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St. Cloud Man With Long History Of Violence Given 15-Year Prison Sentence

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12/03/2018 - 11:00 AM

St. Cloud Man With Long History Of Violence Given 15-Year Prison Sentence

A St. Cloud man with a long history of crimes has been given the maximum sentence for unlawful possession of a firearm.

The Stearns County Attorney's Office says a jury found 37-year-old William Dumont White Sr. guilty of being a dangerous offender along with the firearm charge on Wednesday. 

An investigation had determined that White had been in illegal possession of a Glock 42 pistol on September 17, 2017. 

White has an extensive criminal history. He's been charged with assault several times (including on a peace officer), motor vehicle theft, and a controlled substance crime, among others. He's been convicted for 14 crimes since 2005, according to records.

A motion was filed not long after White was charged with the crime to give the longtime felon the statutory maximum 15-year prison sentence due to his history of violent crimes and the danger he poses to public safety.

Car Engulfs In Flames After Crash In Melrose

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12/03/2018 - 10:00 AM

A car went up in flames after colliding with a pickup truck in Melrose last Thursday.

The Stearns County Sheriff's Office says the pickup driven by 56-year-old David Theiler of Melrose was trying to cross County Road 13 to go to a neighbor's house at around 2:30 p.m. 78-year-old Loretta Thull of Melrose was driving with her husband, 81-year-old Herbert Thull of Melrose, when she struck Theiler's truck.

Not long after the crash, Thull's car burst into flames. Thieler helped both Loretta and her husband exit the burning vehicle.

Officers were dispatched and the Melrose Fire Department was able to extinguish the flames that engulfed Thull's car.

Loretta and Herbert Thull were taken to Melrose Hospital with non-life-threatening injuries.


UPDATE: Suspect Image Released In St. Cloud Kwik Trip Robbed

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11/29/2018 - 3:15 AM


The Kwik Trip store located in the 1200 block of Highway 23 East in St. Cloud was robbed Thursday morning by an unknown suspect who fled before authorities arrived.

The St. Cloud Police Department says officers were sent to the store just after 1:20 a.m. after getting reports of a robbery. When they arrived, they learned that a male suspect had entered the store before taking out a knife and demanding money from the adult female clerk working at the counter. After receiving an unknown amount of money, the man fled on foot. The clerk was not injured.

Officers set up a perimeter around the store and tried to track the suspect with a K9 unit, but could not find him.

The suspect image has been released from surveillance video. He is described as being a black male in his early twenties with a thin build and a height of around 5'6 or 5'7.

The investigation is still active. If anyone has any information about this crime, you can contact the St. Cloud Police Department (320) 251-1200.

Man Crashes Into Tree Due To Icy Roads

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11/29/2018 - 1:15 AM

Man Crashes Into Tree Due To Icy Roads

A man crashed into a tree due to icy road conditions near Cold Spring Wednesday evening.

Stearns County Sheriff Don Gudmundson says 30-year-old Shane Vanheel of St. Cloud was going northbound on County Road 2 near Wakefield Township when he drifted off the road and crashed into a large tree.

Vanheel was taken to St. Cloud Hospital with a leg injury. The Stearns County Sheriff's Office reminds you to slow down and stay a safe distance behind traffic ahead of you when road conditions worsen.

Heinrich Sexual Assault Victim from Cold Spring Awarded Millions Years After His Abuse

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11/29/2018 - 11:45 AM

ST. CLOUD, Minn. (AP) - A Minnesota man who was molested decades ago by the man who went on to abduct, sexually assault and kill Jacob Wetterling has been awarded more than $17 million.

Jared Scheierl was 12 when he was molested by Danny Heinrich in 1989 in Cold Spring. In 2016, Heinrich admitted to sexually assaulting Scheierl and to abducting, molesting and killing Jacob as part of a plea deal in a federal child pornography case. Scheierl sued Heinrich. Stearns County Judge Andrew Pearson awarded Scheierl damages on Thursday, writing that "a human life is worth more than all the treasures of the world."

The Associated Press doesn't routinely identify victims of sexual abuse, but Scheierl has spoken publicly. Heinrich is in prison and it's unlikely he'll be able to pay the damages.

St. Cloud Man Charged In Bloody Deer Carcass Case

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11/29/2018 - 11:00 AM

ST. CLOUD, Minn. (AP) - Prosecutors have charged a central Minnesota man with a gross misdemeanor but not a hate crime for allegedly having his teenage son dump bloody deer carcasses on the hoods of two cars owned by Somali-American men.

The Stearns County Attorney's office on Wednesday charged 62-year-old Daniel Dorian Knowlen of St. Cloud with contributing to the delinquency of a child. The charge carries a maximum sentence of a year in jail and a $3,000 fine. The complaint alleges that Knowlen watched as his 14-year-old dumped the skinned carcasses on the cars parked outside the YMCA on Nov. 14.

Surveillance video tracked down the pair. According to the complaint, Knowlen told police it was "just being funny" but acknowledged he "probably could have" stopped his son. Knowlen said he did not know who owned the cars and was not trying to target the drivers. One of the Somali men told authorities he feared the deer was a message that he was not wanted in the community.

Messages left with the prosecutor's office were not immediately returned Wednesday night. Court records do no list an attorney for Knowlen.

Snowy Conditions Cause A Crash on Highway 23

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11/28/2018 - 4:30 AM

Snowy conditions caused a car to slide into oncoming traffic and crash in Stearns County Wednesday afternoon.

