Christopher Bjorke is the content editor for the Grand Forks Herald. He first worked for the Herald in 1997 and most recently since 2011. His jobs at the Herald have included covering local government, state politics, business and economics, and the health care industry.
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GRAND FORKS—The president and CEO of Hugo's has received national recognition for her role leading the regional grocery chain. Kristi Magnuson Nelson was named woman of the year by the Women Grocers of America at a meeting of the National Grocers Association this month in Las Vegas. Hugo's employs about 1,400 workers at stores in Grand Forks, Grafton and Jamestown in North Dakota and East Grand Forks, Crookston, Thief River Falls and Park Rapids in Minnesota.
FERTILE, Minn.—A Polk County man has been charged with second-degree attempted murder for shooting an airplane flying over his property last week, according to court documents. Chad Lynndell Olson, 51, was charged Thursday in Polk County District for allegedly shooting a Cessna small aircraft with a high-powered rifle from his property on Highway 32 northeast of the Fertile airfield on Oct. 6. Olson has a history of making threats and shooting at planes flying over his home, according to a criminal complaint against him.
GRAND FORKS—A little boy from Grand Forks will be in a big spotlight in New York City this weekend. Eighteen-month-old Cutler James Thompson will be part of a display in Times Square on Saturday in a video for the New York Buddy Walk, an event promoting awareness and acceptance of people with Down syndrome. "I just sent (Cutler's photo) in thinking, 'Oh gosh, it's a long shot,'" said Cutler's mother, Amy Sanders, who submitted her son's picture to the National Down Syndrome Society to help promote this weekend's walk.
GRAND FORKS—An early evening storm produced tornadoes and large hail but no widespread damage reports as it moved through eastern North Dakota and northwest Minnesota Tuesday. A large multi-vortex tornado was spotted in the Mayville, N.D., area in Traill County where a storm with multiple funnels passed over the area about 7:25 p.m., according to the National Weather Service office in Grand Forks. Another tornado touched down between Adams and Fairdale in Walsh County about 6:45 p.m. Funnel clouds were also spotted near Manvel, N.D., and Buxton, N.D.
CROOKSTON, Minn.—A 34-year-old woman who had been living in a makeshift shelter near Crookston before her death last Friday was "a ray of sunshine ... just vibrant and really alive," her companion said Wednesday, Nov. 23. But she could not overcome years of alcoholism and mental illness. Lee Tibbets, 57, called 911 when Erin Leigh Koplitz was unresponsive after taking pills that morning in a shelter they shared in a wooded area along the Red Lake River west of Crookston.
DEVILS LAKE, N.D. -- Devils Lake state Rep. Curt Hofstad has died, according to the North Dakota Governor's Office. Hofstad, a Republican, had served in the House since 2007. His biography on the Legislature's website said he was a farmer and had been involved in the Devils Lake area as a member of the Starkweather School Board, the Devils Lake Airport Authority and the State Water Commission. Hofstad was vice chairman of the House Human Services Committee and was a member of the Energy and Natural Resources Committee.
MINNEAPOLIS -- A spokesman for the FBI confirmed that law officers shot a man to death on the Spirit Lake Indian Reservation last week. Kyle Loven in the agency's Minneapolis office said Joseph Lee Charboneau was shot during an altercation with officers with the Bureau of Indian Affairs at a residence in the Crow Hill section of the reservation the night of June 16. Officers "were present at the residence to effect the arrest of a separate party," when the altercation started and Charboneau was shot, Loven said. An obituary for Charboneau lists his age as 31 and states that he died a
GRAFTON, N.D. — Police here are waiting for autopsy results for clues to why a 51-year-old woman drove into the Park River Saturday. Rescue teams found the body of Carolina Mendoza inside her vehicle in the river late Saturday. According to a statement from the department, Mendoza, a Grafton resident, drove over the bank of the river near Western Avenue and West Second Street near Leistikow Memorial Park. Sgt.
FINLEY, N.D. -- The home of a Finley, N.D., woman accused of murdering her husband was destroyed in a fire Friday night. Fire broke out at Sherry Midstokke's home here sometime before 6:30 p.m., when a firefighter who lives in the neighborhood saw the blaze, according to Steele County Sheriff Wayne Beckman.
GRAND FORKS -- Homecoming week took a criminal twist after three men listed as candidates for North Dakota State University's homecoming royalty were arrested while allegedly trying to hang a sign on an athletic center used by the University of North Dakota late Wednesday. According to UND Police Sgt. Danny Weigel, the three were arrested after officers responded to a report of a "somewhat rather large group" of people climbing the outside of the Betty Engelstad Sioux Center just before 11 p.m.