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News Briefs: Man stabbed at party in Bemidji; suspect sought

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


Man stabbed at party; suspect sought

BEMIDJI, Minn. – An 18-year-old man was stabbed early Sunday at a party on property owned by a fraternity alumni group and law enforcement is asking for help in the case.

Jace Jeffry Ugrich of Bovey was stabbed while trying to break up a brawl between two other people at a large party about five miles east of Bemidji, a release from the Beltrami County Sheriff’s Department said. The property on Hensel Drive Northeast is owned by the Theta Tau Epsilon Fraternity Alumni Corp.

Ugrich was stabbed in the back and is listed in satisfactory condition at Sanford Bemidji, according to Beltrami County officials. Deputies were dispatched at 12:46 a.m. Sunday to intercept a vehicle that was taking Ugrich to the hospital.

The sheriff’s office is requesting help to identify the assailant. Also, investigators are seeking to interview two people: a white male, about 6-feet tall with a skinny build, wearing a dark sweatshirt and a black baseball cap on backward with the word “Dope” in a light color on the front; and a white male about 6-feet tall with light colored hair wearing a red hooded sweatshirt.

Anyone with information should call Beltrami County dispatch center at (218) 333-9111.

New London man dies in river drowning in Missouri

WRIGHT, Mo. -- A New London man has drowned in the Gasconade River in Wright County in south-central Missouri.

The Missouri State Highway Patrol says Jeremy Hinkemeyer, 20, who lived in Rolla, was attempting to cross the river at the Wilbur Allen Conservation Area about 3:25 p.m. Saturday when he went underwater and failed to resurface.

The Wright County coroner pronounced him dead at the scene Saturday night.

The Wilbur Allen Conservation Area is located near Mane, approximately 185 miles southwest of St. Louis.

He was the son of Brian and Linda Hinkemeyer of New London.

A home-schooled student, Hinkemeyer participated in art, athletics and robotics activities at New London-Spicer High School in New London.

Driver killed in crash with truck

DASSEL, Minn. — A driver was killed in a Monday morning crashing with a tractor-trailer near Dassel, about 50 miles west of Minneapolis.

According to the Minnesota State Patrol, the crash was reported about 7:10 a.m. along U.S. Highway 12 in Meeker County.

The driver of the car was not identified Monday.

The driver of the 2007 Peterbilt semi-truck, Bruce F. Resch, 50, of Royalton, was not injured.

Fire damage bar and grill

BEMIDJI, Minn. — A bar and grill sustained more than $30,000 in damage from a kitchen fire reported Sunday morning.

The Bemidji Fire Department responded to the popular Cattails Bar & Grill just after 7:30 a.m. Employees detected a fire in a broiler, and when firefighters arrived, the fire was spreading to the roof.

Firefighters quickly contained and extinguished the fire, according to a press release from the department.

No injuries were reported.

The fire caused an estimated $32,500 in damage to structure and contents, officials said. The cause of the fire is under investigation, but does appear to be accidental and cooking-related. Cattails owner Gretchen Wagner confirmed in a prepared statement Monday morning that the fire was accidental and started around a broiler.

The business will be closed temporarily.

Duluth tourism leader steps down

DULUTH -- Terry Mattson, president and CEO of Visit Duluth, announced today his plans to step down in November.

Mattson, 51, has headed Visit Duluth since 1990 and received an award as Minnesota’s “Outstanding Individual in Tourism” earlier this year. He began working at what was then the Mattson said he has been approached about consulting on tourism projects in Key West, Fla., and Los Angeles. Mattson said he’s also interested in opportunities outside the tourism industry and will assist in the search for his successor at Visit Duluth.

During Mattson’s tenure the direct impact of Duluth’s tourism industry has grown from $80 million to about $800 million per year, according to Visit Duluth.

