Wendy reports for The Forum and West Fargo Pioneer, where she is also assistant editor. A University of Minnesota Morris graduate from North Dakota, Wendy started her career in television news and entertainment in Minnesota and and at CBS Television City, Calif. before working at newspapers in Minnesota and North Dakota.
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WEST FARGO, N.D. -- Instead of preparing for a second trial, Aaron Knodel, the teacher accused of having a sexual relationship with a student, will be celebrating Father's Day with a sigh of relief. The 2014 North Dakota Teacher of the year was relieved and happy prosecutors "finally did the right thing" by filing Thursday to dismiss the remaining two charges, said defense attorney Robert Hoy, who expects the judge to rule on the dismissal before Tuesday, when a second trial was scheduled to begin. "This is indeed going to be a happy Father's Day in his household," Hoy said at a Frida
FARGO -- Prosecutors say the media, the public and even the judge caused the case against teacher Aaron Knodel to drag on. In a motion to dismiss the remaining two charges against the 2014 North Dakota Teacher of the Year accused of having sex with a former student in 2009, state Assistant Attorney General Jonathan Byers said that while concern was shown for Knodel, the court failed to take into consideration the damage caused to the alleged victim. "The young woman in this case has been treated horribly unfair by the letter-writing campaign and online bloggers," Byers wrote in the brie
FARGO — A second trial for Aaron Knodel is scheduled to start June 23. Cass County District Court Judge Steven McCullough denied a prosecutor's request to delay the second trial on two felony charges against the 2014 North Dakota Teacher of the Year accused of having sexual contact with a student in 2009, according to court records filed Friday. On June 4, McCullough declared a mistrial on two of five counts against Knodel.
WEST FARGO, N.D.— Preliminary autopsy results have confirmed that a 6-month old who was found not breathing at a day care died after a blunt force trauma to the head. Owen Skodje, the son of Casey Skodje and his wife Kristen Hunstad of Fargo, died June 2 at the Children's Hospital in Minneapolis after he was found not breathing at a West Fargo day care the day before. The Hennepin County Medical Examiner's Office will be doing more tests that include tissue sampling and toxicology reports this week to help determine if Skodje was injured while at the child care center on June 1 or at
FARGO—Prosecutors say they want more time and a change of venue before considering a second trial of Aaron Knodel, the 2014 North Dakota Teacher of the Year accused of having sexual contact with a student in 2009. Cass County District Judge Steven McCullough declared a mistrial on two of five counts against Knodel on Thursday.
WEST FARGO, N.D.--Police believe blunt force trauma to the head may have led to the death of a 6-month-old boy who was found not breathing at an unlicensed day care in West Fargo on Monday, but they are waiting for an autopsy to tell them when that may have happened. Owen Skodje died Tuesday at the Children's Hospital in Minneapolis, the day after police were called to an unlicensed West Fargo day care with a history of abuse complaints. Police won't comment on whether it appears the boy's brain injury was sustained at the day care, but the autopsy will be crucial in determining whether th
FARGO—Colleagues and former students are rallying behind Aaron Knodel and asking the state attorney general's office not to retry felony charges against the 2014 North Dakota Teacher of the Year accused of sexual contact with a student in 2009. A letter-writing campaign is circulating on social media that outlines how to ask Attorney General Wayne Stenehjem's office to not request a mistrial or pursue further charges against the West Fargo teacher. The campaign letter titled "Please join us" said, "It is time for teachers to unite and voice their displeasure with how the state plan
FARGO — The sole juror holding out for a guilty verdict in the Aaron Knodel sex-charges trial may have lied during jury selection by not disclosing she was a victim...
Deliberations to continue today FARGO--A verdict in the trial of the 2014 North Dakota Teacher of the year accused of having sex with a 17-year-old student in 2009 rests solely on the testimony of the alleged victim, the defense attorney for Aaron Knodel said in closing arguments Monday. With only her testimony and no physical evidence, the jury should acquit 36-year old Knodel, attorney Robert Hoy said in Cass County District Court. Prosecutors disagreed in their closing, telling the jury that not only is the woman's testimony credible, physical evidence of handwritten notes and call l
FARGO—The wife of the 2014 North Dakota Teacher of the Year accused of having sex with a student in 2009 corroborated much of the testimony Aaron Knodel gave when he took the stand in his own defense Friday. The suspended West Fargo teacher disputed a former student's claims that they had a sexual relationship, saying he only tried to help her outside the classroom with personal issues. Knodel often ran his fingers over a small cross he kept clasped in his hands while he was on the stand in Cass County District Court.