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REGIONAL BRIEFS: 32-year-old man pinned between truck, tractor

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REGIONAL BRIEFS: 32-year-old man pinned between truck, tractor
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From the Forum News Service


Ski hill plan misses out on grant

DETROIT LAKES, Minn. -- The Detroit Mountain Recreation Area plan has hit a major bump in the ski slope.


The city of Detroit Lakes was denied the Department of Natural Resources Parks and Trail Grant and Legacy Grant funding. Those two grants made up $2.6 million of the proposed $6.2 million project, which would include not only reopening the downhill skiing, but adding tubing, cross-country skiing, hiking, camping, bike trails, bathroom facilities and a new lodge.

Last fall, the city approved contributing $300,000 to the project and also becoming the landowner if the project went through.

Since there needs to be a Plan B, any new proposals that would involve the city would need to come before the council for approval again.

Mark Fritz of the Detroit Mountain Recreation Area said members have been talking to community residents to gauge the level of support.

"There's a lot of options we may take. We've been really pleased with the response," he said. "We still think the project has a ton of merit and is very important to our community."

Detroit Mountain, which had been the closest ski hill to the Fargo-Moorhead area, has been closed since 2004.


Minnesota School of Business becomes Globe University

MOORHEAD, Minn. - The Minnesota School of Business here has a new name, but its program and mission remains the same.

The school officially changed its name Monday to Globe University, with a ribbon-cutting ceremony to mark the occasion. Officials announced the change in September, saying the new name would emphasize that the school that opened here in 2008 offers more than business and accounting classes.

The institution, part of the family-owned Globe Education Network based in Woodbury, Minn., has about 200 students enrolled in 20 programs that offer associate, bachelor's and master's degrees.

Globe Education Network operates dozens of private campuses in Minnesota, South Dakota, Wisconsin, Idaho and Utah under the names Minnesota School of Business, Globe University and Broadview University.


Police renew plea for public's help to find man

BEMIDJI, Minn. - Police continue searching for a Bemidji man missing since Oct. 20, and renewed a plea Monday for the public's help.

Matthew Charles Pulis, 31, was last seen early Oct. 20 in downtown Bemidji.

A news release, along with a previously unpublished photo, issued Monday said police have investigated all leads in Pulis' disappearance.

Thus far, officers conducted a 200-block search by going door-to-door for clues, performed an aerial search above Lake Bemidji and Lake Irvine and searched his residence.

Pulis is described as a Caucasian male, 5-feet, 7-inches tall, 165 pounds with blue eyes and longer light brown hair. He was last seen wearing a zip type dark blue hooded sweatshirt.

Police said Pulis' bank account has not been accessed since his disappearance. He also has not had contact with anyone, including family.

Police Detective Mike Solheim is the lead contact in the case.

Anyone with information can contact him by calling (218) 333-8373 or emailing

(BP w/photo)

32-year-old man pinned between truck, tractor

ERHARD, Minn. - A 32-year-old man was injured on his farm just west of here after being pinned between a tractor and a pickup truck last Thursday.

According to a news release from the Otter Tail County Sheriff's Office, Travis Tollerud was working on his farm about 8:17 a.m. when the accident occurred. He walked between a tractor and a parked pickup, and the tractor went into gear.

Tollerud was pinned between the two vehicles, suffering injuries to his pelvis and legs, the release said. Rothsay Fire and Rescue and Pelican Rapids Ambulance responded.

Tollerud was taken to a hospital in nearby Fergus Falls. Authorities said in the release his injuries are not likely life-threatening.


Clay County IDs man found dead Sunday

FELTON, Minn. - The Clay County Sheriff's Office identified on Monday a man who died, apparently from hypothermia, after running from police after a high-speed chase that ended with a crash early Saturday.

Sheriff Bill Bergquist identified the deceased man as Jordan Louis Oppegard, 24, of Mahnomen. Authorities believe Oppegard was the car's driver, Bergquist said.

