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News Briefs: Sex charges dropped against Morris principal

The following is a collection of news briefs from Forum Communication Company newspapers in Minnesota and North Dakota.


Sex charges dropped against principal

MORRIS, Minn. – Criminal sexual conduct charges filed against the Morris Area High School principal were dismissed Tuesday.

Stevens County Attorney Aaron Jordan filed paperwork to drop the charges against Craig Peterson after evidence collected within the last month made it clear there is no longer sufficient evidence to proceed with the case.

Peterson was charged with two counts of criminal sexual conduct in the first degree and two counts of criminal sexual conduct in the third degree in December. A woman accused him of having non-consensual sex with her at his home.

In a press release. Jordan praised the work of the Morris Police Department and Minnesota Bureau of Criminal Apprehension.

“They as worked hard to find evidence that exonerates as they would to find evidence that would lead to conviction,” he said.

In a statement provided through his attorney, Peterson thanked members of the community for their support.

“As an educator who this community placed in a position of trust over its children, I hope the dismissal of these charges reaffirms that trust in me as an educator and a school principal,” he said.

Kayaker rescued from river

CROSSLAKE, Minn. -- A woman was rescued Tuesday when the kayak she was in overturned in the rain-swollen Pine River in central Minnesota.

The 53-year-old from New Jersey was rescued a short distance downriver from the Army Corps of Engineers dam in Crosslake, Crow Wing County Sheriff Todd Dahl reported.

The kayaker, identified as Ann Weissman, was rescued by members of the Crosslake Fire Department, who were the first to respond to the incident reported at 11:53 a.m.

After her kayak overturned, Weissman was pinned to a tree because of the extremely strong current. Rescuers were unable to free her from the tree due to the current, at which time the Army Corps of Engineers shut down the dam in order for the water level to subside.

Weissman was examined by medical personnel but was not transported for treatment. Weissman was wearing a life jacket and a helmet.

Dahl said Crow Wing County and surrounding areas have received heavy rains and that water levels are extremely high and river and streams have strong currents.

Vehicle rolls trying to go around railroad crossarms

DORAN, Minn. – Three people were taken to the hospital Tuesday afternoon after the vehicle they were in struck a railroad crossing barrier and rolled.

The incident happened about 3 p.m. in the city of Doran in western Minnesota, according to the Minnesota State Patrol.

An SUV was southbound on Minnesota Highway 9 and approaching a railroad crossing when the crossing arms began to descend. The vehicle attempted to go around the arms but rolled when it struck the barrier.

The three people in the vehicle were taken to the hospital with injuries that were not life-threatening.

The driver of the pickup was identified as Jade D. Larson, 19, of Lisbon, N.D.

The others in the vehicle were identified by the State Patrol as Anna J. Pogreba, 18, and Jaydin R. Pote, 13, both of Campbell, Minn.

North Dakota

Man arrested at mall after chase

FARGO – A 33-year-old man was arrested Tuesday night after a chase with police that ended at the West Acres mall.

Kendall Scott Feist, of Bismarck, who had warrants out for his arrest, was seen at a business in the Moorhead, Minn., Industrial Park about 7 p.m., Moorhead police said.

Feist drove away and eluded police, eventually driving onto Village Green Golf Course.

Police stopped chasing Feist on the golf course because of the danger to others, according to a release from the Moorhead Police Department.

Moorhead police stopped again when Feist later drove through a construction zone on Interstate 94 in Fargo. At that point, Fargo police and the North Dakota Bureau of Criminal Investigation took over.

Feist eventually parked and entered the West Acres Mall, which was locked down for a brief time while police arrested him.

It was the first time the mall had been locked down for an actual emergency, said mall director of marketing Alyssa Adams.

Police arrested Feist and booked him in Cass County Jail for his outstanding felony warrants, which include drug-related charges. He also faces felony charges for fleeing police and criminal damage to property.

N.D. oil production hits 1 million barrels per day

WILLISTON, N.D. – North Dakota has surpassed the much-anticipated milestone of producing 1 million barrels of oil per day.

The state produced an average of 1,001,149 barrels per day in April, according to preliminary figures released by the state Tuesday.

North Dakota has been hovering around that milestone for several months, but difficult winter weather slowed production and delayed hitting the mark until spring.

Director of Mineral Resources Lynn Helms projects that North Dakota oil production will hit 1.5 million barrels per day in 2017, under his peak projection.

Continental Resources CEO Harold Hamm said last month during the Williston Basin Petroleum Conference that he expects North Dakota will eventually hit 2 million barrels per day.

North Dakota is the second-highest oil-producing state, trailing only Texas.

Daily oil production in Texas is approaching 3 million barrels per day. The state produced an average of 2,968,000 barrels per day in March, according to the U.S. Energy Information Administration.

The North Dakota Petroleum Council is holding a 1 million barrel celebration from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m. June 25 in Tioga.