REGIONAL BRIEFS: Custody investigator must testifyFARGO – The custody investigator assigned to the divorce case of a Fargo surgeon who’s accused of drugging and raping his wife must testify at his criminal trial, a judge ruled.
From the Forum Communications News Bureau
8-year-old shot in head by sibling (WCT)
DASSEL, Minn. — An 8-year-old rural Dassel boy was taken by ambulance to Meeker Memorial Hospital and later transported to Children’s Hospital in Minneapolis on Thursday afternoon after he was accidentally shot in the head at his home.
According to a news release from Meeker County Sheriff Jeff Norlin, the Sheriff’s office received a 911 call about 12:45 p.m. Thursday afternoon from Peter Wuollet. The call reported that their son had been accidentally shot in the head with a black powder .44-caliber handgun by a sibling. The bullet had ricocheted off the ground and then hit the boy in the head.
Two found dead; authorities investigate (WCT)
BENSON, Minn. – Authorities are investigating the deaths of a 45-year-old woman and a 53-year-old man who were found dead last night at a home north of Benson.
According to a news release from the Swift County Sheriff’s Office, officers were asked to conduct a welfare check about 8:26 p.m. Wednesday at a residence north of Benson.
When they arrived, deputies were met by family members.
The Benson Ambulance was called to the scene, where both individuals were found dead.
Agencies involved were the Swift County Sheriff’s Office, the Bureau of Criminal Apprehension, Benson Ambulance and the Benson Police Department.
Wind turbine rejected after neighbors protest (AEP)
ALEXANDRIA, Minn. – The Douglas County Commission has rejected a proposed wind tower in Osakis after voiced opposition.
The Douglas County Planning Commission approved property owner Barbara Trisco’s request to add the tower, with conditions, at its August 15 meeting, however, new information was presented at the August 28 county board meeting and the commissioners then denied the permit request.
Trisco had requested a conditional use permit to allow a 39.9 kilowatt wind turbine tower to be used for agricultural power generation. Seven residents expressed opposition to the tower in the proposed location; five were present at the county board meeting. Trisco was not present.
“We feel this is too close to all our properties,” said Osakis resident Angela Jacobson, who acted as spokesperson for the group.
Douglas County is currently working on an alternative energy ordinance. The county hopes to have an alternative energy ordinance in place by next spring, Douglas County Land and Resource Management Director Dave Rush said.
DNR names new head of mining division (DNT)
ST. PAUL -- The Minnesota Department of Natural Resources has named a new director of the Lands and Minerals Division.
Jess Richards, an 18-year veteran of the Minnesota Pollution Control Agency, will take over as head of the DNR division in charge of mining related activities and regulation starting Monday.
The move comes as the DNR is in the midst of considering several major expansions of the state’s taconite mining and processing industry as well as new ventures into copper mining, the first in state history. The DNR’s Lands and Minerals Division manages mineral exploration and mine development on state-owned and tax-forfeited lands and also has a regulatory role and reviews applications for permits to mine.
The division has about 100 employees and an annual budget of about $10 million.
Richards replaces Larry Kramka, who left the DNR recently to take a position with a private engineering company.
Two arrested for Steele County burglary (FF)
VERGAS, Minn. – Authorities have arrested two Vergas residents in connection with a burglary in eastern North Dakota’s Steele County, according to a WDAY News report.
Ralph Flores, 45, and Kristina Pace, 28, were taken to the Otter Tail County Jail for having stolen property. Authorities believe they also stole a vehicle from a dealership in New Mexico, according to the report.
Police say victim of gang shooting won’t talk (DNT, filed Wednesday)
CLOQUET, Minn. -- Cloquet police are investigating what is believed to be a gang-related shooting on the Fond du Lac Indian Reservation in which the victim was shot in the foot, but investigators say he isn’t providing much information because he fears for his life.
Investigator Darrin Berg said Cloquet police received a call from a Duluth hospital on Friday informing them that a 19-year-old man was being treated for a gunshot wound. Investigators went to the hospital, but the victim didn’t want to talk to them.
“He’s not talking to us based on his fear,” Berg said. Berg said there are indications that the Native Mob from the Twin Cities could have been involved in the shooting and it could involve a drug deal, but the investigation is continuing.
Cloquet police executed two search warrants at residences on the reservation. Berg said blood evidence was recovered at one residence and a bullet was dug out of the floor at the other. Evidence also was seized at the residence of the victim. Berg said police interviewed one man and he provided a questionable alibi.
Police are seeking two other men — Michael William Siewert, 22, and Patrick Charles Lussier, 25 — for questioning.
Cloquet police are not releasing the name of the victim.
Gun-point robbery reported (AEP)
ALEXANDRIA, Minn. -- An armed robbery was reported at Premiere Video in Alexandria just before midnight Wednesday.
Alexandria police officers responded to a 911 call and were told an employee who was closing up for the night was robbed at gunpoint.
There were no physical injuries to the victim, according to police.
An undisclosed amount of cash was taken.
The suspect is described as a white male younger than 30 years of age and between 5 feet and 5-feet 5-inches tall. He was wearing a black leather jacket, blue jeans and a ski-type mask that covered his face.
