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REGIONAL BRIEFS: Cabela's gets final approval in Woodbury

From the Forum News Service


Bemidji council rejects Zorbaz offer

BEMIDJI, Minn. -- Bemidji city councilors Monday rejected a proposal from the Zorbaz on the Lake restaurant group to buy land on the south shore of Lake Bemidji.

Zorbaz founder Tom Hanson offered $7 per square foot for the lakeshore land, which would have ended up being about $350,000, said Greater Bemidji Executive Director Dave Hengel.

Councilors, who make up the Bemidji Economic Development Authority, voted 6-1 to reject the offer. The offer “was lower than what we are hoping to receive for that property,” Mayor Rita Albrecht said after the Monday night meeting.

The city has plans to redevelop the beach adjacent to the lot Hanson proposed to buy. Hanson requested that the payment be deferred for five years or until the south shore beach redevelopment is completed -- whichever takes longer.

All 11 Zorbaz locations are on northern and central Minnesota lakes, according to the Mexican and pizza restaurant’s website.

Hengel said one of the most important issues on the south shore development is creating more traffic and activity.

“(Zorbaz) brings a name brand to Bemidji that is known for doing exactly what we need to have on the south shore,” he told the council.


Cabela's gets final approval in Woodbury

WOODBURY, Minn. -- The Woodbury City Council has approved Cabela’s plans for a store here after discussing parking and traffic concerns that may come with the large outdoor retailer.

The council held a public hearing last week, at which no one from the public signed up to speak. The Planning Commission had reviewed the project a week earlier and recommended approval.

Aside from some traffic issues, council members expressed excitement about the addition.

“I do think it’s exciting to have a business like this in Woodbury,” council member Amy Scoggins said. “But I do think we need to keep an eye on the traffic.”

Cabela’s was granted a permit to begin foundation and road realignment work, in preparation to build 100,000 square feet that will include an outdoor display area and office space.

The Woodbury store is scheduled for a fall 2014 opening, and it will represent a new generation of smaller Cabela’s stores, according to company officials.

The Woodbury store will be the fourth in the state, following East Grand Forks, Owatonna and Rogers. The store is expected to employ up to 185 full- and part-time workers.


Police charge man in Willmar flag burnings

WILLMAR, Minn. -- Two charges of fifth-degree arson have been filed against a Willmar man in the burning of two U.S. flags belonging to downtown businesses.

Jeffrey James Ackerman, 40, used a cigarette lighter to start the flags on fire, Police Chief David Wyffels said.

The incidents happened June 1 at Kitchen Fair and the Midas Auto station. Video used to connect Ackerman to the crimes was recorded just after 1 a.m. that morning, and the incidents were reported after the owners and managers of the businesses discovered the damage.

According to Wyffels, Ackerman told police he “wasn’t against America” but committed the acts because of “anger and emotions.” He lives in the downtown area within a few blocks of the businesses.

Police filed the citations against Ackerman on Friday with Kandiyohi County District Court.


Woman faces animal cruelty, child endangerment charges

RED WING, Minn. -- A Red Wing woman faces child endangerment and animal cruelty charges after authorities took seven dogs and 19 cats from her home this spring.

Dianna Fay Lyng, 41, was booked into the Goodhue County Adult Detention Center on June 25. She was charged with one count of child endangerment and two counts of overwork/mistreat animals -- as well as animal waste and licensing violations -- in a court complaint filed April 30.

According to the complaint, a friend of Lyng’s daughter reported poor living conditions in Lyng’s home March 3. Lyng would not let the responding officer in, but told him six dogs and seven cats -- as well as her 12-, 17- and 18-year-old children -- were living there, the complaint states.

A search warrant was executed March 27. Six full-grown dogs, one puppy, five cats and 14 kittens were taken to the Goodhue County Humane Society. The dogs were either undernourished or overweight. Several cats had head injuries caused by head shaking and scratching due to severe ear mites.

Authorities also said there was no insulation or sheetrock in an upstairs bedroom, wiring in the living room ceiling was exposed and they could see through the upstairs floor. A representative from Goodhue County Public Health said he was concerned for the children’s welfare due to “ongoing lead exposure that may be in the home.”

