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WILLMAR — Sebastian Nickolas Roush, 18, of Willmar has been sentenced for his part in a string of burglaries that took place in Willmar from April to June. The crimes took place while Roush and Matthew Lee Johnson, 32, were on a paper route. Johnson is considered a vulnerable adult and was living at a group home, where Roush worked. Roush and Johnson plead guilty to felony third-degree burglary, felony theft and a gross misdemeanor charge of third-degree criminal damage to property. Johnson was sentenced in November.
WILLMAR — A Buffalo man, charged with felony domestic assault by strangulation, made his first appearance Wednesday in Kandiyohi County District Court. Jaime Cisneros-Pizarro, Jr., 25, allegedly choked and threatened his girlfriend back in July in Willmar. In addition to the felony domestic assault, Cisneros-Pizarro was also charged with a felony count of threats of violence and misdemeanor domestic assault.
WILLMAR — The Eagle Lake sewer agreement between the city of Willmar and Kandiyohi County officially expired in 2016, after 45 years. However, the parties involved have continued to follow the agreement for the past two years while discussions have been held about the future of the sewer system and who will end up with complete control of it. The county owns the sewer system, while the city operates it. Wastewater collected by the system is discharged into the city system and ultimately ends up at the Willmar wastewater treatment plant.
WILLMAR — Repairs to the Willmar City Offices, which were damaged in October due to a water leak, were approved by the City Council last week. "Cornerstone Construction Services provided the low bid," said City Clerk Judy Thompson. There was only one other bid. The bid approved by the council at the Dec. 4 meeting is for $56,971. The city will use the money set aside in the budget for its insurance deductible to pay for the fixes. The city's insurance agency from the League of Minnesota Cities has also approved and authorized the needed repairs.
MORTON – Three individuals were killed, including an one-year old child, in a car crash on South Highway 71 near Morton Saturday evening at 5:10 p.m. The incident caused the closure of Highway 71 for over an hour.
WILLMAR — After years of research and discussion, the Willmar Police Department is finally ready to buy its first body cameras, with the hope to have patrol officers outfitted and recording by spring. "We try to be forward-thinking on the job. If you can use technology to enhance what you do, all the better for you and the public," Willmar Police Chief Jim Felt said. Willmar will be joining at least 37 other Minnesota police departments who use body cameras, including Benson, Hutchinson and the Lower and Upper Sioux.
BENSON – An unidentified individual died Wednesday following a reported fall at the Benson Power plant, according to the Benson Police Department. The police have not released the name of the individual at this time, though the family has been notified. The investigation into the incident is ongoing and the police said further information will be released at a later date.
WILLMAR — The firefighters of the Willmar Fire Department will be getting raises for the first time in nearly 10 years. The Willmar City Council approved the raises recommended by Fire Chief Frank Hanson at Monday's meeting. "They do a spectacular job and deserve the raises," Hanson said of his fellow firefighters. The 10 percent raises will go into effect Jan. 1.
WILLMAR — The Willmar Municipal Airport is losing one of its champions as city planner and airport manager Megan DeSchepper has resigned, leaving the city at a crossroads regarding the management of the airport. "Historically, the airport did operate with a manager," said Bruce Peterson, planning and development director, during Monday's meeting of the Willmar City Council. "It is important the city look at a couple of different options." DeSchepper took over as the airport manager, in addition to her city planner duties, in 2010.
WILLMAR — Utilities customers in Willmar will see an increase in their monthly bills in 2018 as the Willmar City Council approved raising the water rate and implementing the new city franchise fee. The council voted 6 to 0, following a public hearing Monday night, to amend the city ordinance that lays out the rates charged by Willmar Municipal Utilities. Councilors Ron Christianson and Audrey Nelsen were absent.