Newsletter: Friday, March 8th 2019

Newsletter: Friday, March 8th 2019

--A Winter Storm Warning goes into effect at noon Saturday through 7am Sunday. Freezing drizzle Saturday morning will turn to heavy wet snow in the afternoon lasting into early Sunday with totals around 8-12 inches when done. Sunday the winds pick up and cause poor visibility at times. Use extreme caution heading out this weekend.

--Due to the impending bad weather, the OK Factor concert scheduled for Saturday in Little Falls at the Library and the Convent has been postponed until a later day can be rescheduled.

--The Central Minnesota Violent Offender Task Force started an investigation in January of this year reference a group of individuals in the St. Cloud area distributing large amounts of Methamphetamine. Through the investigation, Investigators identified Armondo Gonzales, 58, of Texas, and Maria Placencia, 68, also from Texas. Investigators knew that other individuals were also assisting them with distributing methamphetamine. Investigators ultimately purchased more than a pound of methamphetamine from Armondo Gonzales and associates. On March 3rd officers initiated a traffic stop, a pursuit began, but was quickly ended due to safety. Investigators learned the occupants were throwing controlled substances and firearms from the vehicle. After the pursuit ended, the vehicle was ultimately located in Benton County and spike strips were used to stop the vehicle. Located in the vehicle was Justin Tyler Larson, 33 of St. Cloud and David James Cantillo, 33 also from St. Cloud. Over 100 grams of methamphetamine believed to be thrown from the vehicle was located. Cantillo was booked in Stearns County jail for Fleeing in a motor vehicle and 1st degree possession of controlled substance. Larson was booked into Stearns County jail as well for a Department of Corrections warrant, 1st and 5th degree possession of controlled substance and fleeing in a motor vehicle. On March 5th, investigators from the Central Minnesota Violent Offender Task Force learned that Armondo Gonzales and Maria Luisa Placencia were staying in a hotel in the St. Cloud area. A search warrant was executed for the hotel room. Gonzales, Placencia, and 26-year old Mitchell Gordon Vipond of Alexandria were inside where approximately $11,000, 3.36 pounds of suspected meth, heroin and four hand guns were seized. Additional search warrants were conducted in the St. Cloud and Albany area and an additional handgun and two rifles were recovered. Armondo Gonzales was ultimately booked for 1st degree drug sales, 1st degree drug possession, a Department of Corrections warrant and firearms related charges. Maria Placencia was booked for 1st degree possession and 1st degree drug charges. Mitchell Vipond was booked for 1st degree drug sales and 1st degree drug possession charges as well as firearm related charges. All were booked into Stearns County Jail.

--A 39-year-old St. Louis Park man arrested in August for sexually assaulting an 8-year-old boy remains in custody in the Crow Wing County Jail. Timothy Sloan Vanhamm was charged in Crow Wing County District Court in Brainerd with five felonies—four counts of second-degree criminal sexual conduct with a minor and one count of stalking. Vanhamm has not posted bond at $500,000 with conditions. His next court hearing is on April 1st. According to the criminal complaint filed against the defendant, Brainerd police received information from the boy's mother in August of 2017 about wanting to report her 8-year-old son said he was sexually assaulted.

--Starting Monday, the Department of Motor Vehicles (DMV) at the Morrison County Government Center have changed their hours. Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday and Friday the hours will be from 8am to 4pm, and on Thursday they will be open until 6pm. This is due to the Minnesota License and Registration System (MNLARS) which takes a longer time to process daily requests, therefore the DMV has decided to shortened there business hours by 30 minutes on 4 of the 5 days of the week to make more time in processing the daily data.

--Sunday we spring ahead for Daylight Saving Time. A reminder to turn your clocks ahead one hour before 2am Sunday morning or before bed Saturday night. This is also a good time to change the batteries in your working smoke and carbon monoxide detectors so they work properly. Again we spring ahead one hour at 2AM Sunday.

--Minnesota Senators passed a bill Thursday that would waive snow days for schools that cancel classes due to inclement weather. Governor Tim Walz is in favor of this bill if it is for only this school year right now. The House has a similar bill they will try to pass.

--A judge has dropped several gang related charges for two men standing trial in a fatal February 2018 Sauk Rapids shooting. 27-year old Nokomis Lee Jefferson of Chicago, and 21-year old William Demont White Jr. of St. Cloud, still face charges of murder, arson and assault. Their joint trial began last week in the fatal shooting of 25-year old Joe Ditthideth of Sauk Rapids and wounding of 30-year old Nathan Phramchomphonh of Sauk Rapids. One charge — aiding an offender after the fact — was added to the case against Jefferson. Jefferson now faces nine charges and White faces eight charges. The trial begin February 22nd.

--Weekend events, weather permitting with the winter storm, include Zoo Gone Wild tonight at Falls Ballroom, Fish Frys a plenty tonight as the first Friday in Lent, Pierz Pizzazz soup supper is Saturday at the Pierz Ballroom, Holy Trinity Carnival Sunday in Pierz, Share Sunday at 1:30 Sunday at Mary of Lourdes Middle School in Little Falls. More details at and community calendar. With the potential winter storm this weekend, continue to listen to Little Falls Radio for any weather related announcements.

TODAY= mostly cloudy, flurries, high near 30.
TONIGHT= freezing drizzle after midnight, low 21.
SATURDAY= freezing drizzle and fog early, heavy snow by noon, strong winds in afternoon, high 31, possible 8-12 inches of snow.
SUNDAY= snow ends early, cloudy and windy, high 27 and falling.
SUN NIGHT= cloudy skies, colder, low 4 above, wind chills -20.
MONDAY= partly sunny, high 26, low around 10.

HS BBB= Upsala defeated St. John's Prep last night and will now face BBE on Saturday around 2:45pm in Foley on Q92 WYRQ.
HS BBB= Pierz vs. Esko Saturday 7:15pm on FM94 KFML.
HS BBB= Royalton and Holdingford Boys teams lost last night.
COL HK= Gophers vs. Michigan in best of 3 series this weekend in opening round of Big 10 Hockey Tournament. Games at 5:30 today and then 3:30pm Saturday on AM960 KLTF. Sunday if necessary the game would be at 4pm if a Game 3 is needed.
TWINS= Twins baseball today and then Sunday at noon on Q92.