News Briefs: Ex-deputy accused of trying to record video of teenEditor's note: The following is a collection of news briefs from Forum Communication Company newspapers in North Dakota, Minnesota and Wisconsin.
Editor's note: The following is a collection of news briefs from Forum Communication Company newspapers in North Dakota, Minnesota and Wisconsin.
Ex-deputy accused of trying to record video of teen
ST. PAUL -- A former Itasca County Sheriff’s Office deputy was charged Wednesday with a felony for allegedly attempting to capture video of a juvenile in a bathroom.
Aaron Edward Apitz, 45, of Deer River, faces a charge of interference with privacy against a minor under 18. The incident is alleged to have happened at Apitz’s residence.
A state Department of Public Safety news release said a preliminary investigation by the Bureau of Criminal Apprehension found that Apitz used a cellular telephone issued to him by Itasca County to attempt to videotape a 17-year-old girl as she entered and exited a shower Feb. 25.
The telephone was discovered in the bathroom by the girl, who reported to investigators that it was recording when she found it, and that the video showed Apitz positioning the telephone to capture the video. The Bureau of Criminal Apprehension obtained the telephone during the course of its investigation, but its memory had been wiped clean, the release said.
Apitz was not in custody. He had been on administrative leave since the investigation began and resigned Tuesday. Apitz had been with the Itasca County Sheriff’s Office for 17 years.
The case will be prosecuted by the Cass County Attorney’s Office.
Darling named Lake Region State College president
DEVILS LAKE, N.D. -- Doug Darling, an executive at Lake Region State College in Devils Lake, was named president of the institution Wednesday by the State Board of Higher Education.
The vice president of instructional services since 1998, he became the interim president in May after Mike Bower stepped down. Darling, a University of North Dakota alumnus, is former director of the Lake Area Vocational Technical Center.
“We are confident that he is the right leader at the right time for the students, faculty and staff of Lake Region -- and that he will continue to be an asset to the community of Devils Lake as well,” board President Duaine Espegard said in a news release.
Thieves steal $110,000 in copper wiring from business
GRAND FORKS, N.D. -- Thieves broke into a wire supply business here over the weekend and stole 13,223 pounds of copper wiring worth more than $110,000, wholesale.
It’s one of the largest such copper thefts, which have been increasing in the region, with a new twist: cutting out the middleman, said Tom Rosendahl, president of Dakota Supply Group in the city’s Industrial Park.
“In these other thefts, it’s been electrical contractors hit,” he said. “Now they came right to a supplier like me, where they can get a lot more.”
Dakota Supply, which has two dozen locations around the region, is a wholesale supplier of copper wire and other products to power utilities such as Minnkota Power and to local electrical contractors such as RBB Electric and Century Electric in Grand Forks.
The theft of metal wiring has become so bothersome, U.S. Sen. Amy Klobuchar, D-Minn., said Wednesday that U.S. Attorney General Eric Holder has voiced support for her legislation to hit metal thieves harder by making federal cases out of them. U.S. Sen. John Hoeven, R-N.D., is a co-sponsor of her Metal Theft Prevention Act.
Elementary school locked down after threat
WEST FARGO, N.D. -- Freedom Elementary School here was locked down for nearly two hours, a school district spokeswoman said.
All students who take the bus were sent home by about 3:30 p.m., except for a group of fourth-graders who had been on a field trip, spokeswoman Heather Konschak said. Those students, and all students who walk home, were calling for rides and had to be picked up, she said in an email.
District officials said a threatening phone call to the school office at 1:45 p.m. sent the elementary into lockdown mode, and police responded to investigate and help students get home.
Students who ride the bus were escorted onto buses by police, Konschak said.
Man sentenced to prison for shooting fellow veteran
HUDSON, Wis. -- A River Falls man was sentenced to prison last week for fatally shooting a fellow Army National Guard veteran.
St. Croix County Judge Eric Lundell sentenced Anthony Velure, 27, on Friday to an eight-year term -- the first three years in prison and the final five on extended supervision -- after hearing testimony from the families of Velrue and the victim, Joshua R. Kurer, 24, of River Falls.
Velure’s relatives and friends attested to his character and potential and asked that he not be sent to prison. Kurer’s family said Velure is an arrogant, cowardly, selfish person who stole a life, ruined theirs and ended a lineage. They asked for a decades-long prison term.
High on the judge’s list of reasons for the harsher sentence was the hope that it would serve as a warning to other young men, inclined to do “the craziest, stupidest things.”
Velure pleaded no contest in November to homicide by negligent handling of a dangerous weapon in the June 27, 2011, killing.
Kurer was shot in the chest with his own multi-caliber Taurus Judge handgun. During the sentencing hearing, Velure agreed that he had ejected five shells from the six-round gun and thought the weapon was empty when he pointed it at Kurer and pulled the trigger twice.