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North Dakota

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Jamestown College breaks ground on PT building in Fargo

FARGO - Jamestown College is extending its reach about 90 miles to the east.

Despite biting winds from an early fall snowstorm, the college broke ground Thursday on a $1.7 million facility in southwest Fargo for its new doctor of physical therapy program.

College President Robert Badal said the program, which will be the only one of its kind in Fargo, should have no problem finding students, and those students should have no problem finding jobs.

"As baby boomers continue to play tennis and do stupid things on bicycles," there will be a need for physical therapists, Badal said.

He said the Fargo area is a regional health care hub, and can provide the hundreds of clinical experiences physical therapists will need during the three-year program.

Physical Therapy Program Director Nancy Nuzzo said that the college expects to hire 10 full-time faculty and serve more than 100 students in the next three years.


Project will provide housing for teachers, essential services

WILLISTON, N.D. - The Williston State College Foundation broke ground Thursday on a 74-unit housing project that will offer affordable housing to teachers, nurses, public works employees and others who provide essential community services.

The four-story apartment building also will have underground parking and retail space on the first floor.

The development will provide mixed-income housing for employees of the college, Bethel Lutheran, the North Dakota Department of Transportation, State Highway Patrol, North Dakota Game and Fish, Fort Union National Historic Site, Fort Buford State Historic Site and the city of Williston. If units are available after those needs are met, housing will be offered to the Williston School District and Mercy Medical Center.

The total cost of construction is estimated at $8.5 million and should be complete by summer 2013.

The project was able to get underway after Gate City Bank contributed $1.25 million to the North Dakota Housing Incentive Fund, targeting almost $7,000 of it to the foundation's development.

Other project funding is provided by the college, Bethel Lutheran Foundation, Bank of North Dakota's Flex PACE Affordable Housing Program, and American State Bank and Trust.


Sex assault reported on UND campus

GRAND FORKS, N.D. -- The University of North Dakota Police Department issued an alert Thursday about a reported sexual assault Wednesday evening.

The UND police release said a sexual assault was reported to have occurred about 8:30 p.m. near a construction site on campus.

The complainant reported that as she was returning to her residence hall, a male approached her from behind and threw her to the ground, where she was sexually assaulted. No other information about the suspect was made available.


Roosevelt ranch added to historic register

MEDORA, N.D. -- The U.S. Forest Service announced Thursday that two properties tied to Theodore Roosevelt's conservation legacy, the Elkhorn Ranch and Greater Elkhorn Ranchlands in North Dakota, are now on the National Register of Historic places.

The Elkhorn Ranch was owned and operated by Roosevelt prior to the turn of the 20th century, before his presidency. The ranch often is referred to as the "Cradle of Conservation" by conservation organizations. The Forest Service has nearly 4,000 historic sites listed on the national registry.


Emerado man pleads guilty to possessing child porn

GRAND FORKS, N.D. -- Steven Pfeiff, 24, of Emerado, N.D., pleaded guilty Thursday to two counts of possessing child pornography and one count of contributing to the delinquency of a minor under an Alford plea.

That's a plea in which he admits no wrongdoing but that there was enough evidence to convict him.

The charges stem from his arrest a year ago in West Fargo where he had gone to meet a 12-year-old girl he met on the Internet. The girl's mother called police, and officers caught Pfeiff in a sting.

Grand Forks prosecutors dropped two other counts of possessing child pornography as part of a plea agreement.

The charges are each punishable by up to five years in prison. The plea agreement recommends he be sentenced to two years, with another three years suspended, and five years of probation. He also will have to register as a sex offender.

He was sentenced in July in Fargo to a year in prison, with another four years suspended, on the charge of luring a minor over the Internet.


Two in custody after chase

ELY, Minn. -- An 18-year-old Oakdale man and a 16-year-old St. Paul girl were taken into custody after a high-speed chase through Ely on Wednesday night that ended in a crash.

The St. Louis County Sheriff's Office received reports of the man driving a stolen Chevrolet Blazer and possibly staying at a cabin on Mud Lake. While en route to the cabin, deputies saw the stolen vehicle and followed.

The chase traveled north on Minnesota Highway 169 through Ely about 9:15 p.m. and into Lake County on the Fernberg Trail before the Blazer failed to make a turn into a parking lot. The Blazer entered the ditch and struck rocks. The man and the girl were apprehended without further incident.

