19 year old Sergio Moreno Leiva of Willmar was ordered to stand trial in adult court last week. Leiva was involved in a gang rape of a 14 year old girl two years ago. He was a juvenile when the crime was committed. 18 year old Jesse Lopez was sentenced last week, and the third defendant, 19 year old Alex Chavez, will be back in court May 8 th after pleading guilty as a juvenile. Lawyers now want his case heard in adult court.

This is Severe Weather Awareness week with counties throughout the state promoting general weather safety and emergency preparedness. The National Weather Service says Minnesota has an average of 40 tornadoes a year, with a record high of 104 in 2010. Warning sirens will be tested across the state Thursday at 1:45 pm and 6:45 pm. Questions can be directed to your local city or county offices.

According to Ridgewater College in Willmar & Hutchinson, Foundation Executive Director Kelly Magnussen has been appointed to a new position—Vice President of Advancement and Outreach. Magnussen has been at the college over 12 years, with her new position focusing on a new integrated recruiting and marketing effort, involving not only recruitment & marketing, but communications, community relations, foundation, alumni and grants activities as well. President Craig Johnson says the new role will allow Ridgewater to utilize her skills & experience on a broader scale.

The Willmar School Board meets at 4:30 this afternoon at the WEAC building in Willmar. The district health insurance plan is up for approval along with a resolution relating to the non-renewal of probationary teachers. Transfers, appointments, resignations and retirements are also on the agenda. Other meetings around the area include the RCW school board meeting tonight, and the Alexandria City Council meeting, which will begin with a special session at 5 pm various updates, TIF districts an update on Nevada Street. The regular council meeting begins at 7 pm.

According to State Senator Andrew Lang of Olivia, the senate overwhelmingly approved legislation to combat the opioid addiction crisis. The Preliminary Ag Budget passed in committee, and EpiPen legislation was approved unanimously. Other bills passed included a direct primary care service agreements establishment. A hospital billing transparency requirement, and a Pharmacy Benefit Manager Licensure and Regulation act.

Ridgewater College art instructors Majorie Nilssen and Andrew Nordin (nor- DEEN) were each awarded individual Established Artist Career Grants from the Southwest Minnesota Arts Council. Nilsson’s grant, $6900.00 will fund materials and her participation in a class in Santa Fe, New Mexico, one of just 8 people to be accepted. She lives in New London and has a private studio in Atwater in addition to teaching. Nordin’s grant totals $7000.00 for creating a series of structural paintings to exhibit in April of 2020 at the Grizzly Gallery in LuVerne. He also has the ArtHouse, and the Traveling Museum, and curates the Ridgewater galleries in addition to teaching. Nordin also lives in New London.

Bethesda will be building a 72 unit apartment complex for Senior Citizen’s in New London. Construction should begin this summer and be done in 2020. The 72 units will have a chapel, dining area, recreational and community area, also a wellness area. More info can be found at bethesdawillmar.org.

Willmar Senior High culture night will be this evening at the high school at 6:30. This is the 2nd time ever for the event, open to the public with no charge for anyone to attend. There’ll be food and various displays in the cafeteria from the variety of cultures in Willmar including Central American, South American, Asian, European and African. There’ll also be ethnic music and dancing after the displays in the Willmar Sr. High Performing Arts Center.

Mailboxes have been getting damaged according to the Kandiyohi County Sheriff’s Office. Boxes north of Pennock, and another near Willmar’s SW side. Vandalism occurred last Friday night or Saturday morning.

A 2 car crash on highway 23 south of Hanley Falls injured 3 last Saturday evening.
A vehicle pulled out from 170th Avenue and hit another vehicle that was headed south on 23. The car that pulled out was driven by 42 year old Stacy Lewison of Cottonwood. She and a passenger, 8 year old Matilda Lewison were not injured. The vehicle that was hit was driven by 41 year old Mike Stattelman of Marshall. He and two passengers were treated in Marshall for non-life threatening injuries. An infant in the vehicle was not hurt.

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