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REGIONAL BRIEFS: Active explosives found in barrels pulled from lake

Credit: Forum Communications


Active explosives found in barrels pulled from lake

DULUTH -- The Red Cliff Band of Lake Superior Chippewa says it found still-active explosives in barrels of military waste retrieved this summer from Lake Superior.

The information was included in a preliminary report released Friday on the band's effort to find, raise and test the contents of barrels that were dumped in Lake Superior a half-century ago. The report confirms the band raised 25 barrels, far short of the 70 the project had called for. And while there were active explosives in the barrels, the band said there was nothing considered an immediate human health or environmental concern.

The 25 barrels were recovered between July 30 and Aug. 13, the band said Friday, and included either parts from cluster bombs or a composite of incinerated metal, which is exactly what was found during the last search-and-recovery in the 1990s.

"Preliminary data results show no immediate cause for concern regarding the safety of water and fish consumption," the band noted Friday.

But this time, the band said in the report, they also found still-active explosives in the small devices called "ejection cup assemblies" apparently used as part of the technology to spread the small, grenade-like cluster bombs apart in mid-air as they fell to the ground.


Former teacher's autopsy could take weeks

BEMIDJI, Minn. - The results of an autopsy for a former teacher may take a few weeks, authorities said Friday.

Toxicology tests for John Thorn Wangberg, 58, may take up to a month, Beltrami County Sheriff Phil Hodapp said, and the investigation of Wangberg's death remains ongoing.

Wangberg was found dead at his home Wednesday, a week after being arraigned on two felony counts of sexual conduct in the second degree, and a gross misdemeanor charge of non-consensual conduct in the fifth degree.

The contents of a note found near Wangberg's body were not available, Hodapp said.

Memorial services are scheduled for 3:30 p.m. Tuesday at First Lutheran Church, 900 Bemidji Ave. N. Visitation will be held one hour prior to the service at the church.


Fergus state hospital exhibit extended

FERGUS FALLS, Minn. - Due to continued interest in the Fergus Falls State Hospital, the Otter Tail County Historical Society is extending its exhibit, "The State Welcomes You: Minnesota's Third State Hospital."

A re-grand opening will be held from 4 to 7 p.m. Friday2/8 at the museum for the exhibit that includes many photographs and artifacts that provide a comprehensive history of the institution.

Items include information on the farming operation, nurse training, the occupational therapy program, personal insights from a teenager who spent 14 months in the adolescent ward, a replica of a sailing ship made in great detail by a patient, medical instruments, dinnerware and other objects associated with hospital life.

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Kittson County man accused of sex crime against teen

HALLOCK, Minn. -- A Kittson County, Minn., man accused of sexual conduct with a teen-aged girl last summer appeared Friday in state district court in Hallock.

Richard Warrick Gatheridge, 44, was arrested Thursday after coming to the Kittson County Sheriff's Office in Hallock for an interview, said Chief Deputy Steve Porter.

Gatheridge works in, and recently moved to, Grand Forks, Porter said.

The suspect faces two counts of first-degree criminal sexual conduct, each with a maximum sentence of 30 years in prison; and two counts of second-degree criminal sexual conduct, each with a maximum sentence of 25 years.

The alleged incidents happened between June 1 and July 30 last summer in Kittson County involving a girl who was at least 13 but younger than 16.

Judge Donna Dixon set Gatheridge's next court appearance for Feb. 12 when he formally can enter a plea.

He remained in jail Friday on $400,000 surety bond or $120,000 cash bond.


North Dakota

3-year-old wounded in accidental shooting

DICKINSON, N.D. -- The Dickinson Police Department is investigating the accidental shooting of a 3-year-old at a trailer court, Captain Joe Cianni said.

The incident occurred shortly before 5 p.m. Thursday.

A handgun was unintentionally fired at the North Park mobile home community, resulting in a wound in the upper left thigh of the child, who will be all right, he said.


Brewing company has new home

FARGO - Fargo Beer Co. has secured a new home in the city that bears its name.

Aaron Hill, who is one of three owners of the beer brewing company, said a deal was completed Thursday on the company's new home at 610 N. University Drive.

"Our landlord cut the floor drains yesterday, and will continue with flooring, painting, etc., throughout the month," Hill said in an email.

The lease will officially begin March 10, he said.


Woman charged in sex case from '90s

FARGO - A 38-year-old Fargo woman is accused in Cass County District Court of having sex with a 14-year-old boy more than 15 years ago. Charges were filed after police say a DNA test showed the boy fathered a child with the woman.

According to reports filed with the charges Thursday, police began investigating last April, when the alleged victim - who is now either 29 or 30 years old - told police Carrie Jean Berg molested him for years, starting when he was 9 or 10 years old and continuing until he was 14 or 15 years old.

Police say a DNA test shows the alleged victim is the biological father of a child of Berg. Investigators allege the child would have been conceived in 1997 sometime between July and September.