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 38-year-old Waite Park woman made her first court appearance Thursday on a fifth-degree controlled substance charge for procuring, possessing or controlling drugs by fraud or deceit. Unconditional bail was set at $15,000 for Emily Katherine Shaffer in Kandiyohi County District Court. Conditional bail was allowed on her personal recognizance. Her next appearance is March 3. According to the complaint, Willmar police were called Nov.
WILLMAR -- Two women from Spicer made their first court appearances Thursday on multiple drug sale and possession charges for allegedly selling methamphetamine to a CEE-VI Drug Task Force informant in September and for drugs found when they were arrested Tuesday. Kristy Lynn Blinsky, 30, faces three first-degree drug sale charges, two second-degree possession charges and two petty misdemeanor possession charges. Unconditional bail was set at $200,000 in the two cases against Blinsky. Judge Michael J.
ST. PAUL -- The last week of the year is when there are typically more fires than any other week of the year. Therefore, the state Department of Public Safety State Fire Marshal Division is warning Minnesotans to be extra careful. Locally, Kandiyohi Fire Chief Dwight Ryks is echoing those concerns. Ryks warns that with challenging economic times, he's afraid folks will use inappropriate methods in attempts to heat their homes. "When the economy is bad, people use alternative fuels," he said Wednesday.
WILLMAR -- Juanel Anthony Mikulak, 22, of Alexandria and formerly of Willmar, was sentenced Monday to 27 months in prison on a felony domestic assault charge for assaulting Willmar woman on Sept. 21. As part of his sentence handed down in Kandiyohi County District Court, Mikulak was ordered to pay $449.97 in restitution in that case, for items taken from a Willmar apartment where the domestic assault happened. He was given credit for 98 days already served in jail.
WILLMAR -- Jason Christopher Moe, 25, formerly of Atwater, pleaded guilty Monday to a felony charge of liability for crimes of another - theft by check and an amended fourth-degree criminal sexual conduct charge. The pleas were entered in two separate cases in Kandiyohi County District Court. The first included eight felony charges for theft and dishonored checks against Moe for writing almost $78,000 in bad checks in the spring of 2008.
WILLMAR -- A 22-year-old Willmar man made his first court appearance Monday on drunken driving charges for allegedly drinking and then driving a vehicle that almost hit a city snowplow early Christmas morning. Edwin Efrain Castellon Lopez was arrested after a snowplow driver called police to report he had nearly struck an oncoming vehicle on Trott Avenue. Lopez was located by police and public works officials nearby after his vehicle got stuck in the snow.
WILLMAR -- Three people made their first court appearances Thursday on drug charges for allegedly selling methamphetamine to a CEE-VI Drug Task Force informant Tuesday evening. William Allan Tjaden, 30, of Willmar, is charged with two first-degree drug sale charges, plus a misdemeanor charge for driving after revocation. Unconditional bail was set at $120,000. No conditional bail was allowed. Erick Torres, 23, of Willmar, faces two first-degree drug sale charges, plus another felony for possessing cocaine. His unconditional bail was also set at $120,000.
WILLMAR -- A 21-year-old Benson man made his first court appearance Tuesday on a felony charge of terroristic threats, and gross misdemeanor charges of assaulting a peace officer and obstructing the legal process. He allegedly threatened and assaulted a Benson police officer Dec. 14. Michael Jonathan Cox Jr. also faces a misdme-anor property damage charge in Swift County District Court. Unconditional bail was set at $20,000. His next hearing is Jan. 5. According to the complaint, Benson Police Officer Josiah Puckett responded to a report of a drug overdose around 8:45 p.m. Dec.
WILLMAR -- Law enforcement officers urge citizens to heed advance weather warnings, get themselves prepared for the storm and then stay off the roadways. The advanced technology used by meteorologists and days of forecasting the coming weather should have given folks time to prepare, according to Willmar Police Capt. David Wyffels. People should get out and finish their errands, get some groceries and "just get settled in for an old-fashioned winter storm," Wyffels said Wednesday.
WILLMAR -- A 27-year-old Willmar man made his first appearance Monday in Kandiyohi County District Court on a second-degree assault charge for allegedly using a vehicle as a dangerous weapon in a drunken-driving crash early Sunday morning. Luis Alfredo Perez Lopez faces three gross misdemeanor charges of criminal vehicular operation and misdemeanor driving while impaired charges. Unconditional bail was set at $30,000 with conditional bail at $2,000 cash. He was ordered to have no contact with the victims, not drive and possess no weapons. His next court appearance is Jan.