Your Friday News Brief: August 3

By: News Director Shawn Campbell

PENNINGTON MN – Rep. Matt Bliss, helped deliver two new veterans-related bills that are now in effect with Aug. 1 start dates. One new law prohibits agreements with a military beneficiary that assigns the beneficiary’s military pay or benefits to someone else. Another new law from Bliss allows local governments to designate themselves as a “Purple Heart City” or a “Purple Heart County.” Local governments now are able to honor Purple Heart recipients by designating a prominent parking space at government centers, and allow those local jurisdictions to accept donations to pay for a sign stating they are a Purple Heart city or county. Bliss also help get funding to build three new veterans homes in Minnesota – including $12.5 million for a facility in Bemidji.

BEMIDJI MN – Bemidji State University invites residents of Bemidji and the surrounding communities to join faculty, staff, administrators and students on Aug. 30 for its 13th annual Community Appreciation Day. The event is free of charge, and begins at 4:30 PM. Community Appreciation Day activities will take place on the university’s Centennial Plaza and on the lakeside lawn areas behind the lower union. A free shuttle will be provided from the parking lots at the Bangsberg Fine Arts Complex and the John Glas Fieldhouse. Guests parking in the Bangsberg parking lot are encouraged to use the lakefront trail to reach the event.

PEQUOT LAKES MN – Fire officials in say about two-thousand to three-thousand ducks were killed a fire at a poultry farm.  The fire that occurred Wednesday morning destroyed a metal livestock barn at Wild Acres Processing in rural Pequot Lakes. Law enforcement personnel from three agencies and ambulances from North Memorial were on scene all morning while firefighters from four departments worked on putting out the flames.

ST. PAUL MN – The Minnesota DNR is holding a public auction of confiscated fishing, hunting and trapping equipment tomorrow. The auction includes 214 firearms, 59 bows and 47 other pieces of equipment, including deer stands, fishing poles, mounts and traps. All of the equipment was confiscated following serious game and fish violations. The auction is at Hiller Auction Service in Zimmerman. Auction items can be viewed in person from 1 to 4PM today, and from 7 to 9:30AM tomorrow. The auction begins at 10AM. Background checks are required of anyone who purchases a firearm. Revenue from confiscated equipment auctions goes into the Game and Fish Fund, which is the DNR’s primary fund supporting fish, wildlife and law enforcement programs. For more information visit the DNR’s Website.

THIEF RIVER FALLS MN – A Thief River Falls chiropractor is accused of defrauding health insurers by submitting claims for several different services he never provided.  Steven Wiseth is charged with six counts of wire fraud and two counts of aggravated identity theft.  Prosecutors say the defendant held many promotional events where he gave away free food and drink, prizes and gift certificates to get patients to visit his business, Health Quest Family Chiropractic.  Over two years, Wiseth billed insurance companies for more than three-million dollars, including for hundreds of treatments that were not provided or were over-billed.

WALKER MN – Only July 31, 2018, David Fineday appeared for a jury trial in Cass County District Court and was found guilty of Domestic Assault. After the jury returned its guilty verdict, the Honorable David Harrington ordered Fineday remanded to the Cass County jail. Sentencing is scheduled for August 13, 2018.
WALKER MN – On July 30, 2018, Winter Cloud and Ronald Thompson appeared in Cass County District Court for sentencing on a charge involving the possession of a firearm by an ineligible person. Both were ordered to serve 13 ½ months in prison with credit for 74 days previously served. According to the criminal complaint filed by the Cass County Attorney’s Office, on May 18, law enforcement stopped a motor vehicle because it was known the driver did not have a driver’s license. Once stopped, a Cass County Deputy Sheriff noticed a lot of extra movement from the middle and rear passenger of the vehicle. Contact was made with the driver and the Deputy detected the odor of marijuana emitting from the vehicle. The driver admitted to smoking and was identified as Ronald Thompson and one of the passengers was identified as Winter Cloud. After the occupants were removed, the vehicle was searched for contraband. A Leech Lake Tribal Police Officer located two revolvers under the front passenger seat. No one in the vehicle was eligible to possess these firearms.

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