Mattson was instrumental in launching Duluth’s popular Tall Ship festivals and organizing and growing the Amsoil Duluth National Snocross event at Spirit Mountain during Thanksgiving weekend each year. He will retire after this year’s race.

UMD library named for former chancellor

DULUTH -- The University of Minnesota Duluth library has been renamed in honor of former chancellor Kathryn A. Martin.

Martin was the first female chancellor at UMD and was also known for her fundraising abilities. She served from 1995 to 2010. During that time, $167 million was spent on constructing the library and 10 other buildings. The $26 million library was completed in 2000.

Martin, who now lives in Eagle River, Wis., said she was humbled by the honor and grateful for it. Someone told her that her name could be found on the library a couple of weeks ago, so she drove over to see it.

“I thought of the symbolism of getting that library; the first new building in probably 20-some years at the time, and the collaboration that went into it,” she said Monday, citing the alumni and lobbyists who also put forth effort. “It was a pretty remarkable feat and, after that, everything seemed a bit easier.”


Two die in Sunday crash

WAGNER – Two people from Dell Rapids died in a one-vehicle crash Sunday near the Nebraska state line in southeast South Dakota, according to the state Department of Public Safety.

Stephanie Jo Thompson, 32, was driving a 2001 Ford Explorer Sport Trac south on a gravel road west of Wagner. She lost control, and the vehicle entered the west ditch and rolled. Thompson was wearing a seat belt. She was partially ejected from the vehicle and was dead at the scene.

A passenger in the vehicle, Derek Gavin Weston, 34, was not wearing a seat belt. He was thrown from the vehicle and was dead at the scene.

Dell Rapids is about 20 miles north of Sioux Falls.


Woman gets crude calls after bogus online ads

FARGO – Cass County authorities are investigating a report of a woman who said someone posted her phone number to multiple websites along with a message promising sexual favors.

The search warrant filed Friday in Cass County District Court states the woman contacted the Cass County Sheriff’s Department Sept. 13 to report receiving crude texts and messages from men asking about sexual favors. One caller said her phone number was listed on Craigslist offering sex to people who responded.

Craigslist took the ad down, but after getting more sexual messages she found her number was posted again, this time with a new ad saying her boyfriend was in jail, which he had been. The woman did not know who was posting her cellphone information.

The woman told a deputy that callers told her they had found her number under Craigslist and also on

Cass County investigators sought the search warrant to retrieve information from Craiglist.

The woman has since disconnected the phone number.

Woman arrested twice for DUI in 8 hours

WEST FARGO, N.D. – A 28-year-old woman from Fargo was arrested early Monday in West Fargo, her second arrest on suspicion of DUI in eight hours, according to police.

According to Assistant West Fargo Police Chief Mike Reitan, an officer pulled a car driven by Heather Grovum, 28, of Fargo, over about 3 a.m. for expired tabs and no front license plate.

The officer conducted a sobriety test and arrested her for DUI.

An investigation revealed another law enforcement agency had arrested Grovum for DUI in the previous eight hours, Reitan said, adding that he was unable to identify the other agency.

Woman accused of letting her children wander nude

FARGO – A Fargo woman faces felony child neglect charges after her 3-year-old and 2-year-old children were found wandering naked alone through a northside neighborhood.

Amber Kanowske, 23, of Fargo, was charged Sept. 23 in Cass County District Court with one count of Class C felony abuse or neglect of a child.

According to documents filed in Cass County court, Fargo police officers were dispatched about 6:21 a.m. Aug. 25 after a newspaper delivery man spotted two nude toddlers walking down the middle of the street. Authorities were unable to determine where the children lived.

A police report states Kanowske called 9-1-1 about 3:45 p.m. that day looking for her children. Kanowske told police she was outside smoking that morning and thought her father came and took the children.

Police seek sex assault suspect

GRAND FORKS, N.D. -- Grand Forks police are asking the public to help find a man suspected of sexually assaulting two people in their apartment at around 2 a.m. this morning.

