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News Briefs: St. Paul man dies after reportedly car-surfing

Editor's note: The following is a collection of news briefs from Forum Communications Company newspapers in Minnesota, North Dakota and Wisconsin.


St. Paul man dies after reportedly car-surfing

MEENON, Wis. -- A St. Paul man may be the latest victim in the high-thrill practice of car-surfing.

Shawn G. Swanson, 21, was fatally injured Saturday night after he fell while riding outside a vehicle in Burnett County.

The Burnett County Sheriff's Office received a call for medical assistance on Glendenning Road in Oakland Township just after 11:30 p.m. Swanson died the next day.

The driver of the vehicle, another 21-year-old St. Paul man, was arrested for homicide by intoxicated use of a vehicle. He was released Monday after posting $500 cash bail. He is scheduled to make an initial court appearance at 2 p.m. Wednesday. The Burnett County District Attorney's office hasn't yet filed a criminal complaint in the case.

The sheriff's office said the driver and others were car-surfing before Swanson fell. The office is not releasing more information, saying the matter still is under investigation.


Minn. Congress members suggest new mediator in Crystal dispute

It may be time to bring in a "new high level mediator" to help resolve the yearlong labor dispute between American Crystal Sugar Co. and unionized workers, four Minnesota members of Congress suggested Thursday.

The suggestion came in a letter Sens. Amy Klobuchar and Al Franken and Reps. Collin Peterson and Tim Walz, all Democrats, sent to leaders from both sides.

They noted that the lockout of workers began Aug. 1. That's the day after union members voted to reject Crystal's contract offer.

While the lawmakers did not overtly take sides in the matter, there was this line: "It is our understanding that the proposal on the table is nothing new while the union has made many concessions."

Executives of Moorhead, Minn.-based American Crystal have said they're sticking to their offer, and seemed comfortable with the temporary replacement workers they've hired.

"The area's farmers, union members and American Crystal Sugar have all suffered from this lockout," the letter said. "The Red River Valley's small towns and communities have felt the impact."

Rural Crookston man killed in head-on collision (GFH)

CROOKSTON, Minn. -- A rural Crookston man was killed in a two-vehicle, head-on collision Wednesday night a mile east of Crookston, according to the Polk County Sheriff's Office.

Chad Oakes, 36, the only person in one of the vehicles, was pronounced dead at the scene. He was not wearing his seat belt.

The passengers in the other vehicle, Gary Aure, 57, and Ardell Breitung, 60, both of rural Crookston, were taken to Riverview Hospital in Crookston with unspecified injuries. They were wearing seat belts and the airbags deployed in the vehicle.

The accident occurred about 9:30 p.m. Wednesday on Polk County Road 11. It remains under investigation, the sheriff's office said.

Housing Incentive Fund backs six projects

BISMARCK - The North Dakota Housing Finance Agency has pledged $4.25 million to six new Housing Incentive Fund projects.

The Housing Incentive Fund, which is funded by contributions from state taxpayers, provides low-cost financing to developers of affordable rental housing. The latest projects that have been approved are:

- Belfield, $96,000 to construct four units for Belfield law enforcement. Total cost is $744,484.

- Crosby, $1 million to St. Luke's Community Foundation to construct the Crosby Hospital and Foundation 24-plex. Total cost is $3.6 million.

- Devils Lake, $1 million to Agassiz Properties LLP for a 30-unit project. Total cost is $3.6 million.

- Killdeer, $1 million to Prairie Gold Real Estate LLC to construct 24 units. Total cost is $3.3 million.

- Minot, $155,600 to the Minot Housing Authority to rehabilitate Oakwood Court. Total cost is $389,000.

- Williston, $1 million to Dakota Commercial for Williston Heights, a 65-unit project. Total cost is nearly $10.5 million.

Since the incentive fund was established last fall, the North Dakota Housing Finance Agency has pledged more than $14 million to support projects that will create 630 new rental units.

Applications for what is anticipated to be the final funding round this year are due by Aug. 31. About $750,000 is available.

Conrad to donate papers to George Washington U

WASHINGTON, D.C. -- Sen. Kent Conrad, D-N.D., will be announcing plans to donate his papers to his alma mater, The George Washington University in Washington, D.C., next week, the university said Thursday.

The senator, who is retiring this year, will also make the papers available to the North Dakota State Historical Society.

The announcement will be made 10 a.m. Tuesday at the North Dakota Heritage Center in Bismarck.

