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REGIONAL BRIEFS: Hibbing man must serve year in jail for fatal crash

From the Forum News Service

North Dakota

Petition filed seeking recall of Spirit Lake chairman

FORT TOTTEN, N.D. -- Opponents of Spirit Lake Tribal Chairman Roger Yankton Sr. filed petitions Monday seeking to recall him as chairman.

Erich Longie, one of seven Spirit Lake Tribe members who presented the petitions to the tribal secretary, said the documents contain about 580 names, or about 40 more than they were told are required by tribal law.

Longie said the tribe has seven days to verify the petitions and signatures and convene a recall meeting of all interested members of the tribe, at which Yankton and those who seek his ouster would be allowed to speak.

Members present then would vote by secret ballot, he said. If the vote were to go against Yankton, “he would be out at that moment,” nominations for a new chairman would be made “and the highest vote-getter would be sworn in.”

Attempts to reach Yankton or other tribal officials for comment Monday were unsuccessful.

Dissidents have accused Yankton of oppressive behavior, corruption and failure to provide proper leadership, including but not limited to his handling of the ongoing child protection problems that have brought the tribe much negative attention.


OSHA cites company after oilfield death

ROSS, N.D. -- The Occupational Safety and Health Administration has cited Plains Trucking for nine safety violations after a worker was fatally injured March 27 at the company’s facility in Ross.

The worker died after cleaning the inside of a crude oil tanker that exploded. The incident occurred when another worker lowered a treble light into the tanker, which is not approved for use in such conditions. The second worker suffered a concussion and a head laceration.

Proposed fines for the violations total $28,000. The company has 15 business days to comply, request an informal conference or contest the findings.



Hibbing man must serve year in jail for fatal crash

GRAND RAPIDS, Minn. -- A Hibbing man convicted of striking and killing a man with his pickup truck will avoid prison time if he follows conditions of his probation.

Lyle Elmer White, 71, was sentenced Monday to 57 months in prison Monday in Itasca County Court. The sentenced was stayed, and White was placed on 10 years of supervised probation. Conditions of probation include serving one year in jail, paying a $1,085 fine, undergoing a chemical dependency evaluation and following its recommendation, and not possessing or using alcohol or drugs.

White was charged in November with two felony counts of criminal vehicular homicide in the death of Eugene Paul Zeroth, 78, of Princeton. In April, White pleaded guilty to one of the two counts facing him.

According to the criminal complaint in the case, a urine sample collected from White about 2½ hours after the crash revealed a blood-alcohol concentration of 0.09. The legal limit to drive is under 0.08. A crash reconstruction indicated “that White was traveling at an excessive rate of speed within the posted speed of 45 mph zone,” the complaint said. The truck’s airbag control module indicated that White’s truck was traveling at 66 mph three to five seconds before the crash.


Body found at Nymore Beach identified

BEMIDJI, Minn. -- The body of a 63-year-old man found half-submerged in Lake Bemidji at Nymore Beach on Friday has been identified as Adelbert James Ryan.

Ryan, of Bemidji, was found by two boys riding their bicycles. A construction worker later confirmed the discovery and called police. Ryan's death is not being investigated as a homicide, but his cause of death remains unknown pending an autopsy to be performed by Beltrami County Coroner Mark Robia.

Bemidji Police Chief Mike Mastin said the body did not appear to have any evidence of trauma, and foul play is not suspected.


Two judgeships open in Minnesota’s Eighth District

WILLMAR, Minn. -- Judges Kathryn Smith and Jon Stafsholt are retiring, creating two judgeship vacancies in Minnesota’s Eighth Judicial District, the Commission on Judicial Selection announced Monday.

Smith has been chambered at Willmar in Kandiyohi County. Stafsholt is chambered in Glenwood in Pope County.

The selection process for two new judges has started. Applications will be accepted through July 15. Interviews are scheduled for July 30 at the Meeker County Courthouse in Litchfield.

The Commission on Judicial Selection is seeking fair, experienced and civic-minded candidates. Criteria include integrity, maturity, judicial temperament, legal knowledge, ability, experience and community service.

Applications may be requested in writing from Lee E. Sheehy, chairman of the Commission on Judicial Selection, 130 State Capitol, 75 Rev. Martin Luther King Jr. Blvd., St. Paul, MN 55155 or by emailing Andrew Olson, appointments coordinator, at Applications should be accompanied by a cover letter and resume.


South Dakota

Teen accused of accidentally shooting another in prank

PLANKINTON, S.D. -- A Plankinton teen accused of accidentally shooting and wounding another teen Saturday has been released from custody after posting bail.

Logan Evans, 18, is charged with aggravated assault, a felony with a maximum penalty of 15 years in prison and a $30,000 fine, and reckless discharge of a firearm, a misdemeanor with a maximum penalty of one year in jail and a $2,000 fine.

According to court documents made public Monday, the charges stem from an incident that began around 11 a.m. Saturday, when Evans was driving east on Interstate 90 between Mitchell and Alexandria.

Evans allegedly pointed a 9 mm pistol at the victim, who was in the backseat, after removing the gun’s magazine, according to an affidavit written by Hanson County Sheriff’s Deputy Casey Tegethoff. Thinking the gun was not loaded, Evans allegedly pulled the trigger and shot the victim, Nick Lawson, in the chest.

Evans later admitted to pulling the trigger as a joke because he thought it wasn’t loaded, the affidavit says.

According to a jailer at the Davison County Jail, Evans has posted $5,000 bail and has been released with a court date set in July.

Lawson was airlifted to a Sioux Falls hospital Saturday. A hospital official declined Monday to release details on his condition. But according to social media posts by people connected to Lawson, his condition was improving Monday.


Jeff Holmquist
Jeff Holmquist has been managing editor of the New Richmond News since 2004. He holds a bachelor's degree in journalism and business administration from the University of Wisconsin-River Falls. He has previously worked as editor in Wadena, Minn.; Detroit Lakes, Minn.; Hutchinson, Minn.; and Bloomington, Minn. He also was previously owner of the Osceola Sun, Stillwater Courier and Scandia Messenger along with his wife. Together they previously founded and published The Old Times newspaper for antiques and collectibles collectors; and Up!, a Christian magazine of hope and encouragement.
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