Highway Patrol Sergeant Jesse Grabow says a car driven by 18-year-old Camryn Banaka of Staples was travelling east on Highway 23 near 253rd Avenue when snowy conditions caused her car to slide across the center line and crash into a SUV driven by 34 year-old Jaime Aubart of Belgrade, Minnesota.

Banaka was taken to Paynesville Hospital with non-life threatening injuries. State Patrol reminds you to slow down and give the cars in front of you a safe distance when conditions become snowy and icy.

District 742 To Host Community Code Events In Early December

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11/28/2018 - 10:45 AM

Local schools will be demonstrating the importance of technology in early December.

St. Cloud Area School District 742 says they will host a week's worth of Hour of Code activities, which are intended to show the innovation of technology in Central Minnesota while giving students experience with computer science.

Schools that will participate include:

Westwood Elementary School

North Junior High School

Lincoln Elementary School

Oak Hill Community School

Discovery Community School

Talahi Community School

Madison Elementary School 

Kennedy Community School.

Clearview Elementary (February)

The Community Code events will run during Computer Science Education Week from December 3-9.


Stearns County Committee Positions Open For Citizens

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11/28/2018 - 10:15 AM

If you're a Stearns County resident and want to be involved in the local government, there are opportunities for you.

Stearns County says they're hoping to fill the recruited positions by January 2019.

The openings are on the Planning Commission, Park Commission, Board of Adjustment, Great River Regional Library Board, and more.

Per diems and mileage are included in most committee positions. 

The application deadline is Monday, December 17 for positions starting in January. For a full list of open positions and more information about each opportunity, go to Stearns County's official website.


Fight At St. Cloud House Party Leads To Shooting

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11/27/2018 - 9:45 AM

A suspect fled the scene of a shooting at a house party in St. Cloud early Sunday morning.

The St. Cloud Police Department says officers were sent to the 1400 block of 9th Avenue South just after 4 a.m. When they arrived, they found a 34-year-old St. Cloud man with a gunshot wound in the abdomen.

An investigation determined a fight had broken out at a house party in the area after the victim and several others walked outside onto 14th Street South to talk. A verbal dispute turned into a physical fight, during which the victim was shot. The suspect and several others fled in a vehicle

Officers were able to find the suspect's vehicle in the 200 block of 10th Avenue North just after 4:30 a.m. The suspect was not inside and has not been found.

The victim was taken to St. Cloud Hospital with non-life-threatening injuries.

The case is still active. If you have any information, call the St. Cloud Police Department at (320) 251-1200 or the Tri-County Crime Stoppers at (320) 255-1301.

St. Cloud State Women's Choir to Hold a Winter Concert

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11/27/2018 - 8:45 AM

The St. Cloud State women’s choir will hold a variety show about winter in early December.

University Communications says the women’s choir will host their variety show, “It’s Snowtime!” featuring a concert by the women’s choir, a silent auction and a baked goods sale.

The concert will be on Sunday, December 9, in the Performing Arts Center starting at 7 p.m. Tickets are available at the door at $2 for adults and free for children 12 or younger and for those with an SCSU ID. 

St. Cloud Brings Back Its Annual Christmas Market

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11/27/2018 - 8:45 AM

St. Cloud will celebrate the season this year by bringing back its Germain-inspired christmas market.

The Mayor’s Office says this year St. Cloud will hold its 6th annual Weihnachtsmarkt at the River’s Edge Plaza. The market will have the annual tree lighting that will feature the St. John’s Boys’ Choir to kick off the event. There will also be various art, crafts and treats for sale.

The Weihnachtsmarkt will be on Thursday, December 6 at the River’s Edge Plaza from 5 – 8 p.m.

Richmond Woman Threatens Family With Gun After Road Rage Incident

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11/27/2018 - 3:00 AM

Richmond Woman Threatens Family With Gun After Road Rage Incident

A Richmond woman has been arrested after causing trouble on the roads and displaying a handgun in Waite Park on Sunday.

The Waite Park Police Department responded to a threat of a handgun being displayed near Craft's Direct on Sundial Drive just after 11:30 a.m.

The incident started after 46-year-old Janene Willner of Richmond was driving past cars on Highway 23 in Rockville on the left shoulder at high speeds. One person decided to follow Willner's vehicle until they reached the Craft's Direct parking lot. Willner got out of her pickup and pointed a handgun at the car that was following her. in the car was the victim who called the police, her fiance and two children. After seeing the handgun, the victim left the scene and called 911.

Willner went inside Craft's Direct and was arrested after she returned to her truck. An unloaded handgun was found in her truck. She is being held at Stearns County Jail on second-degree assault charges.

Stearns History Museum To Host KringleFest

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11/27/2018 - 2:45 AM

 A longtime holiday event is returning to the Stearns History Museum.

The museum says KringleFest will host music, activities, and holiday treats.

Visitors will be able to take their pictures with Santa and Mrs. Claus and design cookies at the Cookie Decoration Station provided by Cold Spring Bakery.

The holiday event will be held on Saturday, December 1 from 1-3 p.m. For more information, visit the museum website.

Police Are Searching For Suspect In Shooting Case

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11/26/2018 - 8:35 AM

Police are searching for a shooter after a man was shot in South St. Cloud early Sunday morning.

St. Cloud Police say just after 4 a.m. officers were called to the 1400 block of 9th Avenue South to find a 34-year-old man shot in the abdomen. The suspect has left prior to police arrival. The man was taken to St. Cloud hospital for non-life threatening injuries.

The investigation found that the shooting happened after a house party nearby. The two went outside in what started in a verbal dispute that led to a physical fight. The suspect fled in a vehicle with others fom the party. Police eventually found the vehicle, but empty.

The investigation is ongoing, and no further information is available at this time.

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