REGIONAL BRIEFS: School district dismisses 4 from tech staffWILLMAR, Minn. — Five people have been removed from the Willmar School District’s technology staff after an investigation in alleged misconduct and violation of school rules.
From the Forum Communications News Bureau
Pedestrian hit, killed on Highway 10
LAKE PARK, Minn. – The Minnesota State Patrol has identified a pedestrian who died after he was struck by a vehicle on U.S. Highway 10 in Lake Park on Thursday night.
Shelby E. Somerville, 25, of Lake Park, was walking south across the highway and was struck in the right lane by an eastbound 2012 GMC Acadia, the patrol stated in a news release.
Somerville was taken to Essentia Health St. Mary's in Detroit Lakes. Alcohol was detected in his system, the release stated.
The vehicle's driver, 57-year-old Mary Zacharias of Ottertail, was not injured.
The accident happened at about 10:38 p.m. at Highway 10 and Second Street. There is no crosswalk at the intersection, the patrol noted.
The Lake Park Police Department and Becker County Sheriff’s Office assisted the patrol.
Police search for hit-and-run driver
DILWORTH, Minn. – Police here are searching for a driver who allegedly crashed into a vehicle at a Fargo bar and then fled on foot from a traffic stop early Friday in Dilworth.
Fargo police were called at 1:43 a.m. to a disturbance at The Hub. Bar staff identified the driver of a car as a potential suspect in the disturbance, Lt. Joel Vettel said.
An officer approached the car from the front and indicated he needed to talk to the driver, who then put the car in reverse, hitting one vehicle and nearly striking several pedestrians, Vettel said.
A Dilworth officer later stopped the vehicle for a broken taillight and identified the driver, Police Chief Josh Ebert said, but when asked to perform field sobriety tests, the driver ran.
Authorities weren’t releasing the name of suspect Friday, but Ebert said that police may publicly identify him at some point to seek the public’s help in finding him.
Police investigate home invasion, robbery
MORRIS, Minn. -- The Morris Police Department is investigating a report that a group of armed men broke into a home in Morris and stole cash and valuables while holding six people against their will.
According to a press release from the Morris police, about 11 a.m. Thursday, they responded to a report that four or five armed black men entered a home in Morris about midnight that day and detained the six occupants while they stole some cash and valuables.
"No one was injured in the event, but the unidentified intruders did leave with an undetermined amount of cash and valuables," the release stated.
School district dismisses 4 from tech staff
WILLMAR, Minn. — Five people have been removed from the Willmar School District’s technology staff after an investigation in alleged misconduct and violation of school rules.
The district staff was notified Thursday in an email sent to all employees.
Four people were terminated: Steven Giroux, Jamie Cluka, Adam Tucker and Emily Miller. Eugene Lubbers is on paid administrative leave “pending the exhaustion of his rights under the Veterans Preference Act.”
The district’s website lists nine members of the technology team. To ensure continuity of service while the department is depleted, the district will work with Bennett Office Technologies and other local companies, Superintendent Jerry Kjergaard said.
Kjergaard said the investigation did not reveal any security issues with regard to students.
N.D. hunter shoots what appears to be a wolf
BISMARCK -- The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service is awaiting genetic results to confirm whether a large canine shot Nov. 24 south of Watford City, N.D., is a gray wolf.
Rich Grosz, an agent for the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service in Bismarck, said results from the testing will determine whether the federal agency conducts an investigation. Gray wolves remain under federal protection in North Dakota west of the Missouri River and U.S. Highway 83.
“If it’s a hybrid or not a wolf, there’s absolutely no investigation,” Grosz said.
According to Stephanie Tucker, furbearer biologist for the state Game and Fish Department, the animal was a young male that weighed 96 pounds. The hunter who killed the animal felt threatened and shot it, she said.
“From the physical characteristics, I would say there’s a good chance it will come back as a purebred wolf,” Tucker said.
N.D. tops in school test spending
GRAND FORKS, N.D. -- North Dakota is among the states that spent the most on standardized testing with $69 spent per student last year, according to a national report released Thursday.
The Brown Center on Education Policy found North Dakota’s spending trailed only Delaware, Alaska, Hawaii and the District of Columbia, which spent $114 per student on assessment testing in Grades 3 through 9, the highest in the nation.
Minnesota’s spending, at $53 per student, and South Dakota’s spending, at $45 per student, were also comparatively high, landing them among the Top 10.
In general, states with large populations tend to have lower costs, perhaps due to better bargaining power with test makers, according to the report. New York state had the lowest testing expenses at $7 per student, for example.
The report is a response to the lack of comprehensive information on the cost of standardized testing brought about by No Child Left Behind legislation, wrote Matthew Chingos, a fellow with the Washington, D.C.,-based Brown Center. Some states are concerned the new Common Core State Standards replacing NCLB will raise testing costs further.
Central Cass High group chosen N.D. state band
BISMARCK – The Central Cass High School Band and the Horizon Middle School Freshman Choir were recently named the 2012-2013 Governor’s Official State Band and Chorus.
“The Central Cass High School Band and the Horizon Middle School Freshman Choir (of Bismarck) are two very impressive organizations that will represent the state of North Dakota with pride and enthusiasm,” Gov. Jack Dalrymple said in a news release.
The Central Cass High School Band is directed by Darcy Brandenburg and participates in honor bands across the state.
The Horizon Middle School Freshman Choir, under the direction of Brian Saylor, participates in festivals across the state and regional and national honor choirs.
The groups will perform as part of the governor’s State of the State address on Jan. 8 in Bismarck and may perform at other official state functions.