News Briefs: Four killed in collision with semi in Pine CountyEditor's note: The following is a collection of news briefs from Forum Communications Company newspapers in Minnesota, North Dakota and Wisconsin.
Editor's note: The following is a collection of news briefs from Forum Communications Company newspapers in Minnesota, North Dakota and Wisconsin.
Four killed in collision with semi
ASKOV, Minn. -- Four people were killed and another seriously injured following a vehicle crash at about 6:30 p.m. Tuesday in Pine County near Askov, about 55 miles south of Duluth.
The Pine County Sheriff’s Department said a pickup truck with five people inside was westbound on Rutabaga Road when it was apparently trying to make a left turn in front of an oncoming semi-truck that was eastbound.
Three people inside the pickup truck died at the scene – a 17-year-old woman, 21-year-old man, and a 58-year-old man. Two other people in the truck, a 21-year-old man and a 20-year-old woman, were found seriously injured and airlifted to area hospitals. The 20-year-old woman later died at the hospital.
The 50-year-old driver of the semi-truck was not injured.
House approves Boundary Waters land swap
WASHINGTON, D.C. -- The U.S. House approved legislation Wednesday that would swap 86,000 acres of state-owned land inside the Boundary Waters for an equal value of federal land outside the wilderness.
The bill, which has not been introduced in the Senate, is an effort to end a decades-long disagreement over what to do with state-owned land locked inside the1.1 million acre federal Boundary Waters Canoe Area Wilderness since 1978. Because that land has been unavailable for logging or mining, it has contributed nothing to the state’s permanent school trust fund that helps pay for K-12 education across the state.
The legislation, sponsored by Rep. Chip Cravaack, R-Minn., would force the Department of Agriculture’s Forest Service to make the swap.
The Minnesota Legislature passed a bill authorizing the deal in April. Gov. Mark Dayton signed the bill.
But environmental groups say the swap will weaken protections on the land traded to the state, much of it on the southern fringe of the Superior National Forest, and that the move is really a veiled effort to open up more land for mining with lesser state regulations.
Mayor of Virginia resigns
VIRGINIA, Minn. -- Steve Peterson is stepping down as mayor of Virginia, saying his full-time job with the Iron Range Resources and Rehabilitation Board requires his full attention and that he couldn’t do both jobs justice.
“I basically had two full-time jobs and that became too much,” Peterson said Wednesday after announcing his resignation, effective Oct. 1, as the last item on Tuesday night’s City Council agenda.
Peterson said he accepted the job as executive director of the IRRRB’s development division in November, just five days after being re-elected mayor, knowing that he would eventually have to step down as mayor because of possible conflicts of interest.
Peterson said he and IRRRB Commissioner Tony Sertich agreed that Peterson could wait until two divisive issues in Virginia were settled before stepping down — the departure of former Virginia Police Chief Dana Waldron and the sale of the city-owned hospital to Essentia Health.
City Councilor Larry Cuffee, designated the city’s acting mayor, will assume the post of mayor until the City Council determines a permanent replacement to fill out the remaining three years on Peterson’s term. The council could opt to appoint a mayor or to hold a special election.
Dakota War lecture offered
BAGLEY, Minn. -- Dale Blanshan will present “Minnesota’s Other Civil War: The Sioux Uprising of 1862” at 9:30 a.m. Sept. 19 at Faith Lutheran Church, 32 Bagley Ave., Bagley, Minn., as part of the Northern Exposure to Lifelong Learning program.
Blanshan, a retired minister, attorney, and educator with degrees from Bemidji State University and the University of Minnesota, gives musical and historical programs to seniors, libraries and schools.
Attendance is free, but donations are accepted. Info: NELL coordinator Tamara Edevold, (218) 694-2856.
Oklee man facing child porn charges
RED LAKE FALLS, Minn. -- An Oklee, Minn., man made his first appearance in district court this week on a felony charge of possession of pornographic work involving minors.
David Alan Longtin, 52, was arrested in October 2011 after officers from the Red Lake County Sheriff’s Office and agents from the Minnesota Bureau of Criminal Apprehension executed a search warrant at his home, according to the sheriff’s office.
Acting on information they received from the National Center for Missing and Exploited Children, officers and agents confiscated two computers containing pornographic images and videos, the sheriff’s office said. The computers were sent to BCA’s offices in St. Paul for forensic analysis.
Longtin was released after his court appearance Tuesday. His next court hearing is Oct. 8.
