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Sheldon Willis

Sheldon Willis

Grand Rapids to Ask for Two Elementary Schools

A referendum will be on the ballot this fall for Independent School District 318. At last night’s ISD 318 school board meeting, the board authorized the administration to move forward with plans to build two new K-5 elementary schools at an estimated cost of $70 million.
The school board gave its approval for administrators to research potential sites. The board also accepted Grand Rapids High School Principal Jim Smokrovich’s resignation. The next school board meeting for ISD 318 is May 18th at 7 o’clock.

By |May 5th, 2015|Blog, News|Comments Off on Grand Rapids to Ask for Two Elementary Schools|

Spring Truck Weight Restrictions

ST. PAUL, Minn. – Spring truck weight restrictions on state highways will end Thursday for Minnesota’s Central frost zone, and on Friday for the North-Central and North frost zones, according to the Minnesota Department of Transportation.
Ending dates for spring load restrictions vary and are established by monitoring roadway strength as weather conditions change.
The North frost zone extends from Highway 1 at the North Dakota state line east to Highway 89, Highway 89 south to US 2, US 2 east to Highway 33, Highway 33 south through Cloquet to I-35.
The information is also available by calling MnDOT’s 24-hour automated message center at 1-800-723-6543 in the United States and Canada or by calling 651-366-5400.
Travelers in Minnesota can get up-to-date information on road conditions, construction and weather reports by dialing 511 or visiting

By |May 4th, 2015|Blog, News|Comments Off on Spring Truck Weight Restrictions|

Pecchia Sentenced

A Nashwauk man was sentenced to six year in prison for the exploitation of a vulnerable relative. Monday, 56 year old Patrick Vincent Pecchia appeared in Itasca County District Court. Pecchia, according to the plea, exploited significant amounts of money from his uncle, using his power of attorney authority from 2007 until his uncle passed away in 2011.
Pecchia’s sentence of 72 months in prison was stayed. Pecchia was placed on 20 years of probation with multiple conditions including serving a year in jail and paying $871,667.09 in restitution. The sentence is consistent with Minnesota Sentencing Guidelines. Pecchia is currently being held in the Itasca county Jail.

By |April 28th, 2015|Blog, News|Comments Off on Pecchia Sentenced|

Schwirtz Appears in Court

56 year old Robert Edwards Schwirtz made an appearance in Itasca County district Court Monday. Schwirtz has been charged with assault in the second degree and terroristic threats after a stand-off with police on April 10th.
At the hearing, Schwirtz waived his right to an omnibus hearing within 28 days.
Bail was previously set at $100,000 without conditions and $50,000 with conditions. His next court appearance is June 1st.

By |April 21st, 2015|Blog, News|Comments Off on Schwirtz Appears in Court|

Taconite Man Sentenced

A Taconite man was sentenced to prison for drug possession. Tuesday, 54 year old Kevin John LaClair was sentenced to a year and a day in prison.
LeClair appeared in Itasca County District Court Tuesday for sentencing on one count of sale of synthetic canaboids. Law enforcement seized about 3 ½ pound of Spice (the street name for synthetic canaboids), 30 Adderall pills, and methamphetamine residue.
The one year and a day is an upwards departure from normal sentencing guidelines, based on recommendations from the prosecutor, Department of Corrections and Taconite residents.
LeClaire was taken into custody immediately and will be transferred to a state prison to serve his sentence.

By |April 21st, 2015|Blog, News|Comments Off on Taconite Man Sentenced|

Another Accident near Grimsbo Raod

A two vehicle accident on Highway 2 near Grimsbo Road in Cohasset injured a Deer River resident. According to the Minnesota State Patrol, a vehicle driven by 37 year old Kristina Ross of Deer River was facing east and topped on Highway 2, waiting to turn, when her vehicle was rear-ended by a vehicle driven by 26 year old Addison Smith of Deer River. Ross was injured in the accident but her injuries are believed to be non-life-threatening.

By |April 16th, 2015|Blog, News|Comments Off on Another Accident near Grimsbo Raod|

Grand Rapids City Council Meets

Last night, Meds 1 Emergency Medical Services was given an award during last the Grand Rapids City Council Meeting. The City of Grand Rapids and the Grand Rapids Police Department wanted to show appreciation to Meds 1 for helping the city’s police officers with Emergency Medical Responder training over the course of 6 weeks. Mayor Dale Adams (audio).
Approval was also given for the parks and recreation department to purchase playground equipment for a new city park in the Remer/DeSchepper neighborhood. The Pokegama Golf Course was given the approval to set up an Electronic Funds Transfer system, giving season pass buyers the option to pay in monthly installments for a seasonal pass.
The next Grand Rapids City Council meeting is Monday April 27th at 5 o’clock.

By |April 15th, 2015|Blog, News|Comments Off on Grand Rapids City Council Meets|

Schwitz Appears in Court

Last Friday, 56 year old Edward Robert Schwitz appeared in Itasca County District Court of charges of Assault in the Second Degree, Terroristic Threats, and Possession of a Small Amount of Marijuana.
Schwitz allegedly threatened a neighbor with a handgun Wednesday April 8th, then refused to surrender to authorities. The St. Louis SWAT team, along with other authorities, gained entry to Schwitz’s property only after using a chemical agent.
Charges include Assault in the second degree, a felony, with the maximum penalty of 7 years in prison, a $14,000 fine, or both; Terroristic Threats, a felony, with the maximum penalty of 5 years in prison, a $10,000 fine, or both; and Count 3: Possession of a Small Amount of Marijuana, a petty misdemeanor, with the maxi mum penalty of a $300 fine.
Schwitz next court appearance is scheduled for April 20, 2015 at 9:00 o’clock a.m. The Court ordered bail in the amount of $100,000 without conditions or $50,000 with conditions.

By |April 15th, 2015|Blog, News|Comments Off on Schwitz Appears in Court|

Wabana Stand-off

A 56 year old Wabana resident was taken in to custody after a stand-off with police.
Yesterday, the Itasca County Sheriff’s Office received a report of an assault involving a weapon in Arbo Township.
Sheriff’s deputies attempted to negotiate with the suspect.
Finally, the sheriff’s office, Thousand Lakes Tactical team, Grand Rapids Police Department, St. Louis County SWAY team, DNR, Grand Rapids Fire Department, and Meds One Emergency Medical Service used chemical agents at the residence. The suspect was taken into custody. Seized were several full loaded firearms, several thousand rounds of ammunition, and drugs.
The suspect is expected to be formally charged today.

By |April 9th, 2015|Blog, News|Comments Off on Wabana Stand-off|

Thrasher Sentenced

A Bovey man has been sentenced to a year and a day in prison on drug charges.
61 year old David Vincent Thrasher appeared in Itasca County District Court Tuesday. He was convicted by a jury of committing the felony crime of controlled substance crime in the fifth degree and the misdemeanor charge of obstructing the legal process.
Thrasher, and Kevin LeClair, were arrested in Taconite last June.
Thrashers sentences was stayed by the court and he was ordered to serve six months in the Itasca County Jail and placed on probation for five years. The sentences is consistant with Minnesota Sentencing Guidelines. He is currently in the Itasca County Jail.

By |April 8th, 2015|Blog, News|Comments Off on Thrasher Sentenced|