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REGIONAL BRIEFS: O.J.’s former girlfriend a no-show for jail
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From the Forum News Service



One of nine rescued puppies dies

JAMESTOWN, N.D. -- Helen, one of the nine puppies whose owner tried to bury them alive at a construction site in western North Dakota, died Friday night.

Ashley Kurtz, founder of Coco’s Heart Dog Rescue in St. Paul posted an announcement on the organization’s Facebook page Friday.

“We received sad news this evening. Helen has passed away at the animal hospital. She had been doing well overall since arriving to rescue, but hit a wall yesterday morning. Her wonderful foster mom quickly presented her to the emergency clinic where she has been hospitalized. She received great care, and was making steady improvements. We were optimistic, but she suddenly declined again this evening in-hospital and passed away quickly,” Kurtz wrote in the Facebook post.

The puppies were rescued last month from a construction site near Tioga and later transported to Jamestown. Helen was one of four puppies the Coco’s dog rescue was caring for from the original nine that were rescued.

North Dakota

Yankton out, McDonald in as Spirit Lake chairman

FORT TOTTEN, N.D. — Wearing a full traditional headdress and vowing to “represent myself and the Spirit Lake Tribe with dignity and respect,” Leander (Russ) McDonald was sworn in Monday as new chairman of the tribe as about 150 supporters cheered and applauded.

McDonald, vice president for academic affairs at Candeska Cikana Community College here, was elected chairman immediately after tribe members voted by a large margin to remove Chairman Roger Yankton Sr. in an assembly at Four Winds School, a gathering prompted by a recall petition.

Yankton indicated he intends to challenge the validity of the petition and tribal election officials’ decision to accept it.

The vote was 284-145 to recall the controversial Yankton, who has presided over a tumultuous period on the Spirit Lake Reservation, including allegations of abuse of power, corruption, intimidation and failure to pull the tribe out of a crisis in child protection.


No record for Devils Lake expected

GRAND FORKS, N.D. -- Even though Devils Lake reached an unofficial elevation of 1,453.97 feet Friday, chances are extremely slim that the lake will top 1,454-foot mark this summer.

The lake has just a 10 percent probability of surpassing 1,454 feet, the National Weather Service said Monday in a new forecast for the flood-beleaguered basin.

The lake, which was at 1,453.89 feet on Monday, has been fluctuating in the 1,453.7-to-1,453.97-foot range for about the past three weeks.

Despite the fact that water from the upper basin continues to flow into the lake — and the total inflow this year likely will be the fourth-highest on record — that inflow is not likely to exceed other factors, including the operation of two state-owned outlets that flow to the Sheyenne River.

“This is the time of the year where the lake levels across the Devils Lake Basin typically start to drop due to the effects of seasonal evaporation off the lake surface exceeding the effects of rainfall and runoff,” said Greg Gust, warning coordinator meteorologist for the weather service in Grand Forks.

Lawmaker faces alcohol charges

GRAFTON, N.D. -- North Dakota state Sen. Joe Miller, facing alcohol-related driving charges, called the incident last week “foolish” in light of a past alcohol offense.

Miller, 30, of Park River, was charged last Tuesday in state district court in Grafton with speeding, having an open container and being in actual physical control of a motor vehicle while over the legal alcohol limit, according to court records.

He said he always tries to be careful about drinking before getting behind the wheel.

“I just didn’t think,” he said. “It was a foolish thing to do. What do you say when you do something like this? It’s my own dang fault.”

The incident happened after he left a banquet about 50 miles away from Park River close to midnight.

An officer pulled him over for speeding and found “a couple” of beer cans sitting in the car, he said. Although he hasn’t received the blood test results back yet, he said he thought his blood alcohol content level was 0.12.

Miller is scheduled to make his initial appearance for the actual physical control charge July 22.


Student rep appointed to ND higher ed board

BISMARCK – Gov. Jack Dalrymple has appointed Mayville State University business administration major Devin Hoffarth as the new student representative on North Dakota’s State Board of Higher Education.

Hoffarth replaces Sydney Hull, whose one-year term on the board ended June 30.

In a Monday written statement, Dalrymple said Hoffarth will bring a “unique perspective” to the board because he also has attended a two-year college.

Hoffarth, a native of Langdon, graduated in May with an associate’s degree in accounting and business administration from Lake Region State College in Devils Lake and now is working toward a bachelor’s degree from Mayville State University.

Hoffarth was president of Lake Region’s Student Senate and also served as the college’s head delegate to the North Dakota Student Association.


