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Community Watch

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Dayton in Breckenridge & Moorhead Talking Flood Diversion
Governor Mark Dayton is making a visit to the red river valley for meetings on railroad safety, grain shipment delays and the proposed F-M diversion.  Fargo, Moorhead, West Fargo chamber chief executive officer Craig Whitney says he wants to make sure the governor is aware of what the diversion would mean for flood protection.
Whitney invited Dayton to Fargo-Moorhead in a letter last month.  He says he never received a response.  The governor will be at Minnesota State this afternoon, the Wilkin County courthouse in Breckenridge tonight 300 5th Street South Tuesday, September 2 6:30pm)  and Moorhead City Hall tomorrow morning.

Two Mailboxes Melted in NYM Area
The Otter Tail County Sheriff’s Office is investigating the destruction of two mailboxes in the New York Mills area.  It was reported as fires in the area of 360th Street and 555th Avenue.  Deputies think that some sort of extremely flammable accelerant was used. The plastic mailboxes were completely melted and on fire.  In one of the cases, there appeared to be a large hole near the base of the post where something had exploded. Anyone with information on these cases should call the sheriff’s office. 

Council Expects Update on Kirkbride Project
An update from Ray Willey  of Historic Kirkbride is expected at the Fergus Falls City Council meeting tonight (Monday.)
A proposal and letter of intent for reuse of the former state hospital was submitted to the council and a more formal development agreement would be the next step. They have been conducting “due diligence” and a “go or no go” on the project is due this month. 
Council meeting is 5:30 pm in the council chambers on Washington Ave. 

FF Man Cited for Reckless Driving
A report of reckless driving came in late Monday evening.  The witness said that the Pontiac was speeding; passing cars on Hwy 210 and at one point allegedly forced an oncoming car to the shoulder.  Police cited 26-year-old Joel McManigle for reckless driving.  

Man Arrested for DWI at City Park
Police were called to Delagoon Park over the weekend. A woman said that someone had run into her parked boat.  Police arrested Theodore Stark for DWI and refusal to test.  He was allegedly driving off the road when police arrived. 


Vandalism at Lake Country Mountaineers grounds
Vandalism was reported over the weekend at the park where the Lake Country Mountaineers Black Powder group holds its annual rendezvous.  Vandals broke down some of the fences and damaged the wire wheels that the club uses for its shoots.    

Whiskey Creek Film Festival September 12-18
The 9th annual Whiskey Creek Film Festival well be held at the Cozy Theatre in Wadena from September 12 through September 18.  The Film Festival is a wonderful opportunity to see current new films.  This year's films include Boyhood, Calvary, Snowpiercer, Land Ho!, Chef, and A Most Wanted Man.  The six films are shown a number of times during the week.  The Festival features free movies such as How to Train Your Dragon 2 as well as short films by local filmmakers and selections from the Rural Route Film Festival.  For information visit whiskeycreekfilmfestival dot org (
Adult Survivors of Suicide Loss support group begins in Wadena September 16
Beginning September 16th, Tri-County Health Care of Wadena will host an Adult Survivors of Suicide Loss Group on the third Tuesday of each month.  Each year more than 30,000 people in the United States die by suicide, leaving behind devastated family and friends. The confidential support group is intended to provide healing support for people coping with the shock, excruciating grief and the complex emotions that accompany the loss of a loved one to suicide.  For more information, please contact Sara Stone at Tri-County Health Care in Wadena.  

3th Annual Lakeland Hospice Ride September 6
The 13th annual Lakeland Hospice Ride will be held Saturday, September 6.  The ride begins at noon at 1505 Pebble Lake Road in Fergus Falls and ends at the Fergus Falls VFW for a delicious meal and great prizes.  A free will donation will be appreciated.   

Catholic Charities to Close Their Doors in Fergus Falls
A Fergus Falls treatment center for youth will close its doors in Fergus Falls.  Catholic Charities started a program for troubled youth in 1989. They first started on the grounds of the former state hospital and moved to a new building on Maryland Lane.  Executive Director, Steve Bresnahan, says that Catholic Charities has had difficulty attracting and retaining employees for the facility.  The children in their Fergus Falls Intensive Treatment Unit will be transferred to other treatment facilities. 

Watch for Kids Heading to School Tuesday
Kids are heading back to school.  Fergus Falls Police Detective Matt Shirkey says it is not just buses you need to watch out for: “Best thing for people to do is remember school is going to be starting. There is going to be kids outs. They’re going to be walking to school, rollerblading, riding their bikes, scooters, skateboards, all sorts of things. So not only just the buses but just be aware of the kids that are going to be traveling.”
School has already started in some areas. Fergus Falls starts Tuesday. 

Two Arrested for Indecent Exposure
Two people were arrested in Fergus Falls for lewd behavior in public.  A member of the public reported the activity just after 10 pm in the 200 block of West Washington.
A 31-year-old Fergus Falls woman and a 23-year-old man from Babbitt, Minnesota were arrested for indecent exposure and disorderly conduct.
Police say alcohol was involved. 

