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News Briefs: Man wearing only underwear arrested after chase

Editor's note: The following is a collection of news briefs from Forum Communication Company newspapers in North Dakota, Minnesota and Wisconsin.


Man wearing only underwear arrested after chase

WEST FARGO, N.D. – A vehicle and foot chase in West Fargo on Monday night resulted in the arrest of a 26-year-old man who police say was wearing only his underwear when he was taken into custody.

According to a police report on the incident, West Fargo police received a report of suspicious activity at a home about 10:27 p.m. Officers saw a vehicle pull out of the driveway and attempted to pull that vehicle over. The driver led police on a chase, then stopped and ran.

Officers apprehended Tyler Bruun of rural West Fargo, who faces charges of driving under suspension, fleeing in a motor vehicle, fleeing on foot and reckless endangerment, the police report said.

Fargo to host 2016 international agriculture conference

FARGO -- More than 400 scientists and agriculture leaders will convene here when Fargo hosts an international agriculture conference in 2016.

Officials from North Dakota State University, the North Dakota Department of Agriculture, AdFarm and the Red River Valley Research Corridor announced Tuesday that they were selected as hosts for the 2016 Agricultural Biotechnology International Conference.

This is the first time the conference has been held in the U.S. since it started in 1996. It will provide an opportunity for area scientists to collaborate with researchers and businesses from across the world.

AdFarm CEO Roger Reierson, who will head the conference steering committee, said they will develop a theme for the conference that will affect the kind of researchers and businesses that attend. He said the theme will likely emphasize public and private-sector partnerships as the answer to global agricultural issues.

The conference is set for Sept. 18-21, 2016.

White House: 500-plus drilling permits on hold

WASHINGTON, D.C. — The Bureau of Land Management’s North Dakota office is sitting on more than 500 oil and gas drilling permit applications, the White House told Sen. Heidi Heitkamp’s office this week.

The BLM, which processes permits to drill on federal land, has furloughed more than 10,000 employees since the government shut down Oct. 1.

Heitkamp, a North Dakota Democrat who is part of a group of bipartisan senators working to end the shutdown, said the logjam will hurt federal government revenue streams.

She said companies with rigs with outstanding permits may move to private land because they’re sick of waiting.

“We’ve been keeping pretty close tabs on all of these impacts,” she said.

About a month ago, BLM’s permit backlog was 450, North Dakota Petroleum Council Vice President Kari Cutting said in an email.

Council spokeswoman Tessa Sandstrom said the shutdown will only add to delays.

“They already struggle to keep up,” she said of the BLM. “Now they’re just gonna be that much further behind.”

Western N.D. cowgirl named state’s Miss Rodeo

MINOT, N.D. -- A 20-year-old Amidon woman achieved her childhood dream over the weekend.

Setting up a busy year of travel, Codi Miller was named Miss Rodeo North Dakota 2014 on Sunday during the PRCA Badlands Circuit Rodeo Finals in Minot.

“This is a dream I’ve had since I was really little,” Miller said. “... When they said Miss Rodeo North Dakota was Codi Miller, I was shaking. Everything I’ve done since I was little paid off.”

Miller won’t be confined to appearances in North Dakota, as she will also travel to events next year in Denver, Las Vegas and Cheyenne Frontier Days in Wyoming, she said. Miller also will have a chance to be named Miss Rodeo America.

A graduate of Bowman County High School, Miller completed a hospitality and tourism degree at Black Hills State University and works as an event coordinator for the North Dakota Cowboy Hall of Fame.

“It’s going to be such an honor to travel the state and go to some other huge rodeos around the country,” Miller said. “To be able to represent North Dakota again will be very special.”

Miller also has served as a state high school rodeo queen, Miss Rodeo Mandan and Miss North Dakota Teen USA.

N.D. oil production tops 900,000 barrels per day

WILLISTON, N.D. -- North Dakota oil and gas production hit two milestones in August, exceeding daily production of 900,000 barrels of oil and 1 billion cubic feet of natural gas for the first time.

Oil production rose 4 percent in August to 911,242 barrels per day, according to preliminary figures released Tuesday by the Department of Mineral Resources.

“I think that tells us that late this year or very early next year we’ll see 1 million barrels a day,” Department of Mineral Resources Director Lynn Helms said. “That will be a big item for North Dakota.”

Helms said he expects another significant production increase in September, but an unusually wet October brought a lot of work to a halt in the state’s busiest county. McKenzie County, which has about one-third of the state’s 183 drilling rigs, has had to close gravel roads to heavy trucks in recent days, which means rigs can’t move and trucks can’t haul water and sand needed for hydraulic fracturing.

The percentage of natural gas flared in August dropped 1 percent to 29 percent. But the volume of gas flared increased from 9.3 billion cubic feet to 9.4 billion cubic feet during the month.


