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WILLMAR — It looks like the city of Willmar served up an ace with the completion of a new four-court tennis complex at Miller Park, replacing the rundown courts previously located at both Miller and Rice parks. When the courts opened several days ago, there were already people waiting to play. "I've seen people at the tennis courts," said Public Works Director Sean Christensen. The tennis courts are completely new, from the new surface to the 10-foot fence surrounding the courts. There are also LED lights atop 60-foot poles to brighten up evening play.
WILLMAR — When asked what seniors want in a community center in Willmar, the answer seems to be pretty straightforward. "They want it to stay right here. It is a great place," said Shirley Hulst, longtime member of the Willmar Senior Club. Hulst also said many don't see a need for a new building either. "As far as I am concerned, this place just needs to be fixed, not replaced," Hulst said.
SAINT PAUL – Chad Lee Monson, 46, Willmar, plead guilty to three federal weapons charges Thursday stemming from two searches of his Wilmar properties early this year, which turned up wide array of machine guns, shotguns, rifles and pipe bombs.
WILLMAR — There is one underlying fact about Willmar and its continued fight to alleviate flooding following major rain events: the city's elevation. "We are still low," Willmar Public Works Director Sean Christensen said. No matter how many detention ponds are built or how big the storm pipes are, Willmar's own elevation will continue to play a major role in how quickly stormwater is able to leave the city and eventually find its way to the Minnesota River, approximately 40 miles away.
WILLMAR — The race for Kandiyohi County sheriff in November will feature the current chief deputy and a former deputy. Greg Stehn and Eric Holien finished one and two in Tuesday's primary election and will move on to the Nov. 6 general election for the top law enforcement job in the county. Sheriff Dan Hartog announced his retirement earlier this year.
WILLMAR – Willmar primary voters have chosen Marv Calvin and Steve Peppin to face off against each other in November for the position of mayor. Unofficial primary results show Calvin with 2,153 votes and Peppin with 627. Third candidate Zeke Dahl finished Tuesday with 172 votes. The top two primary finishers move on to the general election Nov. 6. Calvin is running for his second term as mayor, first elected in 2014.
WILLMAR — It has been a good summer for Willmar's park system, except for one shameful and frustrating issue: The new bathrooms at Rice Park and the bathrooms located on the beach at Robbins Island have been the ongoing target of bathroom vandals since the middle of June. "They have been intentionally plugging the toilets" with things like styrofoam coffee cups and plastic water bottles, Willmar Public Works Superintendent Gary Manzer said. "Then people use the toilets."
WILLMAR — Three very different individuals are vying for the position of mayor in Willmar. At Thursday's mayor candidate forum, held by the League of Women Voters, the three men were given the opportunity to share their ideas and thoughts prior to the primary election on Tuesday. Following the primary the top two vote getters will move on to the general election on Nov. 6. Steve Peppin, Zeke Dahl and current mayor Marv Calvin were asked several questions including what they thought were Willmar's biggest challenges and about city facility projects.
WILLMAR — A 25-year-old man is facing three felony charges after he allegedly threatened his incarcerated father's landlord with a sawed-off shotgun. Luis Rand Dominguez, Willmar, is charged with second-degree assault, threats of violence and owning/possessing/operating a short-barreled shotgun stemming from the Aug. 4 incident at an apartment building in Willmar.
APPLETON — A 24-year-old man from Ortonville was sentenced Tuesday to 45 days in jail and 15 years of supervised probation after he was charged with sexually assaulting a girl under the age of 13 during the fall of 2017. Eric Alexander Murcia entered an Alford plea to one count of felony second-degree criminal sexual conduct. An Alford plea means Murcia does not admit to the crime but agrees the state has sufficient evidence for a jury to find him guilty beyond a reasonable doubt. The court still treats it as a guilty plea and conviction, the plea agreement said.