NEWS-July 15
News Director: Bev Alquist Call with news at 320-235-2900 or email

News Archive

The Stevens County Recorder's Office will begin accepting same-sex marriage license applications today (Monday). County Recorder Virginia Mahoney says the Stevens County form will include several wording changes to remove gender references. "Bride" and  "Groom" have become "First and Second Applicant." Mahoney says couples who want to apply on the original form can do so before August 1. After the 1st, couples will only be issued the application with the new wording. Same-sex couples will be able to wed on August 1, provided they have submitted a marriage license application and served the state's mandatory five-day waiting period.

A A Pope County man will hear his sentence today (Monday) for a felony drug charge. Twenty-two year old Waylon Knight of Glenwood, was charged with 3rd Degree possession of drugs on April 9th. The day before, an officer pulled Knight over for driving on a revoked driver's license. During a search of the vehicle, the officer discovered a bag containing 8.1 grams of methamphetamine, along with marijuana. Knight has pled guilty to a charge of possession of drugs. As a result, several misdemeanor charges related to the incident were dropped.

The Alexandria City Council has been discussing and has given its authorization to call for bids for the Safe Routes to Schools initiative. That’s scheduled for August 8th. They also authorized executing the MnDOT agreement which sets out the construction of the sidewalk from Lincoln School to the downtown area. MnDOT is covering 100 percent of that cost. City Administrator Jim Taddei says the council has also approved the revised engineering agreement for the construction and inspection work.

A plan to cut back on interest loan rates on federally-subsidized loans failed in the Senate earlier this week, much to the consternation of one of Minnesota's U.S. Senators. Senator Al Franken had hoped to double back on the 6.8% interest rate, following an increase of 3.4% on June 30. Franken says a one year extension to the previous 3.4% interest rate would be in the best interest of Stafford loan bearers and in the best interest of upcoming legislation. The Higher Education Act is expiring within a year and Franken says it would be prudent to address all education legislation at that time, including the federal student loan interest rate. Although the latest bill to reduce interest rates failed, negotiations continue.

The Morris City Council is considering three proposals for development of the old Morris Elementary School property. The 17.75 acre lot is the last undeveloped tract of land within the city's interior and developers have made a variety of bids for the land's use. The city council, as the seated Economic Development Authority, will meet on Tuesday, July 23rd, to weigh their options and decide if they will accept one, or more, of the proposals. Developers have proposed student housing, assisted living facilities, and single family homes and have offered the city anywhere between $50,000 and $500,000 for either a portion or all of the land.

West Central Minnesota Communities Action is hoping you have enough to eat this summer and, if you don't, that you'll call to find out about the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program. You can find out if you qualify for federal SNAP Benefits in about 5 minutes. Jill Fury with Minnesota Communities Action, says applications for SNAP Benefits are filed by county Human Services Departments, but that WCMCA can answer questions and pre-screen applicants. Income guidelines apply.

Yesterday afternoon (Sunday), the Stearns County Sheriff’s Office responded to a crash at the intersection of Co. Rd. 75 and Co. Rd. 3, St. Joseph Township. One of the vehicles was a 2010 Chevy Silverado. The adult female passenger was taken to the Centra Care Hospital in St. Cloud. The second vehicle was a 2001 Mazda Tribute, driven by an adult male from Waite Park who was also taken to the Centra Care Hospital. The names of the persons involved will be released once family members have been notified. According to the sheriff’s office, the Silverado was eastbound on Co. Rd. 75 and struck the Mazda, which was attempting to cross Co. Rd. 75 onto Co. Rd. 2. Both vehicles went into the ditch. This crash remains under investigation. Assisting at the scene were the St. Joseph Police and Minnesota State Patrol.

20 year old Nathan Klaphake of Avon was injured in an ATV crash Saturday afternoon near 33246 County Road 156 in Albany Township. Klaphake was operating the ATV on private property when he lost control and crashed into a tree. He was not wearing a helmet. He was airlifted to Centra Care Hospital in St. Cloud. Assisting the Stearns County Sheriff’s Office were the Albany Police Department and Minnesota DNR officers.

The Minnesota State Patrol and Redwood County Sheriff’s Office were called to a rolloverFriday at the intersection of Highway 68 and 250th Street in Redwood County. 40 year old Thao Yee was traveling on Highway 68, left the road, went into the ditch and rolled. He suffered non life-threatening injuries.

The Willmar Police Department has been advised about two new scams that are going around the area. One scam is telephone calls from a person claiming to be from Xcel Energy regarding an overdue bill. They may ask for credit card or bank info or ask for pre-paid cards to be mailed. The second scam is telephone calls from 410-275-5023 with a person claiming to be from the "Department of Crime Investigations" about someone having a warrant and threatening them with arrest or jail. They then ask for Social Security info to verify.

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