Man to return to face murder charge

FERGUS FALLS, Minn. – An Otter Tail County man charged with murdering his cousin over a drug debt is headed back to Minnesota to face the charges.

WDAY-TV reported Michael Kyle Burris, 23, formerly of Fergus Falls, has waived extradition from Arizona and will be on his way back to Otter Tail County District Court to face felony second-degree murder charges for killing Scott Burris.

Kyle Burris’ father, 65-year-old Michael Alan Burris, is also charged in the murder of his nephew. The senior Burris is still fighting extradition, WDAY-TV reported.

The father and son were arrested in Arizona on Aug. 12.

Scott Burris went missing from Elizabeth in western Minnesota in May 2012. His body was found in the Otter Tail River about a month later with a single gunshot wound.

Man charged in St. Paul Park shooting death

ST. PAUL PARK, Minn. -- A St. Paul man faces a felony manslaughter charge in the shooting death of a St. Paul Park man.

Washington County prosecutors charged Bernard F. Poston Jr., 22, with second-degree manslaughter in the Aug. 10 death of Regino M. Nitti, 20, in a St. Paul Park apartment.

St. Paul Park police said immediately after the shooting that Nitti was shot when the gun “inadvertently discharged.” Washington County District Court records allege that Poston didn’t know a shotgun was loaded when he picked it up and aimed it at Nitti, but then he fled the scene after briefly providing first aid to a dying Nitti.

The felony manslaughter charge alleges that Poston caused Nitti’s death “by culpable negligence” by creating an unreasonable risk and consciously took chances that caused his death.

Poston is scheduled to appear in Washington County District Court on Oct. 24.

The maximum penalty for a second-degree manslaughter conviction is 10 years in prison and a $20,000 fine.

Cause of fire at MinnWest building investigated

WILLMAR, Minn. -- Investigators are working to determine the cause of a fire Monday evening at a vacant building on the MinnWest Technology Campus in Willmar.

Willmar Fire Chief Gary Hendrickson said the blaze was reported just after 9 p.m. Monday when it was spotted by a Willmar police officer.

By the time the first Willmar fire engine arrived, heavy fire was coming through the roof of the building, which was vacant but was undergoing renovations.

The concrete construction of the 1930s vintage building stopped the fire from burning the structure, but it essentially burned the roof off, Hendrickson said.

No one was injured.


Red Wing woman gets jail for vehicular homicide

ELLSWORTH, Wis. -- A Red Wing woman will serve jail time for her involvement in a crash that killed a Minnesota man a year ago.

Cassandra Smith, 21, of Red Wing, Minn., was southbound on Hwy. 63 last October when her vehicle crossed the center line and collided with a northbound motorcycle driven by Dennis R. Manning, 65, of Pine Island, Minn. He died of his injuries.

Smith was initially charged in March with three vehicular homicide counts – by intoxicated use of vehicle, by use of controlled substance and by negligent operation. The first two were dismissed in August as part of a plea agreement.

Monday’s sentencing hearing was emotional on both sides, as Manning’s relatives called for extended jail time.

Pierce County Circuit Court Judge Joseph Boles didn’t go as far as the relatives hoped, as he sentenced Smith to five years’ probation with a nine-month jail term as one of the conditions. He ordered Smith to start serving 4½ months by next week but stayed the rest on the condition that she participates in a St. Croix Valley Restorative Justice program.

Smith must attend once a month and tell her story twice a year for the remainder of her jail term to be lifted.


Rain in Mitchell breaks 114-year-old record

MITCHELL, S.D. -- The nearly 3 inches of rain that fell Monday in Mitchell swept away a 114-year-old record but doesn’t indicate a continuing wet trend, a National Weather Service meteorologist said Tuesday.

Mitchell received 2.76 inches of rain at the automated airport station between midnight Sunday and midnight Monday. That’s considered the official amount for the record books, and it shattered Mitchell’s previous Oct. 14 record of 1.20 inches in 1899. A volunteer weather observer, meanwhile, reported 2.93 inches in the middle of Mitchell.

Meteorologist Phil Schumacher said Bridgewater received the highest precipitation total Monday in the area, registering 3.95 inches of rain in the 24-hour period.

Meteorologist Tim Masters attributed the heavy rains to moisture-laden upper atmosphere weather flows from the southwest that collided with colder seasonal air flows from the north. “This won’t be a pattern for the remainder of the fall or this winter,” he said.

Al Edenloff
Al Edenloff is the news and opinion page editor for the Echo Press. He was born in Alexandria and lived most of his childhood in Parkers Prairie. He graduated with honors from Moorhead State University with a degree in mass communications, print journalism. He interned at the Echo Press in the summer of 1983 and was hired a year later as a sports reporter. He also worked as a news reporter/photographer. Al is a four-time winner of the Minnesota Newspaper Association's Herman Roe Award, which honors excellence in editorial writing.  
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