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LAKES RADIO FIRST NEWS
Nichter Sentenced on 2 Files
An Underwood man was sentenced Monday on two of three cases before the Otter Tail County District Court
Twenty-nine-year-old Nicholas Lee Nichter was sentenced to 60 days in jail on charges of felony first-degree criminal damage to property and misdemeanor theft. He was credited with 82 days already spent in jail. He was fined $500 and ordered to pay over $2,900 restitution.
In another case where Nichter was convicted of felony first-degree criminal damage to property, he was sentenced to 90 days in jail with credit for 73 days served.
The only open case against Nichter charges him with felony first-degree burglary, felony second-degree burglary and misdemeanor tampering with a motor vehicle.
Nichter allegedly burglarized an attached garage of an occupied Fergus Falls home August 27th. He made his initial appearance on the new charges Monday.
Bond was set at $75,000 and cash bail at $50,000 without conditions. With conditions, bond is $50,000 and bail is $25,000.
His next appearance, an omnibus hearing, is scheduled for September 21st.
Big Changes At Underwood School
Underwood School will likely not look the same to returning students. New construction and remodeling has taken place in various areas of the building. Fire suppression sprinklers have been added throughout the high school wing. Many classrooms have been updated with new lighting, and ceilings. Both the small and large gymnasiums have been re-lined and re-finished. Some concrete was also replaced in certain areas and the parking lot was re-surfaced. Additional construction is still ongoing however, with a completion date of October 1st with the new fitness, band and choir rooms as well as a bus garage project.
Douglas County MC Chase
An Alexandria man is in custody after allegedly fleeing Alexandria police on a motorcycle.
Police say 60-year-old Mark Lloyd Hoium committed a traffic violation Monday and police attempted a traffic stop. Hoium allegedly attempted to elude police and a chase began with top speeds not more than 50 mph.
Hoium pulled into an apartment complex and a foot pursuit began. He was caught on the second floor of the apartment complex.
There were no injuries. Hoium is being held on fleeing and traffic charges.
Fergus Falls Elementary Schools Earn Award
The Fergus Falls School District has been awarded at a Bronze level in The Healthier US School Challenge. Adams, Cleveland, and McKinley Elementary Schools were each awarded for working to support and improve the health of children and the community. These schools within the district will receive a monetary incentive of $500, an award plaque signed by a USDA official, a banner to display in their school, and their name listed on the Team Nutrition Web site. Sponsored by the USDA Food and Nutrition Service, the initiative recognizes schools showing excellence in smarter lunchrooms, nutrition education, and physical activity. Schools meeting the criteria commit to improve food and beverage offerings, teach kids about nutritious food choices and being physically active, provide opportunities for physical activity, and have supportive school wellness policies.
Otter Tail Power Reminds Customers To Call Before They Dig
Call before you dig that is the mission of Otter Tail Power, when you are preparing to do any digging on your property. Even if you may have started already and forgot to call 811, Scott Fritz of Otter Tail Power says they can work with customers in practically any situation.
Fritz also added that the threshold is typically 12 to 18 inches before you need to call, but if you are planting or digging up a tree you will probably go much deeper and that is exactly the time to contact Gopher One Call at 811.
The Otter Tail County Sheriff’s Office says a shed located near Pickerel Lake was forcibly entered within a one-week period and items were stolen. Missing from the shed is a 2008 black Pontiac Torrent valued at $10,000, a weed trimmer and welding equipment. An ATV was also stolen but was abandoned nearby and recovered. Other items taken were found in a field nearby. It’s possible they fell out of the suspect’s vehicle.
A Barnesville man was injured when the motorcycle he was riding crashed north of Dunvilla by Pelican Lake late Saturday afternoon.
Sixty-five-year-old James Bergerson got into some gravel, lost control and rolled the motorcycle in the ditch.
Bergerson suffered a possible head injury, a broken leg and road rash. He was taken to the Detroit Lakes hospital by Pelican Rapids ambulance.
A Dalton woman accused of stealing money from victims at a crash scene was arraigned on a misdemeanor theft charge this morning in Otter Tail County District Court.
During today’s hearing, 42-year-old Tara Lindquist was granted a public defender. Her arraignment will continue on September 14th.
