A grand jury in Winona County last week amended charges against 30 year old Zane Pederson of Spicer to a total of 18 felony charges in connection with a rape and burglary case from last November. Pederson is accused of criminal sexual conduct, including heinous acts. Burglary charges are also among the total of 18. With the amended charges coming down from the grand jury, if the case ends up at trial, a jury would have a wider choice when deliberating. Maximum sentences for some of the charges include life or life without parole. Pederson, who was indicted this past Wednesday in Winona County Court, remains in jail in Houston County on two million dollars bail. His next court date is June 5th .

27 year old Edgar Montoya of Renville pleaded guilty last week in Kandiyohi County District Court to a felony charge of feeling police in a vehicle while having two kids in the vehicle. The incident happened March 16 th when Willmar Officers tried to stop the car. Under a plea deal, charges of receiving stolen property and others will be dropped. He will be sentenced June 26th .

A chase early on Thursday morning took place in Dovre Township at 15th St. NE and 48th Avenue according to the Kandiyohi County Sheriff’s Office. A deputy noticed equipment violations on an ATV & golf cart. When approached, the ATV fled north on 15th Street then turned west on 60th Avenue and went into a field where it was lost sight of. Speeds up to 50 mph were recorded, and there was no other property damage or injuries. The case is being investigated.

The Kandiyohi County Sheriff’s Dept. along with the U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration will be collecting expired, unused and unwanted prescription drugs Saturday from 10 am to 2 pm at the Kandiyohi County Law Enforcement Center off North business 71 in Willmar. The service is free and anonymous, and no questions are asked. It is no longer recommended to flush them or put them in the garbage as they pose potential safety and health hazards.

The DNR is restricting open burning in a number of Minnesota counties effective immediately, locally including Pope, Stearns, and Stevens Counties. The state will not be issuing permits for brush or yard waste until restrictions are lifted for those counties. Escaped debris burns are the number one cause of wildfires according to the DNR. Also, the DNR reminds you that it is illegal to fly a drone over a wildfire. They are hazard to firefighting planes and helicopters. Last year, helicopters near Little Falls had to be grounded until a drone in the area was brought down. Flight restrictions may extend over a 5 mile radius of a wildfire, and even with no restriction, drone operators will still be penalized once found.

MnDOT has awarded $2.3 million dollars in Safe Routes to School grants. The funding will make it safer for students to walk and bike to school. Safe routes is an international program and historically in Minnesota, almost 70% of the money has gone to greater Minnesota schools and communities. Locally, assistance awards went to the Upper Minnesota Regional Development Commission for MACCRAY, and to the city of Sauk Centre.

Not that they are common in our listening area, but we occasionally will be visited by black bears. The DNR says bears are roaming now as hibernation has ended, meaning their metabolism has ramped up and they’ll be looking for food.
Bears will be attracted to bird feeders, garbage, livestock feed and compost, even your bar b que grills and coolers. Fruit trees and vegetable gardens can also look good to a hungry bear. The DNR website has a list of things you can do to make the back yard or acreage a safer place for you, your pets, and for other wildlife.According to officials in Lyon County, a suspect has been identified in the Magellan Midstream pipeline leak that was reported Wednesday night. Magellan officials say their crews have made a lot of progress on cleanup and containment. Thousands of gallons of diesel fuel leaked out. The line between Willmar and Marshall continues to be out of service.

According to officials in Lyon County, a suspect has been identified in the Magellan Midstream pipeline leak that was reported Wednesday night. Magellan officials say their crews have made a lot of progress on cleanup and containment. Thousands of gallons of diesel fuel leaked out. The line between Willmar and Marshall continues to be out of service.

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