March 4 news

WORTHINGTON – 41-year-old Jose Bonilla pleaded guilty in Nobles County District Court Monday to one charge of third-degree criminal sexual conduct, entering into a plea agreement that had three other charges dismissed.

The agreement calls for a stay of execution of the state guidelines with the condition that Bonilla serve one year in the Nobles County Jail, and up to 15 years probation. He is to submit to a sex offender assessment and follow any recommendations. If deported, his probation would be unsupervised, but if in the United States, it would be supervised.

Under questioning at the plea hearing, Bonilla admitted he was at the victim’s house drinking in early December, and when she went to bed he went to where she was and had sex with her. He admitted she was sleeping, rendering her physically helpless under Minnesota law.

Bonilla said he was not making a claim that he was so drunk he was unaware of his actions.

Bonilla told Judge Gordon Moore he was at the residence fixing a door the evening of the incident. In response to questions, he said the last grade in school he attended was third, and that was in Honduras.

Moore accepted the guilty plea and ordered a pre-sentence investigation before the sentence is handed down.

WORTHINGTON — Jacob Weg and John Martin earned top honors during the Worthington High School FFA Chapter’s 76th annual banquet Monday evening. Weg earned the chapter’s Star in Ag Placement award for his work at the family’s Blue & White Dairy near Bigelow, while Martin garnered the Star in Ag Entrepreneurship for logging hours at Ocheda Seed Farm and providing lawn care at five locations over the past nine years.

The Star Greenhand award is presented to an underclassman who has excelled in the FFA during his or her freshman and sophomore year. This year’s recipient was Katie Rogers, who worked numerous hours at the FFA Cook Shack during the Nobles County Fair last summer and, according to FFA Advisor Cody Dvorak, is always willing to lend a hand.

Dvorak, in the midst of his third year teaching agriculture classes and advising the FFA program at WHS, was presented the chapter’s Honorary FFA degree.

SLAYTON - All dairy farmers in southwest Minnesota are invited to Slayton at noon Thursday at the Pizza Ranch for the annual meeting of the Midwest Dairy Association for information on your check-off dollars.

If you have any questions call Dave Schwarz at 507-920-8181. This is for all dairy farmers in Cottonwood, Jackson, Lincoln, Lyon, Murray, Nobles, Pipestone, Redwood and Rock Counties.

WINDOM — After losing more than 200 pounds on season nine of The Biggest Loser, O’Neal Hampton, a Richfield native, is making a stop Saturday at the Windom Farm and Home Show to discuss the importance of good health. Hampton appeared on the show in 2010 with his daughter SunShine and together they lost an amazing 274 pounds.
Now he is using his notoriety to educate others about the importance of good health, nutrition and exercise. He has founded the O’Neal Hampton Wellness Foundation and claims he has an obligation and commitment to pay it forward.

The Farm and Home Show brings together demonstrations, speakers and vendors from agriculture, home, health and business. It has drawn nearly 1,000 attendees in past years.

The event will be at the Windom Middle School on Saturday from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. and is free to the public. Hampton will be a featured speaker from 1 to 2 p.m. in the school’s lecture hall. He will be available afterward for a question and answer period.

ARNOLD’S PARK, Iowa - One home was destroyed and a second heavily damaged during a fire Monday in Arnolds Park, Iowa.

The Arnolds Park/Okoboji Fire and Rescue was called to the home on Park Place just after 3 p.m. When crews arrived, they found flames in the roof of the garage and spreading to the home. Flames had also spread to the second home next door.

No one was at home at either address at the time of the fire. Crews were able to get the fire under control in about two hours, but remained on the scene until Monday evening. The cause of the fire is under investigation by the Arnolds Park/Okoboji Fire and Rescue and the Iowa State Fire Marshall's Office.

Firefighters say the first home is a total loss with an estimated loss of $200,000 - $250,000. The second home had about $25,000 in damage.

Additional crews from the Milford Fire Department and the Spirit Lake Fire Department were called into help, due to the extreme cold temperatures, deep snow, and close proximity to others homes in the area.

TERRIL, Iowa - The Terril Ambulance Service is getting a monetary donation thanks to a Dickinson county farmer and the Monsanto Company.

Charleen Mehan is donating $2,500 she won through the "America's Farmers Grow Communities" program, which is sponsored by the company. It works directly with farmers to support nonprofit organizations.

Farmers are encouraged to enter the program, which offers a $2,500 prize that is then donated to the farmer's non-profit organization of his or her choice.

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