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REGIONAL BRIEFS: 5 businesses damaged in fire


Teen accused in chase may be tried as an adult

GRAND RAPIDS, Minn. -- The Itasca County Attorney’s Office said Monday it wants a 17-year-old involved in a high-speed chase last week to be tried as an adult.

Grant Edward Gunderson of Grand Rapids appeared Monday on five felony charges resulting from the incident. According to charging documents, officers were responding to a domestic assault call Thursday when the suspect fled in a vehicle at speeds exceeding 100 mph and at one point attempted to ram two squad cars, forcing the squads into the ditch. A Grand Rapids police officer fired shots at the vehicle.

Gunderson, the only occupant of the vehicle, was charged with one count of domestic assault, three counts of use of deadly force against a peace officer and one count of fleeing a peace officer in a motor vehicle.

The attorney’s office filed a motion Monday seeking to have Gunderson tried as an adult. A hearing on the request is scheduled for Wednesday. Gunderson was ordered to remain in custody until then.


5 businesses damaged in fire

FERGUS FALLS, Minn. – Two firefighters were injured here battling a downtown fire that left one building a total loss, displaced several residents and damaged five businesses.

Fire Chief Mark Hovland said a report of light smoke in the hallway of upstairs apartments was called in at 10:23 p.m. Sunday.

Two Fergus Falls firefighters were injured as they worked through the night, one falling down a set of steps and breaking his hand. He was undergoing surgery Monday morning.

Another firefighter was treated at the scene for heat exhaustion, Hovland said.

The fire was extinguished by early Monday morning, and most emergency responders had left the scene by 11 a.m.

Hovland said the cause of the fire is still being determined, but it may have been an electrical fire that apparently started in the attic on the north side of the building.

Hovland said the four apartment units on the second floor and the three businesses that occupied the building’s two ground floor spaces would likely be a total loss because of fire, smoke and water damage.


Arson suspected in fire

MOORHEAD, Minn. – Moorhead Fire Chief Rich Duysen said Monday officials suspect arson may have played a role in a fire that heavily damaged a long-closed nightclub in downtown Moorhead.

Duysen said firefighters found an unsecured door when they arrived about 2:45 a.m. Monday at the former Coach’s Sport Pub, 617 Center Ave., after a police officer on patrol reported smoke coming from the building. Duysen said it is believed to have started in what was the kitchen.

Duysen said the building’s sprinkler system had been turned off. He said the Moorhead Fire Department was aware of the sprinkler situation. Firefighters reactivated the system and used it to help control the blaze.

Coach’s closed in 2005 after the city decided not to renew its liquor license. Before the bar closed, it was a busy place for police calls, including fights, said police Lt. Tory Jacobson.

Coach’s was also in the news in March 2004 when Jason Reinhardt died at a Moorhead fraternity house after consuming at least 15 drinks at the bar to celebrate his 21st birthday.


Man dies after July 1 crash

BEMIDJI, Minn. -- Authorities reported Monday that a Bemidji man involved in a head-on collision July 1 had died from his injuries.Matthew Lindell, 27, died Wednesday, a release Monday from the Minnesota State Patrol said. State troopers and deputies with the Beltrami County Sheriff's Office and the Bemidji Police Department were called to an intersection on U.S. Highway 71 just before 5 p.m. July 1. According to the patrol, Lindell, was crossing the Highway 71 when his 1989 Chevrolet Celebrity was struck by a 2008 Cadillac CTS driven by a 54-year-old Turtle River woman, who was southbound on Highway 71.

The Turtle River woman and her female passenger, also from Turtle River, suffered non life-threatening injuries, the patrol said.


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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