News Briefs: Lawsuit seeks Election Day campaigning OKEditor's note: The following is a collection of news briefs from Forum Communication Company newspapers in North Dakota, Minnesota, South Dakota and Wisconsin.
Editor's note: The following is a collection of news briefs from Forum Communication Company newspapers in North Dakota, Minnesota, South Dakota and Wisconsin.
Lawsuit seeks Election Day campaigning OK
FARGO, N.D. – In a lawsuit filed Tuesday in federal court here, Gary Emineth, the former state Republican chairman, seeks to overturn the state’s longstanding ban on campaign ads, candidate signs and most other forms of political speech on the day that voters hit the polls.
Emineth says the law runs afoul of his right to free speech.
Supporters of the law, including state Democrats, say it’s a North Dakota tradition that protects voters from last-minute harassment.
But opponents say the measure is overly broad and doesn’t jibe with the First Amendment.
The law makes prohibits people from “asking, soliciting, or in any manner trying to induce or persuade, any voter on an election day” to vote for or against candidates or ballot measures.
The lawsuit seeks an injunction that would suspend the law in time for November’s election.
Patrol identifies man who died in rollover
GARDNER, N.D. – The North Dakota Highway Patrol has identified a man who died in a trucking accident Tuesday near here as 49-year-old George M. Grimm of Hector, Minn.
Grimm was traveling eastbound on Cass County 26 about four miles east of Gardner when the 1984 International truck drifted off the blacktop road into the south ditch, the patrol stated in a news release.
Grimm overcorrected and lost control, and the truck went back onto the road where it rolled and entered the south ditch a second time, the patrol stated in a news release.
Grimm was ejected and died at the scene, the release stated.
$2,500 reward offered in bald eagle shooting
GRAND FORKS, N.D. – The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service is offering a reward of up to $2,500 for information that would help them arrest the person who shot an immature bald eagle near Crosby, in far northwest North Dakota, on Oct. 11.
According to a news release from the federal agency, witnesses reported the person was driving a white Dodge pickup truck “dually” (with double rear wheels on each side) pickup truck.
Bald eagles are protected under federal and state law.
Anyone with information about this shooting should contact Special Agent Kevin Downs of the fish and wildlife service at (701) 355-8531 or (701) 255-0593.
AAA: N.D. drivers can expect lower gas prices
GRAND FORKS, N.D. – North Dakota drivers can expect to see “sharply lower gas prices” in the near future, perhaps the same level seen at the end of October 2011, according to AAA of North Dakota.
The cost of a gallon of gas is at an average of $3.87 statewide compared to $3.56 a year ago this month, AAA reported. In Grand Forks, gas averages $3.80 and, in Fargo, it is $3.69 compared to averages of $3.52 and $3.40, respectively, a year ago.
AAA said Wednesday that wholesale gasoline prices have “dropped dramatically” in many areas of the country, and retail prices in Ohio, Missouri and rural parts of Illinois and Indiana are nearing $3 a gallon.
Two face charges after alleged police chase
MOORHEAD, Minn. – Two men are facing felony-level drug charges here after fleeing officers across county lines in their car and on foot, according to charges filed in Clay County District Court.
Police here arrested Earl Russell St. Claire, 23, of Dilworth, and Jeffrey Lyle St. Claire, 39, of Bismarck, on Monday after the two fled officers in Mahnomen County, led them on a car chase into Clay County and continued fleeing on foot after their vehicle was stopped, according to court records filed Wednesday.
Police found methamphetamine on both men, court documents say. Both are being held in Clay County Jail.
Sam’s Club confirms Moorhead to get store
MOORHEAD, Minn. – A Sam’s Club is definitely coming to Moorhead, it is only a matter of when, a spokeswoman for the company said Wednesday.
Delia Garcia said it is too early in the process to put a date on when construction will start, but she said the company is eager to open a Moorhead location as soon as possible.
Although a Sam’s Club has been talked about, there have been questions about how a Moorhead location might affect a Sam’s Club already operating in Fargo.
Garcia answered the question somewhat by stating each store will offer some items unique to that location.
