REGIONAL BRIEFS: Man who held knife to toddler sentencedDerek Nathan Klingfus, 28, pleaded guilty last month in State District Court in Virginia to the second-degree assault of a 3-year-old girl and Babbitt police Officer Jonathan Shenett.
From the Forum Communications News Bureau
Red Lake Band plans major casino, hotel project
WARROAD, Minn. – The Red Lake Band of Chippewa Indians is planning a new Seven Clans Casino Hotel and Restaurant here.
An Oct. 25 groundbreaking is planned in Warroad for the casino.
Pre-construction has begun on the northeast section of a 165-acre site, along Lake of the Woods and the Warroad River.
Full construction of the casino/hotel will begin the first week of March 2013.
When complete, the complex will include a gaming floor with 600 slot machines, a 100-seat restaurant overlooking the lake and 50-seat snack bar off the gaming floor. The hotel will offer 60 rental rooms, an exercise room, an over-size hot tub and gift shop.
In addition, an RV Park, public campgrounds, boat landing and 75 boat docks will be part of the project.
The construction will be the first of three phases, according to a news release. The second and third phases of construction will include an event center, meeting rooms, more hotel rooms and more dining.
Plans include resort cabins and additional boat launches.
The Red Lake Band will continue to operate the nearby Lakeview Restaurant and the Super 8 motel on Highway 11.
First flu cases in state confirmed
ST. PAUL -- Minnesota has recorded its first two cases of laboratory-confirmed influenza for the 2012-13 season since official monitoring for influenza began Oct. 1, state health officials said Friday.
The Minnesota Department of Health Public Health Laboratory confirmed that a 25-year-old Olmsted County woman’s illness was caused by the A (H3) strain of the virus and a 12-year old Hennepin County child’s illness was caused by a B strain of the virus. The A (H3) strain was not swine-related. Neither person was hospitalized.
While monitoring for serious, hospitalized cases of influenza occurs year-round and Minnesota has seen some sporadic cases throughout the summer, these cases mark the official start of full-scale monitoring for influenza in the state.
Man who held knife to toddler sentenced
VIRGINIA, Minn. -- A Babbitt man who was shot by police after holding a knife to a toddler’s throat has been sentenced to more than six years in prison.
Derek Nathan Klingfus, 28, pleaded guilty last month in State District Court in Virginia to the second-degree assault of a 3-year-old girl and Babbitt police Officer Jonathan Shenett.
On Thursday, Judge Gary Pagliaccetti sentenced Klingfus to 54 months in prison for the assault of the child and 21 months in prison for the assault of the officer, to be served one after the other.
The sentence for the assault of the girl was double the guideline sentence.
According to the St. Louis County Attorney’s Office, Shenett shot Klingfus near his residence on Jan. 24 after neighbors reported he was acting unusual. After Shenett arrived, authorities say, Klingfus came out of his house holding a knife to the throat of the 3-year-old girl he was carrying. After a Taser failed to disable Klingfus, Shenett said, he shot the suspect once because he feared for the girl’s life. The girl suffered a serious knife wound to the torso.
Red Lake man accused of seriously injuring three
RED LAKE, Minn. -- Micah James Waybenais, 18, of Red Lake, was charged this week with assaulting and seriously injuring three people on the Red Lake Indian Reservation, the U.S. Department of Justice said Friday.
All three victims were hospitalized after the assault, the department said.
One was flown to Fargo with a skull fracture and other broken bones. Another had laceration on his neck from a stereo cord Waybenais allegedly wrapped around his neck. The third suffered a fractured bone in her face and “extensive blunt trauma” to her head.
If convicted on the three counts of assault resulting in serious bodily harm, Waybenais faces up to 30 years in prison.
Red Lake man sentenced in drug trafficking case
RED LAKE, Minn. -- Keith Brian Donnell, 49, of Red Lake, was sentenced to five years and a day in prison on Friday for activities related to drug trafficking, according to the U.S. Department of Justice.
He was convicted of possessing with intent to distribute more than 2.5 kilograms (5.5 pounds) of marijuana and possessing a firearm in support of drug trafficking.
Donnell was indicted Nov. 22 and pleaded guilty June 12.
Officers searching his home found the marijuana packaged as five separate bricks; five firearms, including a .22-caliber rifle; and $12,622 in cash. Donnell admitted he owned the firearms for protection because selling drugs is dangerous.
Reward offered in railroad arson case
HAWLEY, Minn. – A reward is being offered for information leading to the prosecution of whomever is responsible for a fire that caused an estimated $150,000 in damage to a specialized piece of railroad equipment here.
