REGIONAL BRIEFS: Zoo plans for return of bearsDULUTH -- Polar bears will return to the Lake Superior Zoo if plans for a major new exhibit announced Friday come to fruition.
From the Forum Communications News Bureau
Agenda announced for energy expo
BISMARCK – The Great Plains & EmPower ND Energy Expo will be Nov. 19 at Bismarck State College’s National Energy Center of Excellence.
The agenda includes presentations from top executives, including Torstein Hole, senior vice president of U.S. Onshore Development for Statoil, and James Suciu, president of global sales and marketing for GE Energy.
The expo is jointly hosted by Sens. Kent Conrad and John Hoeven, Gov. Jack Dalrymple, Bismarck State College, KLJ, the Great Plains Energy Corridor and the North Dakota Department of Commerce.
Visit www.bismarckstate.edu/energyexpo for additional information and to register. Pre-registration is $95 online and $115 at the door.
8 TB cases in GF County
GRAND FORKS, N.D. -- Eight cases of active tuberculosis, including a student at Phoenix Elementary School in Grand Forks, have been diagnosed in Grand Forks County, public health officials said Friday.
The cases involve six adults and two children younger than 10. Three of the adults are in their 20s, while the other three are in their 40s.
The Phoenix Elementary case, which was confirmed Tuesday, is related to three others that were confirmed in the county last month. Since then, more than 250 people have been tested in the county.
In late October, when the first three cases were reported, the number of tuberculosis cases in all of North Dakota was 14.
Tuberculosis, or TB, is a potentially lethal infection that usually attacks the lungs but also can affect the kidneys, spine and brain, according to the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. It can spread through coughing, sneezing or speaking.
Local and state officials will conduct additional screenings Tuesday at Phoenix Elementary. The school had 241 enrolled students at the start of fall.
Equestrian teams to compete at NDSU
FARGO – North Dakota State University will host the Intercollegiate Horse Show Association competition at 1 p.m. today and 9 a.m. Sunday in the NDSU Equine Center, 5140 19th Ave. N.
Teams from North Dakota, Minnesota and Wisconsin will compete at the two-day event, which is free and open to the public.
More than 120 entrants of various ability levels will compete in horsemanship events ranging from walk-trot to reining.
(FF, today refers to saturday)
Zoo plans for return of bears
DULUTH -- Polar bears will return to the Lake Superior Zoo if plans for a major new exhibit announced Friday come to fruition.
Bear Territory, with exhibits for brown bears, black bears and spectacled bears from South America as well as polar bears, would be the first major new project at the Duluth zoo in 20 years, said Peter Pruett, director of zoo operations.
But the project, which would cost millions of dollars, is in its earliest stages, Pruett said. Developing it likely would take from three to five years.
The announcement came on the same day it was announced that the polar bear named Berlin was recovering from a health scare and was back on exhibit at the Como Park Zoo in St. Paul. Berlin escaped from the Polar Shores exhibit at the Lake Superior Zoo during the June flood and was sent to St. Paul because the exhibit couldn’t immediately be restored.
NAACP leader calls effigy a ‘terroristic threat’
DULUTH -- Claudie Washington, representing the Duluth chapter of the NAACP, called the effigy of President Obama hung from a noose both a terroristic threat and a hate crime, and he called on law enforcement authorities to prosecute it as such.
Washington led a press conference Friday at the site of where the effigy was hung from an electronic billboard near the Miller Hill Mall on Tuesday — Election Day. Standing with Washington were members of the black community and members of the American Indian Commission.
The effigy, about 3 feet tall with an Obama mask, was removed by police shortly after being reported by a passerby.
Washington said he was shocked that something like this happened so far north and in a city that had experienced actual lynchings.
“I consider this a terroristic threat against the president of the United States as well as against every African American in this state and in this country,” he said.
Duluth police have been in touch with both the FBI and the Secret Service, said Officer Russ Bradley, spokesman for Duluth Police Department.
“We are investigating it as a criminal act,” he said.
Submitted photo of effigy
One killed, one injured in high-speed crash
HASTINGS, Minn. -- One person was killed in a car crash on Minnesota Highway 50 near New Trier at about 2:40 p.m. Thursday, Nov. 8. New Trier is located just south of Hastings.
The Minnesota State Patrol said that 27-year-old Dennis Underwood of Cannon Falls died after being ejected from the vehicle.
A 26-year-old Hampton resident, Keri Gesme, was in critical condition. Gesme was airlifted from the scene.
According to the state patrol, the 1982 Chevrolet S-10 they were traveling in left the roadway traveling "at a very high rate of speed" and hit a driveway approach. The vehicle traveled through the air for about 150 feet and struck a tree when it landed. The vehicle rolled over at least once, ejecting both Underwood and Gesme.
Stevens sheriff leaves for state group
MORRIS, Minn. – Stevens County Sheriff Randy Willis has resigned to accept a position with the Minnesota Sheriff's Association.
The Minnesota Sheriff's Association is a statewide organization that works to support sheriff's through advancing legislation and organizing continuing education and training.
Willis has been sheriff in Stevens County for 12 years. His resignation is effective Dec. 31.
School employee pleads guilty
MORRIS, Minn. – The Morris Area School District's former Director of Buildings and Grounds has pleaded guilty to one misdemeanor count of receiving stolen property and could face up to a year in jail, a $3,000 fine or both.
David Stoffer of Hancock, who resigned from his position in the district on June 13, pleaded guilty to the charge Monday. Stoffer's lawyer, Jeff Kuhn, asked that the sentence be lowered to up to 15 days in jail with restitution of $650 and probation.
Missing computer equipment and a video of Stoffer leaving the school with a computer prompted the investigation.
After executing two separate search warrants of Stoffer's residence, Morris police officers recovered $2,864 dollars worth of school district equipment in Stoffer's possession: two HP Compaq computers valued at $200 and $560 each, a ProTeam vacuum cleaner worth $395, Dewalt nailers valued at $250, a Makita drill and charger worth $50 and assorted computer parts, cleaning supplies, tools and other smaller value items.