Franken: Regrets Traffic-cone Video
FALCON HEIGHTS, Minn. (AP) - U.S. Sen. Al Franken says he regrets a video in which he's shown holding two traffic cones to his chest like breasts.
The video was recorded at a 2012 fundraiser and first surfaced this spring. Republican officials brought it up again this week a few days after GOP congressional candidate Jim Hagedorn came under attack for old blog writings targeting women, American Indians, gays and others.
In remarks at the State Fair, Franken called the cone incident a thoughtless moment he regrets.
He says voters should look to his record on women's issues, like fighting for equal pay and to ensure women have access to birth control through health insurance.
He faces Republican Mike McFadden in November.

Woman Possibly Having Delusions in Police Incident
More information has been released on a police incident in Fergus Falls. Police were called to the home in the 100 block of Summit Avenue around 11:40 Wednesday when a woman called 911 and said someone had assaulted her child and one of them had a gun.
After getting the woman and child out of the house and obtaining a search warrant, they entered the home and found no one inside.  They also did not find any evidence of an assault. They seized controlled substances as part of a search warrant on the home.  Based on what other witnesses said to law enforcement, the woman was experiencing auditory and visual hallucinations. 
Police have been called to this home before but there were no indications of delusional episodes.
Last July, they arrested a male at this home that had allegedly threatened the woman with a shotgun.  He remains in jail.
The child is in the care of Social Services.  The county attorney’s office is reviewing the case to determine if Family Court or Criminal Court would be appropriate. 

Man Jailed for Failure to Appear in Court on Misdemeanor Waste Charges
A man is in the Otter Tail County Jail after he failed to appear on misdemeanor charges of operating a waste facility without a license.  Dennis Eugene Hanson was contacted May 2013.  He was running what he called “Scrap Central” and taking electronic items to recycle.
Otter Tail County Solid Waste and MPCA did a point inspection and gave Hanson 30 days from Oct 23 2013 to clean up the site.  They re-inspected in December and concluded that he had not done anything substantial to cleanup the site, put up fencing and put up a sign stating that he no longer accepts electronics- so charges were filed. 
In January of this year, he failed to appear at a hearing and warrant for his arrest was issued.  He signed a promise to appear at the next court hearing but again did not appear at a February hearing.  He did appear in June and entered not guilty pleas. Then failed to show up for a August 8th hearing.  He was arrested on another warrant August 28 (Thursday.)
Hanson is charged with operating a solid waste facility without a permit, allowing solid waste to accumulate, waste tires and license required. 

Stand Off Ends in Fergus Falls
Police in Fergus Falls closed off Summit Avenue between Union and Zion Church after they got a 911 call from a female.  She said that her child had been harmed and indicated that one or more men were in the house with guns.  911 disbatchers were communicating with the woman who said at first that she could not safely get herself and her child out of the house.  After about an hour and a half the woman and child came out.  They were taken to the hospital for an exam.  Officers in Swat gear carrying long rifles were seen in the alley and on the street.
Police used a loud speaker to ask anyone in the home in the 100 block of Summit to come out and got no response.
Police Chief Kyle Bergren:
…we got no response from anyone inside the house.
Police entered the home and did not find anyone inside.  Bergren says they are still investigating and don’t know if there was a criminal act that occurred at the residence or if they are dealing with someone with mental health issues.
No shots were fired. There were no evacuations.  They asked close neighbors to shelter in place. 

Mother of NDSC Student Believes Son was Murdered
WAHPETON, N.D. (AP) - The mother of a North Dakota State College of Science student who was missing for two months before his body was found says she believes her son was murdered.
Tammy Sadek says her son was not suicidal. She is calling on North Dakota Attorney General Wayne Stenhjem to investigate his death. 
The body of Andrew Sadek was pulled from the Red River in late June. An autopsy report released Saturday shows Sadek died of a gunshot wound to the head.
The autopsy says it was "undetermined" how the gunshot was inflicted, and the toxicology drug test was negative. The report shows he died May 3.
Police released an arrest warrant for Sadek after he'd been missing several days. Police alleged Sadek sold marijuana twice to a police informant.

Heinonen Sentenced for Criminal Sexual Conduct
A New York Mills man was found guilty by a Otter Tail County jury on all four counts of Criminal Sexual Conduct.
According to the criminal complaint, the conduct of 27-year-old John Jacob Heinonen involved a male child young enough to still wear diapers.
Sentence is 144 months (or 12 years) in prison.  Heinonen will be required to register as a predatory offender. He could be conditionally released after 10 years. 

Burglaries Reported in Fergus Falls
A burglary with forced entry reported at Federated Church on Union Avenue in Fergus Falls.  Police are investigating.
A shed in a backyard in the 600 block of West Vasa was entered sometime within the last two days.  The owner is missing an electric lawn mower, an ice auger and other miscellaneous items. 

