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REGIONAL BRIEFS: Silver Bay man dies in accident

Credit Forum News Service


Silver Bay man dies in accident

TWO HARBORS, Minn. -- A 58-year-old Lake County worker was killed Tuesday when the excavator he was using to clear ice from a culvert fell into the Beaver River, county officials said Wednesday.

The victim was identified as Lee Roy Jacobson of Silver Bay.

The accident occurred while Jacobson was clearing ice along a county road, Lake County Administrator Matthew Huddleston said in a statement.

According to Lake County Sheriff Carey Johnson, his office received a report of the accident about 2:30 p.m. Tuesday. Jacobson died at the scene.

Johnson said the accident is under investigation by the Lake County Sheriff's Office. The Occupational Safety and Health division of the Minnesota Department of Labor and Industry will also investigate, which is part of its standard operating procedure for workplace fatalities, Huddleston said.

Jacobson had been a heavy equipment operator for the Lake County Highway Department for about a decade, Johnson said.


Bemidji lawyer disciplined for harboring fugitive

ST. PAUL -- A Bemidji lawyer has been placed on two years of disciplinary probation after admitting to harboring a fugitive last year.

Amber Julie Ahola waived her rights to a public hearing and admitted to lying to law enforcement when asked about the location of a wanted man, according to a petition filed at the Minnesota Supreme Court by Martin Cole, director of the Office of Lawyers Professional Responsibility.

Ahola was the court-appointed attorney for John Jerrod Jones, whose age or place of residence was not included in the petition. After being released from prison, Jones was to be placed in a Brainerd treatment facility for 90 days, according to the petition. Ten days into the program, Jones left the facility.

Ahola admitted to picking Jones up and taking him to her home in Bemidji.

A warrant for Jones' arrest was issued, and police received a tip that the man was staying with Ahola, who admitted lying twice to police about Jones' presence in her home. After police threatened to obtain a search warrant, Ahola admitted Jones was in the residence.

Ahola's punishment includes being publicly reprimanded, serving two years of probation and paying a $900 fine.


Helicopter work planned along on I-94

ALEXANDRIA, Minn. -- Motorists on Interstate 94 between here and Sauk Centre may notice crews in helicopters working near the interstate starting today.

Utility crews working on the CapX2020 project will use a helicopter for work on several transmission structures that were installed along I-94. A helicopter will fly near the new transmission structures with a lineman suspended from a tethered line.

Motorists are urged to avoid watching the work and to continue moving through the work zone.

The helicopter work is expected to take about one week.

For more information about the project, call (866) 876-2869 or visit


Supreme Court rules against Moorhead utility

ST. PAUL -- A Minnesota Supreme Court ruling released Wednesday upheld a jury verdict ordering that Moorhead's public utility pay about $385,000 to a utility company that once served a subdivision annexed by Moorhead.

The ruling affirms the result of a 2010 trial that centered on how much Moorhead Public Service owed to Red River Valley Cooperative Power Association to compensate for the city's utility taking over the service of 65 homes in Americana Estates, a 77-acre subdivision on Moorhead's south side.

The Moorhead utility was arguing in the appeal that the trial judge had wrongly prevented it from using some expert testimony.


North Dakota

Man dies after wading, walking from pickup

HANNAH, N.D. -- A man from the Hannah area near the Canadian border is believed to have died from exposure after his pickup got stuck on a flooded road late Tuesday, according to the state Highway Patrol.

The 51-year-old's body was found about 9:30 Wednesday morning. His name had not been released by the patrol, pending family notification.

The temperature Tuesday night was as low as 27 degrees, and the man had to have waded through the icy waters to get out of his truck.

He was close to home when he died, said Cavalier County Sheriff David Zeis, whose department recovered the body. "He did walk a ways."

Sgt. Robert Kennedy with the patrol said he expects to release the man's name today.

Hannah is in northwest Cavalier County, about 75 miles north of Devils Lake.


Eighth-grader a North Dakota doodle dandy

TOWER CITY, N.D. -- Doodling is Megan Tichy's cup of tea.

It's also a talent that could help her rule the Internet for a day.

Megan's doodle of a cup of tea with lemon, her headphones, a dress design and some drawing supplies won best in North Dakota in this year's Doodle 4 Google contest.

The contest theme was "My Best Day Ever." Megan, an aspiring fashion illustrator, said she decided a day at the drawing board fit the bill.

"I like drawing people a lot, scenes out of books and movies," Megan said.

The eighth-grader at Maple Valley School now goes to New York with her mother for the finals of the contest May 21-23.

Megan's illustration, which can be voted on at, was done in pencil, ink, colored pencil and watercolor, she said.

Doodle 4 Google annually invites kindergarteners through 12th-graders from across the nation to try their hand at reimagining the Google logo. The contest's grand prize winner will receive a $30,000 college scholarship, and his or her doodle will be featured on the Google home page. The top prize winner's school will also receive a $50,000 technology grant.

(FF) Megan Tichy's doodle

Comments sought on where judge to be based

BISMARCK -- The North Dakota Supreme Court said in a news release Wednesday that it will accept public comment until May 13 on where to chamber a new judge for the East Central Judicial District.

The East Central Judicial District includes Cass, Steele and Traill counties, and the new judgeship that lawmakers approved this year could be chambered in any of the three counties.

Penny Miller, clerk of the Supreme Court, said it is likely the district's ninth judge will be based in Fargo, but the decision hasn't officially been made.

Among the eight judges in the district, only Judge Wade Webb is technically chambered outside Cass County. Webb is chambered in Hillsboro, though his office is in Fargo.

Comments may be sent by email to Miller at or mailed to her at 600 E. Boulevard Ave., Bismarck, ND 58505-0530.

A judicial nomination committee will be convened after July 1 and give a recommendation to Gov. Jack Dalrymple, who will appoint the new judge.

Miller said the earliest the new judge could be appointed is Aug. 1.


Fargo man charged with Facebook luring

FARGO - A Fargo man is accused of arranging through Facebook to meet a 13-year-old Fargo girl for sex, as well as doing so via text messages with two undercover officers posing as girls younger than 15.

John Leroy Bussert, 22, was charged Monday in Cass County District Court with three counts of luring a minor by computer, a Class B felony.

Court documents state Bussert contacted the 13-year-old on Facebook between April 18 and 26, discussing nudity and sexual contact with her.

Bussert allegedly asked the 13-year-old to send him explicit photos of her.

Investigators worked with the North Dakota Internet Crimes Against Children Task Force to set up a sting in which Bussert allegedly asked the officers for nude images, offered them marijuana and asked to meet them for sex.

Bussert's bail was set at $25,000 cash, and his next court appearance is May 28.



Sentencing set for Schaffhausen

HUDSON, Wis. -- The sentencing for Aaron Schaffhausen, convicted of killing his three young daughters last summer, has been set for July 15.

Schaffhausen pleaded guilty to three homicide charges in the deaths of Amara, 11, Sophie, 8, and Cecilia, 5, on July 10, 2012, in their River Falls home but filed an insanity plea. A jury judged him legally sane when he committed the crimes.

Each homicide conviction carries a life sentence. Judge Howard W. Cameron will determine the specific sentence, which may include whether the prison terms will be served consecutive or concurrent to one another and whether Schaffhausen will be eligible for extended supervision in the future.

He will also be sentenced on a felony attempted arson conviction in connection with the homicides.