According to Bergquist and Sgt. Darin Bredman, a driver was being pursued by a sheriff's deputy about 1:30 a.m. Saturday lost control and rolled the car. Oppegard's body was found shortly before 4 p.m. Sunday about two to three miles north of the crash scene.

A passenger who allegedly fled from the vehicle was identified as 23-year-old Clifford Dare Sargent Jr., while the other passenger who stayed with the vehicle was identified as 30-year-old Anthony Harrison Engebretson. Both are from Mahnomen.


North Dakota

GF man sentenced to 14 years in prison on child porn charges

A Grand Forks man charged with 119 counts of possessing child pornography, was sentenced today to 14 years in the North Dakota State Penitentiary, according to the Walsh County State's Attorney.

Shane Philip Peterka, 39, was charged in March after a search at a residence in Pisek, N.D., in Walsh County. The warrant was based on an online investigation conducted by the North Dakota Bureau of Criminal Investigation. Peterka, who has been in the Walsh County jail since March, pleaded guilty to the charges in October. Each count is a Class C felony punishable by up to five years in prison and a $5,000 fine.

Judge M. Richard Geiger sentenced Peterka on Monday after hearing testimony from Dr. Stacey Benson, an independent psychologist from Fargo who conducted an evaluation of Peterka. He also heard from Peterka's attorney, Clint Morgenstern of Grand Forks, as well as recommendations from the state's attorney.


Guilty plea for drug deaths

FARGO -- A man connected to a Grand Forks drug ring pleaded guilty Monday to conspiring to distribute synthetic drugs blamed for the deaths of two teens, a federal charge that carried a mandatory life sentence if he were convicted.

In a deal with prosecutors, Casey Stevens Rosen, 23, will get a reduced sentence but details won't be known until his formal sentencing April 9, said Chris Myers, the assistant U.S. attorney who has charged 15 people in the case.

Rosen, who grew up in the Twin Cities, told U.S. District Judge Ralph Erickson he attended UND for four years. He's the 11th person to plead guilty in the case.

He admitted to Myers' description of his crime: that beginning in January 2011 he acted first as "the money man," for Andrew Spofford, 22, an admitted "hobby chemist," as they launched a drug conspiracy that involved imported chemicals and synthetic drugs they cooked up in their Grand Forks apartment.

Spofford already has admitted making synthetic hallucinogens blamed for the June deaths of Christian Bjerk, 18, of Grand Forks, and Elijah Stai, 17, of Park Rapids, Minn., who died two days after he went into a coma after ingesting the drug in East Grand Forks, Minn.


8 arrested in prostitution sting

DICKINSON, N.D. -- Eight people were arrested for prostitution or hiring an individual to engage in sexual activity during a Dickinson Police Department and Bureau of Criminal Investigation prostitution sting conducted Friday and Saturday, according to a press release.

The crimes are misdemeanors. Each person was required to post a $300 bond to be released from the Southwest Multi-County Corrections Center, according to the press release.



Man killed at indoor motocross arena

NEW RICHMOND, Wis. -- A rural Duluth, Minn., man was fatally injured Friday while riding a dirt bike at an indoor motocross arena near New Richmond.

Joseph "Joe" Robert Brown, 55, was riding at the Cedar Lake Arena when he lost control going over a jump and crashed, St. Croix County Sheriff John Shilts. People at the scene performed CPR until an ambulance arrived at the scene, he said. Crews from New Richmond Area Ambulance Service transported Brown to Westfields Hospital, where he was pronounced deceased.

"We are waiting for the results of an autopsy, but we believed he died from injuries from the crash," Shilts said.

Brown was a member of the American Motorcycle Association and co-founder of the Northland Motorcycle Riders Association, according to his obituary. He was founder, co-owner and operator of Twin Ports Concrete Pumping.

The accident happened shortly after 6 p.m. Authorities said they believed Brown was at the arena practicing for a Saturday motocross race.