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 -- 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.
WILLMAR -- A 22-year-old Willmar man faces a third-degree assault charge for allegedly throwing a punch that knocked out a 17-year-old boy's tooth during a soccer game at the Kandiyohi County Area Family YMCA. Mohamed Musse Hussein appeared Thursday in Kandiyohi County District Court. Unconditional bail was set at $10,000. Conditional release was allowed on his personal recognizance, provided he has no contact with the alleged victim or enter the YMCA. He also faces a misdemeanor disorderly conduct charge.
WILLMAR -- A husband and wife appeared in court Friday on felony charges related to an alleged scheme to prevent the arrest of the man's brother. The couple is alleged to have made a false crime report in order to divert law enforcement officers' attention from efforts to arrest the brother. Erik Ozornia, 21, and Jessica Marie Ozornia, 19, of Willmar, both face two felony charges for aiding an offender, along with misdemeanor charges of falsely reporting a crime and obstructing the legal process for their roles in the Wednesday incident. Bail was set at $30,000 for each.
WILLMAR -- The third man accused of attempting to run over and kill a 27-year-old man on March 26 in Cedar Mills appeared in court Thursday on charges of second-degree attempted murder and assault. Unconditional bail was set at $800,000 for Bruce John Johnson, 25, of Hutchinson. Conditional bail was allowed for $400,000. His next appearance is April 20 in Meeker County District Court. Jeremy Jon Hoff, 26, of Bird Island, and Alexander David Jensen, 26, of Dassel, were arrested last week in connection to the case.
WILLMAR -- The off-duty Minnesota State Patrol trooper accused of driving while impaired, texting and causing an injury crash Tuesday near Litchfield made his first court appearance Thursday. Scott Charles Urdahl, 40, of Darwin, faces a felony charge of criminal vehicular homicide or operation for causing the injuries of the other driver in the crash. Urdahl was released on his personal recognizance, ordered to submit to alcohol monitoring and not drive if his license is not valid. His next appearance is April 20 in Meeker County District Court. According to the complaint and information f
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.
MONTEVIDEO -- The Minnesota Court of Appeals has affirmed Steven Allan Housman's commitment to the state sex offender program in St.
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.
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.