Motel clerk reports robbery (WCT)
WILLMAR, Minn. — Three men robbed the clerk of the Cozy Inn motel in Willmar around 5 a.m. Thursday.
According to a news release from Willmar Police Capt. Jim Felt, Officers were dispatched around 4:55 a.m. to the motel. The clerk had opened the door for an individual claiming he wanted to rent a room. As the clerk opened the office door, two more suspects barged in, brandished weapons and demanded money.
After taking some money, the suspects fled on foot. They were described as Hispanic males wearing dark clothing and having clothes covering their faces.
There were no injuries. Deputies from the Kandiyohi County Sheriff’s Office also responded and assisted at the scene.
Mystery Tour planned in Fergus Falls (FF)
FERGUS FALLS, Minn. – The Otter Tail County Historical Society will host the season’s final Downtown Fergus Falls Mystery Tour at 5:30 p.m. Sept. 13 at the River Inn.
This walk through the streets of downtown Fergus Falls explores some the town's more colorful characters and notorious events. Characters and events come to life as stories involving scandal, illegal clubs, wayward women and even murder are told.
Due to the subject matter of these stories, the tour is not suitable for young children.
Admission is $5. For more information, call (218) 736-6038 or visit www.otchs.org.
Flags to honor Armstrong (GFH)
BISMARCK -- North Dakota Gov. Jack Dalrymple said Thursday that all state-government agencies will fly the American flag and the state flag at half-staff from sunrise until sunset today Friday to honor Neil Armstrong, the American astronaut who became the first to walk on the moon.
Armstrong passed away last Saturday at the age 82. A private memorial service will be held in his honor today in Cincinnati.
Custody investigator must testify (FF)
FARGO – The custody investigator assigned to the divorce case of a Fargo surgeon who’s accused of drugging and raping his wife must testify at his criminal trial, a judge ruled.
Judge Douglas Herman said the ruling could have a “chilling effect” on people’s willingness to be custody investigators.
“Unfortunately, my legal research leads me to an unhappy conclusion,” Herman said before denying the investigator’s motion to quash a subpoena requiring him to testify at the trial of Fargo surgeon Jon Norberg.
Norberg is scheduled for trial Nov. 5 in Cass County District Court on charges of gross sexual imposition and reckless endangerment. He has pleaded not guilty to allegations that he drugged his wife, Alonna Norberg, with the powerful sedative propofol and sexually assaulted her between September 2010 and June 2011.
Fargo attorney Michael Gjesdahl is custody investigator, assigned to help make the best decision for the children involved, in the Norberg’s pending divorce case.
Sanford exec resigns, moves to Colorado (FF)
FARGO – Citing the desire to be closer to his family, a Sanford executive here has resigned his position as executive vice president.
Andrew Richburg, who originally started working with MeritCare then joined Sanford when they merged in 2009, said he resigned his position on Aug. 17 and is now living in Colorado with his family.
Sanford President and CEO Kelby Krabbenhoft said he had asked Richburg to take on a new role in a Marketing Innovations Center a few weeks before his resignation.
Krabbenhoft said they are now conducting a search to fill the vacant position and hope to have someone in place by early 2013.
Arrest made in stabbing outside Fargo bar (FF)
FARGO – A man has been arrested in connection with a stabbing last Sunday outside a downtown Fargo bar.
The Fargo Police Department reported Thursday that 26-year-old Andrew Kyle Gregerson, who has no permanent address, was taken into custody on suspicion of aggravated assault and felony possession of drug paraphernalia, as well as two unrelated warrants.
Aggravated assault is a Class C felony with a maximum punishment of five years in prison and a $5,000 fine.
The stabbing happened at about 10:30 p.m. Sunday outside of the Bismarck Tavern at 522 Broadway. The 23-year-old victim was able to walk to the emergency room at Sanford Medical Center a few blocks away.
White Earth youth raise money for children’s hospital (FF)
FARGO – A White Earth youth group presented a check for more than $1,000 to the staff at Sanford’s Children’s Hospital here Thursday after raising the money to help other local children in need, according to a Sanford news release.
A group of seven youth from the Boys and Girls Club of the White Earth Reservation have raised $1,500 for the children’s hospital.
According to the release, the Anishinaabe children of the reservation have been taught, despite unique geography and economic hardship, to honor and share cultural values by helping others. Honoring their values is reflected through acts of selflessness, the release said.
The White Earth Reservation is located just northeast of Detroit Lakes, Minn.
Fargo zoo seeks name for baby red panda (FF)
FARGO – A new addition to the Red River Zoo is ready to make his public debut.
A red panda cub born May 20 has just started to emerge from his nest box, the zoo said in a news release Wednesday.
He’s the son of 7-year-old Yukiko and Shantou, brought here in 2007 to increase the genetic diversity of the captive red panda population in the U.S.
The zoo will hold a naming contest for the male panda. Names must come from areas in the eastern Himalayas and southwestern China where the animals live in the wild. To enter, log on to www.redriverzoo.org.
The Red River Zoo has bred 25 percent of the captive red pandas in North American zoos. The species is related to giant pandas and raccoons, but only an estimated 10,000 are thought to survive worldwide after habitat loss and poaching.