News Briefs: $50,000 in cattle believed stolen in Otter Tail County
Editor's note: The following is a collection of news briefs from Forum Communication Company newspapers in Minnesota and North Dakota.
$50,000 in cattle believed stolen in Otter Tail County
HENNING, Minn. -- Twenty-three head of Black Angus cows and 32 Black Angus calves, valued at about $50,000, are missing from a farm near Henning.
The Otter Tail County Sheriff's Department said the owner noticed the missing cattle when he was moving the herd and conducted a head count.
Authorities believe the cattle were stolen sometime in the last 10 days. They were taken from a property at Rocky Ridge Road southeast of Henning.
An investigation is continuing.
Cougar sighted near Hendrum
HENDRUM, Minn. -- A cougar was spotted over the weekend near this northwestern Minnesota town.
A trail cam caught the animal moving through the area. The cat also was reportedly spotted in a different area west of Hendrum.
A family that owns chickens nearby told WDAY-TV that they are on the lookout but so far have not seen the cougar since the weekend.
The Norman County Sheriff's Office said it is aware of the sighting, but there have been no reports of injuries to livestock.
Authorities said there’s a good chance the cougar was just passing through.
Murder suspect now faces porn charges
PARK RAPIDS, Minn. -- The suspect in a Lake Hattie killing has been charged with possession of pornography.
Fredrick William Bachman, 27, formerly of Laporte, faces seven counts of possession of pornographic works, each punishable by a maximum of five years in prison and/or a $5,000 fine upon conviction.
Bachman is charged with second-degree murder in the death of retreat owner James Schwartzbauer, 57, whose body was found May 31 in the rubble of his burned-out home on Lake Hattie.
The new felony charges allege that Bachman possessed child pornography on computer discs from around 2009 and 2010 until his arrest this year.
Bachman is in the Hubbard County Correctional Center on $600,000 unconditional bond in the murder case.
Students file suit against Globe University
WOODBURY, Minn. -- Five current and former Globe University students filed a lawsuit Wednesday against the for-profit school and its affiliated partner, Minnesota School of Business.
The plaintiffs, who are seeking class-action status, represent students who attended Globe since 2007, according to court documents filed in Hennepin County District Court.
The suit alleges that Globe, which is based in Woodbury, misled students about its accreditation standards, job placement rates and transfer opportunities to other institutions.
“Most of the people that we represent have paid Globe tens of thousands of dollars, and they are unable to find jobs using their education, unable to transfer their credits,” said Scott Carlson, attorney for Halunen and Associates, the firm representing the students. “Every dollar they paid to Globe was a waste, and they ought to get it back.”
The firm also represented former Globe University dean Heidi Weber in a whistleblower suit against the school. A Washington County jury awarded her $400,000 in damages.
Carlson said current and former students began contacting the firm during Weber’s public fight to discuss their potential legal grievances.
Globe University officials were not immediately able to comment on the matter.
Last Place trial goes to jury
MINNEAPOLIS — The Last Place on Earth may have been a revolting place, but that didn’t make the business illegal, defense attorney John Markham told jurors Wednesday in the federal trial involving the Duluth head shop.
As prosecutors tried to show jurors that store owner Jim Carlson and two others attempted to defraud the government by misbranding and selling illegal drugs, defense attorneys argued that it was quite the contrary.
“Surely, Mr. Carlson could be convicted of one thing if it was illegal: being open, obnoxious, notorious and transparent about his business,” Markham said.
Now it’s up to jurors to decide. After hearing more than four hours of closing arguments, and more than an hour of legal instructions, the panel began deliberating late Wednesday afternoon. Jurors recessed for the evening, and deliberations will pick up again this morning.
Carlson, 56, is charged in U.S. District Court in Minneapolis with 55 federal crimes stemming from the sale of products that he commonly called incense and bath salts, which government attorneys say actually were illegal controlled-substance analogues. His girlfriend, Lava Haugen, 33, and son, Joseph Gellerman, 34, face four counts apiece.
College football player charged in Minneapolis murder case
VALLEY CITY, N.D. -- A star football player at Valley City State University faces charges in a fatal shooting outside a club in Minneapolis last weekend.
Cedric Chappell Jr., 21, is charged in Hennepin County District Court with second-degree murder and attempted murder after a witness picked him out of a lineup as the man who fatally shot a 22-year-old St. Paul man in a shootout outside the bar and restaurant early Saturday, court records say.
Chappell, who is initially from Minneapolis, was arrested Tuesday and was awaiting extradition at the Barnes County Jail.
Court documents say Minneapolis police responded to reports of shots fired just after 2 a.m. Saturday outside the Blue Nile Nightclub, an Ethiopian restaurant and bar. Authorities found one man dead from a single gunshot wound to the chest. Police identified him as Willie James Smith III.
