Forum News Service
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MORRIS – Morris Area High School Principal Craig Peterson has been charged with four felony counts of criminal sexual conduct after allegedly assaulting an acquaintance at his home in Morris. Peterson, 36, has been charged with two counts of criminal sexual conduct in the first degree and and two counts of criminal sexual conduct in the third degree. Peterson made his first appearance in Stevens County District Court on Thursday. According to the complaint, the victim, age 30, arranged to meet Peterson at the American Legion in Morris on Saturday, Dec. 21 at about 9 p.m.
H1N1, the nasty flu bug that gave us the pandemic of 2009, is back, the government’s lead health agency says. A Minnesota infectious disease specialist agrees, but she says it’s too early to tell how big of a factor it will be in the current influenza season. “While we are seeing proportionately more cases of H1N1 so far this year, I think it’s way too early to say that that’s going to be the predominant strain,” said Jennifer Heath, immunization outreach nurse specialist for the Minnesota Department of Health. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention issued a health advisory to
FARGO – Forum Communications Co., which publishes The Forum, has entered into an agreement to purchase newspaper properties in the lakes country of north central Minnesota – including the Brainerd Dispatch. The deal is to be completed Jan. 1. Forum Communications Co. is purchasing the properties from Morris Communications, a media company based in Augusta, Ga. Prior to the latest deal, Forum Communications Co.
HALSTAD, Minn. – Sexual assault charges against the mayor here have been dropped after the alleged victim’s credibility was called into question. In May, Mayor Steve Sortland was accused of raping a female acquaintance, and he was charged with first-degree criminal sexual conduct and third-degree criminal sexual conduct.
DULUTH -- The condition of a University of Minnesota Duluth student found unconscious in subzero cold Dec. 7 has been upgraded from critical to fair, hospital officials confirmed Tuesday. Alyssa Jo Lommel had been listed in critical condition Saturday. The UMD student was taken to Regions Hospital in St. Paul after being diagnosed with hypothermia and severe frostbite. Meanwhile, family members continued to report signs of progress on Lommel’s CaringBridge page. She is breathing without the aid of a ventilator and was being weaned off heavy medications.
Ambulance shops in Park Rapids and Walker voted overwhelmingly last week to unionize. They are part of the North Memorial Health Care System, based in Robbinsdale. Ambulance personnel claimed they receive the lowest pay in the region, so it’s hard to recruit new help. They also complained of driving 20-hour shifts and having to cede lucrative medical transfers to rival companies because they were so short-staffed. The company has declined to comment and said the concerns are those of disgruntled workers. Seventy-five percent of the eligible workers voted to unionize.
Minnesotans buying health insurance online through the state’s new website will now have more time to do so. New MNsure Chief Executive Officer Scott Leitz said Friday that the new deadline will be Dec. 31, which will give insurance buyers a chance to get policies the day before they become effective. Monday was the old deadline, but numerous issues with the MNsure computer system and the agency’s call center have made it difficult for customers to buy insurance that would take effect on Jan.
The Wadena County Sheriff's Office received a report of a structure fire at Olson's Custom Farm Services in Sebeka early Dec.11. Within minutes, police and firefighters arrived on scene to find the main building was fully engulfed with flames. Fire departments from Sebeka, Menahga, Wadena and Wolf Lake battled the fire for hours to contain it. The building sustained substantial damage as a result of the fire. The cause of the fire is still under investigation by the Wadena County Sheriff's Office and the State Fire Marshal's Office. No foul play is suspected.
DETROIT LAKES, Minn. – WE Fest announced three acts to its 2014 lineup. Travis Tritt, Randy Houser and Thompson Square have been added to the Aug. 7, 8 and 9 country festival. These acts join headliners Jason Aldean, Brad Paisley and Zac Brown Band for the annual concert just outside of Detroit Lakes, Minn. Also appearing will be Florida Georgia Line, The Band Perry and Brantley Gilbert. For ticket information, go to www.wefest.com .