Car Collides with Tractor Making Left Turn
A 20-year-old male from Sebeka has minor injuries after a crash with a tractor.  According to the sheriff’s office, the tractor pulling two gravity boxes was attempting to make a left turn into a driveway on Co Hwy 8 near Perham.  The driver of the Impala was going to pass the tractor and he collided with the rear tractor tire.  Minor damage to the tractor but the Impala was totaled. The sheriff’s office did not issue any citations for the incident. 

Home-care Workers Vote to Unionize
ST. PAUL, Minn. (AP) - Thousand of in-home health care providers in Minnesota have voted to unionize.
About 60 percent of the roughly 5,800 care providers taking part in a union election say they support organizing. The results were announced Tuesday by the state Bureau of Mediation Services.
The Service Employees International Union organized the election for workers who care for sick, elderly and disabled patients in their own homes.
Several state-subsidized home care providers had fought to stop the election on constitutional grounds. But a federal judge last week declined to block it.

Williams Pleads Not Guilty in We Fest Stabbing
A Minot (ND) man, accused of stabbing 3 Winnipeg men at a "We Fest" campsite earlier this month says he is not guilty.  Aaron Williams entered his plea yesterday in Detroit Lakes.  Authorities say the 32 year old was shocking people with a taser at the country music fest outside Detroit lakes when he was confronted by the three men who tried to stop him. That's when Williams allegedly stabbed them with a knife.   They were not seriously hurt.  

Henning Woman with a Gun Arrested after Argument
A Henning city worker intervened in a domestic Monday morning.  A male and a female were involved in a verbal argument. He was also able to take a gun away from the female.  The 22-year-old Henning woman was arrested on a misdemeanor domestic assault charge and a felony charge of being a convicted felon in possession of a firearm. Otter Tail County Deputies and officers from New York Mills, Parkers Prairie and Battle Lake Police Departments responded to the call.

Man Lost + $10,000 to a Scam
An Underwood man is out more than ten thousand dollars to a scam.  The 76-year-old man got a fake notification in the mail saying he won the Publishers Clearing House and needed to pay taxes.  He wired multiple payments of $400 and even $3500, emptying his savings. 
The sheriff’s office says if you have to pay money upfront for something you won- it’s a scam. 

Apply for Conservation Partners grants through September 19
Groups that want to restore, protect or enhance public land can apply for Conservation Partners Legacy (CPL) grants to help pay for work on Minnesota prairies, forests, wetlands, or on habitat for fish and wildlife.
Nonprofit organizations and government entities are eligible to submit applications now until 4:30 p.m. Friday, September 19, on the Minnesota Department of Natural Resources website at

Ogema Springs Wildlife Management Area in Becker County expanded
The DNR has recently designated new wildlife lands for public use.  Hunters, wildlife enthusiasts and wildlife populations now have 4,254 more acres of state wildlife management areas (WMA) available in an expansion that includes 31 existing WMAs and eight new ones in 24 counties.  Recently, Ogema Springs in Becker County was expanded by 84.4 acres.
The total area managed as WMAs is more than 1.3 million acres in Minnesota. Nearly all WMAs are open to public hunting and trapping, as well as other uses such as hiking, wildlife watching and cross country skiing.
Statewide, more than half of the new acres were purchased with funding from the Outdoor Heritage Fund, one of four funds created by the Clean Water, Land and Legacy Amendment approved by Minnesota citizens in 2008. The Outdoor Heritage Fund receives one-third of the money raised by the sales tax increase that resulted from passage of the amendment.
For more information visit the Minnesota DNR's website mndnr dot gov  (

DNR to Hold Two Meetings in Otter Tail County
Minnesota DNR plans to hold 13 public meetings across the state in coming weeks to review regulations and gather public input.  Two of the meetings are in Otter Tail County. They plan to discuss existing sunfish regulations on Star Lake and bass regulations on Clitherall, Jewett, Pickerel and Sewell lakes. The first will be 7 p.m. to 9 p.m. Wednesday, Sept. 17, at the DNR headquarters, 1509 First Ave. N., in Fergus Falls. The second meeting will be held 7 p.m. to 9 p.m. Thursday, Sept. 18, at the Lakes Area Community center, 112 W. Main St. in Battle Lake.

Written or verbal comments also will be accepted at local fisheries offices up to 10 days following a local meeting. Telephone numbers of local fisheries offices can be found online at, or on page 85 of the 2014 Fishing Regulations handbook.

Sadek Death Undetermined

The North Dakota State College of Science has received the final autopsy report on the death of Andrew Sadek. The Medical Examiner ruled the cause of death was a gunshot wound to the head. The manner of death has been ruled undetermined, so the case will continue to be handled as an open investigation.
The gun has not been found, and a search continues for it.  NDSCS Police say based on the facts of the case, they don't believe there is any threat to the campus community or the public.
Sadek, 20, was last seen leaving Nordgaard hall on the NDSCS campus early in the morning on May 1, 2014. Extensive ground, air and water searches were conducted for him. His body was found in the Red River near Breckenridge on June 27, 2014.