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REGIONAL BRIEFS: Giant apple pie to join 150-foot brat

From the Forum News Service

North Dakota

Man found dead after tractor fire near Minto

MINTO, N.D. -- A 79-year-old Walsh County man was found dead Monday evening after authorities responded to a report of a tractor fire near Minto.

The fire was reported at 6:55 p.m. Monday, one mile east of Interstate 29 and three-quarters of a mile south of Walsh County Road 15, according to the Walsh County Sheriff’s Department.

After Minto Fire Department firefighters extinguished the blaze, they discovered the driver’s body inside the cab, according to a news release.

The body was sent to the State Medical Examiner’s Office in Bismarck.

The victim’s name has not been released. The investigation is continuing, the release said.


Woman charged after train strikes unattended car

GRAND FORKS. N.D. -- A woman was arrested early Tuesday after the car she had been driving was struck by a train along North Washington Street, just outside Grand Forks.

Tamara Michael, 52, of El Dorado Hills, Calif., was charged with actual physical control of a motor vehicle while under the influence of alcohol, according to a release from the Grand Forks County Sheriff’s Department.

An unoccupied 2013 Subaru was struck by a southbound BNSF train around 1:20 a.m., the report said. While responding, deputies were informed that no one was in the vehicle, but as they arrived, they learned that a woman was walking a short distance from the scene. Deputies brought Michael back to the scene and determined that she had been the driver of the car, the report said. Evidence indicated that she missed a curve in the road and the vehicle became stuck on the railroad tracks. After unsuccessfully trying to free the vehicle, Michael, who was not injured, left the scene and started walking, the report said. The train then struck the car.

Michael was taken to the Grand Forks County Correctional Center and released on bond.


NDSU reports 4 percent increase in first-year students

FARGO -- North Dakota State University reported that enrollment for first-year students on the first full day of classes Tuesday was up 4 percent over this time last year.

There are 2,578 students in NDSU’s freshman class – an increase of more than 100 from a year ago. First-day enrollment has increased at the college for eight consecutive years.

Graduate student enrollment is up 13 percent – about 275 students – over last year, bringing the total number of graduate students to an estimated 2,063.

Official total enrollment figures will not be available until the end of September as students continue to register and drop classes.


Saunders child abuse case to go to trial

DICKINSON, N.D. -- A jury trial is on the horizon for parents charged with child abuse after their baby was found dead with drugs in his body.

At a pretrial hearing before Southwest District Judge Zane Anderson on Tuesday, lawyers for Theresa and Andrue Rien Saunders announced neither defendant had accepted the state’s plea offer. So after one more pretrial hearing, the couple will face a trial expected to last at least five days due to the amount of evidence in the case.

According to the criminal complaint, the Saunderses had illegal drugs in their Dickinson home with the child, and upon the baby’s death, he was found to have traces of cocaine and methamphetamine in his body.

The baby was less than a year old when he died in October 2011.

The now-divorced parents, both in their early 20s, pleaded not guilty in May. Theresa Saunders is living in Las Vegas and appeared at the hearing Tuesday by phone.

Andrue Saunders also faces related charges of possession of a controlled substance.



Former treasurer ordered to repay city of Carlos

ALEXANDRIA, Minn. -- A former treasurer for the city of Carlos has been ordered to repay the city more than $43,000 after pleading guilty to a theft charge.

Bambi Alexander, 38, of Carlos, was sentenced last week in Douglas County District Court for embezzlement dating back to 2011. She was sentenced to 10 years of supervised probation, 60 days in jail and ordered to pay $43,801.95, which includes $43,666.95 in restitution and $135 in court costs. Alexander was given credit for jail time already served.

Alexander pleaded guilty June 27 to one count of felony theft for receiving more than $34,000 in unauthorized city checks. Her crime carried a maximum sentence of 10 years imprisonment and a $20,000 fine.

(AEP) Bambi Alexander mug

Woman admits being mother of newborns found dead

GRANITE FALLS, Minn. -- A Clarkfield woman interviewed this month in a homicide investigation admitted giving birth to two babies whose remains were discovered last fall on a family member's property in eastern South Dakota, court documents say.

Kelly Jean Anderson-Person, 34, formerly of Hendricks, was interviewed Aug. 13 by two South Dakota investigators in the homicide case and now is subject to a civil commitment hearing Friday after she pulled a gun and pointed it at her head while holding her infant child, according to documents filed in Yellow Medicine County. She was disarmed in a struggle and no one was injured.

The petition for commitment filed by Yellow Medicine County Family Services states that in an interview with investigators, Anderson-Person acknowledged being pregnant in 2009 and 2011 and acknowledged that the remains found in South Dakota were babies she had birthed.

Anderson-Person has been held at Rice Memorial Hospital in Willmar since Aug. 13.

The South Dakota Division of Criminal Investigation has been leading the homicide investigation since the discovery of the remains in November.

Records checks show that no criminal charges against Anderson-Person had been filed in Minnesota as of Tuesday, and no charges had been filed in South Dakota as of Monday.


