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GRAND FORKS — Grand Forks County Sheriff Bob Rost announced Friday that his department is the first law enforcement agency in the nation granted federal authorization to fly unmanned aerial vehicles at night throughout its jurisdiction. In a partnership with the University of North Dakota’s aerospace school and two drone makers, the sheriff’s department has been flying small unmanned aerial systems for more than a year and deployed them nine times on official missions. The Federal Aviation Administration authorized the department to fly drones in 16 counties in northeast North Dakota.
GRAND FORKS — The director of North Dakota’s only abortion clinic urged law students at the University of North Dakota on Tuesday to stay informed and active in fighting what she said were new state laws, still being battled in court, that would make North Dakota one of the most hostile states to abortion. Tammi Kromenaker, director of the Red River Women’s Health Clinic in Fargo, and Dr.
GRAND FORKS — A Grand Forks woman is charged with beating her grandchildren, ages 4 to 9, with a wooden stick and belts, taping one’s eyes shut, then open, holding a boy’s mouth so his screams weren’t heard and taping dirty diapers on their heads and keeping them from eating and drinking. But her husband said Jacqueline Peltier is innocent and being set up by her own daughter, who lives in the same home with her girlfriend and faces related charges in the case. Jacqueline Peltier, 50, appeared Thursday in state district court on 13 felony counts of child abuse or neglect, including six Class
FARGO — The last of 15 people charged in a multistate synthetic drug operation blamed for killing two teens in 2012 has reached a plea agreement with federal prosecutors. John Robert Polinski of Texas was scheduled to stand trial Tuesday in federal court in Fargo but announced he was ready to plead guilty. Like the other 14, Polinski took a deal rather than risk trial on charges that could mean life in prison under federal sentencing guidelines. Polinski’s change-of-plea hearing is slated for April 2, Chris Myers, first assistant U.S.
GRAND FORKS — A University of North Dakota student, found unconscious Sunday in his burning house near the campus, died Tuesday morning in a Minneapolis hospital, according to his family. Matthew Heisler, 21, was pulled from the house at 2029 First Ave. S., by his roommate, Ryan Nelson, also 21, who came home about 2:40 a.m., Sunday, to find the house filled with smoke. “This morning we had to say goodbye to our beloved son,” Jared and Cheryl Heisler said in a news release Tuesday afternoon. “In accordance with his wishes, his organs will be donated so that others can live.
GRAND FORKS — Domestic violence workers and police are working to better identify when a domestic disturbance can turn lethal. The Community Violence Intervention Center in Grand Forks is bringing in a new training method to give officers and anyone responding to domestic violence better tools in assessing how lethal any situations might be to add more certainty to getting more help faster to where it’s needed the most. The “lethality assessment” will make sure everyone is on the same page through a method of “scoring” victims according to risk, said Jennifer Albert, director of the Communit
GRAND FORKS — A state district judge in Grand Forks sentenced Ronald Samdahl on Tuesday to serve two years in prison because of a drunken driving law that took effect only 45 days before he was arrested. A jury convicted him last week after a short trial and an hour of deliberation on the felony charge. The new stiffer driving-under-the-influence laws in North Dakota as of July 1 not only ensured Samdahl, a multiple DUI offender in two states, would serve time, it also made him willing to risk a jury trial instead of pleading guilty as he always did before and most others do when charged wit
GRAND FORKS — A Twin Cities woman, her sister and three people from the Grand Forks region face federal charges of dealing methamphetamine, with each charge carrying a maximum sentence of life in prison. Jacqueline Weiss, 22, and Jennifer Weiss, 25, along with Brent Maurstad, 39, Lerna Lea Paulson, 45, and Michael Schiebe, 33, are accused of conspiring to sell at least 50 grams, or 3 ounces, of pure meth in Grand Forks and Walsh counties. The sisters, who allegedly bought the drug from “Mexicans” in the Twin Cities, were arrested at a Grand Forks hotel in December, according to court r
GRAND FORKS — Jennifer Blue, the ex-girlfriend of a man stabbed to death Nov. 17 near Grand Forks, has been charged with murder along with three men. She and the men will be arraigned in state district court today. Investigators said from the start it was Joe Saucedo who stabbed Ruben Cisneros Jr. during a burglary of Cisneros’ home aimed at getting Blue’s property back. On Nov.
GRAND FORKS — Andrew Spofford, the Grand Forks man who told investigators he was the “hobby chemist” who ordered by mail, then mixed the synthetic hallucinogens blamed for killing two teens in June 2012, has been sentenced to 17 1/2 years in federal prison. It’s the longest sentence of 12 handed out so far by U.S. District Judge Ralph Erickson in the case “Operation Stolen Youth,” which has alleged international connections.