REGIONAL BRIEFS: School weighs response to KKK stunt, mum on punishmentGRAND FORKS, N.D. -- School administrators say they’re still developing ways to address the student body after three Red River High School students dressed in Ku Klux Klan garb at a hockey game Friday night.
From the Forum News Service
School weighs response to KKK stunt, mum on punishment
GRAND FORKS, N.D. -- School administrators say they’re still developing ways to address the student body after three Red River High School students dressed in Ku Klux Klan garb at a hockey game Friday night.
School officials said they won’t reveal what punishment the students received because of a federal law protecting the privacy of students’ records. High school Principal Kristopher Arason said Monday that the consequences would be the same as at any school, ranging from “suspensions to (affecting) participation in extracurricular events to letters of apology.”
Three students identified as freshmen briefly donned the costumes after the start of the Roughriders’ state semifinal hockey game against Fargo Davies High School.
The school district is looking into what grade level the civil rights movement and information about the KKK are being taught, according to a district spokeswoman.
Arason has been talking with Fargo Superintendent Jeffrey Schatz, the first principal of Davies High School, which was named in honor of Ron Davies, a Fargo-based federal district judge whose 1957 rulings integrated Central High School in Little Rock, Ark. Schatz has a school video about the judge that may be used for students in Grand Forks.
“I think we would look to our social studies teachers to use it as part of our curriculum,” Arason said.
$50,000 in copper wire stolen from Fargo firm
FARGO – Thieves broke into a Fargo business and stole $50,000 worth of copper wire over the weekend, police said.
The theft at Fargo Electric Construction is believed to have happened between Friday and Monday morning, when it was reported about 7 a.m., Lt. Joel Vettel said.
After forcing their way into the building, the culprits moved the company’s trucks out of the way to get at the wire, then loaded it using the company’s skid-steer loaders, he said.
“Judging by the behavior, judging by what they got away with, how they had to do it, they had a significant amount of time inside the business,” he said, adding, “The amount of time they spent in there certainly would indicate that they had knowledge that the alarm system either was not there or wasn’t working.”
No arrests have been made, and the investigation is ongoing, he said.
West Fargo man gets 2 years in home invasion
FARGO – A West Fargo was sentenced to two years in prison after pleading guilty to a November home invasion and burglary in Chaffee, N.D., in which a grandmother was pistol-whipped while two small children hid upstairs.
Michael Anthony Mario, 34, pleaded guilty Monday in Cass County District Court to counts of criminal conspiracy and burglary, both Class B felonies. A third felony charge of terrorizing was dropped.
Mario received credit for 92 days served in jail and is sentenced to two years in prison plus five years of supervised probation.
Two others, Levi Brandon Melby, 21, and Zachery Scott Senger, 18, both of Fargo, have also pleaded guilty in the case.
Three from Fargo face counterfeiting charges
FARGO – Three men are in custody facing possible forgery charges after police said they connected them with a counterfeiting operation that passed thousands of dollars in fake bills.
Fargo police Lt. Joel Vettel said Thomas Porkpah Paye, 24, Marcus Yeah, 22, and Nyantey Gaylah, 24, all of Fargo, were arrested Friday on suspicion of facilitating forgery after businesses reported receiving suspicious-looking bills in higher denominations.
Vettel said police investigators, with the help of the Secret Service, identified the three suspects who he said had “washed” genuine $5 bills at various locations in the city, then altered them to look like higher-denomination ones.
“It’s a significant case, not one or two, but multiple bills,” said Vettel, adding up to at least $2000 in losses to various businesses around the region, over the last several months or so.
Vettel said the “washing” technique isn’t unusual for counterfeiters, although it may be locally.
Police are continuing to investigate whether others individuals were involved.
Vettel encouraged local businesses and their employees to take a more careful look at the $20, $50 and $100 bills they receive.
Nova-Tech executive to establish office in China
WILLMAR, Minn. -- Chinese customers are waiting in line for Nova-Tech products, and the Willmar-based company is quickly developing the infrastructure to deliver the goods and provide service.
A key part of that effort will be Aaron Madsen, who was set to leave Monday for Shanghai to develop Nova-Tech’s China corporate headquarters. Madsen, 33, is manager of the company’s sales and marketing department and will add the title of general manager of Nova-Tech Asia.
“My focus will be hiring people who will be able to sustain the business and hold our company values,” he said.
Nova-Tech develops and manufactures equipment for handling and vaccinating newly hatched poultry, including turkeys, ducks and chickens. Customers are waiting to receive the company’s products, Madsen said, so there’s already a built-in market for Nova-Tech in China.
Nova-Tech will establish administrative, human resources and accounting functions in Shanghai, as well as a distribution house. The long-range plan is to open satellite offices in Tokyo and Bangkok. Nova-Tech will continue to manufacture its products in Willmar, Madsen said.
Man dies in house fire
ST. HILAIRE, Minn. -- An elderly man died Thursday evening in a fire that destroyed his rural home southwest of Thief River Falls.
Pennington County Sheriff Ray Kuznia said the body of John Clover Meyers, 84, was found in his home about six miles northwest of St. Hilaire, after the fire was extinguished.
A passerby who lives in the area called in the fire at 9:46 p.m. Thursday, Kuznia said.
“The home was already completely engulfed when the caller was speaking on the phone,” Kuznia said today. “By the time deputies arrived on the scene, only two chimneys were standing, the house had already fallen in.”
A forensic pathologist determined it was Meyers, who lived alone in the older farm house, Kuznia said.
There is no evidence of foul play, he said. Nobody else was in the house.