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News Briefs: Teens accused of shooting at cars, school

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


Teens accused of shooting at cars, school

RED LAKE FALLS, Minn. -- Three teens who allegedly went on an early morning joyride while shooting pellet pistols at vehicles and Lafayette High School in Red Lake Falls have been arrested, the Red Lake Sheriff’s Department said Monday.

Casey Louis Sauve, 19, and two 17-year-old boys are accused of causing $16,000 in property damage and possessing $250 in stolen goods, among them the pellet pistols.

Sauve and one of the boys are from Red Lake Falls and the other boy is from Thief River Falls.

They also face charges in Pennington County in a similar drive-by shooting on the same night, the Red Lake Sheriff’s Department said.

Sauve and the Red Lake Falls boy are each charged with four felonies: criminal damage to property in the first degree, reckless discharge of a firearm in a school zone, drive-by shooting and reckless discharge of a firearm in a municipality. He’s also charged with possession of stolen property, a misdemeanor.

The Pennington County Attorney’s Office will charge the Thief River Falls boy separately.

Murder trial set to begin

THIEF RIVER FALLS, Minn. -- Jury selection will begin today in Thief River Falls in the murder trial of Jedidiah Troxel, 33, Crookston.

He is accused of first degree murder and criminal sexual assault in the 2012 stabbing death of Tanya Kazmierczak, 40, Thief River Falls.

Troxel, who has been held at the Pennington County Courthouse in Thief River Falls on $2.5 million bond since his arrest in August 2012, has not yet entered a plea in the case. He is being represented by Kip Fontaine, a Pennington County public defender.

Troxel became the focus of a homicide investigation after Kazmierczak did not return home from a party in Thief River Falls early on Aug. 25, 2012.

According to the original criminal complaint, witnesses from the party said she was last seen with Troxel. Her body was discovered the next day near a boat landing on the Red Lake River.

An autopsy ruled her death a homicide by stabbing and cutting.

Investigators linked Troxel to the case through a boot print at crime scene, according to the complaint.

Change of course: Sled dog race back on 

DULUTH -- The 2014 John Beargrease Sled Dog Marathon is back on.

A group of mushers and sled dog racing enthusiasts came to the Beargrease's board of directors meeting Monday and announced that they would like to take the race over and hold it in January.

Board members agreed that the race needed a change in management. They also agreed to a transition within the next week.

Last week, that board announced that the 2014 race, scheduled as the 30th, wouldn’t be run because of finances. That fired up the mushing community over the weekend, leading to the plan to take over the race.

Dayton to undergo hip work

ST. PAUL -- Minnesota Gov. Mark Dayton goes to the Mayo Clinic in Rochester, Minn., Wednesday for a procedure to speed healing of his hip.

Bob Hume, Dayton’s deputy chief of staff, reported that the procedure is to promote healing of a torn muscle in his left hip area. It is expected to last an hour, after which Dayton will return home to St. Paul via car.

The governor is not supposed to put weight on the hip for two days and to take two weeks with limited mobility. Hume said Dayton will work at home during those two weeks and hold no public events.

His hip has bothered Dayton since June. He often limps while at public events.

Western speed limits rise

Speed limits are rising from 55 miles per hour to 60 on some western Minnesota highways.

The Minnesota Department of Transportation began posting signs Monday to up the limit on all of U.S. 75, most of U.S. 59 and part of Minnesota 7.

The only place along U.S. 59 that will remain at 55 mph is north of Marshall. The only part of Minnesota 7 being raised is between U.S. 59 and 75 in Swift and Big Stone counties.

“We did a careful and thorough study, looking at crash history, the way the roads are designed and what speed the traffic is actually traveling on the road,” said Sue Groth, MnDOT’s state traffic engineer. “Sixty miles per hour was determined to be the safe and reasonable speed limits for these roadways.”

Cass Lake man dies in rollover

LAPORTE, Minn. -- A Cass Lake man was killed in a single-vehicle rollover early Monday outside of Laporte. 

