REGIONAL BRIEFS: Hunter shot, killed by companionSUPERIOR, Wis. -- An Oliver man was shot in the head and killed by his hunting companion Monday evening in an accident in Douglas County.
From the Forum Communications News Bureau
Officer shooting to go to grand jury
WOODBURY, Minn. -- The case involving Woodbury police officers who shot at a man during a standoff will be presented to a grand jury, a Ramsey County spokesman said last week.
The man was shot to death Aug. 31 at Woodbury’s Red Roof Inn, with three officers involved in the shooting. The case automatically goes to a grand jury because it involved a death, said Dennis Gerhardstein, public information officer for the Ramsey County Attorney’s Office.
“That’s really the key,” he said.
Police fired on Mark E. Henderson, a hostage in an Aug. 31 incident at the Red Roof Inn, after he rushed out of a motel room where someone had pointed a gun at an officer. The officers involved in the shooting were identified as 11-year veteran Anthony Ofstead, Stacey Krech, a five-year veteran of the force and Natalie Martin, who has been with the department for two years.
The case was turned over to Ramsey County because of possible conflict-of-interest issues at the Washington County Attorney’s Office, which is prosecuting a related case.
Washington County prosecutors charged 25-year-old Demetrius Santreel Ballinger with 27 counts related to the hostage situation at the motel. His case, which involves charges including second-degree attempted murder and first-degree criminal sexual conduct, is set for a Dec. 19 hearing in Stillwater.
More bucks being tagged this fall
DULUTH -- Bucks up, does down.
That’s the story of the deer harvest in Northeastern Minnesota’s firearms deer season, according to the Minnesota Department of Natural Resources’ preliminary harvest data released Tuesday.
The buck harvest was up 5.4 percent from 2011 in Series 100 units, which cover most of Northeastern Minnesota. The antlerless harvest was down 24 percent in the region. Overall, the harvest in Northeastern Minnesota was down 10 percent from last year, and last year’s harvest was down slightly from 2010.
State wildlife officials had predicted the antlerless deer kill would be down significantly because the DNR had issued fewer antlerless deer tags this fall. The agency wanted to reduce the harvest of antlerless deer in order to grow the deer herd in future years.
Statewide this fall, the deer harvest was down 7 percent. The buck harvest was up 8.7 percent, and the antlerless harvest was down 21.4 percent, according to the DNR.
Hunter shot, killed by companion
SUPERIOR, Wis. -- An Oliver man was shot in the head and killed by his hunting companion Monday evening in an accident in Douglas County.
The shooting victim is Garrett M. Carr, 27, of Oliver. His hunting companion was Michael F. Thomson, 31, of Superior, Douglas County Sheriff Thomas Dalbec said Tuesday in a news release.
Emergency crews were called to an area near the Minnesota-Wisconsin border just after 5 p.m. Monday. Police said Carr died at the scene.
Dave Zebro, head warden for the region, said all evidence so far points to a tragic accident.
“It was low light, but still legal shooting hours. But as the light dims, the onus is really on the shooter to make sure of his shot,” Zebro said.
While Carr was wearing blaze orange clothing on his body, Zebro said the victim was wearing a dark colored hat. Wisconsin law requires that if hunters wear a hat it be at least 50 percent blaze orange.
Middle school student among 3 new TB cases
GRAND FORKS, N.D. -- A middle school student in Grand Forks is infected with tuberculosis, bringing the total number of active cases in Grand Forks County to 13, the state Department of Health said Tuesday.
Three additional cases were diagnosed Tuesday, including the student at Valley Middle School.
Two Phoenix elementary students in Grand Forks were diagnosed last week with the potentially fatal disease.
There have been 21 people diagnosed with the disease statewide.
Cramer names Gibbens as his state director
BISMARCK – Congressman-elect Kevin Cramer has named Lisa Beckstrom Gibbens of Cando as his North Dakota state director.
Gibbens currently works as the acting state’s attorney for Rolette County. Before her position in Rolette County, she was the state’s attorney in Towner County.
She earned a law degree from the University of North Dakota and was admitted to the State Bar Association in 1984.
Gibbens will be based in Fargo, and she will begin her official duties Jan. 3.
Public asked to report feral swine
BISMARCK – North Dakota animal health and wildlife officials are urging anyone who observes feral swine, also known as wild pigs, or suspects their presence to report the animals immediately.
“Feral swine threaten domestic pigs and other livestock because they can carry diseases such as brucellosis, tuberculosis, pseudorabies and swine fever,” said Dr. Susan Keller, the state veterinarian. “They can also destroy crops and property.”
Keller said wild pigs occasionally have been reported in the state in the past and recently have been reported in neighboring states.
To report a sighting, contact the veterinarian’s office at (701) 328-2655 or the North Dakota Game and Fish Department at (701) 328-6300.