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Woman charged with 7 counts of arson in downtown Willmar

Linda Marie Wandersee-Callanan, 58, made her first appearance Wednesday in Kandiyohi County District Court on arson charges, after she allegedly attempted to burn the courthouse, other city and government offices and businesses on Sunday. A petition to commit her as mentally ill has also been filed.

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WILLMAR, Minn. — A woman accused of attempting to start multiple fires at buildings in downtown Willmar on Monday, Jan.15, is being held on $75,000 bail.

Linda Marie Wandersee-Callanan, 58, of Willmar, made her first appearance Wednesday in Kandiyohi County District Court on seven felony charges of second-degree arson.

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Linda Marie Wandersee-Callanan
Contributed / Kandiyohi County Sheriff's Office

Court records show a petition to commit Wandersee-Callanan as mentally ill was filed the same day as the criminal charges were filed.

A commitment hearing is set for Jan. 30, and a review hearing on the arson charges is scheduled for the same day.

As of Friday, Jan. 20, Wandersee-Callanan remained in custody at the Kandiyohi County Jail.

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Wandersee-Callanan is accused of attempting to start fires at several buildings throughout the downtown Willmar area, including at several clinics, the county courthouse, city offices and a law office. Callanan is also accused of targeting a dental office. There were no active fires or fire damage when law enforcement discovered them, according to a news release from the Willmar Police Department.

According to the news release, police say Wandersee-Callanan has a history of mental illness and disputes with local government agencies and health care services.

Dale Morin is a reporter with the West Central Tribune. He covers public safety and breaking news beats.

Dale can be reached at dmorin@wctrib.com or by phone 320-214-4368.
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