According to the Minnesota State Patrol, Anthony Hare Jr., 18, of Cass Lake, was driving westbound on state Highway 200 in 1997 Chevy Blazer at about 2 a.m. when it left the road and rolled. The driver was pronounced dead at the scene, and two passengers, a 15-year-old boy from Cass Lake and Jonathan White, 22, from Waubun, were taken to Sanford Bemidji for what are believed to be non-life threatening injuries.

All three were wearing their seat belts, the patrol said.


Spirit Lake adds to health exhibit

FORT TOTTEN, N.D. -- Members of the Spirit Lake Dakota nation will add their voices Thursday to a series of stories linking health, illness and culture for a national exhibit that will be launched in Fort Totten.

The Cankdeska Cikana Community College will be hosting the “Native Voices: Native Peoples’ Concepts of Health and Illness” exhibit, which includes interactive media and interviews with American Indians, Hawaiians and natives of Alaska. The exhibit, produced through the National Library of Medicine in Bethesda, Md., will be held at 11 a.m. at the college’s amphitheater.

Cynthia Lindquist, college president and project adviser, said this is the result of several years of interviews from more than 150 tribal people.

Spirit Lake members will share their stories for the video component of the traveling exhibit, which will stop in Alaska, Hawaii and Oklahoma before being offered to other sites nationwide, said Melanie Modlin, spokeswoman for the National Library of Medicine, which is a component of the National Institutes of Health, also in Bethesda.

Church fire damage tops $1 million 

VALLEY CITY, N.D. – An early morning fire at a church here Monday caused upward of $1 million in damage.

The first 911 call of the blaze at Faith Lutheran Church came in at 3:41 a.m., said Gary Retterath, Valley City fire chief.

When he arrived at 251 4th St. N.E., there was fire and smoke coming out of the east side of the building, where its main entrance and some offices are, Retterath said.

“There was smoke and heat all over,” he said.

With about 24 firefighters working, the fire was out in about four hours, he said.

Retterath remained on scene through the afternoon, assisting a federal Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives agent and a state fire marshal with the investigation.

The cause of the fire was unknown Monday afternoon.

No one was at the church at the time of the fire, Retterath said.


Man killed, children injured in crash

HUDSON, Wis. -- A former River Falls man died and his three children were injured late Saturday when the Mazda sedan he was driving failed to stop and was struck broadside by a minivan in St. Croix County.

Authorities identified the victim as Scott W. Shoemaker, 38, of Black River Falls. Three children in Shoemaker's car -- ages 12, 14 and 16 -- were all transported by ambulance to Regions Hospital in St. Paul. Injuries suffered by two of the kids were described as "life-threatening" by the Wisconsin State Patrol, which assisted St. Croix County deputies at the scene.

The driver of the van, Jason D. Edwards, 42, of Hudson, was treated and discharged from Hudson Hospital.

Authorities said Shoemaker was westbound on Tower Road when he failed to obey a stop sign at Old Hwy. 35 and traveled into the path of the northbound van.



Man arrested in house fire

MITCHELL, S.D. -- A man arrested in connection with a house fire last week may been seeking revenge on the homeownower, Mitchell police say.

The Mitchell home, owned by Joel Ward, was for sale and has been declared a total loss, according to officials with the Mitchell Fire Division. No one was injured in the fire.

Detective Lt. Don Everson said Robert Pomani, 32, of Mitchell, is friends with Ward.

“It appears that this fire may have been caused by Pomani to get even with Ward for a report that Ward made hours before the fire,” Everson said. “Ward had reported an assault between Pomani and another person and also had reported drug activity involving Pomani and others. We believe that might be an underlying cause of what happened.”

Pomani is accused of reckless burning, a class 4 felony, punishable upon conviction by 10 years imprisonment and a fine of $20,000.

According to the Mitchell Police, Pomani walked through the residence with a lit candle in a glass container. He allegedly told police that he set the candle down in the attached garage and placed paper on top of the candle to extinguish the candle, police reported. He then left the residence.

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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