Elizabeth Hackenburg / Williston Herald
WILLISTON, N.D. — Following a round of public recommendations, Capt. Verlan Kvande received a standing ovation after the Williams County Commission unanimously appointed him as Sheriff Scott Busching's successor on Tuesday. Kvande will become Williams County Sheriff on July 2, after Busching retires, and remain in that role until running for election next year. County commissioners heard a number of people speak in support of Kvande, including newly-appointed Williston Police Chief David Peterson and Busching.
WATFORD CITY, N.D. -- A court document that said a former McKenzie County Sheriff’s Office lieutenant plans to plead guilty to criminal charges was filed in error, according to court officials, and should instead have noted that there is an upcoming agreement expected in the case. The notice, dated March 30, saying that Michael Schmitz planned to submit a written guilty plea to two misdemeanor charges should have used different language, a document filed Thursday by the McKenzie County clerk of court’s office says.
WILLISTON, N.D.—Capt. David Peterson will replace James Lokken as chief of the Williston Police Department, effective April 20, when Lokken will leave his post of eight years. In a unanimous vote Tuesday night, city commissioners accepted outgoing Williston Police Chief Lokken's recommendation for his successor after receiving formal notice of Lokken's plan to retire next week. In his letter of resignation, Lokken, 65, cited Peterson's training and experience as the basis for his recommendation, and said that the decision was based on a lengthy period of consideration.
WILLISTON, N.D. — A Williston man accused of arson in connection with a fire that caused heavy damage to his home started the blaze with gasoline and a lighter, according to authorities. Documents filed in district court on Tuesday, April 4, claim Damon Baker was angry when he ignited a mixture of oil and gasoline inside his garage on 72nd Street East just after 1 a.m. Sunday. Baker, who allegedly admitted to officers that he'd used methamphetamine hours earlier, said "he was mad at the mess that was inside of the garage and wanted to burn it down," records say.
WILLISTON, N.D.—Trial for a man accused of being a co-conspirator in a brutal 2015 attack and rape of a woman in a rural area in far northwest North Dakota when the temperature was only 19 degrees began Monday in Williston with promises from attorneys on both sides that the facts of the story will reveal the truth. "You'll hear that he has some explanations and excuses for why this happened," Williams County prosecutor Nathan Madden said of David Mbulu, who is charged with criminal conspiracy, accomplices, conspiracy to commit murder and attempted murder.
BOWBELLS, N.D.—High wind and blowing snow on Tuesday turned a business trip into a frigid ordeal for a Montana man who said he was stuck on a far northwest North Dakota highway for more than 24 hours in what he called the "worst ground blizzard I've ever seen."
WILLISTON, N.D.—Strong winds and a fresh coat of white in northern North Dakota brought a sharp reminder on Monday that winter is not yet over. A late-season storm dropped up to 8 inches of snow in the region, bringing wind gusts of more than 50 miles per hour on its tail end. Monday was the first day of spring break for Williston Public School District 1 and New Public School District 8. The region was under a winter storm warning until Monday evening, and a no travel advisory was issued for most of the day from Williston eastward.
WILLISTON, N.D.—Garrick Turner's hopes of being one of the first to sell medical marijuana in Williams County were put on hold this week, at least temporarily, as the state Legislature considers delaying parts of the Compassionate Care Act until the summer. But the Williston man is still hoping to eventually open a dispensary, and is looking to find others willing to invest in the venture as well as he found out the startup costs will be much higher than he expected with a $5,000 application fee and a $25,000 certification charge.
WILLISTON, N.D. --A man arrested this week in Williston is suspected of spreading HIV to at least one other person, police say. Angel Miguel Rodriguez, 41, was charged with transfer of body fluid that may contain HIV, a Class A felony. A 54-year-old woman told investigators last week that she'd dated Rodriguez for several months during the summer and fall, and had unprotected sex with him during that time.
WILLISTON, N.D.—Nonprofits seem to be responding to a deficit of mental health services in the northwest North Dakota region by offering a range of options, including walk-in hours and counseling for even the youngest of clients. Summit Counseling Services opened its doors in the spring of 2015, and since then has nearly doubled its staff. It has offices in Williston and Watford City. The group's range of services includes help with depression and anxiety, behavioral issues in children, couples therapy and outpatient programs for addiction.