Yesterday morning around 7:30 the Willmar Fire Dept. got a call of a clothes dryer on fire at a home in the 900 block of Olaf Ave. NW in Willmar.. While on their way, another call said that the laundry room was on fire. Firemen found flames and heavy smoke and were able to get the fire out after shutting off utilities at the house. Damage was contained to the laundry room and kitchen area, with other parts of the home receiving minor smoke damage. Several pets rescued by firemen and no other injuries were reported. It’s believed the fire was started by an electrical issue.

Yesterday the Minnesota Senate passed its comprehensive tax bill for the upcoming two year state budget. Area Senator Andrew Lang of Olivia said the bill passed with bipartisan support and will hold 96% of Minnesota Tax Payers harmless and expanded tax relief for seniors, parents, small business and veterans. Lang went on to say that we already pay enough in taxes and this bill is the first income tax rate cut in over two decades, and the state can fund priorities of Minnesotans without the massive tax increases proposed by the Governor and the House of Representatives.

According to the Minnesota Gambling control board, they have found areas of non-compliance by the Brooten Commercial Club’s charitable gambling procedures. The club operates in 3 Brooten businesses and one in Sedan. They lost their license in December of last year and no longer operate in the businesses. The state gambling control board says that between unpaid groups and businesses, losses in receipts, taxes and fines, liabilities come to just over $291.000.00. The club was shut down December 17th and an investigation of possible theft was started.

The City of Willmar will hold a public meeting Friday from 4:30 to 5:30 pm to talk about 3 city hall site options. The meeting will be held at the Fire Station Training room. You’re urged to come provide input. For more info call the City Administration office at 235-4913.

A 25 year old and a 21 year old were arrested Monday night by Clara City Police and Chippewa County Deputies on charges that could include kidnapping, burglary, aggravated robbery and theft. The two allegedly burglarized a home in Montevideo, then forced the person and gunpoint to drive them to Clara City to their vehicle. Several items had been stolen according to Police. The two are being held in the Yellow Medicine County Jail.

The Willmar City Council last night approved plans for a smaller 4 season shelter at Robbins Island Park in Willmar. The new structure would be 3100 square feet and cost $894,000.00.
The Park and Rec board had recommended a 4300 square foot building with a cost of just over 1.17 million dollars. The council voted 7-1 in favor of the smaller plan with Kathy Schwantes voting no. Cost was the main issue according to the council.

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