Lyng’s first court appearance is set for Sept. 19.


High school band marching in D.C.

KERKHOVEN, Minn. -- The National Independence Day Parade in Washington, D.C., on Thursday will include the Marching Saints of Kerkhoven-Murdock-Sunburg High School in west-central Minnesota.

The band found out last summer that its application to march in the parade had been accepted.

The marching band arrived Tuesday in Washington and will tour the city through Friday.


North Dakota

N.D. tops country in housing growth rate

BISMARCK -- North Dakota’s rate of housing growth is higher than any other state in the country, the governor’s office said Tuesday.

The state added 7,388 new housing units in 2012, a growth rate of 2.3 percent, according to estimates compiled by the U.S. Census Bureau, while the country saw an average housing growth rate of 0.3 percent.

“The state is using several programs to facilitate the development of housing and our progress is proof that our strategies are working,” Gov. Jack Dalrymple said in a news release.  

Williams County topped the U.S. Census Bureau’s list of the nation’s top 100 in housing growth with 1,525 new housing units, a 13.9 percent increase. Ward County followed with a 4.8 percent increase with 1,318 new housing units.

Stark County ranked eighth with a 3.1 percent increase. Cass County came in 23rd, having a 2 percent increase with 1,372 new housing units, and Grand Forks County saw a 1.4 percent increase with 401 new units, putting the county 58th on the list.


School grant applications being accepted

BISMARCK -- Public school districts in oil- and gas-producing counties can now apply for infrastructure grants through July 16.

The Energy Impact Office of the North Dakota Department of Trust Lands announced Tuesday it will take grant applications from schools with projects needing one-time funding to address direct impacts from oil and gas development.

Examples of projects include: developing affordable teacher housing, temporary portable classrooms to aid in dealing with expanding enrollment, technology needs, security improvements and other similar projects.

A priority will be given to projects that will be implemented before the 2013-14 school year and to projects that address safety and security needs. A 20 percent local match of the total project cost is required.

Completed applications and supporting materials can be mailed to the Land Department or emailed to

Grant applications will be reviewed by the Energy Impact Office and an advisory committee.  The Land Board will determine the successful applicants as soon as possible.


Duhamel asks to use UND logo in movie

GRAND FORKS, N.D. -- A University of North Dakota logo may be popping up in another one of Josh Duhamel’s movies.

Producers for the movie “Strings,” tentatively scheduled to be released in 2014, called UND this week and asked for an image that it could place on a wall in one of Duhamel’s scenes.

UND sent a couple of images that producers could use.

“We said, ‘If you can use them, great,’ ” said Peter Johnson, the head of university relations.

Duhamel, a Minot native and a UND fan, has found ways to get the school’s logo in movies before.

In the 2010 movie “Life As We Know It,” Duhamel asked producers if he could wear the Fighting Sioux logo in the movie. They gave it the OK and he wore a Fighting Sioux T-shirt.


South Dakota

Man accused of voting twice set for August trial

MITCHELL, S.D. -- A Mitchell man pleaded not guilty Tuesday to voting more than once -- a felony charge -- during Mitchell’s June school board election.

Craig Guymon, 54, typically a vocal man, said only “yes, your honor” and “not guilty” during the court proceeding. The charge carries a maximum penalty of two years in prison, a $4,000 fine or both.

Guymon is accused of voting twice -- once by absentee ballot on June 4 and once by regular ballot later in the day at the polling place. Absentee ballots were allowed until 3 p.m. on Election Day.

Davison County Auditor Susan Kiepke received an Election Day call from Mitchell School District Business Manager Steve Culhane stating that poll workers noted Guymon’s name in the poll book and later found an absentee ballot with Guymon’s name.

Guymon has unsuccessfully run for school board positions multiple times, but he was not a candidate in this election. He is infamous for his sometimes bizarre behavior, including calling his opponents “spineless jellyfish” in a past school board debate, maintaining a website devoted to his opinions called The Book of Guymon, and sending mailers to all Mitchell residents claiming that Catholics are conspiring to manipulate the city.

Judge Tim Bjorkman scheduled a jury trial for August.


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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