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REGIONAL BRIEFS: Superior adopts synthetic drug regulations

From the Forum News Service

North Dakota

Dalrymple asks USDA for crop damage assessment

BISMARCK -- Gov. Jack Dalrymple is asking the U.S. Department of Agriculture to complete a statewide assessment of crop damage and production losses.

The request is the first step in seeking a federal disaster declaration that would provide some assistance and make other USDA programs available to help farmers and ranchers manage production losses, a release said.

Heavy snow, excessive spring rain and flooding prevented state producers from planting an estimated 4.4 million acres -- the second-largest amount of unplanted crop in recent history.


Spirit Lake leadership unsettled

FORT TOTTEN, N.D. -- Roger Yankton Sr. returned briefly as chairman of the Spirit Lake Sioux Tribe on Wednesday, sanctioned by a Tribal Court order, but opponents obtained an emergency injunction from an appeals court that once again declared him out of the office he was elected to in 2011.

Yankton was sworn in as chairman at 10 a.m. in a brief ceremony closed to the media. It began with the circulation of the Tribal Court order issued Tuesday affirming Yankton’s claim to the chairmanship. It concluded with drums and singers performing an honor song as dozens of tribe members, including many members of Yankton’s extended family, lined up to congratulate him.

But the Tribal Council had met earlier Wednesday and voted to renew the tribe’s contract with the Northern Plains Intertribal Court of Appeals and to appeal the Tribal Court’s order regarding Yankton.

The appeals court responded almost immediately, issuing a writ staying the Tribal Court’s order and directing that “any action contemplated by the order of July 16 … shall be prohibited until further hearing and order of this court,” effectively restoring Leander “Russ” McDonald to the chairmanship.

Until Wednesday, there had been no process of appeal from the Tribal Court because Yankton had not renewed a contract with the appeals court last year.


Foster applications being taken for rescued dogs

CASSELTON, N.D. -- Animal rescue volunteers say they’re starting to take applications for foster homes for the now-174 dogs seized last week from a Wheatland puppy mill, in what prosecutors characterized Wednesday as life-threatening conditions.

“Had the dogs been left there, whether they would have survived or not, I can’t say,” said Cass County prosecutor Leah Viste at a news conference at Casselton Veterinary Service, which is housing and treating the seized dogs. “The days were hot and getting hotter. They were kept in a single-wide trailer.”

Sheriff’s deputies on July 10 seized 168 dogs from a breeder, Darcy Smith, who had been supplying at least some area pet stores. The dogs are under quarantine at the veterinary office for two weeks.

Viste said Smith, the 51-year-old breeder, has until Friday to file a request to have the dogs returned. A judge would decide custody if he files a challenge.

Smith has said he is considering a move to regain some or all of the dogs, and that he is cooperating with authorities, who are considering filing criminal charges.

People interested in providing a foster home for one of the 174 dogs in temporary custody of the Cass County Sheriff’s Office can contact 4 Luv of Dog Rescue by phone at (701) 205-0190 or at its website,


Study: N.D. among most business-friendly

BISMARCK -- North Dakota is ranked as the third most pro-business state in the U.S. Pollina Corporate Top 10 Pro-Business States report, according to a statement from Gov. Jack Dalrymple’s office.

That’s up from fourth in 2012.

“Our focus on job creation is supported by a dedicated and skilled workforce, a responsive state government and a fair and balanced tax structure,” Dalrymple said in the release. “This report is more evidence that our hard work is getting results.”

The study was released Tuesday. The top 10 states were:

1. Utah

2. Nebraska

3. North Dakota

4. Virginia

5. Wyoming

6. Kansas

7. Indiana

8. South Dakota

9. Missouri

10. Alabama

The annual Pollina report examines 32 factors relative to state efforts to develop pro-business strategies, according to the release. Factors include taxes, human resources, education, “right-to-work” legislation, energy costs and investments in public infrastructure.



Kelliher mayor charged with DWI

KELLIHER, Minn. -- Mayor Darin Joseph Latterell was cited last week for driving while intoxicated, police said.

A deputy with the Beltrami County Sheriff's Office stopped Latterell, 40, at 10 p.m. July 13. The traffic stop was initiated because a tail light was out on the vehicle Latterell was driving, police said. The stop occurred at Minnesota Highway 72 and Clark Avenue North.

