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LAKES RADIO FIRST NEWS
Pelican Rapids Doctor Convicted
U.S. Attorney Andrew Luger of Minnesota has announced the guilty plea of a doctor who practiced in Fargo and Pelican Rapids to Obtaining a Controlled Substance by Fraud.
Forty-three-year-old Blair A. Nelson of Pelican Rapids entered the plea in Federal Court in St. Paul. Nelson obtained Hydrocodone, Oxycodone and other prescription drugs by writing and filling fraudulent prescriptions.
According to court documents, beginning in May, 2013, Nelson wrote prescriptions to various pharmacies in Minnesota for opioids including oxycodone, hydrocodone and amphetamines. He wrote the prescriptions so they could be filled in the names of family and friends. However, Nelson picked up the drugs for his own use.
Between May, 2013 and September, 2014, Nelson attempted to obtain from Target, Walgreens and Wal-Mart, at least 1,730 prescription pills for his own use. He continued to write prescriptions even after the state of Minnesota suspended his medical license on October 8, 2013.
The case is the result of an investigation conducted by the Drug Enforcement Administration.
Motorcyclist Serious Injuries
A motorcyclist suffered serious injuries in a crash reported to the Douglas County Sheriff’s office on Wednesday.
A passerby called authorities to report the crash on county road 58, northeast of Brandon by Whiskey Lake.
Sheriff’s deputies learned the crash actually happened around 4:30 pm Tuesday. The driver, 56-year-old Scott Gregory Morgan of Garfield, was eastbound on county road 58 and lost control on a curve, entering the ditch. He was ejected from the motorcycle.
Morgan was in the ditch, unable to get or call for help since the accident happened. He was transported to the St. Cloud Hospital by helicopter.
No further information on his condition is available.
Drewelow Probation Violation
A Fergus Falls man appeared in Otter Tail County District Court Wednesday after violating terms of his release from jail.
Forty-six-year-old Leni Oscar Drewelow is facing serious charges resulting from allegedly pointing a handgun at two people in a car and being in possession of drugs.
Drewelow is charged with second-degree assault with a dangerous weapon, second-degree drugs, possession of a pistol and terroristic threats. Each charge carries a prison sentence. The drug charge carries a maximum 40 years in prison.
Drewelow didn’t make a good impression on Judge Barbara Hanson at his court appearance. He had drawn a fist with middle finger extended on court papers he signed in jail awaiting his appearance. Judge Hanson ordered that the drawing be stricken from the paperwork and ordered Drewelow be remanded to custody.
His next appearance is scheduled for August 3rd.
Englund First Appearance
A 33-year-old Wadena woman made her first appearance Wednesday morning in Otter Tail County District Court on charges related to a May 13th traffic crash north of Ottertail.
Jackie Kay Englund knew the county had a warrant for her arrest due to a mix up. The court had mistakenly sent a notice to appear in court to a Perham address, and Englund never received it. She came to the court administrator’s office voluntarily and the warrant was cancelled, with an apology from Judge Barbara Hanson.
Englund faces six felony counts of criminal vehicular operation causing substantial bodily harm for allegedly driving drunk and rolling her van, injuring herself and two passengers.
A court complaint states one passenger had to be extricated from the van, suffering a cut to her forehead, a clavical fracture and dislocated elbow fractures. Another passenger broke her ankle.
Englund allegedly told deputies at the scene that she and her friends played bingo at the New York Mills VFW and had drinks. Deputies found plastic shot glasses in the van and a glass alcohol container near the van. A warrant for a blood draw at Sanford in Perham showed Englund had a blood alcohol content of .172. The complaint says Englund had a DUI conviction in Wadena County in April, 2007.
Englund was released from jail on her own recognizance but will be on electronic home monitoring. The charges against her call for a maximum penalty of three years in jail and a $10,000 fine. Her next court appearance will be August 17th.
A Pelican Rapids man is jailed after his arrest Tuesday. Thirty-year-old Shane Richard Sauer is being held on probable cause charges of second-degree assault, interference with an emergency call and domestic assault.
No other information is available at this time.
A White Earth man is in custody after his arrest Tuesday night in Parker’s Prairie.
Wadena County authorities received a report of a possible domestic dispute and of a vehicle traveling at a high rate of speed on Wadena County Highway 75.
The vehicle was located and stopped in Parker’s Prairie. Otter Tail County deputies learned there was no assault, just a verbal argument. But 25-year-old Nicholas Edward Durant allegedly gave authorities a false name and date of birth. He was also driving without a license.
