Perham Focus Newsroom
The man who was recently caught driving drunk the wrong way down Highway 10 after sending officers on a short chase is now facing charges. Taylor (J.D.) Steiner, age 32, of Rothsay, appeared in Otter Tail County District Court on May 1. According to court documents, he is being charged with fleeing a peace officer in a motor vehicle, operating a motor vehicle under the influence of alcohol and carrying a pistol while under the influence of alcohol. Steiner’s arrest relates to an incident on April 29, in which he was reportedly driving eastbound in a westbound lane.
Multiple grass fires have been reported around Otter Tail County in the last week. One fire took place the evening of April 30 near Windy Hill Trail at West Leaf Lake, north of Henning. Two standing trees reportedly caught fire. Another was reported at Beaver Dam Road, east of Dent near Highway 108. Six more grass fires occurred on May 3.
Three handguns, a cross bow, a compound bow and a Nintendo DS and electronic games were stolen from a home near Perham last week. The Otter Tail County Sheriff’s Office reported that several items worth an estimated $1,200 were stolen from a residence along 495th Street, northwest of Perham. The items were believed to have been stolen between 7:30 and 9:30 p.m. the evening of May 1. Entry was made by breaking the glass on a side door. Anyone with information is asked to call the sheriff’s office at 218-998-8555. Tom Hintgen, Otter Tail County Correspondent
The burglar who was caught red-handed while stealing from a residence in rural Dalton has been charged with burglary in the second degree. On April 28, Jon Chauncey Sheldon, age 30, of Fergus Falls, was taken by surprise when three owners of the residence he was burglarizing returned home to catch him in the act. They detained Sheldon until law enforcement arrived at the scene. Sheldon confessed and led deputies to a location where stolen property was recovered. According to court documents, Sheldon had previously taken 200 metal animal traps from the same residence in Dalton.
A bomb squad safely removed two sticks of dynamite from a residence along Highway 4 near Frazee and northeast of Vergas on Saturday. The Otter Tail County Sheriff’s Office said the dynamite was discovered as people were going through a home’s belongings as part of some estate work. The bomb squad was from Crow Wing County. Authorities safely disposed of the dynamite. Tom Hintgen, Otter Tail County Correspondent
A man who engaged in sexual contact with a minor was sentenced in Otter Tail County District Court May 3. Andrew Lee Kruft, 26, of Fergus Falls, was sentenced to 74 months in the Minnesota Correctional Facility in St. Cloud for criminal conduct in the third degree, forced or coercion. Kruft’s conviction relates to an incident on June 13 and 14 of last year, when he engaged in sexual contact with a person under 13 years of age at a residence in Fergus Falls. Credit for time served is 319 days. Tom Hintgen, Otter Tail County Correspondent
An omnibus hearing for one of the owners accused of neglecting horses at a farmstead near Perham has been postponed. The hearing for Bruce Breun has been rescheduled from May 6 to May 28 at 1 p.m. in Otter Tail County District Court. Charges were previously filed against Bruce and Allison Breun, the owners of 11 neglected horses seized in November 2012.
Minnesota native Dana Thompson, named Best Female Vocalist by the Twin Cities publication City Pages, will perform with Eric Christopher at the New York Mills Regional Cultural Center this Saturday. Born in Sandstone and raised in Hibbing, Thompson graduated from high school in Duluth and has lived in Minneapolis for most of her adult life.
The National Association of Letter Carriers will conduct its 21th annual food drive to combat hunger on Saturday, May 11. Letter carriers will collect non-perishable food donations on that day as they deliver mail along their postal routes, allowing postal patrons to easily donate food to their local food shelves. The Stamp Out Hunger Food Drive never has been more important than in these times, with hunger a growing problem that affects about 50 million people around the country, including 17 million children and nine million senior citizens. Pantry shelves filled up through winter-h
This Friday, Perham High School band instructor Lawrence Wankel will direct his final concert before retiring at the end of this school year. Wankel has taught in Perham for 27 years. For this show, he will feature some of the same music played during his first year of teaching in Watford City, N.D. Also on the line-up are Latin tunes, jazz songs, concert literature and music from many different eras. The concert will include all band students in grades 5-12.