News Briefs: Petition launched to stop moose huntGunflint Trail outfitter Sue Prom is adding to the growing din seeking to stop Minnesota’s annual fall moose hunt in light of the animal’s continued, long-term decline.
Editor's note: The following is a collection of news briefs from Forum Communication Company newspapers in North Dakota, Minnesota and South Dakota.
Petition launched to stop moose hunt
DULUTH -- Gunflint Trail outfitter Sue Prom is adding to the growing din seeking to stop Minnesota’s annual fall moose hunt in light of the animal’s continued, long-term decline.
Prom has started an electronic petition to convince the Minnesota Department of Natural Resources to cancel the hunt until the moose population begins to recover.
Prom, who owns Voyageur Canoe Outfitters near Saganaga Lake in Cook County with her husband, Mike, said she is far from against moose hunting — she even has a stuffed moose head in her lodge. But she echoed many others in Minnesota moose country who say they just aren’t seeing as many as they used to.
Prom said the hunt can’t be justified in light of the major decline in northeastern Minnesota’s moose herd — from more than 8,000 as recently as 2006 to about 4,000 today. The DNR has been conducting aerial surveys and should have an updated regionwide estimate in April.
The petition is located at http://www.change.org/petitions/minnesota-department-of-natural-resources-stop-the-minnesota-moose-hunt.
Rukavina joining Rep. Nolan’s staff
DULUTH -- Former state Rep. Tom Rukavina didn’t stay retired very long.
Rukavina, 62, the longtime Iron Range state lawmaker, has agreed to go to work for newly elected U.S. Rep Rick Nolan.
Rukavina supported Nolan in his successful bid to unseat one-term incumbent Republican Chip Cravaack in November, and Nolan credits his strong showing on the Iron Range to Rukavina.
“Tommy is coming to work for Congressman Nolan,” Steve Johnson, Nolan’s communications director in Washington, said Monday. “The details of it all haven’t been worked out yet.”
Johnson said Rukavina will be a paid staffer, a “district liaison” who will focus on mining, timber, tourism and other Iron Range issues.
Plea deal struck in check forgery case
MOORHEAD, Minn. – An Illinois man has struck a plea deal with Cass County prosecutors in exchange for his cooperation in getting to the bottom of an alleged check forging ring.
Prosecutors say Anthony Santo is expected to receive 13 months of supervised probation after he pleaded guilty to a single count of felony forgery on Monday. Four other similar charges against him were dropped.
Court documents alleged that Santo, who was accused of cashing forged checks at Hawley and Moorhead banks totaling nearly $14,000, told police, “They made me do it.”
Santo, who was charged with another man, Justin Barr, told police they’d been approached at a Minneapolis homeless shelter in late November by a man identified as “Diondre.”
Court documents also state a Clay County detective received information from police in St. Cloud about similar incidents involving forged checks that appeared to be linked to the case here.
Clay County Attorney Brian Melton said Santo had been “very cooperative” with law enforcement.
Santo is set to be sentenced March 1.
UND hockey players charged with alcohol violation
GRAND FORKS, N.D. -- Five University of North Dakota hockey players have been charged in Grand Forks District Court with “unlawful delivery to certain persons” for supplying alcohol at a team party in September.
Captains Andrew MacWilliam, Danny Kristo, Carter Rowney and Corban Knight — all of whom were suspended for the first game of the season for the party — were charged along with senior Joe Gleason.
They have a pretrial conference scheduled for March 7.
“When we announced our disciplinary measures in September, we did so acknowledging that those measures would not preclude possible actions taken by the local and/or state authorities,” UND athletic director Brian Faison said. “We are aware of the ongoing legal process and will allow that process to play out.”
Three other players were suspended for the incident but were not charged. According to court documents, the players supplied alcohol for teammates under the age of 21 on September 15. The charge is a Class A misdemeanor.
Body found in search for man
FARGO – Authorities searching for a missing Fargo man found a body Monday, but the body has not yet been identified.
The search was for Colter Dallman, 27, of Fargo, who has been missing since early January, .
A search dog led authorities to the body in a field southwest of Cass County Road 14 and Interstate 29 and just north of Memory Fireworks, which was being used as a staging area for the search, said Sgt. Tara Morris, spokeswoman for the Cass County Sheriff’s Office.
The body was found at about 2 p.m. Morris said. Search efforts for Dallman were discontinued until a positive ID could be made, she said.
Jamestown schools hire Beulah superintendent
JAMESTOWN, N.D. -- Although unofficial, the Jamestown Public School Board has tapped the next man to lead the public schools here.
Robert Lech (pronounced “Lek”), current superintendent of the Beulah School District, could formally be hired on Feb. 4 at the next School Board meeting. He would start in June.
The Jamestown Public School Board agreed Wednesday to offer the job to Lech after his interview.
“I think education is important whether you’re in a small school with 60 students, or you’re in a large school with many more,” Lech said in a telephone interview Monday. “Education is important and you do what you need to do to make sure that education continues.”
Current Superintendent Bob Toso will retire in June after serving as an administrator with the district for the past 12 years.
S.D. catching up on population
MITCHELL, S.D. -- South Dakota is growing faster than the nation for the first time in at least half a century.
Census reports estimate the state’s population grew by 2.4 percent from 2010 to 2012, compared to a 1.7 percent national growth rate.
Every decade since at least 1940, South Dakota has grown more slowly than the nation as a whole.