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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OLIVIA -- Dena Joy Rodacker, 44, of Franklin, pleaded not guilty Wednesday to a felony charge of receiving stolen property for possessing an allegedly stolen saddle worth $4,000. The plea was entered in Renville County District Court. Rodacker was released on her personal recognizance. Her next court hearing is April 9. Rodacker was arrested Saturday after law enforcement from the Meeker, Wright, Carver and Renville county sheriff's offices served a search warrant on her rural residence and located thousands of dollars of horse equipment.
WILLMAR -- A 23-year-old man from Osakis made his first court appearance Tuesday in Kandiyohi County District Court on a felony charge of motor vehicle theft for allegedly taking a running minivan and crashing it into some mailboxes and a snow bank in New London. James Russell Parks Jr. also faces misdemeanor charges of property damage and driving after revocation. Unconditional bail was set at $5,000 with conditional bail at $1,000. His next appearance is March 1. According to the complaint, a Kandiyohi County Sheriff's deputy was called to the New London Bowl around 1:30 a.m. Jan.
WILLMAR -- A 22-year-old Willmar man made his first appearance Friday on a first-degree drug sale charge for allegedly selling 14.1 grams of methamphetamine to a confidential informant in October. Unconditional bail was set at $50,000 for Justin Paul Nelson, with conditional bail allowed for $1,000. His next appearance in Kandiyohi County District Court is Feb.
NEW LONDON -- The New London Spicer School Board identified a range of $225,000 to $280,000 for possible budget reductions at the regular meeting Thursday, which was postponed from Monday due to the weather. With that action Thursday, the list of possible budget cuts has expanded to $860,613, from the district administration's list of $559,241 in potential cuts presented at the Feb.
WILLMAR -- A 34-year-old Willmar man, who is already in prison on other drug sale and paraphernalia charges, made his first appearance Thursday on a second-degree drug sale charge for allegedly selling methamphetamine to an informant last August. Unconditional bail was set at $100,000 for Gerardo Cory Lopez, who is in the Minnesota Correctional Facility at St. Cloud. He was sentenced in January to 11 years in prison on another second-degree drug sale charge for selling meth to a CEE-VI Drug Task Force informant on Aug.
WILLMAR -- Oscar Manuel Trochez-Martinez, 17, of Willmar, has been certified as an adult on felony charges for allegedly robbing a downtown Willmar business at gunpoint. Trochez-Martinez made his first appearance Thursday in Kandiyohi County District Court on the adult charges, first-degree aggravated robbery and second-degree assault. Unconditional bail was set at $200,000. His next appearance is Feb. 22. The young man had faced the same charges, but in juvenile court. He and Angel Guzman Rodriguez, 20, of Willmar, were both charged after the Nov. 13 incident.
WILLMAR -- A Kandiyohi County jury has awarded $23.2 million to a Paynesville family whose daughter is severely handicapped due to complications during her birth in June 2007 at Rice Memorial Hospital. The verdict was returned Tuesday evening in Kandiyohi County District Court and found Dr.
HECTOR -- A Hector man was transported by ambulance to Renville County Hospital after an early morning snowmobile crash. The Renville County Sheriff's office was notified around 12:35 a.m. of a crash near the intersection of 770th Avenue and 440th Street, approximately eight miles southwest of Hector. Chad Edwards was reported as the driver of the snowmobile and sustained a leg injury. The crash is under investigation by the sheriff's office.
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WILLMAR -- Ernesto Pacheco Nieto, 49, and Susana Nieto, 42, of Willmar, made their first court appearances Thursday on felony charges of wrongfully obtaining assistance for taking more than $7,000 in public benefits while he was employed. Unconditional bail was set at $10,000 for both, with conditional release allowed on their personal recognizance. Both make their next appearances on Feb. 16 in Kandiyohi County District Court. According to court files, this is the second time the couple has been charged with welfare fraud in the county.