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North Dakota

Prison guard home after being hospitalized in inmate attack

JAMESTOWN, N.D. -- The Jamestown prison guard who was hospitalized after being attacked by an inmate Sunday is now home, and the inmate accused in the attack has been transferred to a higher security prison.

Guard Jeremiah MacDonald was released from the hospital Monday, said James River Correctional Center Warden Don Redmann.

"He's home now and doing as well as can be expected," Redmann said.

Shawn Ostafin, who allegedly attacked MacDonald, has been transferred to the North Dakota State Penitentiary in Bismarck, Redmann said. NDSP is a maximum security prison, and JRCC is medium security.

Ostafin physically assaulted MacDonald about 1:10 p.m. Sunday in one of JRCC's dormitories, said Capt. Bryan Niewind of the North Dakota Highway Patrol.

MacDonald was taken by air ambulance to a Bismarck hospital with severe head injuries, Niewind said. Redmann could not comment on MacDonald's medical condition as of Wednesday afternoon.

Niewind said Ostafin will face felony charges, but the exact charges have not yet been determined.

The Associated Press reported that Ostafin, formerly of Mandan, has a violent criminal history. He served a lengthy sentence for the 1990 murders of his father and stepfather and is now serving time for terrorizing.

(JS)

Lawmaker in drunk driving case says passenger was arrested

PARK RIVER, N.D. -- The night Sen. Joe Miller, R-Park River, was pulled over for an alcohol-related driving charge, his passenger was also arrested, the senator confirmed Wednesday.

He wouldn’t comment further.

Earlier in the week, the political blog Say Anything reported the arrest. According to blogger Rob Port, Miller said he believes the passenger, “a guy who works for me,” had a marijuana pipe.

The blog did not identify the passenger.

Miller said he wasn’t aware his passenger had the pipe when they were driving together from a banquet. He said he wasn’t certain the passenger had on his person any drugs.

Miller pleaded guilty in late July to speeding, having an open container and being in actual physical control of a motor vehicle while over the legal alcohol limit.

(GFH)

Work on University System IT building nearly done

GRAND FORKS, N.D. -- The North Dakota University System’s new data network center at the University of North Dakota is expected to be completed by Aug. 12 and staff can start moving in by the end of September or early October, according to a system official.

A wet spring and early summer delayed the installation of a geothermal heating and cooling system, Lisa Feldner, the University System’s vice chancellor for information technology, said Wednesday.

She gave an update on the building’s progress at the State Board of Higher Education meeting in Bismarck.

The Legislature approved $12.5 million during the 2011 session for the building, which was originally proposed to consolidate University System information technology employees scattered around the UND campus, Fargo and Bismarck.

(BND)

Minnesota

Teen dies in rollover near Detroit Lakes

DETROIT LAKES, Minn. -- A 15-year-old boy was killed Wednesday morning in a one-vehicle rollover south of Detroit Lakes.

Jayme Rion Honrud of Erhard was found dead at the scene of the accident, which happened about 2:45 a.m. on 280th Street, also known as Vergas Trails Road, according to Becker County Sheriff Kelly Shannon.

Five people were in the vehicle, all of them minors, Shannon said.

Shannon did not identify all of those in the accident, but said in a news release that the driver was Austen Kurt Lynnes, 18, of Pelican Rapids.

He said two people were taken to the hospital by ambulance and later released.

Shannon said two others were transported to the hospital via a private vehicle and were treated for minor scrapes and bruises before being released.

It does not appear that alcohol was involved in the crash, Shannon said.

(FF)

Bemidji man killed in apparent hit-and-run

BEMIDJI, Minn. -- Police are investigating the death of a 25-year-old Bemidji man after a newspaper carrier found what authorities said was Christopher Lee Strong's body on an Eckles Township road early Wednesday.

The carrier made the discovery just before 4:30 a.m. and called police.

Deputies with the Beltrami County Sheriff's Office and a trooper with the Minnesota State Patrol responded to the scene, at Grange and Nature roads.

Police found debris from what was described as a red car, Sheriff Phil Hodapp said, and are asking for the public's help not only in finding the vehicle, but the whereabouts of Strong in the previous 24 hours.

(BP)

South Dakota

Prison escape ends with tackle in driveway

MITCHELL, S.D. -- An escapee from the state penitentiary was tackled in a Mitchell driveway Wednesday morning after trying to evade police on foot.

Reports of 19-year-old Davis Bull Bear's presence in the city drew a large response from area law enforcement, which established a perimeter and began a yard-to-yard search near Dakota Wesleyan University.

Bull Bear walked away Tuesday night from the minimum-security unit of the Jameson Annex at the South Dakota State Penitentiary in Sioux Falls, according to the state Department of Corrections.

A Davison County sheriff's deputy came into contact with Bull Bear at 8:16 a.m. Wednesday between the two Interstate 90 exits in Mitchell, said a news release from the Mitchell Department of Public Safety. Bull Bear fled on foot.

A resident called 911 to report that Bull Bear was hiding in his backyard, the release said. When law enforcement converged on the area, Bull Bear ran into yards of nearby houses. Police caught up with him and an officer took him to the ground in a driveway.

He was back in prison in Sioux Falls by Wednesday afternoon, according to DOC spokesman Michael Winder.

Bull Bear is serving a five-year sentence for third-degree burglary. He had not yet been charged with a crime in connection with the escape.

(DR)

October trial set for S.D. teen in accidental shooting

ALEXANDRIA, S.D. -- A Plankinton man accused of accidentally shooting his friend pleaded not guilty Wednesday to aggravated assault and reckless discharge of a weapon.

Logan Evans, 18, entered the plea at the Hanson County Courthouse. The aggravated assault charge includes three counts, all for his alleged actions against the shooting victim. The counts are for exhibiting indifference to the value of human life; causing bodily injury with a dangerous weapon; and attempting by physical menace with a deadly weapon to put another in fear of imminent, serious bodily injury.

Evans is accused of accidentally shooting Nick Lawson, 17, who was riding in Evans' vehicle June 22 on Interstate 90. Two other youths were in the vehicle when Evans discharged his 9 mm handgun toward Lawson.

According to court documents, Evans admitted at the time of his arrest that he pulled the trigger as a joke, thinking the gun was unloaded.

The bullet struck Lawson in the chest. He was flown to Avera McKennan Hospital in Sioux Falls and has been recovering since surgery in June.

Evans said little in court Tuesday. His attorney, Rebecca Millan, entered a written plea of not guilty. Judge Tim Bjorkman scheduled Evans for an October jury trial.

(DR)

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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.
(715) 243-7767 x241
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