Lindquist, who was a first responder with the Dalton Fire and Rescue squad, was among the first to reach the scene of a crash on Interstate 94 that claimed the lives of 18-year-old Zachary Kvalvog (kah-VAHL-vog) and his 14-year-old brother, Connor, both of Moorhead.
A court complaint states Lindquist admitted taking $120 from a wallet that was on the side of the interstate and that he used the money to pay her electric bill.
Wadena Drug Bust
Two people are in custody for allegedly selling and distributing methamphetamine in Wadena.
Thirty-nine-year-old Michael Edward Volpe of Wadena is being held on probable cause charges of first-degree sales of a controlled substance, second-degree sales of a controlled substance in a school zone, second-degree possession of a controlled substance in a school zone and fleeing an officer on foot.
Forty-one-year-old Barbara Jo Northway of rural Henning is being held on probable cause charges of conspiracy to commit second-degree sales of a controlled substance, two counts of third-degree controlled substance crime in a school zone and obstructing the legal process.
Both are jailed awaiting formal charges being prepared by the Wadena County Attorney’s Office.
FF Murder Investigation
It has been almost 10 months since 20-year-old Justin Cyrus of Fergus Falls died from an overdose of Fentanyl. But investigators with the Fergus Falls Police Department now have a suspect in his death.
Investigator Robb Foreman says a 61-year-old woman is in custody in Cyrus’ death. He says investigators followed the money trail, interviewed everyone involved and tracked the narcotics to where they came from…
The Fergus Falls warrant charges Bernita Louise Huff with third-degree murder – selling a controlled substance, 2nd-degree manslaughter – culpable negligence creating unreasonable risk and great bodily harm – caused by distribution of a controlled substance.
Huff is being held in Hennepin County on bond. It’s not known when she’ll make her first appearance in Otter Tail County District Court.
Han Election Prep
Minnesota Republican Leadership are using the summer legislative break to tour areas of the state they think might like a change in leadership.
Senate Minority Leader David Han says Republicans are six seats short of being the majority party of the Senate. He says voters in districts one, two, four and five might be ready for new representation. That means republicans are looking for worthy candidates to take on LeRoy Stumpf, Rod Skoe, Kent Eken and Tom Saxhaug.
Han says Minnesota needs tax reform and relief. He says roads and bridges can be fixed by dedicating existing taxes to infrastructure rather than burdening Minnesotans with higher gasoline taxes. He says light rail transit doesn’t do much to help out rural residents.
Han says the Republican party has been working for months to find quality candidates to take on Senate Democrat incumbents. He says many have been lined up but they would have to win first at local endorsing conventions.
Detroit Lakes Man Charged With Arson
A Detroit Lakes man faces a count of arson following a fire Monday afternoon on Detroit Lakes north side. Becker County Court records state 21 year old Jade Wallace Hedlund is charged with one count of first degree arson after a fire Monday destroyed a two-story house on Grant Street in Detroit Lakes. Detroit Lakes Fire Department was called to the scene just before 2:30pm Monday. Hedlund was arrested Tuesday morning. Court documents allege Hedlund, who was renting the residence, was observed Monday afternoon by a witness and surveillance cameras of nearby businesses driving to the residence, then to a nearby gas station to fill a gas can and returning to the residence and leaving moments before smoke was witnessed coming from the house. A gas can was found outside the residence. Records state the Deputy State Fire Marshal Toby McLain investigated the fire and determined the fire was started intentionally in a storage room and star case landing. A first degree arson conviction carries a sentence up to 20 years in prison and or a $20,000 fine. Bail was set at $100,000 and Hedlund's next court appearance is Monday, August 31st.
OTC 2 Vehicle Crash
A Detroit Lakes man was injured in a two-vehicle collision south of Perham during the noon hour Sunday.
The State Patrol says the crash happened on Highway 78, south of Highway 108.
A Ford Expedition driven by 36-year-old Tamarajo Hopwood of Richville and a Hyundai Sonata driven by 79-year-old David Behl of Detroit Lakes were both southbound.
Behl’s vehicle slowed for a car making a left turn and was struck from behind by Hopwood’s vehicle.
