News Briefs: Auger accident victim ID'd as Blackduck manEditor'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.
Auger accident victim ID'd as Blackduck man
KELLIHER, Minn. — A 21-year-old Blackduck man has been identified as the victim in Tuesday’s auger accident at Hedblad Saw Mill near here.
The Beltrami County Sheriff’s Office said in a news release issued Wednesday that Scott Olson was airlifted by North Memorial Air Care. He was taken to a Minneapolis hospital.
The Sheriff’s Office received a call at 2:08 p.m. Tuesday about a man whose arm was caught in an auger. The man was freed from the auger and given first aid before authorities arrived.
Olson suffered “serious injuries to his extremities and torso,” according to the Sheriff’s Office.
Man charged with assault with a wrench
OLIVIA, Minn. — A 31-year-old Hector man faces two assault charges, for first- and second-degree charges, for allegedly throwing a wrench at a then 7-year-old boy in June, striking the boy in the head and causing severe, potentially life-threatening injuries.
Dean Michael Lentz appeared Monday in Renville County District Court on the charges. His next appearance is Oct. 26 with a jury trial scheduled for Dec. 11-13.
According to the complaint, the boy was treated at Hennepin County Medical Center in Minneapolis for a skull fracture, cerebral spinal fluid leak and multiple facial fractures. The injuries required immediate neurosurgical intervention, according to the doctor’s notes referenced in the complaint.
The investigation by the Renville County Sheriff’s Office began June 10, one day after the alleged assault.
During the investigation, Lentz allegedly admitted to intentionally throwing a ratchet at the boy, but that he did not intend to hit the child.
Business advocate dies in Mediterranian
DULUTH -- Duluth area business advocate Robin Ongaro was killed in a boating accident in the Mediterranean Sea this week as she and her husband, Frank Ongaro, were vacationing in Greece.
The death was confirmed on the Facebook page of Robin Ongaro’s son, Hunter Hayes.
“Mom had a boating accident in the Mediterranean … She’s gone,” he wrote late Wednesday morning.
Robin Ongaro was until recently the executive officer of the Arrowhead Builders Association.
The association’s Web site relayed the news:
“It is with extremely sad news that we have to announce the passing of our past executive director, Robin Ongaro. She passed away while on a dream vacation with her dream husband and starting what was to be a fantastic idea of a local business. She worked tirelessly while on our staff and she will be sorely missed.”
Robin Ongaro also once led the Grand Avenue Business Association and Cloquet Chamber of Commerce. She also worked with the Members Cooperative Credit Union and Iron Mining Association of Minnesota.
She married Frank Ongaro, the executive director at Minnesota Mining, in 2009.
Fire restrictions added
ST. PAUL -- The Minnesota Department to Natural Resources is adding restrictions on campfires and other fires starting Sunday because of worsening drought in northwestern and central portions of the state.
The DNR will ban campfires starting at 1 a.m. Sunday except in a residential or cabin yard or in a staffed campground, such as at a resort or state park.
The ban also includes brush and debris fires and fireworks outside cities and towns.
The counties included in the fire ban are Becker, Beltrami, Benton, Cass (north of Highway 200), Clearwater, Douglas, Hubbard, Kanabec, Kittson, Lake of the Woods, Mahnomen, Marshall, Mille Lacs, Morrison, Ottertail, Pennington, Polk, Red Lake, Roseau, Stearns, Todd and Wadena.
The state restrictions follow the Superior National Forest, which has banned daytime campfires in the Boundary Waters Canoe Area Wilderness. Campfires are allowed after 7 p.m.
Officials also are urging caution with charcoal fires, which are allowed, and with vehicles that could spur sparks in grassy areas.
Clay County Attorney has brain tumor surgery
MOORHEAD – Clay County Attorney Brian Melton was expected to be released from the hospital Wednesday after a surgeon at Mayo Clinic successfully removed a benign tumor from his brain on Tuesday.