Sheriff asks hunters for help in search for man
ROSEAU, Minn. -- The Roseau County Sheriff’s Office is seeking the help of hunters in the Beltrami Island State Forest area to solve a missing man case.
Donald Dugger, Rochert, Minn., has not been seen since Aug. 18.
According to the sheriff’s office, Dugger was driving a truck for a company from Warroad, and completing a trip from the east. He was last seen at about 6:30 a.m. Aug. 11 while removing personal items from the truck into his personal vehicle.
His vehicle, a Hyundai Elantra, was found Aug. 18 northeast of Winner Silo in the Beltrami Island area.
Ground, air and dog searches have failed to find Dugger, who is described as Caucasian, 5 foot 9 inches, 245 pounds, with hazel eyes.
Sheriff Steve Gust is asking hunters who may be in the area in the next few weeks to be on the lookout for anything unusual, such as clothing, or any item in the forest that seems out of place.
They can contact the sheriff’s department at (218) 463-1421.
Woman says man swerved at her with car
MOORHEAD, Minn. – A Fargo man is accused of terrorizing his ex-girlfriend and swerving his car at her several times, missing her by inches the first time and causing her to hide in a cornfield near Moorhead.
Jonathon Lee Kinney, 32, was charged Tuesday in Clay County District Court with second-degree assault with a dangerous weapon and terroristic threats, both felonies.
According to the complaint, the alleged victim told authorities that she’d been out drinking with Kinney on Monday night. They parked on a gravel road and got into an argument.
She said he ran after her and took her phone away from her, pushing her in the process, the complaint states.
Kinney went back to the car and allegedly drove toward the woman and swerved at her, causing her to run into the ditch to avoid the car. The woman told authorities she hid in a cornfield. Later, a motorist picked her up and gave her a ride home.
Kinney was arrested Tuesday morning in north Fargo. He denied taking the woman’s phone, stating she had thrown it at him, the complaint states.
Country star from GF urge ‘yes’ on Measure 5
GRAND FORKS, N.D. -- Grammy-winning country star and Grand Forks native Lynn Anderson says she supports North Dakota’s Measure 5, according to supporters of the ballot initiative.
Voters will decide on Nov. 6 whether to make cruelty to dogs, cats and horses a felony. The measure was written to avoid penalizing farmers and hunters.
“As a North Dakotan, I am truly saddened that my state lags so far behind when it comes to protecting animals,” Anderson said in a news release. “The fact that even extreme cruelty to dogs, cats, and horses is considered a misdemeanor in North Dakota — that really needs to get changed.”
North and South Dakota are the only states that do not consider “the most extreme and malicious forms of animal cruelty” felony crimes, according to Measure 5 supporters.
Anderson is best known for her 1970 hit “(I Never Promised You a) Rose Garden.”
Armed robbers strike south Fargo market
FARGO – Two suspects wielding knives robbed a south Fargo market late Tuesday, police said.
Police were called at 11:15 p.m. about an armed robbery at Rayon’s Market, formerly Agassiz Food & Gas, at 721 S. University Drive, Sgt. Mike Erbes said.
The two suspects entered the store with their faces covered, displayed knives and demanded money. The store clerk complied, and the robbers left on foot with an undisclosed amount of money, Erbes said.
No one was injured.
Police did not release descriptions of the suspects.
GFK evacuated after bomb threat
Grand Forks International Airport said it temporarily evacuated its terminal Wednesday morning following a bomb threat about 9:40 a.m.
Some flights were delayed, the airport said, but it expects no other delays.
The threat came a day after a bomb threat was called in to Hector International Airport in Fargo.
Third teen charged in sexploitation
HUDSON, Wis. -- A third teenager faces felony charges in connection with a sexual exploitation incident last fall that was video recorded form a cell phone during an underage drinking party.
Alexander Freedom Gove, 17, town of Hudson, posted a $25,000, signature bond on felony child sexploitation and sex assault of an intoxicated victim charges at an initial hearing Aug. 30. A preliminary hearing was set for Gove on Oct. 15 at 3:15 p.m.
Two others charged in the incident have been scheduled for arraignment hearings to enter pleas to similar charges. Brandon W. Brown, 17, Hudson, was scheduled for a hearing Sept. 17 and Daniel E. Karlovich, 17, Hudson, was set to return to court Sept. 24.
The criminal complaint alleged, Brown, Karlovich and Gove were among those attending a party at a residence in the town of St. Joseph on Sept. 25, 2011, and were involved in taking cell phone photos of sexually explicit conduct involving a 17-year-old girl. They are also accused of having sexual contact with her while she was extremely intoxicated.