An accident at the Farm Service Elevator on First Avenue South in Willmar took the life of a man early yesterday morning. Willmar Police received a call shortly before 4:30 am Tuesday that a 56 year old man had fallen from a balcony over a grain truck and hit his head. He was later pronounced dead at Rice Hospital in Willmar. The name of the victim has not been released at this time.

A 31 year old man was arrested Monday night in Willmar after robbing a man and woman at knifepoint in the 400 block of 15th Ave. SW. around 7:30 pm. The two left an apartment they were in and called Police. The suspect, who was out on bail from an incident in June that involved a knife, is currently in the Kandiyohi Co. Jail with a number of charges against him. Willmar Police also arrested a 28 year old woman for charges of aggravated robbery, assault, threats of violence and more.

There were no injuries in an accident that happened yesterday afternoon at the intersection of highways 40 and 55 on the west side of Willmar. A driver making a turn thought it was a 4 way stop intersection, and did not see the other driver. Highway 40 does not have stop signs. Highway 55 does.

A crash happened on highway 29 north of Carlos in Douglas County yesterday morning just after 8 am. A tanker truck driven by 37 year old Jacob Suchy of Parkers Prairie was turning onto 29 and was hit by a car driven by 37 year old Danelle Wittmer of Miltona. Both drivers, along with 3 passengers in the Wittmer car suffered non-life threatening injuries.

The Minnesota DNR, along with the state patrol, local sheriff’s officers and other public safety agencies have increased patrols this week as part of “operation dry water”, a campaign going on locally and nationwide that’s aimed at deterring boaters under the influence of alcohol and drugs. Extra enforcement will continue through this Sunday.

Highway 67 near the Upper Sioux Agency State Park will be closed indefinitely as the fissures continue to grow. The pavement, which has dropped by two feet or more, continues to grow about an inch a day. MnDOT says they cannot repair the road this year. It has been closed since early April. The fissure is between the park main entrance and the campground entrance. A bridge in the area is also affected, the MnDOT is watching area on highway 67 closer to Granite Falls. Soil Scientists have been investigating, and drilling 90 feet deep to measure ground movement. They’ve noted a lot of movement about 50 feet down and also noted a lot of slope issues and weak soils under the road and bank areas.

The YMCA board of directors has approved the Kandiyohi County YMCA to move forward with opening the new TMCA Early Learning Center in Spicer. The Capital Fundraising Campaign is off to a good start with donors, and businesses interested in supporting the project of bridging the child care gap. A challenge grant has been started that will match all individual donations up to $35,000.00.

Construction is officially underway on a new psychiatric hospital in Willmar that will provide specialized treatment to children and teens from across Minnesota who have severe mental illness and behavior disorders. The ten million dollar hospital will replace an existing facility that is outdated and will provide capacity to serve more children. The hospital will cover 18,000 square feet with 3 wings and 16 private patient rooms. It will serve kids ages 4 through 18. Construction on the 9 acre parcel near the intersection of highway 71 and civic center drive should be done in the spring of 2020.

Monday night around 9 pm the Meeker County Sheriff’s Office responded to a call about a suspicious vehicle going into driveways on 235th street. When deputies approached the vehicle it took off and a short chase ensued. The driver eventually came to a stop and 40 year old Ryan Thomas of Willmar was arrested for first degree DUI test refusal, fleeing in a motor vehicle and driving after cancellation-inimical to public safety.

State Representative Dave Baker, U.S. Representative Collin Peterson and National Federation of Independent Business member small business owners from the Willmar area met at the Oaks in Willmar yesterday to discuss the Congressional and state legislative agendas related to small business issues. The NFIB has been advocating on behalf of small businesses for over 75 years.

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