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REGIONAL BRIEFS: Man charged with murder of teen prostitute

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North Dakota

Former teacher faces additional luring charges

GRAND FORKS, N.D. -- A former Edmore teacher and coach who also worked this year in the Grand Forks School District has been charged with additional counts in connection with luring minors through the Internet.

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Grand Forks police charged Jeremy Patrick Thompson with five counts of luring a minor by computer or other electronic means, and four counts of contributing to the deprivation of a minor, according to a news release issued Tuesday.

An additional eight victims also have been identified through the ongoing investigation, police said.

Thompson initially was charged in January with luring a 12-year-old girl from the Edmore school with sexual messages and photos online.

As part of the investigation, police have identified other names that allegedly have been used to create fictitious Facebook accounts to further these crimes. The false names associated with the investigation are John Erickson, Megan Littleton and Eric Berry.

Police ask that if anyone in the Grand Forks area is aware of these names being used in Facebook interactions with their children, they should contact the police department at (701) 787-8000.

Thompson has been held in lieu of $50,000 bail in Grand Forks County Correctional Center since his January arrest, according to a spokesman at the jail.

(GFH)

N.D. Guard members return from Cameroon

FARGO -- Nearly 40 North Dakota National Guard members who took part in a U.S. Army exercise in Cameroon have returned home.

The 10-day exercise partnered Cameroon's military with about 160 U.S. service members and soldiers from five other central African nations to enhance aerial package delivery and establish drop zones, as well as emergency medical treatment and evacuating wounded and injured people via Cameroon air assets.

North Dakota's contingent included liaison officers Capt. Travis Hackey of West Fargo and 1st Sgt. Bruce Newland of Grand Forks, as well as Guardsmen from the Valley City-based 231st Brigade Support Battalion.

(FF)

Minnesota

Bemidji State names new dean for business college

BEMIDJI, Minn. -- Shawn Strong has been named dean of Bemidji State University's College of Business, Technology and Communication.

Martin Tadlock, provost and vice president for academic affairs at BSU, announced the hire Tuesday morning.

Strong comes to Bemidji State after 14 years on the faculty at Missouri State University, according to a news release from BSU. He currently serves as professor of technology and construction management in Missouri State's College of Business and heads its Department of Technology and Construction Management.

He will begin work at BSU on July 1. Strong will take over from Carol Nielsen, who served as interim dean of the college since August 2011.

(BP)

Three convicted in deadly Red Lake robbery

ST. PAUL -- A federal jury has convicted three men involved in a deadly robbery on the Red Lake Indian Reservation on New Year's Day 2011, the U.S. Department of Justice said Tuesday.

The jury acquitted one man. Two others, a man and a woman, had pleaded guilty earlier.

Prosecutors say Craig David Roy and Darla Ann Beaulieu were stabbed multiple times in the robbery at Roy's home, money and illegal drugs were taken and the home set on fire.

After a two-week trial, the jury on Tuesday convicted Geshik-O-Binese Martin, 30, and Edward McCabe Robinson, 28, both of Red Lake, on two counts of first-degree murder, two counts of second-degree murder and one count of robbery each. They face up to life in prison with no parole.

David John Martin, 46, of Columbia Heights, was convicted on one count of robbery.

George Allen Martin, 24, of Red Lake, was acquitted on all counts.

Kevin John Needham, 21, of Red Lake, pleaded guilty last month to one count of robbery. Terin Rene Stately, 25, of Red Lake, pleaded guilty in November to one count of aiding and abetting in a robbery.

Sentencing has not been scheduled.

(GFH)

Man charged with murder of teen prostitute

WOODBURY, Minn. -- A murder charge was filed last week against a man arrested in Woodbury and accused of killing a teenage prostitute after a February encounter.

Alberto Prece Palmer, 23, was charged Friday with second-degree murder in Anoka County District Court. Bail was set at $2 million.

At a news conference Thursday, authorities alleged that Palmer killed Brittany Charise Clardy, a St. Paul teenager who had gone missing Feb. 11. Her body was discovered Feb. 21 in the backseat of a car towed to a Columbia Heights impound lot.

Palmer was arrested March 6 at a townhome complex in Woodbury.

Anoka County Sheriff's Office Cmdr. Paul Sommer said investigators were able to link Palmer to Clardy by analyzing her client list through her numerous pre-paid cellphones. The phones were inside the vehicle her body was found in, he said.

The killing is believed to have taken place at a home in Brooklyn Park, Sommer said.

Palmer's next court appearance is set for April 10.

(WB)

Cirrus Aircraft names Waddick president

DULUTH -- Cirrus Aircraft announced Tuesday that Patrick Waddick -- who started with the company 25 years ago as an intern and worked his way up the ranks -- is the new company president.

"It's the perfect time for him to take over," co-founder and CEO Dale Klapmeier said.

The Duluth-based airplane manufacturer has stabilized since the recession sent deliveries of its single-engine piston planes plummeting, but it's now in a solid position to move forward, Klapmeier said.

The president's position had been open since September 2011, when former CEO/President Brent Wouters left the company; Klapmeier succeeded him as CEO.

Klapmeier had tapped Waddick, the company's chief operating officer, for the president's position months ago. But he waited until the Generation Five series was successfully launched before making the appointment official and public.

"It's an awesome responsibility," Waddick said. "There's a really strong culture and legacy with the company. With it comes responsibility to keep doing better."

(DNT)

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