REGIONAL BRIEFS: Searchers look for lost hikerTwenty searchers along with park staff have been scouring the South Unit of Theodore National Park, where a 48-year-old hiker has gone missing, according to a press release.
From the Forum Communications News Bureau
Wine festival takes advantage of new law
CANNON FALLS, Minn. – This weekend’s Cannon Falls Wine and Art Festival will be the first event in the state to take advantage of the new state law that lets people take home wine from the festivities, festival chairman Keith Smiley said.
Legislation was passed this year allowing bottles sales at festivals as well sampling.
Minnesota law had previously only allowed for wine sales on wineries’ properties and liquor stores.
There is a two-glass and six-bottle limit per person on festival sales, which Smiley said he hopes will be eliminated once people realize “this is not a big threat to local liquor stores.”
“It’s one day a year we’re able to sell off-sale products like this. The rest of the year it actually gets people’s interest increased in local Minnesota wines and maybe looking to find them at liquor stores,” he said. “We’re hoping down the road to convince everyone that the limit’s not necessary.”
There are two wine associations in Minnesota — the Minnesota Grape Growers Association, which is licensing the Cannon Falls festival, and the Minnesota Farm Winery Association. Each association can only allow one festival per year to sell wine by the glass and bottle, Smiley said.
The Cannon Falls festival is Saturday and Sunday in Hannah’s Bend Park.
Carlton County attorney arrested for drunken driving
DULUTH -- Carlton County Attorney Thom Pertler was arrested Tuesday on suspicion of drunken driving and was being held in the St. Louis County Jail.
State Patrol Sgt. Curt Mowers said the traffic stop was made at 12:30 p.m. on Highway 61 in St. Louis County.
Pertler, 47, told the Duluth News Tribune in March that he resigned his position as an adjunct instructor at Fond du Lac Tribal and Community College in February because he was embarrassed by his inability to communicate with students when he came to class after drinking at a bar with a boyhood friend.
Pertler said he believes his flawed ability to think that night was exacerbated by the pain medication he was taking for an injured shoulder. He said he didn’t have a drinking problem and has never sought chemical dependency counseling.
Pertler joined the Carlton County Attorney’s Office in 1995 and has been the county attorney since 2005. He was one of the attorneys involved in prosecuting the murderers of Paul Antonich and Katie Poirer.
He was an adjunct instructor at Fond du Lac from 2000 until February 27.
Gay man charged in brawl pleads not guilty
DULUTH -- A Duluth man who said he was beaten because he is gay and was charged with assault along with several others in a May 26 incident pleaded not guilty Tuesday. Max Andrew Pelofske, 22, said he plans to take his case to trial.
Pelofske told police that he was attacked during a gravel pit party after he was asked if he was gay and responded, “Yes, I’m gay; Is that a problem?” A fight allegedly ensued in which a few people sustained minor injuries, including Pelofske.
St. Louis County Sheriff’s investigators say numerous witnesses told them Pelofske was at least partially responsible for instigating the melee.
When the charges were filed June 5, Assistant St. Louis County Attorney Nathaniel Stumme said the evidence didn't justify filing hate-crime charges. Stumme said people “we would presume to be (Pelofske’s) friends” did not support his allegations.
According to the criminal charges and in interviews with the News Tribune, three people at the party that night — all of them friends with Pelofske — said Pelofske was attacked after saying he was gay. However, other witnesses at the party said they never heard anything about Pelofske’s sexual orientation before the alleged assaults.
Bear makes appearance
GLYNDON, Minn. – A black bear has been spotted walking about town here, according to wildlife officials and a resident who saw the bear in his backyard.
Rick Young, of Glyndon, spotted the bear behind his residence Friday afternoon. Wildlife officials in the area said the bear has been around town, which is just east of Moorhead in Clay County, for a few days.
State Department of Natural Resource officials said bear activity in the northwestern part of Minnesota is not uncommon and that black bears have actually been moving farther west, out of forested areas and into the prairies.
“They're very quick to take advantage of whatever foods are there,” said Karen Noyce, a bear biologist for the Minnesota DNR.
DNR officials advise anyone who comes into contact with the bear to leave it alone. If you feel threatened by the bear, officials said to make loud noises and “act large” in order to intimidate the animal.
Search warrant used to bust party
COTTAGE GROVE, Minn. -- Police resorted to using a search warrant to get into a home and break up an underage drinking party in Cottage Grove.
When police were called the home for a reported noise disturbance shortly after midnight June 29, they found a large party, but those who were inside would not answer the door.
Police then drafted a search warrant and it was signed by a judge to allow access to the home, a tactic officers don’t often have to use when responding to underage drinking parties.
In all, 18 people under age 21 from Cottage Grove, Newport, Woodbury, Maplewood, Denmark Township and St. Paul Park were cited for minor in consumption. Two party-goers also were cited for marijuana possession.
A 19-year-old Cottage Grove woman at the home was cited for underage consumption and for violating the city’s social host ordinance, which prohibits someone from knowingly allowing or hosting underage drinking.
