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NEWS FOR THE LAKES AREA
Henning Girl Recovering From Life-threatening Injuries
A young girl from Henning is recovering at a Twin Cities Hospital following a farm accident on Monday. Five year old Savhannah Springer was helping on her family's farm when she was pinched between the hitches of a haybine and a tractor causing severe injuries to her abdomen. Her family took her to the Wadena hospital and Savhannah was life-flighted to the Hennipen County Medical Center where, according to reports, doctors said if she was an adult she would have died from the type of injuries she sustained but the doctors expect a full recovery. There is a Go Fund Me page set up for Savhannah Springer if you would like to help the parents with the mounting medical expenses. https://www.gofundme.com/2jz6r35q
DNA evidence proves fingers found on a picnic table in East Grand Forks in May belonged to a man who lost them in a fireworks accident nearly a month earlier. The fingers came from a 23-year old man who lost them during a fireworks accident in Grand Forks in april. Lt. Rod Hajicek says it's still a mystery as to how they got there. The fingers were found on a picnic table bench at the Red River Recreational Area. East Grand Forks Police consider the case closed.
West Fargo Man Sentenced For Fleeing Officers and Credit Card Fraud
A West Fargo man is handed his sentence in Becker County District Court for credit card fraud and leading law enforcement on a chase in mid-December. Dezi Shedd was sentenced for fleeing officers in a motor vehicle and credit card fraud on Tuesday. Shedd must serve 90 days in the local jail with 39 days credit served, a $900 fine and four years of probation for fleeing a peace officer in a motor vehicle conviction, conditions of a stayed 15 month prison sentence. Shedd also recieved 10 years probation for the credit card fraud conviciton conditions of a stayed 17 month prison sententence. Shedd was arrested on December 15th after a police chase on Highway 10, traveling east into Detroit Lakes. After the stop police found items in the vehicle with Shedd and his passenger that had been purchased with a stolen credit card.
United Way Campaign Kickoff
United Way of Otter Tail County has officially kicked off its 2016 Giving Campaign. The campaign has reached its goal in each of the past four years. And organizers hope to keep that momentum going.
Next week, top donors will receive Leadership materials to help create enthusiasm around the campaign. In addition, volunteers will be visiting with businesses in each community who have generously donated in the past or may wish to participate this year.
Later this fall, presentations will be made at local school districts will be approached.
Last March, the United Way identified 36 local programs that are requesting $302 thousand in annual funding. That means United Way must increase annual contributions by at least 25 percent.
Private Federal Prisons
The U-S Department of Justice's plans to end its use of private prisons is renewing calls to keep a private Minnesota facility permanently closed. Some state lawmakers have been considering a plan to reopen the Prairie Correctional Facility in Appleton. But the idea has been met with opposition from some residents and AFSCME Council 5, the union that represents 19-hundred correctional officers in state-run prisons. John Hillyard with the union says the vacant facility's owner, the Corrections Corporation of America, has a history of more safety and security violations than state-run prisons. Last week, U-S Deputy Attorney General Sally Yates said the feds will be reviewing all private prison contracts and will be, quote, "ultimately eliminating the use of private prisons entirely." However, supporters of reopening the Appleton facility say it could bring jobs to the area, while helping house the state's rising prison population.
Campaign Signs on Public Property
The campaign season will start to heat up now that primaries are completed and November general election races are set up. And along with the constant din of campaign rhetoric, campaign signage will start to take over the landscape.
The Minnesota Transportation Department reminds those placing campaign signs, signage on any highway rights of way is not allowed under state law. All state, county, city and township roads and highways fall under the same law.
Highway rights of way include driving lanes, inside and outside shoulders, ditches and sight corners at intersections. Also, landowner consent is needed before signs are placed on private property outside of the right of way.
MnDOT crews are required to remove unlawfully placed signs and impound them at one of its local maintenance truck stations.
Violation of the law is a misdemeanor. Civil penalties also may apply if the placement of signage contributes to a motor vehicle crash and injures a person or damages a motor vehicle that runs off the road.
The Minnesota Outdoor Advertising Control Act also prohibits placing advertising materials on public utility poles, trees and shrubs, and painting or drawing on rocks or natural features.
Serious Injuries in I-94 Crash
An Albertville man received serious injuries when the pickup he was driving crashed on I-94 by mile post 115 in Douglas County.
Fifty-year-old Patrick Dooher was eastbound late Monday afternoon when he lost control of the pickup and rolled it into the eastbound right ditch.
Dooher was taken by ambulance to Sauk Centre Hospital.
I-94 One Vehicle Crash
A St. Paul resident was injured when while traveling on I-94 Tuesday afternoon.
Twenty-eight-year-old Stacey Fischbach was eastbound in the left lane at mile marker 32 in Wilkin County.
Her vehicle entered the median and struck an approach.
Fischbach’s injuries were not considered life threatening.
The Otter Tail County Sheriff’s Office received a call Monday morning of a rolling medical shortly after 9:00 am.