Court documents show that Durant is wanted on two warrants out of Becker County.
I-94 Traffic Shift
All traffic on Interstate 94 northwest of Fergus Falls has shifted to the eastbound lanes.
A single lane of traffic remains open in each direction while crews begin work on the westbound bridge deck over Otter Tail County Road 10.
The project began in April and is expected to last through October. For the first half of the construction season, crews worked on the eastbound bridge.
Speed limits on I-94 are reduced to 60 mph through the work zone. Motorists are reminded that violators will be fined a minimum of $300.
The project re-uses the existing beams and bridge substructure, which are in satisfactory condition. The new bridge decks will extend the life of the bridges and result in a smoother road surface.
Douglas County Crash
Five people, four of them children, were injured when a semi and car crashed east of Millerville in Douglas County Tuesday.
The Douglas County Sheriff’s Office says a belly dump semi was traveling northbound on Douglas County Road 6 and was making a left turn, but noticed a car attempting to pass. The semi driver pulled back into the northbound lane but was struck in the rear trailer area by the car.
There were an adult driver and four minor children in the car. All five were taken by ambulance to the Douglas County Hospital. They were treated and released. The semi driver was not injured.
A District Court Jury in Fargo has ruled that Fargo Surgeon Jon Norberg was not defamed by his ex-wife. Jon Norberg had sued Alonna Norberg claiming that she acted wrongfully and maliciously in having criminal charges brought against him. The verdict came in a civil case in which she countersued her former husband after a medical malpractice suit that she filed against him was dismissed. Jon Norberg was fired as an orthopaedic surgeon when he was charged with drugging and raping his wife. He was rehired by Sanford Orthopaedics And Sports Medicine after a jury found him not guilty.
Two people were injured Friday evening when the motorcycle they were riding on blew a rear tire southwest of New York Mills.
The Otter Tail County Sheriff’s Office identifies the victims as the driver, 36-year-old Trevor Hintzman and passenger, 38-year-old Jessica Hintzman, both of New York Mills.
The Hintzmans were westbound on County Highway 14. Trevor lost control when the tire blew and the motorcycle went into the ditch. Both riders were ejected. Both victims were wearing helmets. Trevor suffered shoulder injuries. Jessica suffered road rash.
They were taken by ambulance to Perham Health with non life-threatening injuries.
Alexandria House Fire
Fire destroyed an Alexandria area home and attached garage Monday. The Douglas County Sheriff’s Office received a 911 call from Mary Sanders, who lives on Lake Mary southwest of Alexandria. She reported that her garage was on fire.
When the fire department arrived on the scene, they found the garage fully engulfed. It was also learned that one of the family dogs was still inside the residence. The Alexandria Fire Department put out the fire, but the garage and home were a total loss. They also found the deceased dog.
The cause of the fire was the result of gasoline being transferred from one gas can to another. A juvenile male was treated at the scene for minor burns.
Williams & Rath Arrested
Two people wanted for burglarizing the Red River Village apartment building in Fergus Falls June 9th have been apprehended in Lake County, Minnesota.
Thirty-two-year-old Brian Nelson Williams and his girlfriend, 21-year-old Tatiana Jo Rath, were arrested on an Otter Tail County warrant Friday night.
The two are each charged with first-degree burglary and felony theft in Otter Tail County. The burglary charge carries a maximum penalty of 20 years and/or a $35,000 fine. They are accused of stealing a 55 inch LED TV from the community room at the apartment building June 9th.
They are also linked to the theft of coins and a coin box from a washing machine in Alexandria.
Williams and Rath have no current address. They lived at one time at various locations in the Twin Cities, which also has warrants for their arrest in several jurisdictions. And Williams worked at a Fargo tire store before being fired. They were arrested in a car purchased from a fellow Fargo employee. According to a court complaint in Otter Tail County, they also have several warrants for their arrest in Texas.
The two are jailed in Two Harbors. It’s not known which jurisdiction will have first crack at prosecuting them.
Car Hauler Stolen
The Otter Tail County Sheriff’s Office says a car hauler was stolen from Truax Auto Sales in Deer Creek about three weeks ago.
The 2008 Featherlite aluminum dual axle car hauler has a value of $5,600. The ramp access cover had welding on the inside.
There are no suspects at this time.
Perham City Council Special Meeting July 29
The Perham City Council will hold a special meeting on Wednesday, July 29 at 5:15 at the Perham City Hall. The agenda includes the rezoning of lots in the Clearwater First Addition from two-family to multi-family for the purpose of constructing twin homes on 50' lots. The meeting will also include a public hearing regarding the expansion of utility services to undeveloped properties in the Perham Industrial Park. The public is invited to attend and offer comments.
