A cell phone Butt Dial in Stearns County led officers to a party where a number of underage people were drinking. The dispatch center got the call back on December 29th, and the officer heard people but got no response. Police were able to get the GPS location of the phone and upon arrival it looked like no one was at least 21 years old. 6-8 of them took off running. Once the homeowners were found, they said that all kids were present and
accounted for. Police in Stearns County ended up issuing 11 citations for minor consumption, thanks to a butt dial!

Last Friday morning around 8:00 the Renville County Sheriff’s Office was called to a gas station/convenience store auto repair shop in Fairfax on the report of a shooting. An employee, 55 year old Ken Eckstein of Hector had been shot by 60 year old Michael Klatt of Fairfax. Klatt was not a store employee. Other people at the store disarmed Klatt, and police arrived and took him into custody. He’s being held in the Renville County jail with a court appearance tomorrow. Eckstein was airlifted to North Memorial Hospital in Robbinsdale where he had surgery. No other report on his condition was given by police.

The Kandiyohi County Sheriff’s Office responded to a vehicle theft Friday around 4:30 pm. Sheriff Eric Holein attempted to stop the vehicle but the driver took off in the area of country club drive and county road 24. After a two mile chase the driver stopped and ran but was apprehended and is being held in the Kandiyohi County Jail.


U.S. Senators Amy Klobuchar of Minnesota and Chuck Grassley of Iowa have reintroduced legislation to try to crack down on skyrocketing prescription drug costs. They are trying to force Pharmaceutical Companies in the U.S. that pay generic companies to not put lower priced drugs on the market, to stop that practice. The “Preserve access to Affordable Generics and Biosimilars” is a bipartisan effort among U.S. Reps and Senators.

And U.S. Senator Bernie Sanders rolled out 3 bills that would allow the government to import less expensive drugs from other countries as well as directly negotiate with manufacturers. Some U.S. representatives have also joined in the effort.

The Minnesota Dept. of Health reported that the spread of the flu is now regional instead of local in geographic spread. Regional is the 2nd highest of level flu being reported around the state.


The Willmar school boards meets this afternoon for re-organizing as well as the regular monthly meeting. Salaries are scheduled to be approved for board members, and a number of action items with bids being sought for sr. high tennis courts, locker room renovation, parking lot work and more. Meeting time is 4:30 this afternoon at the Willmar Education and Arts Building. The Alexandria Council meets tonight at 7:00, with the agenda including talk on the fire station roof replacement, street reconstruction and general obligation bonds, city code amending for the definition of the word lodging, along with short term vacation rental registration requirements and more. Appointments will also be made for the 2019 boards, committees and commissions.


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