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REGIONAL BRIEFS: Woman accused of stealing dead man's identity

From the Forum News Service

North Dakota

Demonstrator praises school action against students in KKK garb

GRAND FORKS, N.D. -- Danny G. Holwerda Jr. stood at a street corner near Red River High School on Tuesday morning, holding a sign with the phrase "Racism will not stand."

He wasn't there to protest the school, he said, but to support the school's admonishment of three students who wore Ku Klux Klan attire at a hockey game Friday.

"It was the Red River school that ultimately inspired me to use the sign, because that's what the students and those teachers did," he said. "They wouldn't stand for it."

School officials said the three students, who are freshmen, will be punished.

Holwerda, who is white and African-American, said he "felt something needed to be said" after he heard about the incident. He is also a lay pastor at Gospel Outreach Ministries in Grand Forks, but was demonstrating on his own behalf.

Holwerda said he did it in part to honor Martin Luther King Jr. during Black History Month and his mother, who was raised in Mobile, Ala., when the Klansmen held power. He said he listened to his mother's stories about the Klan while growing up, so "it's a very close-to-home thing."


Utility work planned today on I-94

VALLEY CITY, N.D. - Utility work will take place from approximately 9 a.m. to 2 p.m. today on eastbound and westbound I-94 about five miles west of Valley City.

Traffic will be reduced to one lane, speeds will be reduced and motorists should expect minimal delays.


Medal of Honor recipient to speak at UND

GRAND FORKS, N.D. -- Former Staff Sgt. Clinton Romesha, the most recent Medal of Honor recipient, will speak at the University of North Dakota on Saturday, the university's Army ROTC program said.

He'll be the guest speaker at the annual Military Ball at 6 p.m. in the Memorial Union Ballroom.

Romesha, a Minot resident, was honored earlier this month with the nation's top military decoration for his defense of a base in Afghanistan.


Hoeven lobbies Air Force official for GF, Fargo missions

WASHINGTON -- Sen. John Hoeven, R-N.D., made the case for Air Force missions in Grand Forks and Fargo with Gen. Paul Selva, head of Air Mobility Command, Tuesday, the senator's office said.

"It's important for General Selva to understand how much value the communities of Fargo and Grand Forks provide the Air Force," Hoeven said in a news release. "I wanted to make sure he understands that we are committed to supporting long-term Air Force missions, including the new tanker mission in Grand Forks and a manned flying mission for the Air National Guard in Fargo."

The Air Force has said Grand Forks Air Force Base is one of four finalists to host the KC-46, the service's new flying tanker. Selva will advise Air Force civilian leaders on which base they should pick.

An Air Force team is at the Grand Forks base this week to assess its fitness for the new mission.

For Fargo, Hoeven said he urged Selva to give the National Guard's 119th Wing a C-27 mission.



Douglas County library director dies in foggy crash

GLENWOOD, Minn. -- The director of the Douglas County Library was killed Monday morning in a two-vehicle crash near Glenwood in central Minnesota.

Karen Simmons, 62, of Glenwood, died in the broadside collision about 7:45 a.m. on Minnesota Highway 29 and Pope County Road 28 north of Glenwood, according to the Minnesota State Patrol.

The other driver involved was Haley Klimek, 19, of Lowry. She suffered minor injuries, the State Patrol said.

Simmons was driving north on Highway 29 while Klimek was eastbound on County Road 28. Klimek approached the intersection and struck Simmons' vehicle, the State Patrol said. It was very foggy and the roads were wet.

Both drivers were wearing seat belts and traveling alone. Simmons died at the scene. Klimek was transported to the Glenwood hospital.

Simmons was hired as library director by the Douglas County commissioners in January 2011. She served as interim director starting in October 2009, when Trish Conroy retired. Simmons had worked as the assistant library director, as well as the children's librarian, a combined service of more than 20 years.


Head-on crash kills 1 near Fertile

FERTILE, Minn. -- A head-on collision on Minnesota Highway 32 near Fertile killed one person Tuesday afternoon, the State Patrol said.

The patrol had not released the name of the deceased by press time.

According to the patrol, the accident occurred 10 miles north of Fertile in norwest Minnesota about 3 p.m., after a southbound Mitsubishi Montero Sport crossed the centerline and crashed into a Freightliner semi.

The driver of the semi, Brian L. Doehling, 39, Hector, was not injured.

(GFH, NOTE: Name is expected to be released 10 p.m.)

Sex offender faces porn charges

BEMIDJI, Minn. ­- A man serving a 12-year sentence for sexually assaulting an 11-year-old now faces an additional child pornography charge, according to court documents.

Tyler Michael Gabrelcik, 19, of Bagley, faces one felony count of child porn possession, according to a warrant filed by the Beltrami County Attorney's Office.

Gabrelcik's cell phone and other electronics were seized following his arrest for felony first degree criminal sexual conduct. He was convicted and sentenced last October.

Among the files found on the devices by the Bureau of Criminal Apprehension were images of child porn.

During their investigation into Gabrelcik's sexual assault of the victim, officers learned that he had shown the victim two images of nude females on his phone.

The maximum penalty for child porn possession carries a five-year sentence and a $5,000 fine.

Gabrelcik is currently serving a 12-year sentence at the St. Cloud Correctional Facility. He is scheduled for release from prison in July 2020.


Woman accused of stealing dead man's identity

ST. PAUL -- A Spooner, Wis., and St. Paul resident is accused of forging documents and stealing the identity of a deceased client with the purpose of taking at least $46,769 from his estate.

Linda A. Brost, 61, was charged Tuesday in Ramsey County District Court with six felony counts, including insurance fraud, theft by swindle and identity theft. Brost was arrested Tuesday morning when the Minnesota Department of Commerce Insurance Fraud Division -- assisted by the St. Paul Police Department, Ramsey County Sheriff's Office and Washburn County (Wis.) Sheriff's Office -- executed search warrants at her St. Paul and Spooner residences.

The Commerce Department uncovered Brost's actions during a routine review of information provided by Jackson National Life Insurance.