The Clay County Sheriff’s Office, Hawley Police Department, BNSF Railway police and the State Fire Marshal’s Office are investigating the arson, which occurred at about 10:20 p.m. Oct. 5 along the BNSF tracks in Hawley, according to a news release from Sheriff Bill
The Minnesota Chapter International Association of Arson Investigators is offering up to a $2,500 reward for information leading to a successful prosecution of the person or persons responsible.
Anyone with information about the fire is asked to call the sheriff’s office at (218) 299-5151 or the MNIAAI arson hotline at (800) 723-2020.
Boy Scouts have new scout executive
FARGO -- Travis Christopher will be the new scout executive and CEO for the boy scouts’ Northern Lights Council starting Nov. 16, according to Council President Steve McLister Friday.
The council serves more than 20,000 youths in all of North Dakota, 18 counties in northwest Minnesota and two counties each in South Dakota and Montana.
Christopher began his career with Boy Scouts of America in 1999 as district executive in Minneapolis. He has served scout executive in Cedar Rapids, Iowa, and director of field service for Bay Lakes Council in Appleton, Wis., among other posts.
The current scout executive of Northern Lights, Mark Holtz, has been promoted to area director after 18 years here.
Special Olympics announces new area director
GRAND FORKS, N.D. -- Rachel Nelson has been named area director for Special Olympics of North Dakota in an area that includes Grand Forks, the organization announced Friday.
As area director, she will be involved in recruiting and training volunteers and athletes, organizing area competitions, promoting the organization and raising funds.
Nelson is a paralegal at Nilles Law Firm in Fargo. She began volunteering with Special Olympics in 2009 as a coach for basketball and track and field, and as a partner for volleyball and team handball. In 2011, she became head volunteer coach for track and field.
Special Olympics serves more than 1,400 athletes in North Dakota.
Inmate found after brief escape
FARGO – Sheriff Paul Laney said an investigation will be conducted to determine how an inmate escaped as he was being escorted to a transport van this morning at the Cass County Courthouse.
Francisco Ayala Jr., 25, was on the run for less than an hour before authorities found him hiding in an apartment house west of the courthouse at 1114 2nd Ave. S. and took him into custody at about 11:30 a.m., Laney said.
Ayala is jailed on Class A felony drug dealing charges and was scheduled for a hearing concerning his bail amount, court records show.
Laney said Ayala made a break from the deputy escorting him and “basically headed west of the courthouse at a full run.”
Members of the High Plains Fugitive Task Force, including U.S. Marshals, knew that Ayala had ties to someone in the apartment where he was found, Laney said.
Laney said Ayala had his feet shackled and was in handcuffs before his escape, but when he was located by authorities, he wasn’t cuffed anymore.
Collision with police SUV prompts DUI arrest
FARGO – An alleged drunken driver backed into a police SUV on Thursday in downtown Fargo, Lt. Joel Vettel said.
At about 12:35 p.m., the officer was at a red light when a vehicle backing out of a parking spot struck the police SUV, Vettel said.
Steven Wesley Saum, 51, of Fargo, was arrested on suspicion of DUI.
No one was hurt in the accident, Vettel said. The SUV had minor damage.
BCBSND to host free Medicare workshops
FARGO – Blue Cross Blue Shield of North Dakota will host Medicare workshops for seniors in four North Dakota cities this month. The workshops are free and open to all North Dakotans eligible or soon be eligible for Medicare.
Attendees will learn about Medicare Part A and Part B coverage, Medicare (or Medigap) supplement plans, original Medicare supplements and how supplement plans differ from Medicare Advantage plans.
Workshops will be held at each location at 9 a.m. and 6 p.m. To register for one of the workshops, visit www.medicareworkshopsnd.com or call (888) 235-3905.
The workshop schedule includes:
-- Monday, Ramada, Grand Forks;
-- Wednesday, Radisson, Bismarck;
-- Thursday, Ramada Plaza and Suites, Fargo;
-- Oct 23, Grand International Inn, Minot.
N.D. AG orders ‘invoice factory’ to halt business
FARGO – North Dakota Attorney General Wayne Stenehjem has issued cease and desist orders against a Canadian man and what a state official called a “fake invoice factory” for alleged violations of the state’s consumer fraud law.
The orders were issued against All American Pages, Inc., and German Lebedev of Montreal, according to a news release.
Stenehjem said in the news release that the state has received a complaint from a North Dakota business that received an invoice requesting payment of $479 for telephone directory services the
business had not requested.
According to Stenehjem, nine Better Business Bureau complaints have been filed against All American Pages. In 2010, the state received six complaints about a business with the same name and services based in Baltimore. The business also shares a post office box with a similar
firm in Chicago.
“It appears these entities may be operating a fake invoice factory under multiple business names,” said Parrell Grossman, director of the state’s consumer protection agency.
North Dakota businesses or consumers who have made a payment to All American Pages can submit a complaint form from the Attorney General’s website at www.ag.nd.gov or by calling (701) 323-3404.