Math and Science Academy executive director named
WOODBURY, Minn. -- The founder and former director of Mounds Park Academy in St. Paul has taken on a new role – Minnesota Math and Science Academy executive director.
Robert Kreischer was named the new executive director of the Math and Science Academy, a tuition-free charter school in Woodbury for students in grades six through 12.
Kreischer will fill the position left by former Executive Director Paul Simone who announced his resignation last March after 10 years with the school.
In addition to founding Mounds Park Academy in 1981, and serving at its director for 20 years, Kreischer has also served as director of Breck Middle School in Minneapolis.
Kreischer has spent the past eight years serving as principal of several Minnesota charter schools including Nova Classical Academy in St. Paul, St. Croix Preparatory Academy in Stillwater and New Spirit School in St. Paul.
Kreischer will begin his new job at MSA on Aug. 1.
Guns stolen from Gander Mountain
WOODBURY, Minn. -- Burglars made off with firearms last week after hitting a Woodbury outdoors store.
Woodbury police Cmdr. Jay Alberio said officers responded at about 1:15 p.m. Friday, for an alarm at Gander Mountain, 10470 Hudson Road. An undetermined number of guns were taken in the break-in, Alberio said.
“It’s very serious when guns are taken in burglaries,” he said.
So far, investigators have not turned up any suspects or evidence, though video surveillance is being reviewed, Alberio said.
Search is on for missing hiker
DICKINSON, N.D. -- Twenty searchers along with park staff have been scouring the South Unit of Theodore National Park, where a 48-year-old hiker has gone missing, according to a press release.
The man went for a day hike on Sunday morning and was reported missing by his employer on Monday morning. Search parties were immediately formed to look for him.
The hiker’s vehicle was found at the park’s South Unit boundary. He is described as in good physical shape and is an experienced backcountry hiker, according to a press release.
The search covers all of the park’s trails in the South Unit and areas adjacent to the park.
Foot and horseback search teams include employees and volunteers from the National Park Service, Billings County Sherriff’s Office, U.S. Forest Service law enforcement, citizen volunteers, and a search dog team from South Dakota.
A North Dakota Highway Patrol aircraft was used to do an aerial search on Monday and Tuesday.
A U.S. Air Force helicopter from Minot Air Force Base also had been called in to assist Tuesday
(Note: Check Dickinson Press website for updates.)
Hotel going up in Jamestown
JAMESTOWN, N.D. -- A new hotel could be operating in Jamestown by April 2013.
The hotel is under construction near the Jamestown Walmart. Hotel developers Brian and Vibha Patel of Fargo, said the 90-room, four-story Hampton Inn will employ between 25 and 30 people.
“No restaurant or bar but it does have meeting rooms,” Vibha Patel said.
Patel said the new hotel in Jamestown would be the 14th they own and operate in the upper Midwest.
“Jamestown is a good market,” she said. “Jamestown needs a new hotel. Not enough rooms in town during games.”.
GF native on TV’s ‘Four Weddings’
GRAND FORKS, N.D. -- A Grand Forks native will be making her debut on the small screen Thursday when the result of her quest for the ultimate luxury honeymoon is revealed.
Carrie (Horpedahl) Cathy, 28, and her husband Janeiro, 35, will appear on the season premiere of the TLC show “Four Weddings,” a show that pits four brides against one another for a chance to win the honeymoon of their dreams.
“My husband and I would watch the show together and critique the people’s weddings,” said Carrie Cathy, an event coordinator in Chandler, Ariz.
As part of the show, each bride attends the wedding of the other three participants.
After attending each wedding, the show participants then graded each bride’s wedding dress, venue, food and experience. The couple with the highest score wins the honeymoon.
Cathy chose “Under the Stars” for her April 7 wedding’s theme, inviting 150 guests and holding the event at a local country club. Her budget was $10,000.
“It was nice we all had about the same amount for our budgets,” she said.
Cathy knows who won, but isn’t allowed to reveal who until the show premieres.
Attorney general promoting crime alerts program
SUPERIOR, Wis. -- Attorney General J.B. Van Hollen is trying to get more people involved in Wisconsin’s new Crime Alert Network that was created to solve crimes and protect communities.
At present, the attorney general said during a visit to Superior, fewer than 1,000 people have signed up for crime alerts.
The alert network allows Wisconsin law enforcement agencies the ability to send out faxes, text messages or emails to members of the network.
Van Hollen said the program, which costs $12 per year to join, can help businesses and individuals protect themselves against crime. The $12 annual fee means taxpayers aren’t funding the system.
The alerts helped the Lake Delton Police Department in January identify the owners of about 50 antiques recovered from a 2009 burglary. The network also helped the Sun Prairie Police Department identify gas station drive-offs committed by one suspect in multiple jurisdictions, and the Sauk Prairie Police Department locate a suspect in an armed robbery of a pharmacy.
“It’s a program that has worked wonderfully in Minnesota for about 15 years,” Van Hollen said. “To my knowledge, no other states besides Wisconsin and Minnesota have it now.”
Law enforcement officers issue alerts at no cost.
To enroll or to learn more, go to www.wisconsincrimealert.gov.