GF council OKs Red River boathouse

GRAND FORKS, N.D. -- A proposed boathouse on the Grand Forks side of the Red River got the thumbs-up from the City Council Monday.

Ground UP Adventures, a local group dedicated to outdoor activities, plans to rent out canoes, kayaks, paddleboards and bikes.

Andy Magness, the group’s chairman, said he’s still raising money for the estimated $90,000 project. He’s working with the state tourism office, the city, JLG Architects, Cabela’s, Scheels and the Ski & Bike Shop, some of which are providing in-kind services or equipment, but he estimated there’s still about $20,000 left to raise.

The facility could be ready to open as early as August, he has said.

GF council grants protection for gays

GRAND FORKS, N.D. -- The city of Grand Forks’ law forbidding city government from discriminating on the basis of sexual orientation or gender identity was passed by the City Council Monday.

All council members except Terry Bjerke voted “yes” on the law’s final reading.

It’s the first such law passed by a city in North Dakota. Council member Bret Weber said he’s “proud” of the council’s action. Council President Hal Gershman said a friend of his from out of state told him that Grand Forks has gained respect in the friend’s heart.

Bjerke said he worried about “unintended consequences” of the law, citing a news story about a transgender girl who sued and won the right to use the girl’s restroom at a Colorado school.


O.J.’s former girlfriend a no-show for jail

MOORHEAD, Minn. – The ex-girlfriend of former football star O.J. Simpson has failed to report to jail as ordered by a Clay County judge on Friday to begin serving a 34-day sentence on a burglary and drug possession conviction.

Judge Steven Cahill denied a request by Christie Prody, 38, at her Friday sentencing in Clay County court to have until the weekend was over before reporting to jail because her mother had to work and she had no one to care for her 2-year-old daughter.

Cahill denied the request and ordered Prody to report to the Clay County Jail by 7 p.m. last Friday to begin serving a 45-day sentence on second-degree burglary and fifth-degree possession of drugs, both felonies. Prody was given credit for 11 days already served, as well as 10 years of probation.

Prody pleaded guilty in May after being accused in April 2012 of breaking into a Moorhead couple’s home to steal drugs. Court documents say Prody worked for the couple for several months as an in-home care assistant.

Clay County jail officials confirmed Monday morning that Prody was not in their custody.

Lt. Chad Hagen, in the Warrants Division of the Clay County Sheriff’s Department, said he expected a warrant to be issued for Prody’s arrest.


Redby man pleads guilty in machete attack

MINNEAPOLIS -- A Redby, Minn., man accused of assaulting another man with a machete pleaded guilty Monday in federal court in Minneapolis, according to U.S. Attorney B. Todd Jones’ office.

Dale Clinton White Jr., 19, admitted that, on March 22, he repeatedly struck the victim while the victim slept in a residence in Redby, which is in the Red Lake Indian Reservation.

According to the Jones’ office, the victim suffered fractures to his skull, left arm and front sinus, as well as lacerations on the scalp, face and arms. He also had soft-tissue damage and hemorrhagic shock, which required multiple blood infusions.

Pleading guilty to one count of assault resulting in serious bodily harm, White faces a maximum prison sentence of 10 years.


Westbound I-94 lanes open near St. Cloud

ST. CLOUD, Minn. – In order to accommodate July 4 travel, no closures are planned on Interstate 94 between Clearwater and St. Cloud today through Monday.

Intermittent lane closures will resume July 9 on both directions of the road through July 26.

The closures are part of a project to resurface the road.


Single-lane traffic on I-94 near Barnesville

BARNESVILLE, Minn. – Traffic on Interstate 94 between Highway 34 in Barnesville and Clay County Road 10 near Downer, Minn., now is using the westbound lanes, with a single lane in each direction as crews resurface the eastbound lanes.

The Highway 9 interchange with eastbound I-94 at Barnesville is closed. Motorists will detour to the Highway 34 interchange. Access to and from westbound I-94 at Barnesville is not affected.

The resurfacing project is scheduled to be complete in October, weather permitting.


Jeff Holmquist
Jeff Holmquist has been managing editor of the New Richmond News since 2004. He holds a bachelor's degree in journalism and business administration from the University of Wisconsin-River Falls. He has previously worked as editor in Wadena, Minn.; Detroit Lakes, Minn.; Hutchinson, Minn.; and Bloomington, Minn. He also was previously owner of the Osceola Sun, Stillwater Courier and Scandia Messenger along with his wife. Together they previously founded and published The Old Times newspaper for antiques and collectibles collectors; and Up!, a Christian magazine of hope and encouragement.
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