REGIONAL BRIEFS: Woman arrested after alleged stabbing, arson attemptORR, Minn. -- A 26-year-old woman was arrested early Thursday after she allegedly assaulted two family members with a knife and set a fire in the family’s home west of Orr in northeastern Minnesota.
Credit: Forum Communications
Duluth out to best Bismarck’s snow angel record
DULUTH -- Duluth is about to take Bismarck’s challenge lying down.
With its arms and legs waving in the snow.
At 11 a.m. Saturday, thousands of people will lie in the snow on athletic fields at the University of Minnesota Duluth, trying to make enough snow angels at once to get into Guinness World Records. In the process, they’ll raise tens of thousands of dollars to help provide clean drinking water for an indigenous people in Ethiopia.
The “Make Your Mark: Angels for a Cause” event is the brainchild of the Rotary of Duluth Club 25 and the Proctor High School DECA club. The goal is to have at least 9,000 people make snow angels simultaneously, shattering the mark of 8,962 set on the North Dakota state Capitol grounds on Feb. 17, 2007.
With people donating money to participate, Angels for a Cause is expected to raise $28,000 for the clean-water project, said Crystal Taylor, a Rotary Club member who is publicity chairwoman of Angels for a Cause.
A second goal is to do something big enough to bring attention to Duluth.
“We really want to put Duluth on the map,” Taylor said.
1 dead in apartment fire
OLIVIA, Minn. — Investigators are working to identify the person who died in an apartment fire Thursday morning in Olivia.
Olivia police, fire and ambulance crews, plus the Renville County Sheriff’s Office, responded to a 911 call just after 7 a.m. Thursday at the Westcourt Apartments.
Firefighters found heavy smoke coming from one apartment and discovered the body after the fire was extinguished.
The fire was contained to one apartment, but 15 more apartments sustained smoke damage and about 15 people have been temporarily displaced. The Red Cross is assisting those who have displaced by providing for their immediate needs and helping with securing temporary living arrangements.
The Olivia fire and police department and the State Fire Marshal are still investigating this incident.
Man pleads guilty to murder, kidnapping
GRAND RAPIDS, Minn. -- A Bovey man charged with shooting two people, one fatally, and kidnapping his estranged wife pleaded guilty to seven felonies Thursday in State District Court in Grand Rapids.
William Levi Payne, 26, pleaded guilty to second-degree murder, attempted first-degree murder, kidnapping, terroristic threat, first-degree burglary, second-degree assault and violating an order for protection.
According to the terms of the plea agreement, Payne will receive a prison sentence of 52½ years, of which he will have to serve at least 35 years, followed by 17½ years of supervised release. A judge has to accept the plea; a sentencing hearing is scheduled for March 7.
Since his arrest, Payne has been held in the Itasca County Jail on $1 million bail without conditions or $750,000 with conditions. On Thursday, Judge Jon A. Maturi revoked bail and ordered Payne to be held pending sentencing.
According to police and prosecutors, Payne knew his estranged wife, Sarah Payne, and a male friend, Paul Russell Johnson, 32, were at Johnson’s Grand Rapids home when he went there on the evening of Dec. 22. Payne shot Johnson and his mother, Rosemary Oberg-Johnson, 59, and kidnapped his wife.
Mother and son were both critically wounded and airlifted to hospitals in Duluth. Oberg-Johnson died of her wounds on Dec. 27. Johnson was listed in fair condition at Essentia Health-Duluth Thursday afternoon.
Three arrested in prescription drug sting
ALEXANDRIA, Minn. -- Three suspects from Alexandria were arrested Friday following a three-month prescription pill sales investigation by the West Central Minnesota Narcotics Task Force and the Minnesota Bureau of Criminal Apprehension.
Markee Letrell Colquitte, 26, Christopher Anthony Patton, 30, and Katie Jo Colquitte are accused of selling 80 prescription oxycodone pills to undercover officers in Alexandria.
They were charged Monday in Douglas County Court with second and third degree controlled substance crimes and Katie Colquitte was also charged with child endangerment. If convicted, they face a maximum punishment of 25 years in prison and fines of up to $500,000.
Patton’s next court hearing is scheduled for March 1 while the Colquittes’ next court date is March 4.
Woman arrested after alleged stabbing, arson attempt
ORR, Minn. -- A 26-year-old woman was arrested early Thursday after she allegedly assaulted two family members with a knife and set a fire in the family’s home west of Orr in northeastern Minnesota.
Family members extinguished the fire in the basement and restrained the woman until law enforcement officers arrived, the St. Louis County Sheriff’s Office said. An ambulance and first responders were called, but the assault victims did not require medical treatment. The incident happened about 1:30 a.m.
The woman is being held in the St. Louis County Jail in Hibbing pending formal charges.
Jerry Springer to host ‘Price Is Right Live’ in GF
GRAND FORKS, N.D. -- Jerry Springer, host of the confrontational television show known for its on-stage chair hurling fights while the audience yells for more, will be the host of “The Price Is Right Live” when the game show comes to Grand Forks’ Chester Fritz Auditorium on Feb. 23.
He will replace Todd Newton as host for this tour date, it was announced Thursday.
Grand Forks area residents will get a chance to “come on down” and be contestants on the show at 7:30 p.m., Feb. 23. Ticket prices range from $29.50 to $49.50 and are available at the Chester Fritz box office and Ticketmaster outlets. Those 18 or older are eligible to be contestants.
Police say driver nearly hit patrol car
FARGO – Police say the driver of a vehicle that nearly crashed into a patrol car early Thursday fled on foot and was apprehended by the officer, who was a police dog handler.
The officer had to swerve to avoid being hit by the suspect’s vehicle, Sgt. Jared Crane said. When the officer tried stop the driver, the suspect turned onto another street and abandoned the vehicle and ran, he said.
At about 2:15 a.m., the police dog tracked the suspect to his hiding place behind a shed about 100 feet from his vehicle, Crane said, adding the man came walking out with his hands up when he saw the dog.
Sharmake Jama Mohamed, 25, of Fargo, was arrested on suspicion of driving under the influence, fleeing and resisting arrest, as well as on outstanding warrants, Crane said.