Police say a fight inside the bar spilled out into a parking lot and ended in gunfire, with one other man also wounded.
Chappell, a standout two-sport athlete in high school in Minneapolis, was a wide receiver on the VCSU football team and was leading the Vikings in both receiving yards and touchdowns, with 232 yards and five scores.
Governor expects to name new tax commissioner in November
BISMARCK – Gov. Jack Dalrymple intends to name a new tax commissioner in November who will serve the remainder of Cory Fong’s term, the governor’s office said Wednesday.
Dalrymple has directed Lt. Gov. Drew Wrigley to gather letters of interest for the position and oversee the appointment process, Dalrymple spokesman Jeff Zent said.
Fong, who announced Tuesday he will resign at the end of the year, plans to work for Bismarck-based advertising, marketing and public relations firm Odney.
Wrigley will assist in vetting the candidates, and the governor will interview a small group of finalists, Zent said. The tax commissioner position is up for election in November 2014.
Escaped inmate remains loose in Williston
WILLISTON, N.D. -- Authorities here are asking residents to make sure their homes, garages, campers and sheds are locked as an escaped inmate remains on the loose.
Preston Sonstegaard, who was being held at the Williams County Correctional Center on probation revocation charges, escaped early Tuesday while being treated at the Mercy Medical Center emergency room in Williston.
Wednesday morning, a man gave Sonstegaard a ride to the 700 block of 18th Street East in Williston, the Williams County Sheriff’s Office said.
The man found out who Sonstegaard was and reported to police he was in the area, the sheriff’s office said.
Sonstegaard left on foot from there. Officers searched the area and were unable to locate Sonstegaard. He is now reported to be wearing a baggy green sweatshirt and baggy blue jeans. Sonstegaard, 25, is 5-foot-6, 125 pounds and has blue eyes.
The public is asked to immediately dial 911 if they see Sonstegaard.
Police make arrest in Grand Forks sex assault
GRAND FORKS, N.D. -- A man suspected of breaking into a Grand Forks apartment and raping and robbing two women at gunpoint has been charged with multiple felonies.
Antonio Raheem Matthews, 20, of Grand Forks, was in custody on unrelated municipal warrants when he was arrested Tuesday night in connection with the incident, according to Grand Forks police Lt. Jim Remer.
In an affidavit filed Wednesday by the Grand Forks County State’s Attorney’s Office, Matthews was charged with three counts of gross sexual imposition, a Class AA felony, as well as two counts of robbery and felonious restraint. He was also charged with one count of terrorizing.
Between 1 and 2 a.m. Monday, police say a man entered an apartment north of the University of North Dakota campus through a sliding glass door. Once inside, the armed man forced the women to hand over their cellphones and took turns raping the women, police said. The women were taken to Altru Hospital but did not need treatment for any serious physical injury, police said.
Matthews was tracked down by police “based on his physical description and tattoos on his body,” according to the affidavit.
NDSU launches Sound Ag Advice podcast
FARGO – The North Dakota State University Extension Service has launched Sound Ag Advice, a podcast featuring agricultural topics ranging from rangeland management to crop prices.
A new three- to four-minute podcast is launched each week.
Listeners can download the podcasts or subscribe to them through My Yahoo, iTunes or Google.
VCSU to host Clay Jenkinson performance
VALLEY CITY, N.D. – Nationally recognized humanities scholar, author and performer Clay Jenkinson will portray President Thomas Jefferson in a performance at 7 p.m. Oct. 15 in the Vangstad Auditorium on the Valley City State University campus.
Jenkinson can be heard weekly on “The Thomas Jefferson Hour” on public radio. His performance will focus on Jefferson’s writing of the Declaration of Independence and the “self-evident truths” on which the document is based.
The program is part of the university’s “What in the World is Going On” program, which was established shortly after the Sept. 11 terror attacks to focus on issues of local, national and international importance.
It is free and open to the public. For more information, call (701) 845-7321.
Two teens injured in crash near Bismarck
BISMARCK – Two teens were injured Tuesday night when a pickup pulling a horse trailer overturned on Interstate 94 near Bismarck.
According to the North Dakota Highway Patrol:
Hunter J. Pfaff, 16, of Tappen, was driving east from Bismarck to Tappen about 6:10 p.m. Tuesday when he lost control of his vehicle and the pickup entered the median and overturned.
Neither Pfaff nor a passenger in the vehicle, Kailee M. Binder, 15, of Steele, were wearing seatbelts.
Both were ejected from the vehicle and taken to a Bismarck hospital for treatment of injuries.
The crash happened about five miles east of Bismarck, according to the Highway Patrol.