Grant County Crash
Two Sauk Centre residents were injured in a rollover crash in Grant County about 11:00 am Saturday.
The driver of the Chevy Blazer is identified as 17-year-old Jade Olson. Olson was westbound on Highway 27, swerved to miss a deer, crossed the eastbound lane and went into the ditch. The Blazer rolled several times.
A passenger in the vehicle is identified as 15-year-old Tyler Mclain. The injuries to both boys were considered non life-threatening.
A Saturday motorcycle crash injured a Barnesville man. The Douglas County Sheriff’s Office says the crash happened about 7:30 pm near Forada.
Nineteen-year-old Jonah Aaron Kletsch had been riding his motorcycle eastbound on South Maple Lake Road when he lost control on a curve and crashed into the ditch. Kletsch suffered non life-threatening injuries. He was wearing a helmet.
He was taken by ambulance to the Douglas County Hospital in Alexandria.
A 31-year-old Fergus Falls man is under arrest after he allegedly broke into a home about 8:00 pm Thursday.
The Otter Tail County Sheriff’s Office says a rural Fergus Falls man called to report that his adult son forced his way into his home without permission and was possibly still at the residence.
Deputies and Fergus Falls police officers responded to the scene. The suspect, Timothy Domholt, was located at the residence and apprehended after a foot chase.
Domholt is being held on probable cause charges of felony first-degree burglary, felony escape from custody, felony fifth-degree controlled substance crime and several misdemeanor charges.
Fatal Douglas County Crash
The Minnesota State Patrol is investigating a fatal crash on Highway 29 in Douglas County.
The crash, which happened shortly before 4:00 am today, involved a Ford Explorer.
No other information has been released. More information will be released late this afternoon.
Nichter Arrested Again
An Underwood man is under arrest again, this time for allegedly burglarizing at least one Fergus Falls home.
Twenty-nine-year-old Nicholas Lee Nichter was arrested by police early this morning. Police were called to the 600 block of West Lincoln Avenue at 1:30 am on a report of a man at the front door of a residence with a flashlight, banging on the homeowner’s door. It turns out the man at the door was trying to get his neighbor to let him use a phone to call police concerning a burglary at his house.
The man had reportedly found a man in his attached garage burglarizing it. The suspect fled the scene. The suspect was located about a half block away in a car. The suspect, Nichter, was arrested for first-degree burglary.
Police say a bag full of stolen items were recovered in the immediate area. Items from the original burglary were returned to the homeowner, but police say there were other items too that could have come from other burglaries not reported yet. The investigation is continuing with more charges possible. Nichter will appear in court on the new charge Friday.
Nichter has two other cases pending. He’ll be sentenced on those August 31st. In one case, Nichter will be sentenced on convictions of first-degree criminal damage to property and theft. In the other case, he’s convicted of first-degree criminal damage to property. Plea agreements call for 60 days in jail in one case and 90 days in jail on the other plus restitution.
Pelican Rapids Longtime Coach Passes
Longtime Pelican Rapids football coach Al Siegle passed away on Monday at the age of 82. Siegle was the Pelican Rapids football coach for 22 years. After his coaching days, Siegle stayed active in high school sports as a referee, announced at football games and helped at track meets. Siegle was inducted into the Minnesota Football Coaches Hall of Fame in 1990 and also received the Distinguished Alumni Achievement Award in 1999. He spent five years coaching at Bertha-Hewitt.
Wadena County Bones
The Wadena County Sheriff’s Office is investigating human remains that were found at a residence north of Wadena on Leaf River Road.
The sheriff’s office executed a search warrant. Contrary to erroneous media reports, the human remains do not involve Jacob Wetterling or Carla Anderson.
Numerous bone fragments were found and have been sent in for analysis concerning the origin of the items found.
No other information is being released at this time.
Detroit Lakes Police say a fire that heavily damaged a rental property was arson and a man has been arrested. Thick smoke was coming out of the house when firefighters arrived yesterday afternoon. No one was home when the fire broke out. Five people were leaving there. 21 Year-Old Jade Hedlund was arrested at the Detroit Lakes Police Department. The Becker County Attorney's Office is reviewing reports before charges are filed.
A Fergus Falls man is in jail facing many charges from what began as a traffic stop just before midnight Friday.
