27 year old Anthony Jones of Willmar was in Kandiyohi County District court yesterday on 2 charges of first degree criminal sexual conduct. Jones is accused of raping a woman who was wheel chair bound and mentally impaired. The incident happened last January at an apartment in Willmar. Jones is scheduled to be in court again on April 29th .

Starbuck area State Representative Paul Anderson reports this week that the bill prohibiting drivers from using hand held cell phones received final broad bipartisan approval in the House and has been enacted into law by Governor Tim Walz. Offenders would be charged a $50.00 fine and repeat offenses could top $200.00. The law takes effect this August first. Two provisions were removed from the bill, including one pertaining to police profiling, the other regarding phones held to the ear by a hijab.

State Rep Dave Baker of Willmar says that things are heating up as large omnibus finance bills have made their last committee stops and will be heard on the house floor in coming weeks. Baker said that one of the most frustrating things is billions of dollars in new taxes in the house Democrats budget, something he says will be harmful to Minnesota families who are already paying higher gas prices than we’ve seen in many months. Baker went on to mention the states Billion dollar surplus that many constituents are thinking could be used for various projects.

Firemen from Sauk Centre battled a blaze at the Jamey and Shannon Groetsch resident around 5:30 am this past Tuesday near Sauk Centre. A 40 by 48 foot pole shed had caught fire with a heating lamp believed to have been the cause of the blaze. A motorcycle, kid loader, bucket truck and numerous other items were lost, with damages totaling over $100,000.00 dollars. The building is a total loss. There were no injuries reported.

MnDOT invites Elbow Lake area residents to an open house info meeting Wednesday April 24th in Elbow Lake at the Grant County Office Building. You’ll be able to learn more about this year’s construction project on highways 55, 59 and 79 that’ll be going on in Elbow Lake. The open house will be from 4:30 until 6:30 pm on the 24th .

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