Hunters urged to avoid shooting collared bears

ST. PAUL -- Minnesota bear hunters should avoid shooting radio-collared research bears when the state’s annual bear hunting season opens Sunday, Department of Natural Resources officials say.

The bears are marked with large colorful ear tags or colorful streamers.

DNR researchers are monitoring about 30 radio-collared black bears, most of them in northwestern Minnesota, especially near Thief Lake Wildlife Management Area and the Agassiz National Wildlife Refuge. Additional radio-collared bears reside in and around the Chippewa National Forest, Camp Ripley, Cloquet Forestry Station and Voyageurs National Park.

Bear research also is being conducted between Ely and Tower near the Eagles Nest chain of lakes in northern St. Louis County.

Many of the collars have GPS units that collect and store data, which is downloaded by DNR researchers when they visit the bears in their dens.

Any hunters who shoot collared bears should call the DNR Wildlife Research Office in Grand Rapids at (218) 327-4146 or (218) 327-4133.


Deer River woman killed in motorcycle crash

BIGFORK, Minn. -- A Deer River woman was killed Monday in a motorcycle accident in Itasca County.

According to the Itasca County Sheriff’s Office, a report came in at 4 p.m. that someone was injured in an accident on Scenic Highway 7 near Scenic State Park.

First responders found Vivian Irene Rittmiller, 61, and applied aid. She was transported by ambulance to Bigfork, where she died from her injuries.



Divers find body of drowning victim

HAYWARD, Wis. -- The body of a 41-year-old Hayward man reported to have drowned Saturday in Lac Courte Oreilles Lake in Sawyer County was found in the lake Sunday morning by a dive team.

Arthur J. Schmock’s body was found at 9:38 a.m.

The Sawyer County Sheriff’s Office received a call about a drowning around 6 p.m. Saturday and activated its dive team. At 8 p.m. the search was suspended because of darkness and high winds.

At 7 a.m. Sunday the search resumed, with help from the Sawyer County Search and Rescue Team, the Lac Courte Oreille Police Department, the St. Louis County Search and Rescue Team, the Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources and the Sawyer County Ambulance Service.


Giant apple pie to join 150-foot brat

PRESCOTT, Wis. -- Herdie Baisden, owner of Maiden Rock Apples, Winery and Cidery in Stockholm, Wis., said he was intrigued by the concept of a 12-foot pie, when an oversized pie tin, split into eight man-sized wedges, came up for sale.

A year later, the 12-foot apple pie is about to become a reality. The Prescott Lions Club will sell slices of the pie -- large enough to feed more than 1,500 people -- starting noon Labor Day, at the same Ptacek's IGA cooks a world-record-breaking bratwurst -- a 150-footer.

Combining 580 pounds of apples, 84 pounds of crust, 110 pounds of cinnamon-sugar mix and 150 pounds of streusel, the 12-foot pie will be one of the largest ever baked in Wisconsin.

It will be cooked in a custom-made oven standing about 2 feet high and roughly 12-foot square, made of a metal frame, insulation and glass.

The main event Monday will be Ptacek's IGA's world-record-breaking attempt at making a 150-foot brat. The family-owned grocery store made the record books last year with a 52-foot brat.

Proceeds from the brat event will go toward building a new public park in Prescott, while funds raised from the pie will help support Prescott Lions Club's civic and volunteer work.


South Dakota

Flandreau woman, 108, becomes oldest S.D. resident

FLANDREAU, S.D. -- Dagmar "Dolly" Keehn of Flandreau is now believed to be the oldest living South Dakotan.

Keehn, 108, takes the place of the state's previous oldest resident, Dorothy Antritter, who was 108 and died Saturday in Watertown, according to LuAnn Severson, Century Club coordinator for the South Dakota Health Care Association.

Keehn was born March 11, 1905. That made her roughly 3½ months younger than Antritter. Antritter's sister, Ruby Antritter, also lived to 108. She died in June 2012.


Stop procreating, judge orders criminal

MITCHELL, S.D. -- A judge Tuesday in Mitchell ordered a man to avoid impregnating women.

Judge Tim Bjorkman's list of conditions for suspending Carlos Claudio's prison time included standard items, such as the paying of court costs and fines, and avoiding drugs and alcohol.

There was also a rare stipulation:

"You will use your best efforts to avoid procreation while on probation," Bjorkman said.

Claudio has three children with three women, which Bjorkman said places extra financial burden on Claudio, preventing him from being able to pay costs and fines on time.

"Do you think it's reasonable to stop having children while on probation?" Bjorkman asked Claudio.

"Yes. I never planned to have kids, really. It just came up," Claudio said.

Claudio, 26, of Yankton, was arrested in April and later convicted of possessing methamphetamine during a traffic stop.

Bjorkman suspended a three-year prison sentence and instead sentenced Claudio to 90 days in jail.

Other conditions of the sentence include not using drugs or alcohol or gambling, and he must obtain counseling, obtain a chemical dependency evaluation and use his best efforts to obtain a GED. Any violation of the sentencing stipulations could result in the suspended prison time being reimposed.


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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