Ulen man dead, two hurt in two-vehicle crash
GLYNDON, Minn. – Authorities have identified a passenger who was killed and two others who were injured in a collision at a rural crossroads Wednesday.
A westbound van on Clay County Road 26 failed to yield at an intersection and collided with a pickup truck that was traveling north on Minnesota Highway 9.
Oscar J. Green, 63, of Ulen, was a passenger in the pickup, which rolled. He was ejected and died at the scene, according to the Minnesota State Patrol.
Diane F. Green, 63, the driver of the pickup, received serious, although not life-threatening injuries and was taken by ambulance to Sanford Medical Center in Fargo.
The driver of the van, Susan K. Ekre, 57, of Shevlin, also had serious but not life-threatening injuries and was taken to Sanford Medical Center.
Willmar clinic had drugs from firm linked to meningitis outbreak
WILLMAR, Minn. – As many as 50 local patients received eye injections with a drug from a Massachusetts compounding pharmacy that has been tied to a fungal meningitis outbreak.
None have become sick so far, but as a precaution, the drug has been removed from the shelves at Affiliated Community Medical Centers, where it had been administered to 50 patients in the eye department, officials said Wednesday.
“We stopped using it when the initial scare came out,” said Dr. David Newcomer, chief medical officer. “We took everything off the shelf at that point. We wanted to be proactive in doing what’s best for patient care.”
The Minnesota Department of Health said Tuesday that 129 clinics in Minnesota received injectable drugs from the New England Compounding Center, a specialty pharmacy that has been linked to more than 200 cases in 15 states of rare fungal meningitis, apparently from product contamination.
Rosemount to consider permit for large mine
ROSEMOUNT, Minn. –The City Council here will vote next month on the final approval for a large-scale mineral extraction permit.
After a work session last week, the City Council will consider approving the plan at its Nov. 20 meeting.
Dakota Aggregates plans to mine 590 acres of land south of County Road 42, north of Country Road 46, east of Biscayne and west of Akron Avenue.
The site will have 130 acres set aside on the north end as buffer to the Bloomfield and Enclave neighborhoods.
Dakota Aggregates is a subsidiary of Cemstone and Ames Construction.
Wagner man pleads guilty to charges linked to death of 2-year-old
WAGNER, S.D. – A 21-year-old Wagner man arrested in July after the body of a 2-year-old girl was found in a closet in his home has pleaded guilty to two drug charges that arose from the incident.
Taylor Cournoyer pleaded guilty Wednesday to one count of possession of methamphetamine and one count of keeping a place for the use or sale of controlled substances.
Cournoyer had pleaded not guilty in August to an indictment charging him with those and seven additional charges, including five counts of abuse or cruelty to a minor and one count of failure to notify law enforcement of the death of a child.
He also admitted to being a habitual offender, which increased the maximum penalty for his crimes to 25 years in prison and a $50,000 fine, according to a Wednesday press release from the state Attorney General’s Office.
Sentencing is set for November.
McGovern ‘no longer responsive’ in hospice
SIOUX FALLS, S.D. – Former Democratic presidential candidate and South Dakota Sen. George McGovern is “no longer responsive,” according to a news release from Avera McKennan Hospital and University Health Center.
Avera operates Dougherty Hospice House, where McGovern, 90, was recently admitted. The news release says he is “surrounded by his loving family and close friends.”
“Senator McGovern was admitted to hospice with a combination of medical conditions, due to age, that have worsened over recent months,” the release continues. “The family would like to thank everyone for the care and compassion shown during this time. As people plan remembrances of Senator McGovern, the family encourages donations to Feeding South Dakota, www.feedingsouthdakota.org.”
Oliver man to serve 20 years on sex assault
SUPERIOR, Wis. – An Oliver man found guilty of sexually assaulting a child younger than 13 will spend 20 years behind bars.
In August, a Douglas County jury found 48-year-old Frank Tyrone Whitehead guilty of first-degree child sex assault and felony threats to injure or accuse of a crime based on a January incident in Whitehead’s residence.
Douglas County Circuit Court Judge George Glonek handed down a 35-year sentence last week, which includes 20 years of confinement and 15 years of extended supervision.