Weather Forecast


News Briefs: Victims identified in plane crash that destroyed Sauk Rapids home

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


Victims identified in plane crash that destroyed Sauk Rapids home

SAUK RAPIDS, Minn. -- Two people killed last week when their small plane crashed into a Sauk Rapids home have been identified.

Scott A. Olson, 60, and Alexander Voigt, 16, were killed while sightseeing Friday, the St. Cloud Times reported.

Olson was a commercial pilot from St. Cloud and Voigt was a German foreign exchange student staying with St. Cloud Mayor Dave Kleis, the mayor told the Times. Voigt had been in the United States for 10 months and was scheduled to fly back to Germany this week.

Former North Dakota State University football player Kole Heckendorf, 28, was in the home at the time of the crash and escaped without injuries. The home was destroyed in a fire that resulted from the crash.

'Chip' Wadena, former White Earth Tribal chairman, dies at 75

A former White Earth Tribal chairman who fell from power after being convicted of corruption and embezzlement has died.

Darrell “Chip” Wadena died Tuesday, family told tribal officials. He was 75.

Wadena was chairman of the White Earth band in northern Minnesota for 20 years before his defeat at the polls in 1996.

That same year he was convicted of 15 federal charges and went on to serve a 33-month prison term for embezzlement, money laundering and rigging construction bids for the Shooting Star Casino in Mahnomen.

Erma Vizenor, who led the group of activists who ousted Wadena, now serves as White Earth’s tribal chairwoman.

Despite the conviction, Wadena maintained a good reputation on the reservation.

Former Minnesota Senate Majority Leader Roger Moe remembered Wadena as a good friend who “made a mistake,” but otherwise did good things for the White Earth band.

Wadena had been battling an illness leading up to his death, Moe said.

Victim of Hastings shooting identified

HASTINGS, Minn. -- A man shot to death Sunday night in Hastings has been identified as 34-year-old Jason Charles Reuter.

Hastings officers were called to the 1200 block of Eddy Street just before 10 p.m. on the report of shots fired. When officers arrived, Reuter was found dead.

Nobody else was injured.

Hastings police said they believe the shooting was an isolated incident and were interviewing people who may have information.

"We're seeking out and interviewing a number of people," Police Chief Bryan Schafer said. "We're continuing to look at people of interest."

The Minnesota Bureau of Criminal Apprehension, Hennepin County medical examiner and the Dakota County and Washington County sheriff’s offices are assisting.

The medical examiner's office released Reuter's identity Tuesday afternoon.

Anyone with information is asked to contact Hastings police at (651) 480-2300 or by texting the word Hastings and the information to 847411 (tip411).

Burger King workers accused of using customer’s card to buy TV

WOODBURY, Minn. -- A pair of Woodbury Burger King workers apparently wanted it their way, according to criminal charges.

Prechez Ariane Natira Anderson and Deantre Rickey-Rene Squalls are accused of using their jobs at the fast food restaurant as a ploy to steal a customer’s credit card information and purchase a television set. Anderson, of St. Paul, and Squalls, of Minneapolis, were each charged with one count of aiding and abetting financial card fraud, a felony.

Woodbury police received a report in March of a fraudulent online purchase made for a $694 TV through Walmart. The complainant also reported a fraudulent attempt to buy $2,801 in merchandise through using the same card.

According to a criminal complaint, investigators learned the purchase was made using the complainant’s credit card, which she had last used at Burger King. The woman hadn’t realized until later that the drive-thru cashier had never returned the card.

Police investigated the report at Burger King, where an officer witnessed Squalls dropping off Anderson for her shift. Squalls and his vehicle later matched up with surveillance video of a man picking up the TV set from the Eagan Walmart, according to the complaint.

Junior hockey players accused of taping sex with 15-year-old

MOORHEAD, Minn. – Two junior hockey players are charged with creating and disseminating child pornography after they allegedly videotaped sex with a 15-year-old girl at a Moorhead motel after a game in February, then sent the video around to other people.

Thomas Ryan Carey of Moorhead and Brandon Nicholas Smith of Nebraska, both 19, were charged Monday in Clay County District Court with one count of use of a minor in a sexual performance, one count of possession and one count of dissemination of child pornography, all felonies.

According to charges filed against the men, who are players with the Lincoln Stars junior hockey team, the girl told her mother she had sex with Carey at the Days Inn in Moorhead on Feb. 14, the night after the Stars played the Fargo Force in Fargo.

She had met Carey, a former Moorhead High School player, on Facebook about a week earlier, court documents say, and discovered she had been videotaped when she received messages from other players and girls making reference to the video.

No court date has been set for either defendant.

Seven people, including four children, hurt in I-35 rollover

WILLOW RIVER, Minn. -- Seven people were hospitalized Monday night after a one-vehicle rollover on Interstate 35 between Willow River and Sturgeon Lake in northern Pine County. Four of the victims were children ages 7 and under.

The Minnesota State Patrol reported that a 1997 Chevrolet Blazer with seven people in it was heading north and went off the road to the left at mile marker 208. The report says the SUV returned to the road surface and flipped twice, ending up in the right-side ditch resting on the driver’s side.

The State Patrol said a 40-year-old woman from Rochester was driving the Blazer. Two adults, ages 25 and 20, were passengers along with children ages 7, 4, 4 and 3. All of the victims were sent to the hospital in Moose Lake. Two were eventually sent to Essentia Health-St. Mary’s Medical Center in Duluth by air and ambulance. Two victims were taken by air to a children’s hospital in St. Paul.

The driver, a 20-year-old and two children -- ages 7 and 4 -- were listed with minor injuries. The others had “serious injuries” the State Patrol reported.


Man shot to death at Grand Forks apartment complex

GRAND FORKS, N.D. -- A 24-year-old Park River native died after suffering multiple gunshot wounds early Tuesday at a Grand Forks apartment complex, and police were seeking two people of interest.

Police identified the victim as Jose Luis Alphonso Lopez.

Officers were dispatched to the complex for a report of a disturbance involving a firearm. They found Lopez, who graduated from Park River High School in 2009. His Facebook page shows that he was living in Grand Forks and working at Motor Coach Industries.

He was transported to Altru Hospital, where he died of his injuries, police said in a news release.

Police were looking for men seen leaving the area on foot.

Officers began knocking on doors in the complex after the shooting, and they could be seen going through trash.

Police haven't said whether the general public is in danger, and no other details were immediately known.