NEWS-Aug 9
News Director: Bev Alquist Call with news at 320-235-2900 or email

News Archive

Sentencing for 22 year old Paul Wickenhauser of Cokato is this afternoon (Friday) at one in Kandiyohi County District Court. Wickenhauser last month pled guilty to three felony charges for a crash near Kandiyohi last August that killed three people: 68 year old Marta Stoffers of Atwater, her daughter-in-law, 40 year old Michelle Hoffman of Eden Prairie and Hoffman’s eight year old daughter, Julia. Wickenhauser had an alcohol concentration of 0.08 or more at the time of the crash. As part of the plea agreement, 12 additional felony charges will be dismissed along with a misdemeanor. 

The three young men charged with the brutal murder of 79 year old Lila Warwick of Willmar, will make separate appearances in Kandiyohi County District Court next week. 16 year old Devon Jenkins will be in court on Monday, 19 year old Brok Junkermeier on Tuesday and 17 year old Robert Warwick on Thursday. Adult certification  hearings are scheduled for August 29th and 30th for Warwick and Jenkins. Jenkins and Warwick are being held in the Prairie Lakes Detention Center in Willmar, and Junkermeier is being held in the Kandiyohi County Jail on $2 million bail.

According to the Stearns County Sheriff’s Office, 28 year old Dustin Calgaro of Biwabik was arrested yesterday (Thursday) and charged with operating an aircraft while under the influence of alcohol. The report says he was flying an ultralight aircraft over the Bluegrass Festival and buzzing the crowd. He eventually landed at the campground. Investigation by the deputy at the festival indicated Calgaro was under the influence.

Two new ordinances were introduced at this week’s Montevideo City Council meeting, according to City Administrator Steve Jones. One has to do with the zoning code and business uses in the highway business district, and the other has to do with amending the city’s zoning map. The council also approved a resolution adopting the new comp plan it’s been working on for the last nine months. The council also adopted an ordinance that changes their screening ordinance 

The Willmar Lakes Area Chamber of Commerce is soliciting nominations for the Board of Directors. Board terms are three years in length. Members in good standing are eligible to be nominated and qualify for election. You can forward nominations to the nominating committee at the chamber. Your nominations will be accepted until August 15th.

The Willmar City Council this week took up a recommendation to fund a study of the Highway 12 corridor, possibly in partnership with MnDOT and Kandiyohi County. City Administrator Charlene Stevens says the council also approved a final payment on a construction project, and heard a report from SEH Consultants on the city’s downtown parking study.

The Benson City Council looked at some storm related items when it met this week. They need to do a FEMA application for public assistance according to City Administrator Rob Wolfington. He says they need to grind and remove root balls. There are some 300 such items on public rights-of-way, boulevards and parks. In other business, they also looked at the railroad emergency work that’s being done in the next week to replace a storm sewer underneath the Burlington Northern tracks next to the bridge over the Chippewa River. He said that project is progressing nicely and should be done in a couple of weeks.

The Kandiyohi County Board of Commissioners Tuesday, heard an update from Russ Hilbert, on the feedlot rules and how the Minnesota Pollution Control Agency is considering amending a number of rules in the feedlot ordinance. There is a public comment period that runs through August 26th on the proposed amendments. County Board Chairman Harlan Madsen urges you to attend a meeting on Monday morning at ten in the community outreach room, which is the lower level at the Health and Human Services Building. They’ll be meeting with the Cattlemen’s Association and the meeting is open to anyone else to discuss a number of items, including the possible rule revisions. Hilbert provided the county with the links, and for the general public on the county website there is a link to the PCA site where they can look at what the possible rule changes would be and how they may impact agriculture in our area and throughout the state.

Agents from the Minnesota Department of Homeland Security and FEMA were in Morris yesterday (Wednesday), helping eligible agencies apply for federal aid in their recovery efforts following storms the week of June 20-26. The agencies are making the rounds to 18 Minnesota counties who qualify for federal public assistance. Bill Hirte is Administrator of the state's Public Assistance Program. He says federal programs will pay 75% of costs. In such cases, Hirte says, the state typically pays 25% of costs, though the state at this time has not yet determined how much will be covered by the state and how much will be left to local governments to pay. Preliminary estimates showed Stevens County had just under $500,000 worth of damage that would qualify for federal assistance. The federal agents were also assessing damage in Pope, Grant, Douglas, Swift, Big Stone, Traverse and Grant Counties.

The new Outstanding Senior Man and Woman in Kandiyohi County, named at the county fair yesterday afternoon (Thursday), are Corinne Hable of Lake Lillian and Rudy Donner of Willmar. Receiving Century Farm awards at the fair were the Dan and Kim Lippert family of rural Willmar and the Wayne Hebrink family, also of rural Willmar.

17 year old Juan Carranza of Willmar is facing a felony charge of terroristic threats. He made his first appearance yesterday (Thursday) in Kandiyohi County District Court. According to the Willmar Tribune, its alleged he threatened to kill a woman and referenced the recent homicide of 79 year old Lila Warwick of Willmar. Carranza also faces a misdemeanor domestic assault charge.

The New London to New Brighton 120 tour begins tomorrow (Saturday), with the vintage cars leaving New London from the Peace Lutheran church at seven sharp. They will make stops at Grove City, Litchfield, Kingston, Buffalo and Crystal, the last stop being at the Long Lake Regional Park in New Brighton. Once all the cars are at the park, there will be a ceremony during with medallions and awards will be presented, following by storytelling. AlsoSaturday morning, prior to the start of the run, there will be a drawing for the antique car quilt and pillows that have been handmade by people in New London.

The Kandiyohi County Fair continues through today (Friday) and tomorrow (Saturday), with lots of 4-H activities, the FFA Children’s Barnyard, a number of displays, wrist band rides on the midway, entertainment on the Heritage Square stage, bingo, pig racing and Music in Motion. There is also monster truck performances, tough truck racing, and more. Saturdaythere is a kids’ pedal tractor pull, the KDJS Straw Dive, magic shows, and much more.Tomorrow might there is ranch sorting in the 4-H arena, there is a chain saw carving auction, a demo derby and more.

23 year old Trey Wittenberg of Willmar has been sentenced to 58 months in prison on felony second degree drug sale charge and a felony fifth degree possession charge. He appeared in Kandiyohi County District Court yesterday (Thursday) where Judge David Mennis ordered the sentence, gave him credit for 150 days served, and ordered him to pay $1,150 in fees and fines

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