Latterell posted $2,000 bail and was released last week, according to an official at the Beltrami County Jail. His next court appearance is scheduled for July 29.

He will face a charge of third-degree DWI, a gross misdemeanor that carries a maximum penalty of one year in jail, a $3,000 fine or both.

Latterell posted bail with conditions, meaning he must abide by a judge's order that stipulates, among other things, that he cannot possess or consume alcohol, enter bars or liquor stores, and must submit to random testing by police for drugs and alcohol.

The conditions are typical for those charged with gross misdemeanors or probation violations.

Latterell's term expires in December 2014, according to the city's website.


N.D. woman gets five years for drunken driving crash

MOORHEAD, Minn. – A Minot, N.D., woman will spend five years in prison for driving drunk and causing a fiery crash in Clay County.

Brianna Pallotta pleaded guilty June 12 to DWI and criminal vehicular operation in Clay County District Court. The 25-year-old was sentenced Monday to five years.

Pallotta was southbound on Highway 75 north of Moorhead in October when she attempted to pass another vehicle and struck another car head-on.

The elderly couple in the second car, Nolan and Doris Underlee, were critically injured.

Pallotta had to be pulled from her burning car.

She will be given credit for time served.



Volunteers, law enforcement search for missing boy

CENTURIA, Wis. -- Searchers were on the ground again Wednesday in Polk County, trying to find a lost 2-year-old boy who wandered away from his rural Wisconsin home Tuesday.

According to law enforcement officials, Isaiah Theis was apparently wearing blue shorts, a green shirt and white socks. He also may not have been wearing any shoes at the time of his disappearance.

According to information from law enforcement, the boy was reportedly playing with his 7-year-old brother around 7:30 p.m. Tuesday in Centuria. Police were called when the boy couldn't be found.

An estimated 150 volunteers helped conduct a search for Isaiah through Tuesday night, focusing on a 1-square-mile area around the house. The initial search was called off around 3 a.m. Wednesday because the Polk County Sheriff's Office deemed it too dangerous.

Volunteers and law enforcement began searching again at 6 a.m. Wednesday.

Anyone with information regarding the disappearance is asked to call the Polk County Sheriff's Office at (715) 485-8300.


Superior adopts synthetic drug regulations

SUPERIOR. Wis. --  The Superior City Council adopted two ordinances Tuesday night to regulate synthetic marijuana in the city.

One ordinance prohibits consuming -- eating, drinking, smoking, injecting or inhaling -- products labeled “not for human consumption” unless under written direction or supervision of a medical doctor. It also prohibits others from aiding in the use of such products.

The other ordinance regulates the conditions under which synthetic drugs -- those commonly marketed as safe, legal alternatives to marijuana or other drugs -- can be sold in Superior.

The purpose of the law is not to condone illegal activity or what may become illegal in the future, but it is designed to establish licensing requirements similar to those of other businesses in the city.

Under the new law, businesses proposing to sell synthetic drugs would be required to obtain a license to sell the drugs, whether as a standalone business or in conjunction with other business enterprises.

The law further restricts sales to people 21 and older, and such businesses cannot be located within 500 feet of any park, school, child care facility or residential or mixed use neighborhoods.

The ordinance is similar to one adopted in Duluth, Minn., which has stopped the sale of synthetic drugs at the Last Place on Earth head shop.


South Dakota

Hutterite men deny kidnapping, abuse charges

ALEXANDRIA, S.D. -- Three brothers from the Oak Lane Hutterite Colony are denying accusations of kidnapping and child abuse.

Jake Wipf, 61, John Wipf, 58, and Tobias Wipf, 47, appeared in court Wednesday at the Hanson County Courthouse in Alexandria and pleaded not guilty to charges of second-degree kidnapping, abuse of a minor and cruelty to a minor.

All three are scheduled to stand trial in October.

According to court documents, the charges stem from events that occurred Feb. 15.

Details of what is alleged in the case have been difficult to obtain, as Hanson County State's Attorney Jim Davies has declined to divulge any additional details when asked for comment. The court file has been devoid of specific allegations.

The kidnapping charge is a felony with a maximum penalty of 15 years in prison and a $30,000 fine. The other two charges are each felonies with maximum penalties of 10 years in prison and a $20,000 fine.


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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