35 year old Caleb Blue of Willmar, also known as Caleb Jorgenson, pleaded guilty last Friday to first degree premeditated murder in the death of David Medallin Jr. of Willmar. Sentencing off life in prison without parole will be March 28th in Willmar. In exchange for the plea, charges against his girlfriend, 51 year old Lori Gafkjen of Brooten will be dropped once he is sentenced.

The state patrol reported accidents around the area last week, including an SUV that hit a snowplow near Svea on highway 71. The SUV driver, 22 year old Cameron Emery of Olivia was headed south and swerved to miss slow traffic and ended up hitting plow, driven by Greg Kotzenmacher of Willmar. 2 people in the SUV suffered non-life threatening injuries, including 19 year old Tayler Lingl, and an infant, Brayden Lingl, both from Bird Island.

Slippery roads contributed to a crash near Hawick last week on highway 23. AN SUV driven by Kevin Vander Berg of Sacred Heart left the road, hit n approach and wound up rolling. He and 62 year old Denise Vander Berg were taken to the Paynesville hospital with non-life threatening injuries.

Firemen from St. Joseph and a number of other communities responded to a barn on fire on county road two. The building’s owner, Norbert Walz called in that the hayloft was burning. He’d been clearing snow when he hit the breaker box, causing sparks and starting the fire. He was able to get the livestock out. The fire happened last Friday afternoon around 2:30.

The latest flue report from the Minnesota Dept. of Health shows 95 people hospitalized last week and 94 the week before that. A total of 495 for the 2018-2019 flu season. 14 people have died from the flu in Minnesota.

Last Thursday, an official Senate resolution urging the federal government to fund its share of the proposed veterans home in Montevideo, passed the Senate Veterans and Military affairs Finance and Policy committee according to co-author Andrew Lang of Olivia. The Montevideo facility is currently in the design phase. It will be a 72 bed facility at a cost of $48.5 million and should open in 2021. Lang says that community support has been nothing short of remarkable, and if approved through the federal Veteran’s Affairs Construction Grant Priority list, the federal government would provide up to $31.5 million to cover remaining costs after state and community provided funding of 35%.

The Alexandria City council meets tonight in special session at 5 pm for a strategic plan update, committee updates and more. That’ll be followed by the regular council meeting at 7 pm. They’ll be awarding the fire station roof replacement bid, discuss lakes area recreation priorities and more.


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