News Briefs: Head Start student left on busEditor's note: The following is a collection of news briefs from Forum Communication Company newspapers in Minnesota and North Dakota.
Editor's note: The following is a collection of news briefs from Forum Communication Company newspapers in Minnesota and North Dakota.
Lakeshore wilderness protected
DULUTH -- Nearly 1,000 acres of private land along the hills overlooking Lake Superior near Two Harbors, Minn. will remain undeveloped, thanks to a land conservation deal announced Monday.
A conservation easement has been brokered for the land in Lake County that includes old growth pine and cedar forests and more than 12,000 feet of shoreline along the Encampment and Crow Rivers.
The deal also preserves access for hikers on the Lake Superior Hiking Trail that runs through the property, including segments that overlook Lake Superior.
The land will remain owned by Two Harbors businessmen Butch and Milt Wittlief, and they will continue to pay taxes on the land, but they permanently have sold the rights to develop the property.
The deal was considered even more environmentally valuable because the Wittlief land is just north of another 500-acre conservation easement held by the Nature Conservancy. Meanwhile, a 90-acre conservation easement to the southwest is held by the Minnesota Land Trust. And the State of Minnesota manages forest land to the east.
Head Start student left on bus
CLOQUET, Minn. -- The Fond du Lac Band of Lake Superior Chippewa is investigating why a child was left on a Head Start bus for three hours Monday morning in temperatures hovering at 0 degrees.
According to the tribe, the driver of the bus did not check to see if all students had left the bus after it stopped at the Head Start on tribal land near Cloquet. Tribal attorney Dennis Peterson said “we’re looking into it,” when asked about the boy, who apparently had fallen asleep in a seat.
He said the student was sent to a hospital for observation and was released in good shape later in the day. There were no details on how the boy was eventually discovered.
Fond du Lac runs its own transportation system and drivers are trained to search their buses after dropping students off, Peterson said.
Tribal chairwoman Karen Diver said the employees involved have been placed on administrative leave while an investigation continues.
“Tribal administration is taking it very seriously but do not have all the facts yet,” she said.
Counties work together on emergency radio system
WILLMAR, Minn. — A new regional radio “logger” system that will record law enforcement and other emergency radio traffic and 911 calls in a 10-county area will be housed at the Kandiyohi County dispatch center in Willmar and the Meeker County Sheriff’s Office in Litchfield.
The system is another step in regional cooperation that helps many different agencies improve services at a reduced cost, said Kandiyohi County Sheriff Dan Hartog.
“It’s another example of how counties and the city of St. Cloud can work together for one main goal,” said Hartog.
The regional system for logging data — from phone calls to radio chatter — will be used by Kandiyohi, Meeker, Big Stone, Douglas, Grant, Mille Lacs, Otter Tail, Pope, Stevens and Wright counties and the city of St. Cloud.
Woman forgives husband for stabbing
MOORHEAD, MInn. – The wife of a man sentenced to almost 11 years in prison Monday for stabbing her in the chest said she forgives him and that he was sleep-deprived and blacking out often at the time.
Raven Stillday suffered a punctured lung June 25 when her estranged husband, Kenton Wayne Stillday, 38, grabbed a knife, chased her out of her Dilworth mobile home, pinned her to the ground and told her “If I can’t have you, no one will,” before stabbing her in the upper left chest just above her heart, court records state.
Kenton Stillday pleaded guilty Dec. 14 to second-degree attempted murder in a plea agreement in Clay County District Court.
Judge Lisa Borgen accepted the recommended punishment Monday, sentencing Stillday to 10 years and 10½ months in prison. With good behavior, he will serve seven years and three months behind bars and the rest on supervised probation. He received credit for 204 days in jail.
In a victim impact statement, Raven Stillday called her husband a great father to their six children and said he had never been physically abusive in the 14 years she had known him.
Credibility at issue again in Norberg divorce trial
FARGO – The divorce trial between Fargo doctors Jon and Alonna Norberg picked up Monday where his criminal trial left off – with attorneys trying either to defend or erode her credibility.
A jury acquitted Jon Norberg in November of charges accusing him of drugging his wife with the powerful sedative propofol without her permission and sexually assaulting her.
As Judge Steven Marquart noted at the trial’s start, nothing has been resolved in the divorce and everything is at issue, including custody of the couple’s three minor children and division of assets.
Among the assets are the couple’s homes in Fargo and Florida, more than $660,000 in financial assets and anywhere from $581,991 to nearly $1.1 million in business interests, according to each spouse’s separate valuations listed on an asset and debt listing filed with the court Friday.
Jon Norberg also listed more than $300,000 in personal property, including paintings and fur coats.
Car from fatal crash used for DUI education
BISMARCK – Relatives of a West Fargo family that died last summer in a crash caused by a drunk driver have donated the family’s wrecked car to the Safe Communities Coalition for educational purposes.
Aaron and Allison Deutscher, their 18-month-old daughter, Brielle, and an unborn child were killed July 6 just west of Jamestown on Interstate 94. The drunk driver, 28-year-old Wyatt Daniel Klein of Jamestown, was driving the wrong way on I-94 when the two cars collided. Klein also was killed in the crash.
From 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. Wednesday, the Safe Communities Coalition will display the Deutschers’ car at the west entrance of the North Dakota Capitol for “Law Day.”
The display is intended to give lawmakers an opportunity to see first-hand the tragic result of drunk driving. The car also will be the centerpiece of a traveling display.
The display was made possible by a donation from AAA clubs in North Dakota and Minnesota.
North Dakota lawmakers will consider proposals to toughen drunk driving laws in this year’s legislative session.
GF man wanted on warrants flees deputies
GRAND FORKS, N.D. -- Grand Forks County Sheriff’s deputies on Monday were looking for a man who ran when deputies stopped a vehicle to find him because of outstanding warrants.
Dustin Cody Desjarlais, 25, of Grand Forks, last was seen running between mobile homes in the Irongate Court area west of Interstate 29 and south of U.S. Highway 2 in the northwest area of Grand Forks.
When deputies stopped a vehicle looking for him during the noon hour Monday, Desjarlais was a passenger and took off running across snow-covered yards and streets.
He was wearing a red, hooded sweatshirt and dark pants and is described as 5 feet, 8 inches tall, 160 pounds, with black hair and brown eyes.
Desjarlais is wanted on several new and old misdemeanor charges in Grand Forks of drug possession, fleeing and traffic violations dating back to mid-2011, according to deputies and court records. He also has served time in the Grand Forks County jail on previous similar misdemeanor convictions.
Lt. Gary Grove of the sheriff’s department said there’s no reason to think Desjarlais is a danger to the public.
Anyone with information about Dejarlais can contact the sheriff’s office at (701) 780-8280 or any local law enforcement office.