction of an ice castle for this year's WinterFest activities, but there are still plenty of outdoor activities -- and indoor events -- planned for the next three weekends in Spicer. Events for the annual celebration start Friday with the all-you-can-eat fish fry at the Westwood Café from 4 to 8 p.m. and end with live entertainment at Melvin's on the evening of Feb. 6. The outdoor activities include the Frozen 5k, the ice golf challenge and the lighting ceremony and fireworks at 7 p.m. Saturday.
WILLMAR -- A criminal sexual conduct charge against a Willmar man has been dismissed because the man who reported having sex with him is not a vulnerable adult. The third-degree felony charge against Patrick Shawn Dokken, 35, of Willmar, was dismissed Jan. 13 by the county attorney's office.
BENSON -- The Benson School Board on Tuesday approved a revised 2009-2010 budget. The budget includes $10,839,400 in revenues and $10,818,300 in expenses, leaving a surplus of $21,100. The original budget, approved last June, included a $278,200 deficit from $10,676,200 in revenues and $10,954,400 in expenses. The budget changed due to contract adjustments and figuring in federal stimulus funding, Superintendent Lee Westrum said.
WILLMAR -- A 36-year-old Willmar man pleaded guilty Tuesday to one felony charge of first-degree criminal sexual conduct for molesting a young girl. Under a plea agreement reached in Kandiyohi County District Court, another felony criminal sexual conduct charge against Adrian Lee Vanderlinden will be dismissed. He will be sentenced Feb. 22. The charges were filed after two Willmar Police officers were called to a Willmar residence in October. They observed a pickup leaving the home and later identified Vanderlinden as the driver.
WILLMAR -- "Don't let what happened to us happen to you." The words of a German farmer could well be a foretelling of the demise of American animal agriculture and of food safety and security in this country. Those words were spoken more than 10 years ago but should be taken seriously , according to Chad Gregory, senior vice president of the United Egg Producers, who spoke Friday at the 2010 Strategic Animal Ag Conference in Willmar. "Just look at Europe," Gregory said.
WILLMAR -- Portions of the livestock sector could return to profitability this year, but the all of animal agriculture will continue to face ongoing economic, export and demand challenges as the country faces a "slow and uncertain" economic recovery, according to AgriBank chef economist James Kielkopf, who spoke Friday at the 2010 Strategic Animal Ag Conference in Willmar. Unemployment will remain high in the U.S., he said, for up to a decade.
WILLMAR -- Three felony charges against a Willmar man accused of hitting a 16-year-old boy in the head with a baseball bat during a fight have been dismissed in Kandiyohi County District Court. The charges, for second-, third- and fifth-degree assault, against Daniel Loera, 26, were dismissed Dec.
WILLMAR -- Shari Jo Jablonski, 26, of New London, pleaded guilty Tuesday to a felony charge of third-degree assault for pushing a 6-year-old child into the bathtub, causing the girl to fall and break her collarbone. Under a plea agreement reached in Kandiyohi County District Court, another felony for malicious punishment of a child and a misdemeanor domestic assault charge will be dismissed. Jablonski entered an Alford plea to the assault charge. Under an Alford plea, a defendant does not admit guilt, but does acknowledge there is likely enough evidence for a jury to convict.