Doctors determined last week that the pituitary tumor discovered in February needed to be removed because of its size, Melton’s wife wrote on his CaringBridge website.
The surgery went “very well” with no complications, and the surgeon believes he was able to remove the entire benign tumor, the website states.
Melton returned to work in the Clay County Attorney’s Office last month after having been on military leave since March 2011. The lieutenant colonel in the Minnesota National Guard was stationed in Kuwait. It was his third overseas deployment, having previously served in Iraq and Bosnia.
Man killed in rollover accident
MINNEWAUKAN, N.D. — 43-year-old Maddock, N.D., man was killed early Wednesday in a one-car accident in Benson County.
The North Dakota Highway Patrol reports that the driver, who has not been identified, was driving a 1997 Jeep Cherokee southbound on U.S. Highway 281, about six miles south of Minnewaukan, N.D., at about 12:30 a.m. Wednesday when he apparently failed to negotiate a left-hand curve in the road. The vehicle drifted to the right-hand shoulder and then the driver over-corrected the mistake, which resulted in the Jeep to angle across the roadway and roll in the east ditch.
The driver, who was alone in the vehicle, was pronounced dead at the scene.
Plea deal for man accused of firing gun at UND
GRAND FORKS, N.D. — The man charged with firing a handgun on the University of North Dakota’s campus has reached a deal to reduce the felony count to a misdemeanor charge of reckless endangerment.
An attorney for Eybon Avyon Watkins, 21, who was a UND student living but now is living in Bismarck, said Wednesday in court his client would plead guilty to the reduced charge, as well as to a second misdemeanor count of illegally carrying a handgun. Prosecutors agreed to dismiss two lesser related counts.
UND police said in a complaint that they responded around 2 a.m., July 23 to a call of gunshots fired on the north side of the campus. One officer saw Watkins running through a parking lot with a handgun and stopped him. The 9 mm Ruger’s barrel still was warm from being fired, an officer said, and it matched five empty casings found later in a nearby parking lot.
University of Mary to honor two alumni
BISMARCK – The University of Mary will honor Sarah (Kaspari) Baker and Paul Laney at its annual Alumni Recognition Awards and Hall of Fame Induction Friday.
Laney graduated from the University of Mary in 2004 with a bachelor’s degree in management, and earned a master’s degree in management in 2005 through the university’s accelerated adult learning programs. He will receive the University of Mary Presidential Leadership Award. The award is conferred on individual alumni for distinguished achievements as servant leaders regionally, nationally or internationally.
Laney, Cass County sheriff, has served in law enforcement for 23 years.
Baker graduated from the University of Mary’s graduate nursing program in 2008. She will be presented the University of Mary Bell Banner Award, which honors alumni for modeling the values of respect, hospitality, moderation, service, community and prayer.
Baker works as a nurse practitioner and sole provider at Northland Community Health Center in McClusky, N.D.
Man accused of harassing officer’s mother
SUPERIOR, Wis. -- A man accused of harassing a police officer’s mother over the phone — after the officer pulled him over for speeding.
Charles David Sislo, 38, faces one count felony stalking and one count misdemeanor telephone harassment stemming from an Aug. 19 incident.
According to the criminal complaint, Sgt. William Lear pulled Sislo over on a traffic stop. At the time, Sislo told Lear: “You tell your mom I know where she lives.”
About eight minutes after the traffic stop ended, Lear’s mother got a phone call, with the caller accusing the police of harassment and saying he was going after her in retaliation. The caller also claimed to know other details about Lear’s mother. The caller then ended the conversation by saying “have a nice day.”
Sislo was later arrested for a separate incident. A cell phone seized from Sislo was analyzed. It showed that a call was made to Lear’s mother’s number a few minutes after the traffic stop.
A text message from AT&T Directory Assistance was received by Sislo’s phone listing her number.
A preliminary hearing is the harassment case is scheduled for next week.