Conrad has been in public service since 1980, starting as state tax commissioner. He ran for the Senate in 1986 and has been named by Time magazine as one of "America's 10 best senators."

Former attorney, prosecutor dies after fire

GRAND FORKS, N.D. -- Fred Arnason, a longtime Grand Forks attorney and prosecutor, died Wednesday from the effects of a fire at his home.

According to the state fire marshal, the fire started Tuesday night in Arnason's kitchen. Family members discovered the fire and Arnason, who lived alone, was taken by ambulance to Altru Hospital, where he died about 5 p.m. Wednesday. He was 84.

The fire remains under investigation, according to the Grand Forks Fire Department.

Fred Arnason retired from the state's attorney's office after 25 years there on the last day of 1992.

GPS tracks stolen car, leads to arrest

GRAND FORKS, N.D. -- A satellite tracking device helped law enforcement authorities track a stolen car and make an arrest.

According to the Grand Forks County Sheriff's Department, officers received a report at 7:24 a.m. Wednesday from the On-Star system that it was tracking a stolen car from Minot, N.D., using a GPS signal. The red 2007 Saturn Vue with Alaska plates had been taken from Minot earlier in the day, officials said.

The GPS system kept deputies aware of the vehicle location until sheriff's deputies, officers with the North Dakota Highway Patrol and N.D. Bureau of Criminal Investigation made contact with the vehicle about 3 miles west of the Grand Forks International Airport.

Deputies arrested Sandon Erickson, 39, of Rugby, who was charged with possession of a stolen vehicle, criminal mischief and driving under suspension.

Ex-UND basketball star out of jail

GRAND FORKS, N.D. -- A judge ordered former University of North Dakota basketball star and professional player Jerome Beasley released from jail Thursday, saying he wasn't properly informed of his rights when arrested last month on a civil contempt charge of being in arrears on child and spousal support.

District Judge Sonya Clapp ruled that a contempt document filed earlier this year by the state's Child Support Enforcement office in Grand Forks didn't give Beasley proper notice of his right to a review of his child support obligations.

Beasley owes $204,355 in child and spousal support to his ex-wife, Sarah Beasley, according to state online records of child support liens.

They divorced in 2008. Jerome Beasley was ordered to pay child support of $3,543 for their two children and spousal support of $2,000 per month.

Beasley played two seasons for UND, ending 2003 as the schools' 10th-leading scorer. Drafted by the NBA's Heat, he lasted two years there and has played professionally in Europe and in Sioux Falls, S.D.

Beasley told the court he had been in jail in Grand Forks a total of 25 days over the matter.

Clapp scheduled a Sep. 20 child support hearing for Beasley.

Norberg gets access to wife's medical records

FARGO - A Fargo surgeon preparing his defense to charges that he drugged and raped his wife will have access to her medical records from the last six years, a judge decided Thursday in Cass County District Court.

Dr. Jon Norberg is scheduled for trial Nov. 5 on felony charges of gross sexual imposition and reckless endangerment.

His defense attorney, Robert Hoy, argued that Alonna Norberg, the alleged victim in the case, waived any physician-patient privilege by signing authorizations for her doctors to release all of her medical records and speak to the Cass

County State's Attorney's Office and Fargo Police Department.

Hoy said the defense is entitled to those same records, plus other medical records the prosecution may not have sought.

"I'm concerned about getting complete records," he said.

Judge Douglas Herman granted the motion but restricted the order to records from Jan. 1, 2006, to Dec. 31, 2011. The crimes are alleged to have taken place between Sept. 1, 2010, and June 20, 2011.

Medical records obtained by the defense also must be disclosed to prosecutors.

Alonna Norberg consented to be named in news coverage to contest her husband's claims that he never sexually abused her and had her permission to give her the power sedative propofol to treat her pain from an autoimmune disease.

Fargo man charged with continuous sex abuse

FARGO - A 39-year-old Fargo man was charged Thursday with sexually abusing a young girl over the course of several years.

Quintin Gerard Schoenheit allegedly fondled the girl, who was under the age of 12, repeatedly between March 2004 and March 2012.

The alleged abuse was reported to Cass County Social Services in late July.

Schoenheit faces a Class AA felony charge of continuous sexual abuse of a child. The charge carries a maximum sentence of life in prison without parole.

An initial court appearance had not been set, and an attorney for Schoenheit wasn't listed in court records.