A defense motion for dismissal was denied by Judge Dwayne Knutson in a case against 38 year old Russell Doucette of Franklin. He is charged with vehicular homicide and manslaughter in the death of 59 year old Randy Oletzke of Franklin. Doucette is accused of running Oletzke over on a farm where they both lived and then not immediately reporting the incident. A jury trial is slated for August 12th .

An accident on highway 23 between New London and Hawick seriously injured two men yesterday afternoon around 12:30 pm. 36 year old James Bloom Jr. of Hutchinson was headed east and crossed into the westbound lane and hit 73 year old Ron Stewart of St. Joseph. Both had to be airlifted to St. Cloud with injuries that were considered life- threatening according to the State Patrol.

Monday night just before 10:30 pm Litchfield Police arrested 2 people on a number of drug and drug related charges. A 45 year old man was charged with 5th degree possession of a controlled substance, possession of hypodermic needles and drug paraphernalia, and 3 rd degree refusal. Also arrested was a 30 year old Litchfield woman on the same charges. The two arrests were made at a West Depot Street address. They were taken to the Meeker County jail.

Inclement weather postponed the Willmar Noon Lion’s annual 5K walk, run wag event to Saturday June first. The event helps support Willmar’s Dog Park as well as the local Lion’s organization. Online registration has been extended and the Willmar Noon Lion’s club has more information.

Not only is Minnesota one of the highest taxed states in the nation, but now a new report shows that the price of housing in the 7 county Twin Cities Metro area is more expensive than cities like Austin, Texas and Nashville, Tennessee. The Family Housing Fund study indicated that the region is on a path to becoming as costly buy a house as Denver or Seattle.

The Kandiyohi Co. Commissioners awarded a contract Tuesday to a St. Cloud Company for work on Lake Wakonda south of Willmar. Improvements will be made to the lakes natural habitat and add to the diversity of the ecosystem. Lambert Construction of got the work with a bid of nearly $758,000.00. Water control structures, including fish barriers, and a couple of concrete box culverts, also with fish barriers will be constructed. The county received a grant of $921,000.00 to get the project going. Work should be done by the end of this year.

The County board says that evening hours at the license bureau will be stopped as of June 1st . The bureau had been open two nights a week but there has not been enough volume to continue. The Kandiyohi Co. License bureau will close at 4:30 pm weekdays as of June first.

Willmar Mayor Marv Calvin says the city hopes to join the National Flood Insurance Program. The council on Monday night passed a motion that will have the city attorney and administration begin an application. The city will eventually have to adopt a flood plain management ordinance and must meet or exceed national requirement. Increasing rain amounts in recent years was one of the factors in city officials changing their minds after having voted against such a program in the past.

State Rep Dave Baker of Willmar issued a statement in regards to the report on legislation to pass concerning the opioid epidemic: Baker said the legislation was always about doing what was right for hundreds and thousands of families across the state that have lost a loved one to addiction. He went on thank those who put in the hard work that will help Minnesota emerge as a national leader in the fight again opioid addiction. The legislation will invest money and resources from registration fees on pharmaceutical manufacturers and distributers in the fight against opioids.

A new 52,000 square foot building on south 71 in Willmar will be the new home for Ziegler CAT. The 2 story building will feature not only a shop and office space, but a warehouse, cold storage area and a retail showroom. The building, with a number of local and area workers involved on the project, should be completed by late next year.

Area Sheriff’s Offices report a couple of scam attempts this week that you should be on the lookout for. One person said they’d gotten a call from “Apple Support” and there was a
problem with the phone owners account and had to pay to fix it. Another caller had an issue with trying to buy a boat on Craigslist that turned out to be a scam with the seller not being on the level. Authorities remind you not to send or wire money, or give out any other personal info if things don’t seem quite right.

With the 2019 fishing season here, the DNR is working with organizations to combat the spread of starry stonewart, an invasive species that’s been confirmed in Lake Koronis and 12 other lakes. The DNR is issuing permits for pilot projects, working with local governments and lake associations, and partnering with researchers to limit the vegetation. Efforts have included using hand removal, equipment, and copper herbicide treatments. Starry stonewart can double or triple in size within 2-3 years once it invades a lake. The algae looks similar to other native plants and can form dense mats. It spreads by uncleaned boats and other watercraft, anchors, docks, lifts and any other water related equipment.

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