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 28-year-old Paynesville man pleaded guilty and was sentenced Monday on three misdemeanor charges filed after a Sept. 6 incident at a rural Belgrade home. Robert Stanley Jones entered pleas in Kandiyohi County District Court to charges of fifth-degree assault, driving while impaired and fourth-degree property damage.
WILLMAR -- Vanessa Marie Garza, 19, of Willmar, was sentenced Monday to five years of probation, a $1,000 fine and 30 days in the county jail on a fifth-degree drug possession charge for her role in receiving more than 10 pounds of marijuana in the mail in September. As part of her sentence handed down in Kandiyohi County District Court, Garza was ordered to submit to a chemical dependency evaluation, follow its recommendations, use no drugs or alcohol and make an effort toward earning her high school diploma. As part of a plea agreement, another fifth-degree drug charge was dismissed and sh
WILLMAR -- A 32-year-old Spicer woman pleaded guilty Thursday to a felony fifth-degree drug possession charge, for bringing pills into the Kandiyohi County Jail in her sock. Under a plea agreement, a gross misdemeanor for introducing contraband to a prohibited location against Angela Lynn Leindecker will be dismissed and she will serve an executed sentence of 12 months and 1 day in jail. She will be sentenced, and receive her disposition on a probation violation, on Dec.
WILLMAR -- Thomas Sykora, the 58-year-old blind man who was run over by a vehicle Monday evening, has been upgraded to serious condition at St. Cloud Hospital. According to postings on Sykora's caringbridge.org web site, Sykora suffered multiple broken ribs, a broken right ankle and a broken right scapula. He was taken by Willmar Ambulance to Rice Memorial Hospital and was later airlifted to St.
BENSON -- The State Fire Marshal's Office is investigating the cause of an early morning fire that destroyed Kelly's Convenience Store along U.S. Highway 12 East in Benson. According to Benson Fire Chief Mark Schreck, the department was dispatched to the store around 2 a.m. Wednesday. The inside of the block building was destroyed, with lots of smoke and heat damage, he said.
WILLMAR -- A 58-year-old blind man is in critical condition at St. Cloud Hospital after he was run over by a vehicle around 6 p.m. Monday at the intersection of First Street South and 19th Avenue. According to Willmar police reports, Thomas Dennis Sykora, of Willmar, was crossing 19th Avenue in the crosswalk, when he was struck and run over by a 2002 Ford pickup driven by Gary Lee Mattson, 55, of Willmar. Sykora, who was wearing a bright yellow jacket with reflective tape, using a white cane and being led by his guide dog, suffered serious chest injuries.
Update 4:50 P.M. WILLMAR -- A 58-year-old Willmar man, who is blind, is in critical condition after he was run over by a vehicle and sustained chest injuries around 6 p.m. Monday at the intersection of First Street and 19th Avenue. According to police reports, Thomas Dennis Sykora was walking south, crossing 19th Avenue in the crosswalk. He was using white cane and a guide dog while wearing a bright yellow jacket with reflective tape, when he was struck and run over by a 2002 Ford pickup driven by Gary Lee Mattson, 55, of Willmar.
WILLMAR -- Two young men made their first court appearances Monday on felony charges for allegedly robbing a downtown Willmar business at gunpoint Friday afternoon. Angel Guzman Rodriguez, 20, faces charges of first-degree aggravated robbery and second-degree assault in Kandiyohi County District Court. Unconditional bail was set at $200,000. His next appearance is Nov. 30. Oscar Manuel Trochez-Martinez, 17, faces juvenile charges of first-degree aggravated robbery and aiding and abetting second-degree assault.
WILLMAR -- Ovidio Ochoa, 36, of Willmar, was sentenced Monday to a year and a day of stayed prison time, 10 years of probation, 90 days in the county jail and 2,080 hours of community service work on felony charges of aggravated forgery and wrongfully obtaining assistance. As part of his sentence, handed down by Judge Michael J. Thompson in Kandiyohi County District Court, Ochoa was ordered to pay $68,368.65 in restitution in the case.
WILLMAR -- The criminal charges against a 33-year-old Olivia woman have been dismissed after the alleged victim recanted. For that reason, two felony charges of second-degree assault and criminal vehicular operation, plus a misdemeanor charge of domestic assault, against Mary Christina Ortega-Castillo were dismissed Nov. 5 by the county attorney's office. Willmar police had been called on Oct. 1 to a 16th Street Southwest address on a report that a vehicle had rammed another vehicle.