Family members were rushing a five-year-old girl to Tri County Hospital in Wadena from a rural Henning residence. The unidentified girl reportedly got caught between a tractor and haybine as the father was trying to hook it up.
The girl suffered serious, life-threatening injuries. She was taken to Tri County Hospital and then flown to Hennepin County Medical Center.
No other information is available at this time.
No Special Session
Governor Mark Dayton and legislative leaders are abandoning their hopes of a special session. And that’s not going over well with area legislators.
A $260 million tax relief bill and a package of public construction projects were at the top of the to-do list since the legislature adjourned in late May. But an ideological disagreement about building a light-rail train to the southwestern Minneapolis suburbs proved too much. Dayton said Thursday he won’t call a special session this year.
State Senator Torrey Westrom of Elbow Lake says he’s extremely disappointed in the governor’s decision. He says it’s obvious the Governor values an unnecessary passenger train in Minneapolis more than clean drinking water, safe roads, and tax relief for the rest of Minnesota’s 87 counties.
State Representative Bud Nornes of Fergus Falls also was disappointed in the governor’s action. He says the tax and bonding bills had bipartisan support, and should have been a slam dunk. Nornes says politics should not stand in the way of passing good legislation to help Minnesotans.
Nornes on No Special Session
State Representative Bud Nornes of Fergus Falls says he’s disappointed that Minnesota Governor Mark Dayton has abandoned plans for a special session because light rail for Minneapolis wasn’t in the bonding bill.
Nornes says that from the beginning, he predicted there would be a special session because it made no sense not to have one.
Nornes says unfortunately, a state grant extension for the Fergus Falls Regional Treatment Center won’t happen. He says there was money in the bonding bill for the Pelican Rapids dam and the Fergus Falls Library expansion project. Also, MState projects in Fergus Falls and Wadena won’t happen until the next legislative session at the earliest.
He says light rail had no support. He says there was no bill and no hearings on light rail in the last legislative session.
Detroit Lakes Man Faces Criminal Charges For May Crash
A Detroit Lakes man has been issued a court summons for an injury crash which happened on Highway 59 south of Detroit Lakes. 22 year old Charles Hughes was involved in a two vehicle crash on May 26th. The crash occurred at the intersection of Highway 59 and County Road 17 involving an SUV and a Cadillac Escalade transporting a boat on a trailer. A State Patrol report indicated that the SUV failed to yield to the Esclade while crossing Highway 59. The driver and passengers of the Escalade were severely injured with one passenger sustaining multiple rib fractures requiring a chest tube, while a passenger in the SUV had to be cut out of a seatbelt. The State Trooper on scene identified Hughes as the driver of the SUV. Hughes had a blood alcohol level of .15. Hughes has two prior DWI Convictions from 2014 and 2015. He will face two felony level of criminal vehicular operation and two gross misdemeanor counts of DWI.
Star Lake Casino
Residents of Star and Dead Lakes packed the Otter Tail County Commission meeting last week to urge a careful review of the impact of a Shooting Star Casino and Resort on Star Lake. Ty Dayton, spokesman for the Star Lake Concerned Citizens group, urged the commission to elevate the level of environmental review of the development. He says an environmental impact statement should be performed.
County Attorney Dave Hauser told the crowd that an environmental assessment worksheet needs to be done before an environmental impact statement is considered.
The land in question has been in a trust since 1938 for the Chippewa Tribe. Some of the land is on a national wetlands registry.
Catalyst Motors Burglary
Fergus Falls police received a report of a burglary at Catalyst Motors in the 1600 block of Collegeway.
The burglary was reported shortly before 9:00 am Tuesday. Phone lines had been cut, power meters were pulled out of the ground, and a back door to the business, as well as a back garage door.
A Glock 42, valued at $500, and $201 cash were taken. There are no suspects.
Joshua Defries Arrested
A Moorhead man, formerly of Fergus Falls, was arrested about 10:30 Tuesday night on a probable cause charge of first-degree burglary.
Fergus Falls police were called to a residence in the 200 block of East Bancroft Avenue where they found that a basement window had been broken. The suspect, 32-year-old Joshua Defries, had apparently entered the home through that window.
Once inside, Defries allegedly stole food. Police found him laying on a bed trying to sleep. Defries reportedly was under the influence.
Police say the male resident did have verbal contact with Defries before calling police.
Dairy Agreement Terminated
The former Mid Am Dairy building will NOT be purchased by the city of Fergus Falls at this time. The city council recently voted to terminate the purchase agreement. The city had hired a company to check for remaining hazards in the vacant building that the sellers, Cheney Properties of Plymouth, had said they had checked already. Recently, free mercury was found in the building, which meant contingencies in the purchase agreement were not satisfied.
Alderman Rod Spidahl says rejecting the purchase doesn’t kill a $600,000 state grant. He says the two issues are separate.
The State Fire Marshall’s Office was in Fergus Falls Monday to investigate a fire at a residence in the 800 block of Stanton Avenue.
A caller told police at 1:14 am Sunday that there was a smoke smell in the residence.
Then, at 5:23 pm, police were called with a report of black smoke coming from the house. The fire caused significant smoke damage.