29 year old Dan O’Malley of Willmar is facing a number of felony theft charges after allegedly stealing over $40,000.00 from his employer, Battery Wholesale. O’Malley was in court last week and will have a pre-trial hearing, June 26th . It’s alleged that he took money from cash transactions, also rigging the system to take money from battery sales, and altering people’s checks. He was released from jail on his personal recognizance.

Last Friday the Renville County Sheriff’s office executed a search warrant in Franklin and arrested 24 year old Khristian Kezena of Redwood Falls and 37 year old Lisa Desjarlais of Franklin on drug charges. The arrests happened on the 400 block of 2nd St. South in Franklin. Formal charges could take place today.

According to the Stearns County Sheriff’s Office, several people have been getting calls from scammers acting as Sheriff’s Office employees, with the call coming from a Stearns Co. Sheriff’s Office phone number. The caller says a relative is in jail and they need money. If you get a call like this, contact your local sheriff’s office to report it. It is a scam.

Beginning today, there’ll be intermittent lane closures on highway 119 near Appleton. Crews will begin resurfacing from highway 12 to highway 40. Crews will begin south of Appleton and there’ll be a detour set up using county roads 34, 19 and 26. Work should be done in 2 weeks, weather permitting. Local access will be maintained but thru traffic will have to use the detour. Work on the north end of the project will begin once the south end is done with that stretch done in June. A detour using highways 12 & 59.

MnDOT will host an open house for people to learn more about the Milan Bridge Project that is set to begin in a couple weeks. The open house will be held at the Milan City hall Wednesday May 8 th from 5 until 6:30 pm. There’ll be a short presentation at 5:15 and lots of time to visit and ask questions. Construction should be done sometime in November, weather permitting.

The U.S. Small Business Administration is reminding Minnesota Private Non Profit Organizations that the deadline to submit economic injury disaster loan applications for storm and flood damage is June 5th . The damage must have occurred between June 15th and July 11th last year. A number of counties in Minnesota are eligible, including Renville, Redwood and Lyon counties. Applicants can apply online at www.disasterloan.sba.gov.

The Somali Youth Center in Willmar has been awarded $6,450.00 from the Southwest Minnesota Arts Council to bring in two instructors, and 2 additional dancers from the Somali Museum Dance Troupe to give lessons. Grants were also given to Kayden Caveness of Clara City, totaling $500.00 for a visual Arts Class. And Parker Steinke of Dawson received a grant for attending the upper Midwest string camp! The Arts Council will have grant informational sessions coming up, including June 3 rd in Appleton at the Civic Center from 5:30-7:30 pm. And at the Cultural Center in Bird Island June 5th from 7-9 pm.

If you’d like to volunteer to help with 5th graders as they tour a couple of area dairy farms, contact the Willmar Lakes Area Chamber of Commerce. Tours will be May 10th , 13th , 16th and 17th at the Lauriston and CoJo Dairy Farms. Around 400 area 5th graders will be attending. The chamber says duties will be light, they simply need more people to help oversee the kids. You can pick your day or days and also pick either morning or afternoon. Contact the Willmar Lakes Area Chamber for more information.

There’ll be an open house Thursday May 9th in Sauk Centre to discuss the discovery of the emerald ash borer in Stearns County. The infestation of several trees was confirmed by the Minnesota Dept. of Agriculture on April 2nd . The meeting will be held at the Sauk Centre city council chambers from 6- 8 pm Thursday night. You’ll have the chance to provide input on the proposal to add Stearns County to the state formal quarantine.

State Representative Dean Urdahl of rural Grove City has accepted an appointment to the conference committee which is preparing this year’s K-12 education omnibus finance bill for final passage. He is the only minority state rep among the 5 house members on the committee. Urdahl spent over 30 years as a high school teacher.

State Senator Torrey Westrom of Elbow Lake joined his Senate colleagues in passing the comprehensive tax budget bill. Westrom says the bill holds every Minnesota tax payer harmless, while delivering much needed tax relief with no gas tax, sick tax or tab fee increases, as the democratic House of Representatives, along with the governor, has proposed.


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