Tom Cherveny is a regional and outdoor reporter with the West Central Tribune in Willmar, MN.
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LAKE LILLIAN - Firefighters from nine departments battled a fire that destroyed a popular gathering place in the southern Kandiyohi County community of Lake Lillian. The early morning fire destroyed the Food Garage in downtown Lake Lillian. A resident noticed smoke around 3 a.m. The Lake Lillian Fire Department was joined by units from Raymond, Prinsburg, Blomkest, Cosmos, Bird Island, Atwater, Kandiyohi and Willmar.
OLIVIA — Flags will be flown at half staff on Sunday and Monday in Olivia in memory of former Mayor Bill Miller. Mayor Suzanne Hilgert issued an order Friday for the show of respect for Miller, who died on Wednesday. The order asks that all flags flying over public property within the city limits be lowered to half-staff from sunrise on Sunday until the evening of Monday. "Our community has suffered a great loss with the passing of Bill Miller," said Mayor Hilgert in announcing the order.
MONTEVIDEO — Tremaine Michael Bucholz, 20, of Minneapolis, made his first appearance Tuesday in Chippewa County District Court in Montevideo on two felony charges of assault in the second degree with a dangerous weapon, a felony charge of criminal damage to property, and a gross misdemeanor charge of failure to stop for collision, injury or death. The court ordered bail set at $100,000 without conditions for release and at $50,000 for release with conditions.
MONTEVIDEO — A woman accused of using her mother-in-law's assets to support a lavish lifestyle, while the older woman was evicted from a nursing home, made her initial appearance Tuesday in Chippewa County District Court in Montevideo. Martina Annette Christie, 61, of Billings, Montana, faces 12 felony charges for the alleged financial exploitation of a vulnerable adult. She is currently held in the Yellow Medicine County Jail in Granite Falls with bail set at $500,000 for release without conditions and $250,000 for release with conditions.
WILLMAR - A 22-year old Clara City man faces charges after allegedly driving through lawns in the Willmar area before swerving down 19th Avenue at a high rate of speed and rear-ending a pickup truck on Sunday evening. Willmar Police report that Christian M. Morris, 22, was cited for second degree driving under the influence, speeding, reckless driving, and driving after revocation. Morris was treated and released from Rice Memorial Hospital for injuries he suffered in the incident.
WILLMAR — The second open house for the 2019 Lac qui Parle Bridge project is set for Thursday, September 7 at the Milan City Hall, 244 North 2nd Street in Milan. The open house will run from 5:30 - 6:30 p.m. There will not be a formal presentation. The public is invited to view preliminary drawings of the proposed bridge, ask questions and give feedback.
WILLMAR – Convicted sex offender Peter Hoagland, 70, will serve a minimum of eight more years in prison. District Judge Jennifer Fischer resentenced the former Willmar business owner to the maximum possible during a court appearance Monday afternoon in Willmar on two of the eight counts of criminal sexual conduct charges for which he had been convicted.
WILLMAR — Investigators believe the dog found dead Aug. 1 in Point Lake with a rope tethering her to an anchor had been previously euthanized after suffering a serious illness. Kandiyohi County Sheriff Dan Hartog stated in a news release on Monday that the dog's owner "placed the dog in Point Lake as a burial site because that is where the owner had taken the dog many times in the past to swim and fish.''
WILLMAR — Former Willmar business owner Peter Clare Hoagland returns to Kandiyohi County District Court today to be resentenced on his 2015 convictions on eight counts of criminal sexual conduct against young boys. Hoagland, 70, will see a reduction in his current sentence, which keeps him in prison until shortly before his 81st birthday in 2028.