Property Fraud Alert System
The Otter Tail County Recorder’s Office has a new program for county residents to avoid property fraud. County Recorder Carol Schmaltz says her office is now offering fraud alerts.
Schmaltz says according to the FBI, property fraud is one of the fastest growing white collar crimes in the U.S.
By dialing a toll-free hotline or visiting the Recorder’s Office website, people can sign up for property fraud protection and be alerted immediately when a transaction is made.
Signing up for the service is free and takes a matter of seconds. Either go to the Otter Tail County Recorder’s website or call 1-800-728-3858.
RTC Public Input Session
The Fergus Falls City Council will hold a public input/listening session August 10th, where they’ll gather resident input on the future of the RTC redevelopment.
No council decisions will be made that evening. The public input will be brought to subsequent council meetings for further discussion and action.
The input/listening session will be held in the city council chambers from 5-7 pm with the Ward Four Town Hall meeting immediately following the listening session.
The Fergus Falls City Council met in closed session Monday night and emerged to announce that the city’s effort to work with Ray Willey and his Historic Kirkbride development group is over, and the city will seek other developers for the regional treatment center campus.
Mayor Hal Leland says the city got tired of waiting for Willey’s group to move ahead on his project, and the continued attempt to have Fergus Falls to offer $700,000 in up front cash.
Friends of the Kirkbride left the meeting quickly following the announcement. Most would not comment about the council action. Tears were in the eyes of Maxine Schmidt, who has donated many hours over the years giving guided tours of the Kirkbride building.
The city will now seek other developers for the RTC property. Historic tax credits are still available to help fund a project. The city will likely have to seek an extension from the legislature on funds the state is making available in the event the RTC has to be razed.
Code Red To Be Further Refined
Code Red continues to help Otter Tail County residents be ready for any type of emergency including severe weather like the July 12th storms. 3 Tornado systems moved through Fergus Falls specifically. Most residents got the Code Red alerts at about the same time as people who had heard about the storms through local media and weather radios, however, a few reported a very slight delay. Otter Tail County Emergency Management Director Patrick Waletzko says phone systems locally may have varied but that they are working with local phone providers as well as the creators of Code Red to see what reccomendations or improvements can be made.All involved agree that Code Red is an excellent system, working in conjunction with federal state and local authorities to make the program even more effective. One of the biggest advantages of the system is the ability to target specific cities or even blocks or individual streets within the county alerting those residents to an impending or existing emergency by phone, text, or email. A link for Code Red is available at www.lakesradio.net.
Highway 106 Work
Motorists on Highway 106 just south of Highway 10 near New York Mills will encounter a detour and delays when a railroad project begins Wednesday, weather permitting.
BNSF Railway will work on the tracks and railroad crossing. Highway 106 will close and motorists will be detoured onto Highway 10, Otter Tail County Road 75 and Highway 29.
The work is expected to take about three weeks.
A Georgia man is in custody after allegedly assaulting his girlfriend at the Perham Oasis.
Thirty-six-year-old Afelix Alex Fisher is being held on a charge of felony second-degree assault.
The victim was pushed partially through a window and was struck in the head with a hammer. Her injuries were not life-threatening.
The victim was taken to the hospital where she was treated and released.
FF Recreational Trail Funding
Fergus Falls is in the mix for state start-up funding for a proposed riverwalk trail from Union Avenue downtown to Two Rivers Road on the city’s west side.
The city is asking for $500,000 from the environmental trust fund. But the Legislative/Citizens Commission on Minnesota Resources, which recommends projects to the legislature, has only enough money to cover about one-third of the projects requested around Minnesota.
According to Fergus Falls city alderman Rod Spidahl, if the city is successful with the grant, the money could be used for such things as land acquisition.
The commission will notify finalists for further consideration in mid September. Those chosen will make detailed presentations to the commission in late September and early October.
Richland Wilkin Food Pantry
Much like Old Mother Hubbard, staff at the Richland-Wilkin Food Pantry in Wahpeton are finding it hard to distribute food to needy families from bare shelves.
Pantry Director Karen Stroklund says the pantry is short of many items.
A “Fill the Bus” promotion will be coming soon. In the meantime, Stroklund encourages area residents to donate either food or money still this month…
In addition to canned goods, the pantry is running low on meat, boxed meals, jelly and peanut butter.
The pantry served 170 families in June. A normal month ranges from 120 to 135.