REGIONAL BRIEFS: Reward increased in Karlstad-area fireKARLSTAD, Minn. -- State and local officials said Wednesday they are increasing the reward for information on who started the fire in the Karlstad, Minn., area earlier this month.
From the Forum Communications News Bureau
Reward increased in Karlstad-area fire
KARLSTAD, Minn. -- State and local officials said Wednesday they are increasing the reward for information on who started the fire in the Karlstad, Minn., area earlier this month.
The reward is now $8,500, up from the $6,000 offered Oct. 10.
The fire destroyed 11 homes and burned 4,400 acres in Marshall and Kittson counties. No one was injured.
Fire investigators from sheriff’s office in both counties and the Minnesota Department of Natural Resources have determined the probable cause of the fire was arson. Other recent fires in the area, investigators have determined, are likely arson cases that may be connected to the same suspects.
The fire appears to have begun Sept. 30 near the intersection of Marshall County Road 27 and 250th Avenue Northwest, about four miles southwest of Karlstad. High temperatures, dry conditions and winds gusting to 45 mph intensified the fire.
Officials asks those with information about how the fire could have started to call the Marshall County sheriff at (218) 745-5411, the Kittson County sheriff at (218) 843-3535 or the statewide Arson Tip Line at (800) 723-2020.
Woman sentenced for DMV theft
DULUTH -- A woman who stole about $5,700 while employed at the Grand Rapids Division of the Minnesota Department of Motor Vehicles was sentenced to five years of supervised probation in Itasca County District Court on Monday.
Thirty-two-year-old Crystal Marie Wilson of Deer River could be sentenced to prison if she doesn’t follow the conditions of probation, which include serving 30 days in jail, paying a $1,085 fine and $500 in restitution, providing a DNA sample, attending school or working full time or performing 20 hours of community service a week, having a chemical dependency evaluation, and consuming no alcohol or drugs.
Wilson was charged in April for taking money for automobile titles but never processing them. The transactions were for local car dealerships. She pleaded guilty in July.
Navy to christen USS Minnesota Saturday
WASHINGTON, D.C. -- The Navy will christen its newest attack submarine Minnesota on Saturday in Newport News, Va., the Department of Defense said Wednesday.
USS Minnesota, or SSN 783, is the 10th vessel of the Virginia class. A sister vessel is named after North Dakota.
Ellen Roughead, wife of former Chief of Naval Operations Adm. Gary Roughead and a Minnesota native, will serve as boat’s sponsor and break a champagne bottle against a plate welded to the hull, and officially christen the submarine.
It will be the third vessel to bear the state name. The first was a sailing steam frigate that served during the Civil War and the second was a battleship that was part of President Theodore Roosevelt’s Great White Fleet.
Man arrested for firing gun in city
WILLMAR, Minn. — A 29-year-old Willmar man faces two felony charges for discharging a firearm in the city after allegedly shooting at least four bullets from a semiautomatic handgun late Tuesday evening.
According to a news release from Willmar Police Chief David Wyffels, police were called around 11:20 p.m. When officers arrived, they heard another gunshot and located Luis Angel Del Real, who was arrested and taken to the county jail.
According to online court records, Del Real made his first appearance on the charges Wednesday before District Judge Gerald Seibel.
A .45-caliber handgun containing live ammunition along with an empty shell casing and bullet fragments were recovered at the scene. Witnesses reported that at least four shots were fired.
Airline adds Fargo-Dallas flights
FARGO – American Airlines is adding nonstop flights from here to the Dallas-Fort Worth airport.
Paige Teel, regional manager of business development and sales for the airline, said at a news conference Wednesday that American Airlines is opening up two new domestic destinations and four new international services that will begin in 2013.
There will be one Fargo to Dallas-Fort Worth flight per day, starting Feb. 14. Tickets will be available starting Sunday.
The Fargo Municipal Airport Authority secured a $750,000 grant from the U.S. Department of Transportation and $300,000 of local contributions to make the service possible, said Shawn Dobberstein, executive director of the airport authority.
Attorney disbarred over forgery
FARGO – The North Dakota Supreme Court has disbarred a Fargo attorney who admitted to forging documents, lying to business associates and mishandling clients’ funds.
Alan M. McDonagh engaged in a “very serious pattern of deceit,” the high court stated in its order released Tuesday.
According to the Supreme Court’s order, McDonagh in January 2009 sought a $150,000 line of credit from Choice Financial, intending to pledge land as collateral. Knowing the bank would require an attorney other than him to do the title opinion, he used attorney Ryan Norrell’s letterhead and forged Norrell’s signature on both the preliminary and final title.
The case culminated with McDonagh pleading guilty Jan. 9 to a misdemeanor charge of forgery or counterfeiting in Grand Forks County District Court. He received a deferred imposition of sentence, 40 hours of community service, one year of unsupervised probation and $325 in fees, court records show.
GF Columbia Road overpass repairs start Monday
GRAND FORKS, N.D. -- Long-awaited repairs on the Columbia Road overpass will get underway Monday, Grand Forks city officials said Wednesday.
Traffic will be reduced to two lanes, one in each direction, while construction is underway. Officials say traffic delays are likely during morning and evening rush hours.
Parking restrictions may be imposed on the north end of the bridge.
The repairs are scheduled for one month, weather permitting.