Forum News Service
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BLOMKEST, Minn. --A west-central Minnesota man accused of mistreating over a dozen animals on a rural hobby farm has been sentenced to 60 days in jail and one year of probation, including a ban from possessing animals. Leonard K. Kester, 48, of Blomkest was originally facing one felony charge and 13 misdemeanors for the alleged animal mistreatment and torture. As part of Monday's plea agreement, the felony charge and 12 of the misdemeanors were dismissed.
ROTHSAY, Minn. -- A 41-year-old Rothsay man has been arrested for allegedly threatening a woman with a firearm, according to the Otter Tail County Sheriff’s Office. Jason Richard Sytsma reportedly went to a home in Rothsay on Saturday looking for a woman. Sytsma asked the homeowner if the woman was there. The homeowner told him she wasn’t.
ST. PAUL -- Officers from law enforcement agencies across Minnesota handed out 972 citations for texting while driving during an extra-enforcement campaign earlier this month. Police officers and sheriff's deputies from more than 300 agencies, along with Minnesota State Patrol troopers, took part in the campaign from April 11-17. The number of citations during this year's seven-day effort compares to 909 in a six-day campaign last year.
GRANITE FALLS -- The driver who crossed the centerline and crashed into a bus full of young Head Start students in July on U.S. Highway 212 outside Granite Falls will serve one year in jail and three years of supervised probation. Anthony James Blue, 34, of Bloomington, Minn., was sentenced Tuesday in Chippewa County District Court. He was also given a 17-month prison sentence that was stayed.
ST. PAUL -- Minnesota representatives unanimously said that child protection workers should know when a predatory offender lives in a house with a child. Tuesday's vote was 127-0 for a Rep. Tim Miller, R-Prinsburg, bill. "In the event if there is an offender in the home ... child protective services are required to be notified," Miller said.
ST. PAUL -- A Senate-passed bill would increase penalties for attempting to hire a minor for prostitution. In legislation state senators passed 59-0 Tuesday, makes it a felony for intentionally soliciting minors. The penalty now is 60 days in jail or a $1,000 fine, but the bill allows up to 20 years in prison for hiring a person younger than 13 for sexual reasons and up to 10 years for people between 13 and 16.
ST. PAUL -- Larger Minnesota boats would be required to have carbon monoxide detectors in a bill state senators passed 61-0 Tuesday. A similar bill remains in a House committee and its future is not clear. The bill is in response to the death of 7-year-old Sophia Beckler, who died of CO poisoning last fall after spending a few minutes inside an enclosed boat room.
ANOKA, Minn. – Minnesota Human Services Commissioner Emily Piper says security improvements are needed soon at the Anoka-Metro Regional Treatment Center. She emphasized her feelings when she visited the northern Twin Cities facility Tuesday. Piper said the facility needs better security systems, more nurses and more beds for patients now awaiting treatment.
ST. PAUL -- A woman with transportation and agriculture background will lead Minnesota's rail safety effort. Gov. Mark Dayton Tuesday announced that Alene Tchourumoff is the new state rail director. Her job will be to "enhance railway safety, pursue needed infrastructure improvements, continue training and support for first responders, closely monitor rail movements and work with communities and railroad companies to ensure the safe and efficient operation of rail systems across Minnesota," a governor's news release reported.
DILWORTH, Minn. —A Fargo woman is charged in Clay County District Court with stealing the purse of a loss prevention officer trainee at the Dilworth Wal-Mart store. According to court documents, the incident happened on Aug. 4, 2015 after a woman who was training to be a loss-prevention officer left a bottle of water and her purse in a shopping cart outside the door of the loss prevention office.