REGIONAL BRIEFS: Pilot walks away after crashing in fieldPilot Bryce Orwick, 47, of Clara City, was able to walk away from the airplane after it crashed west of Hanley Falls about 4:10 p.m. Tuesday. He was transported to the Granite Falls Municipal Hospital for treatment and was later released, according to the sheriff’s office.
From the Forum Communications News Bureau
Pilot walks away after crashing in field (WCT)
GRANITE FALLS, Minn. – A pilot of a crop-spraying plane escaped serious injury Tuesday when his airplane crashed in a corn field in eastern Yellow Medicine County, according to Sheriff Bill Flaten.
Pilot Bryce Orwick, 47, of Clara City, was able to walk away from the airplane after it crashed west of Hanley Falls about 4:10 p.m. Tuesday. He was transported to the Granite Falls Municipal Hospital for treatment and was later released, according to the sheriff’s office.
A 911 caller said the plane appeared to have hit a guy-wire for a high voltage power line and knocked down one of the power lines.
Minnesota boy to be N.D. Guard ‘Pilot for a Day’ (FF)
FARGO – A 5-year-old Frazee, Minn., boy will be a "Pilot for a Day" at the North Dakota Air National Guard base on Friday, the Guard announced in a news release.
Garrett Beckwith has been fighting cancer for nearly six months.
He’ll be promoted to an honorary general in the North Dakota National Guard. He’ll receive his own flight suit and take part in several activities, including using a flight simulator, touring a C-21 Learjet, and taking part in a fire department demonstration.
Garrett was diagnosed Feb. 27 with acute lymphoblastic leukemia and is receiving chemotherapy.
In April, he came down with pneumocystis pneumonia and a fungal infection in his lungs. Only 10 percent of children live through that form of pneumonia. He was released from the hospital 21 days later.
Two weeks later, during a chemotherapy treatment, he went into epileptic shock with a high fever and could have died.
The Pilot for a Day program honors children who are fighting or have overcome a life-threatening illness or condition.
Man killed in tractor accident (DP)
KILLDEER, N.D. -- A 39-year-old Dunn County man died early Wednesday in a tractor accident.
Craig Skaar, Killdeer, was parking a 30-horsepower yard tractor in a Quonset at his residence when the accident occurred, Dunn County Sheriff’s Department Chief Deputy Ron Krivoruchka said.
“Basically, he was dismounting from a tractor and got caught by a wheel and got driven over,” Krivoruchka said. “When the tractor stopped it was resting on him.”
Skaar and his wife Tanya had recently bought a house near Stanley, where his family is from, his mother Judy Skaar said.
Craig Skaar was a co-owner of CR Autoglass & Accessories in Dickinson for nearly 12 years, his business partner, Randy Fournier said.
Murder defendant seeks verdict for manslaughter (JS)
JAMESTOWN, N.D. – The attorney for a man accused of murder is instead asking the jury to find his client guilty of manslaughter.
On the opening day of the trial, Steve Mottinger said his client, Leron Lee Howard, 34, of Jamestown, bears some blame in the April 30, 2011, death of Abdi Ali Ahmed.
Mottinger said Howard will testify on his own behalf.
“He will tell you that he punched Abdi in the head and hit him again,” he said during opening statments. “He will tell you what happened and more importantly what didn’t happen.”
Ahmed’s body was found in a road ditch near Spiritwood. An autopsy determined he had died of head injuries but had also received stab wounds to the abdomen.
Howard is also charged with conspiracy.
Janelle Cave, 22, Jamestown, was also charged with murder and criminal conspiracy in the case. She has appealed her February convictions for manslaughter and criminal conspiracy. She is currently serving an 11-year sentence.
Fritz Fremgen, Stutsman County state’s attorney, used his opening statement to review the case and people involved.
“Leron Howard and Janelle Cave beat and stabbed Abdi Ali Ahmed and left him for dead on the side of the road,” he said.
The murder and criminal conspiracy charges are Class AA felonies punishable by life in prison without parole. Manslaughter is a Class B felony punishable by a maximum of 10 years in prison and a $10,000 fine.
160 N.D. National Guard soldiers to return Friday (FF)
FARGO – The North Dakota Army National Guard’s 188th Engineer Company will return to Hector International Airport on Friday after nearly 12 months in Kuwait.
The soldiers will arrive on two flights at 11:45 a.m. and 12:45 p.m.
While deployed, the 160 soldiers performed a range of projects, such as small repairs, construction jobs, major renovations, building construction and more.
About 160 missions were completed at an estimated value exceeding $2.2 million, a Guard release stated.
Car theft victim tracks down suspect (FF)
FARGO – Police say a man who reported his car stolen in Fargo met the vehicle on the road minutes later and chased the suspect on foot with the help of two other people.
Officers responded to the theft report at 1:15 p.m. Monday in the 2000 block of First Avenue South. The owner said he had parked the car in front of a shop, stepped inside for a few moments, came back outside and the car was gone.
The owner told police a red mountain bike was left in its place, court documents said.
The car had been left unlocked with the keys inside, Lt. Joel Vettel said.
Police were called again at 1:45 p.m. after the owner, who was now riding with a woman in a different vehicle, spotted his car going the opposite direction on Main Avenue.
They turned around and followed the car to the a gas station, where the suspect jumped out of the car and briefly struggled with the owner before fleeing on foot. The owner and the woman chased the suspect, and as they ran by a rental center, a third person joined the pursuit, Vettel said.
The suspect, Whitney Grant Littleghost, 29, of Fargo, was eventually arrested, Vettel said. Littlegohost was charged Wednesday in Cass County District Court with a theft of property, a Class C felony punishable by up to five years in prison and a $5,000 fine.
Two arrested for ‘huffing’ glue (GFH)
GRAND FORKS, N.D. -- Police say they found two men unresponsive, sitting in a car early Wednesday morning in Grand Forks, apparently passed out from “huffing” glue.
Diwakar Dahal and Padam Chhetri, both 21, were found sitting slumped over in the front seat of a vehicle.
They had plastic bags filled with a whitish residue and a container of Liquid Nails Clear Seal, sealant used to water proof windows, ceramic, wood and other building materials, according to a court report from Officer Timothy Schuh.
He and Officer Jace Prelip responded to a nearby resident’s 911 call at about 5:20 a.m. Wednesday. The officers said it took some time to get the men conscious and they said they had been huffing, or inhaling the vapors of the glue.
Each was charged with illegal inhalation of the vapors of a volatile chemical, a Class B misdemeanor.
Dahal pleaded guilty Wednesday.
GF man sentenced in child porn case (GFH)
GRAND FORKS, N.D. -- A Grand Forks man was sentenced Tuesday to 17 years in prison on charges of possessing and receiving child pornography, U.S. Attorney Timothy Purdon’s office announced Wednesday.
Howard Fjeld, 46, also will be on lifetime supervision after his release, officials said.
According to reports, members of the International Crimes Against Children Task Force downloaded 26 images from a computer located in Fjeld’s apartment in Grand Forks in June 2011.
Authorities later obtained a search warrant and seized electronic media containing child pornography.
The North Dakota Bureau of Criminal Investigation conducted a forensic examination, revealing nearly 1,200 images of children, including infants, engaged in sexually explicit conduct.
Fjeld pleaded guilty to the charges in April.