The traffic stop was at the corner of Cavour Avenue and Fourth Avenue. But the suspect vehicle fled eastbound on Cavour Avenue, southbound on Union Avenue and eastbound on Alcott.
The driver of the vehicle, Christopher Gregory Schizzano, jumped out of the still moving vehicle and began running through yards. A police officer gave chase and Schizzano was apprehended on a residential lawn in the 800 block of S. Court Street.
While in the sally port of the Otter Tail County Jail, Schizzano allegedly kicked out the back window of the squad car, causing cuts to the face of the officer. The vehicle Schizzano jumped out of ran into a parked car.
Schizzano faces charges of Fleeing in a Motor Vehicle, Fleeing on Foot, Driving after Suspension, Leaving the Scene of an Accident with an unattended vehicle, obstructing justice with force, speeding, stop sign violation, criminal damage to property and fourth-degree assault on a peace officer.
Schizzano’s vehicle was towed from the scene and placed in cold storage.
Unknown Individual Observed Trespassing At New Athletic Complex
The Fergus Falls School District is concerned about a trespasser loitering with a dog on the new athletic field. While the field and new turf is expected to be mostly ready by Friday, Business Manager Mark Masten says an unknown individual is going around locked gates and caution tape and bringing a dog. No motion was passed, but the board expressed frustration at why this person would go past all the security in place to access the construction site.
In other school board news, a motion was passed Monday authorizing the sale of $2.7 million in general obligation aid anticipation certificates or bonds already approved by voters for the district construction.
Alexandria Police Pursuit
An Alexandria man is under arrest after incidents that began shortly before noon Monday.
Alexandria police say they were called out on a report of criminal damage to property. An officer was talking with the victim when the suspect arrived on the scene, entering a parking lot at a high rate of speed. The suspect, the driver, jumped out of his vehicle and began assaulting the victim. The officer pulled the suspect off the victim and attempted to place him under arrest.
The suspect ran to his vehicle, quickly locked the doors and took off at a high rate of speed. A Douglas County deputy found the suspect’s vehicle minutes later. Based on the suspect’s behavior, a decision was made to hold off on stopping him until more officers could be in position to do a safe stop. Stop sticks were deployed at several locations and the suspect’s vehicle was eventually stopped using the Pursuit Intervention Technique.
The driver was taken into custody without further incident. Charges are pending.
A Fergus Falls man is in jail following Saturday evening incidents. Sixty-five-year-old Richard Papenfuss allegedly drove his vehicle through a bean field, over a driveway and into a corn field along County Road 21 northwest of Fergus Falls. He allegedly caused damage to the fields, gas line property and the lawn of the property owner.
Concerned citizens reported the damaged vehicle and driving conduct of Papenfuss. He was observed walking into a corn field by the citizens and was subsequently located by the sheriff’s department canine. Papenfuss was taken to the hospital for minor injuries, treated and arrested for felony dwi, driving after cancellation iminical to public safety, and hit and run – property damage.
Underwood House Fire
A fire just after 1:00 am Monday heavily damaged an Underwood home, but three occupants were able to escape the blaze.
The Otter Tail County Sheriff’s Office says the south side of the house was engulfed when the Underwood Fire Department arrived on the scene.
Occupants of the house, Betty and Amanda Kirsch and Nicholas Nichter, were able to escape without injury.
The cause of the fire is still being investigated but it appears that embers from a bonfire may have landed on the porch, igniting the fire.
Little Pine Road Suspicious Fire
The Otter Tail County Sheriff’s Office received a report early Monday morning of a suspicious fire on the north side of Little Pine Lake north of Perham. When deputies arrived on the scene, they found what appeared to be the remnants of trash cans. During the initial investigation possible suspects have been located. But the investigation is ongoing.
The Perham Fire Department assisted the sheriff’s office in extinguishing the fires.
Some day soon, that shrimp you eat may be locally grown, in Minnesota. Harold Stanislawski, Project Development Director for the Agricultural Utilization Research Institute says a Wednesday forum in Willmar will explore the emerging opportunities for Fish and Shrimp Production. Stanislawski says an exciting off-shoot to fish and shrimp production is the potential use of Minnesota soybeans as feed for the fish.