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The Risland brothers, Zechariah, top left, Jacob, bottom left, and Isaiah Risland, bottom right, are shown with cousin Isabelle Staley, top right, in this 2010 family photo. The Risland brothers and their father, Dan Risland, were in a sailboat Friday, April 6, 2012, when it sank in Clearwater Lake. Zechariah and Jacob died, apparently from hypothermia, while Isaiah is hospitalized at Children's Hospital in Minneapolis. SUBMITTED PHOTO

'Dedicated to the boys': Friend said sailboat tragedy traumatic for father

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BEMIDJI - One of Dan Risland's closest friends said he was a good father, and believes he's being unfairly criticized in the sailboat accident that critically injured one of his sons and killed two younger ones.

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Leah Rowland of Bemidji described Dan Risland as a terrific father who sailed the boat several times before taking his sons out in it.

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Steve Wagner
Grand Forks Herald Editor Steve Wagner can be reached at 701.780.1104 and swagner@gfherald.com. He joined the Herald in April 2013, and previously worked as editor at the Bemidji (Minn.) Pioneer and in several newsroom roles -- including news director, investigative reporter and cops/court reporter - at The Forum of Fargo-Moorhead. His reporting experience includes extensive reporting related to Dru Sjodin's disappearance and the federal death penalty case for her murderer, Alfonso Rodriguez Jr., along with projects about immigration, the fatal 2002 train derailment in Minot, N.D., and the 20th anniversary of Gordon Kahl's massacre of U.S. marshals. Wagner also worked as a reporter at newspapers in the Twin Cities and Iowa. In his spare time, Wagner is an avid runner and occasionally writes about his experiences on his blog, Addicted to Running.
(701) 780-1104
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