From the Forum Communications News Bureau


Man suffers serious injuries in auger accident (BP)

KELLIHER, Minn. - A Beltrami County man was airlifted to a hospital after his arm was caught in an auger at Hedblad Saw Mill on Tuesday.

The Beltrami County Sheriff's Office received a call about an accident involving an auger just after 2 p.m. Tuesday, according to a press release from the sheriff's office. The man was freed from the auger and given first aid before authorities arrived, according to the release.

The release said the worker had "serious injuries to his extremities and torso." Dispatch radio traffic indicated that his arm had been caught in the auger.

His name is being withheld until the family is notified. Beltrami County Sheriff Phil Hodapp said Tuesday afternoon that it appeared that he was being airlifted to Minneapolis.

Police investigating reported gun incident (FF)

MOORHEAD - Police here are investigating a report that a man threatened a 9-year-old boy and demanded his Nerf gun Monday evening in south Moorhead.

The incident was reported just before 6 p.m. in the 900 block of 16th Street South.

Lt. Tory Jacobson said the boy told police he had been playing cops and robbers with a friend. The boy said that after the friend left, a man in his 30s wearing a stocking cap approached him, threatened him with a handgun and demanded his Nerf gun, Jacobson said.

Police have assigned an investigator to the case, Jacobson said. A group of Moorhead firemen were training nearby and saw the kids playing but did not see the reported confrontation, he said.

"Certainly there's some things that we need to corroborate," Jacobson said.

The boy told police that the gunman jogged away from the scene and got into the passenger side of a red Pontiac car, Jacobson said.

Send-off planned for drive-in (SWC)

COTTAGE GROVE, Minn. -- After almost five decades of summer nights under the stars at the Cottage View Drive-In, the city of Cottage Grove will hold a farewell party next week as the classic theater nears its closure.

The city will host a "Cottage View Celebration" beginning at 6 p.m. Sept. 27 that will feature a showing of "Grease" as a send-off to the theater that is set to close for good in coming weeks. The theater's closure will clear the way for construction of a Walmart Supercenter approved by the city earlier this month.

Gates at the theater will open at 6 p.m.; the first 100 cars will receive a free commemorative DVD and the city is encouraging vintage attire.

The Cottage View first opened in August 1966 and has stood for 47 years along East Point Douglas Road near County Highway 19. The drive-in's owner has agreed to sell roughly 24 of the drive-in's 52-acre site to Walmart after Cottage Grove City Council recently approved the discount retailer's plans to construct a 178,000 square-foot store that will open in 2014.


Minnesota fugitive sex offender caught in Fargo (FF)

FARGO - A Level 3 sex offender from Minnesota wanted for violating parole was arrested here Tuesday afternoon, according to a U.S. Marshals Service news release.

Derek Bryan Tukes Sr., 39, was wanted by the Minnesota Department of Corrections after he violated parole following a stint in prison, the release stated.

The U.S. Marshals Service High Plains Fugitive Task Force received notice Tuesday that Tukes may have been in Fargo, and they found him at his girlfriend's residence.

Tukes was convicted of third-degree criminal sexual conduct in 2006. After his release from a Minnesota correctional facility on Sept. 7, he was ordered to remain at a halfway house, but allegedly left the area Sept. 12 without permission from his parole officer.

Tukes was transported to the Cass County Detention Center to await court proceedings. The Marshals Service is investigating whether Tukes violated the federal Sex Offender Registration and Notification Act.

UND maintains enrollment lead over NDSU (GFH)

GRAND FORKS, N.D. -- Final fall enrollment at the University of North Dakota grew significantly compared with North Dakota State University, maintaining its hold as the largest campus in the state.

Enrollment was 15,250, an increase of 553 students from last year's record-breaking figure, according to the university.

There are 2,357 incoming freshmen this year, an estimated 12.7 percent increase over last year's numbers, he said.

The number of transfer students is also up by 937 students this year, a 7.2 percent increase since last year. The college of engineering and mines has also grown, and while a large chunk of that increase is from distance education, the petroleum engineering degree program on campus has also helped, Johnson said.

North Dakota State University's enrollment is 14,443, up 44 students from last year, according to the university.

The number of undergraduates enrolled this year accounted for the greatest increase for the university -- the total is 11,988, up 77 from last year. Total graduate student enrollment dipped by 146 from last year to 2,111.

Man arrested after high-speed chase (GFH)

GRAND FORKS -- Grand Forks police arrested a man Monday evening in the Purpur Arena parking lot after a nearly half-hour vehicle chase that circled much of Grand Forks, with the driver reaching speeds of 80 mph, police said.

Johannes Nielsen, 24, Grand Forks, was charged with numerous violations, including driving under suspension, no liability insurance and reckless driving, according to police.

According to Grand Forks Police Sgt. Doug Wright, the chase started just before 11 p.m. Wright said the suspect, driving a dark-colored Chevy pickup, circled Grand Forks, taking officers on a high-speed chase on the city's busiest streets. At one point, police said, the driver was heading north on Washington in the southbound lane.

The driver finally was stopped when police put a strip of spikes at the intersection of 42nd Street and DeMers Avenue. The driver continued eastbound on DeMers before stopping at Purpur Arena.

Woman killed in crash identified (DP)

WATFORD CITY, N.D. -- The North Dakota Highway Patrol has released the name of the woman killed in Monday's crash at Johnson Corners Christian Academy near Watford City.

Althea Mandan, 65, of Dickinson, died as a result of injuries sustained from the collision, according to a news release.

Mandan died after a two-vehicle crash that sent a semitrailer barreling into the small school. After colliding with a car at the intersection of highways 23 and 73 in McKenzie County, the truck slammed into an area of classrooms at Johnson Corners Christian Academy, sending students and teachers scurrying for safety.

A teacher, three children and the truck driver were treated and released from McKenzie County Hospital.


Mayor sees Sioux Falls texting ban as an example (DR)

MITCHELL, S.D. -- Mayor Ken Tracy wants Mitchell to ban texting while driving.

Tracy told the Mitchell Traffic Commission on Monday night that Mitchell should emulate Sioux Falls' recently passed measure. The Sioux Falls City Council passed a texting-while-driving ban Sept. 4, and it goes into effect Sept. 28.

Tracy said he has a copy of the ordinance and feels the Traffic Commission and the City Council should discuss it. Council President Jeff Smith, who serves on the commission, agreed and asked to have it placed on the panel's agenda for its Oct. 15 meeting.

He said the law should have been changed by the South Dakota Legislature, but it has failed to act.

"The mayor's right," said Councilman Mel Olson, a former legislator. "If enough cities do it, the Legislature will act and take the credit."