REGIONAL BRIEFS: Woman awaiting fraud sentencing goes missingHINCKLEY, Minn. -- A former Minnesota Power official with a history of missing court dates was arrested Wednesday after a brief struggle with Pine County authorities at the Grand Casino Hinckley hotel.
From the Forum News Service
Woman awaiting fraud sentencing goes missing
HINCKLEY, Minn. -- A former Minnesota Power official with a history of missing court dates was arrested Wednesday after a brief struggle with Pine County authorities at the Grand Casino Hinckley hotel.
A warrant for the arrest of Susan Kay Thompson, 55, of Hermantown, was issued after she failed to appear in State District Court in Duluth last Thursday for her sentencing after pleading guilty to the theft of corporate property. That no-show was a continuation of Thompson’s long pattern of missing court hearings before she finally appeared in December to plead guilty to the felony. She admitted that she used a corporate credit card for personal expenses, that it was against corporate policy and that she defrauded the company.
Thompson’s husband reported to Hermantown police Tuesday that he had not seen her since last Thursday.
Thompson was found at Grand Casino Hinckley about 12:30 p.m., and arrested after a brief struggle with Pine County sheriff’s deputies while trying to harm herself, Deputy Hermantown Chief Shawn Padden said.
Moorhead Dumpster arsonist gets year in jail
MOORHEAD, Minn. – A Moorhead man thanked a Clay County judge “for not sending me to the prison” as he was sentenced to a year in jail Wednesday for a series of arson fires in Dumpsters here last year.
Judge Lisa Borgen dismissed nine arson counts against 38-year-old Steven Edward Chenoweth as part of a plea deal that gives him one year in jail, plus five years of supervised probation.
Chenoweth pleaded guilty last month to four counts of third-degree arson, charges stemming from a series of Dumpster fires he set in the Romkey Park area on June 25, July 23, Aug. 2 and Aug. 11. Each fire caused more than $300 in damages, making the charges felonies.
Charging documents state Chenoweth told investigators he likes fires and watching firefighters respond to them.
“You’re just lucky it didn’t spread to a building,” Borgen said Wednesday in Clay County District Court.
Under the terms of the plea deal, Chenoweth gets credit for the 143 days he has already served. If he violates the terms of his probation, he is set to serve a suspended sentence of one year and five months in jail. He also must pay restitution to the city of Moorhead for the cost of one of the Dumpsters.
Fosston to build natural playground with UMC
FOSSTON, Minn. -- A new natural play space is coming to Fosston with help from the University of Minnesota-Crookston, the university said Wednesday.
It’s a playground that uses things found in nature, the sort of things children used to find on their own. The play space would be somewhere along the Fosston Inspiration Trail.
Eric Castle, a landscape expert at UMC, and Mitch Sledge, a junior majoring in horticulture, will assist in the project.
Funding comes from the University of Minnesota and Polk County Public Health, which encourages active living. Play spaces are one way for families to be active together.
UMC is inviting the community to a design workshop to gather input at 6 p.m. March 5 in Fosston. Design is expected to be done by May 1 with construction in the summer possible.
Man sentenced to 17 years attempted murder
FARGO – A man from New Rockford, N.D., was sentenced to 17 years in prison after pleading guilty to charges accusing him of stomping on a man’s head and kicking him until he was bleeding and unconscious.
Sha Littlewind, who is either 25 or 26 years old, pleaded guilty in Cass County District Court on Tuesday to a count of attempted murder, a Class A felony.
Littlewind was already on probation for previous violent felonies at the time of the Oct. 10 incident. A police affidavit filed in the case says that witness told police Littlewind had consumed about a half a gallon of vodka the day of the assault and “went crazy.”
Police said in reports that Littlewind told officers he “wanted to kill” the victim, who was found in a Fargo home in the 1200 block of First Avenue South.
Renata Selzler, an assistant Cass County state’s attorney, said the 17-year sentence was a joint recommendation between her and the defense attorney.
“This was a very serious case – the victim suffered extensive injuries,” she said. “We did feel 17 years was an appropriate sentence under the circumstances.”
Boxer dies after collapsing during bout
GRAND FORKS, N.D. -- Jerimiah Moen, the amateur boxer who collapsed Saturday afternoon between rounds of a bout in East Grand Forks, passed away this morning, said his uncle, Mike Sweeney, who had raised Moen since he was 12.
“We were always hoping and praying,” Sweeney said this afternoon at Altru Hospital where Moen has remained unconscious and in critical condition since the fight. “He was a great fighter but a better person.”
Moen was 29.
He boxed four years during high school and then returned to the ring last year, said Sweeney. In fact, Moen was named the Golden Gloves Tri-state champion last year after winning two bouts in Walker, Minn., Sweeney said.
The Golden-Gloves-sanctioned fight Saturday was held in the American Legion Club in East Grand Forks, Minn.
Eddie Obregon, coach of the Forx Fighters boxing club, said Moen collapsed after the first round of a scheduled three-round super-heavy-weight bout. There had not been a “devastating” hit in the first round, Obregon said.
But Sweeney said the family learned that Moen had “serious trauma” to his brain from previous injuries, including concussions.
Three finalists for LRSC president moves ahead
DEVILS LAKE, N.D. -- Doug Darling, the interim president of Lake Region State College in Devils Lake, and two other finalists for the job of president have been selected to move forward by the search committee.
The others are Jerome Migler, provost and executive vice chancellor, Pima Community College, Tucson, Ariz.; and Jeremy Brown, president, Dowling College on Long Island, N.Y.
According to the North Dakota University System office, system Chancellor Hamid Shirvani will provide an analysis of the candidates to the State Board of Higher Education. The board will interview all three finalists March 6 before making a decision.
National Geographic returns to N.D.
FARGO – A national magazine criticized in 2008 for running a story about North Dakota’s abandoned farm houses is covering the state again.
This time, in an ironic twist, National Geographic sent a crew to cover the growth of the state, specifically in the Bakken region.
The story, titled “America Strikes Oil: The promise and risk of fracking,” graces the cover of the March 2013 edition. Its photos were shot by Eugene Richards, the same man who photographed abandoned farmhouses for the January 2008 edition that sparked widespread derision from North Dakotans.
In the cover story on newsstands now, Edwin Dobbs describes the “exotic, almost heroic” nature of oil workers, giving countless hours of intense manual labor in dangerous conditions.
“Thousands of people are converging on the area, looking for work, looking for redemption, looking for trouble. And jobs are plentiful,” Dobbs writes.