The man is being held in the County Jail in Virginia pending formal charges. The girl was taken to the Bethany Home in Virginia and classified as a runaway.


Officer charged with assault, disorderly conduct

DULUTH -- The Duluth police officer who was videotaped swinging and hitting a presumably intoxicated man in a wheelchair at the Duluth Detoxification Center was charged Thursday with fifth-degree assault and disorderly conduct in connection with the Sept. 21 incident.

Richard Jouppi, 34, was charged in State District Court in Duluth.

Both crimes are misdemeanors each punishable by a maximum penalty of 90 days in jail and a $1,000 fine.

Shawn Reed, a Duluth attorney who serves as the Hermantown city prosecutor was assigned as independent prosecutor to decide whether to bring charges against Jouppi.

Jouppi, a Duluth Central graduate, served with the Omaha (Neb.) Police Department from November 2001 to February 2008, and worked for the St. Paul Police Department from March 2008 to January 2010. He joined the Duluth force in January 2010.

Police placed Jouppi on paid administrative leave pending the outcome of an internal investigation.

Jouppi is accused of assaulting Anthony Jon Jackson, 50, of Duluth. He lives in apartments for chemically dependent individuals and for people that have experienced chronic homelessness.


Woman killed in crash on icy road

THIEF RIVER FALLS, Minn. -- A Plummer woman was killed in an head-on collision on a icy Minnesota highway, the Minnesota State patrol said.

The accident occurred at about 10 a.m. on U.S. Highway 59 in Pennington County, the patrol said. A 2004 Chrysler PT Cruiser driven by Madonna Lallier, 63, of Plummer, was travelling north and a 1999 Dodge Ram pickup driven by Elwin Ness, 54, of Middle River, was traveling south. They vehicles collided head-on, the patrol said. Road conditions were icy at the time of the accident, the patrol said.

Lallier was transported to Sanford Hospital in Thief River Falls, where she was pronounced dead. Lallier was wearing a seat belt, the patrol said. The patrol did not say if Ness was wearing a seat belt. He was treated for non life-threatening injuries at Sanford, the patrol said. The patrol said further reconstruction of the scene will be needed to determine which vehicle crossed the center line.

(GFH, included in Winter story)

Grant funds industrial part growth

DAWSON, Minn. -- Dawson's role as an agricultural processing center in western Minnesota got a big boost Thursday, when city, state and federal officials joined to celebrate a $1.2 million federal grant that will be used to expand its industrial park.

The city was notified late last week of the grant award. The city also is receiving $500,000 in state funds from the Department of Employment and Economic Development towards the industrial park expansion.

The money will be used to complete a $2.4 million industrial park expansion project.

The community of 1,530 people will invest up to $689,000 toward the project, but recover the funds through user fees charged to industrial park users.

One of the immediate benefits of the expansion is that it will accommodate the growth of the Noah's Ark kosher meat processing facility. The company will retain at least 35 to 40 jobs at the plant, and create at least 15 to 20 new jobs, if the expansion goes forward, according to a news release on the grant award.



Grocery aims for brat record Saturday

PRESCOTT, Wis. -- Workers at a grocery store here will attempt to grill a 53-foot long bratwurst, complete with a bun, to set a world record.

The grilling will happen Saturday when Ptacek's IGA grocery celebrates its 100th anniversary as it hosts its annual Octoberfest.

With help from the staff, Patrick Ptacek and his father, Mike, have hopes they can complete the task, moving on to beat the current record of 47 feet.

It will be something historic to see and devour -- so they recommend that all who attend come with an empty stomach. Proceeds from the bratwurst and beer sales will be donated to a local charity.

The event begins at 10 a.m. and runs until 4 p.m. For more information, visit


Man pleads guilty to having child porn

RIVER FALLS, Wis. -- A rural River Falls man has pleaded guilty to possession of child pornography and is scheduled for sentencing in Pierce County Court next month.

Allan D. Dau, 47, pleaded guilty last week to one count of possession of child pornography.

Dau, who worked in Roseville, Minn., was charged with possession of child pornography in October 2011 after officers executed a warrant, searched his home and found pornographic images on his laptop computer.

According to the criminal complaint, an agent of the Wisconsin Department of Justice's Division of Criminal Investigation posed as a Hudson man and chatted with Dau online about a pornographic website, leading to a search warrant. A DCI computer analyst's review of Dau's laptop found images that "portrayed sexually explicit images of children."