The suspect is described as a black man in his early 20s who is about 6-feet-1-inch tall and weighs 200 to 230 pounds. He appears heavy set and was last seen wearing a black jacket, dark-colored shirt and black pants.

He has a tattoo on the back of his right hand that looked like cursive writing, and a tattoo on the front and right side of the abdomen.

Police say the incident happened at the 3400 block of 13th Avenue North. The victims said the suspect, who was armed, entered through a sliding glass door and demanded money from them. He then sexually assaulted them and left.

Police ask those with info to contact them at 701-787-8000, or send a text message with the word "Tipster" along with the text to 847411 (TIP411).

Farmers Union now known as Pinnacle

STANLEY, N.D. – Farmers Union Oil Co. of Stanley will now be known as Pinnacle, the cooperative announced Monday.

The North Dakota-based energy, agronomy and agricultural supply cooperative will operate under the new name and update its signs beginning in October.

The Pinnacle name will identify locations, trucks and equipment in Stanley and Tioga.

The cooperative, established in 1943, serves about 1,400 members and other customers in the Stanley and Tioga region.

Valley City man’s DUI arrest may draw felony charge

WEST FARGO, N.D. – According to West Fargo police, a Valley City man was arrested here early Monday on suspicion of DUI. If he’s found guilty it would be his fourth DUI conviction in seven years and therefore a felony under a new law that took effect in July.

According to Assistant West Fargo Police Chief Mike Reitan, an officer on patrol spotted a vehicle make an illegal U-turn on Main Avenue about 12:48 a.m. Monday.

The officer pulled the car over but as the officer stepped from the police car, the suspect vehicle sped off.

The vehicle later pulled into a parking lot and ran into a curb, damaging both front tires.

The driver was identified as Anthony S. Smith, 27, of Valley City.

Reitan said Smith faces charges of DUI, driving after suspension and fleeing in a motor vehicle.

Dickinson fires city engineer

DICKINSON, N.D. -- A mere six months after starting the position, William Watson was terminated as the Dickinson city engineer Friday.

“It was more about customer service than anything else,” Dickinson city administrator Shawn Kessel said.

City staff were instructed not to comment on the termination, Community Development Director Ed Courton said.

Watson was terminated from his position as the Alamogordo, N.M. public works director in April 2012.

“We obviously knew about that,” Kessel said. “We also knew there was more to that story — there’s always at least two sides.”

WISCONSIN Indian group protests pipeline

SUPERIOR, Wis. -- A group of American Indian horseback riders launched a protest in the shadow of Enbridge Energy’s Superior refinery Sunday against the company’s proposed Alberta Clipper Pipeline.

If approved and constructed, the pipeline would become North America’s largest conduit for bitumen from Alberta’s tar sand formations. The project would boost the capacity of an existing line from 450,000 to 570,000 barrels per day.

Yet Anishinaabe protestors expressed concerns about potential damage the new line could cause, citing a 2012 50,000-gallon spill from an Enbridge line in Grand Marsh, Wis., and an 843,000-gallon spill into Michigan’s Kalamazoo River in 2010.

“Enbridge should clean up its old mess before it tries to make a new one,” Winona LaDuke, executive director of Honor the Earth, the group engaged in the protest, said in a statement. A nationally known American Indian activist, LaDuke was one of the riders.

The Minnesota Public Utilities Commission is deliberating Enbridge’s petition for a certificate of need for the project.

Al Edenloff
Al Edenloff is the news and opinion page editor for the Echo Press. He was born in Alexandria and lived most of his childhood in Parkers Prairie. He graduated with honors from Moorhead State University with a degree in mass communications, print journalism. He interned at the Echo Press in the summer of 1983 and was hired a year later as a sports reporter. He also worked as a news reporter/photographer. Al is a four-time winner of the Minnesota Newspaper Association's Herman Roe Award, which honors excellence in editorial writing.  
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