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FERGUS FALLS, Minn.—Minnesota's most notorious drunken driver— arrested for DWI 28 times—is again in a state prison. New York Mills construction worker Danny Lee Bettcher, 65, was sent to the St. Cloud state prison for 4 1/2 years for his latest felony conviction for refusing to submit to a DWI test last week in Fergus Falls district court. The DWI charge was dismissed.
An adult male was declared deceased at Bill's Gun Shop & Range at roughly 2 p.m. Wednesday, the victim of a self-inflicted gunshot wound. Officers and first responders converged on the indoor shooting range, situated on Excelsior Road near the intersection of Highway 371, upon reports of a gunshot wound on the premises.
COLD SPRING, Minn. -- Two Utah residents have died and another is in critical condition in a two-vehicle crash on Wednesday, Feb. 14, near Cold Spring in Stearns County in east-central Minnesota. Killed in the crash were Cody Randall and JD Randall of Washington City, Utah. Trapped in the vehicle, extricated and later airlifted to North Memorial Hospital in the Twin Cities was Katie Seegmiller, also of Washington City. She was listed in critical condition Wednesday afternoon.
SIOUX FALLS, S.D.—A Minneapolis man who stole mail from affluent neighborhoods in the city and then created fraudulent checks that an accomplice would cash at convenience stores and casinos throughout Minnesota, South Dakota and Iowa has been sent to prison for more than five years. Jason Maurice Fagin, 38, was sentenced Thursday, Feb. 8, in federal court in Sioux Falls by U.S. District Judge Karen Schreier for his convictions on conspiracy to commit bank fraud and aggravated identity theft. Besides the prison time, he also was ordered to pay restitution.
STURGIS, S.D.—While motorcycle riding season appears far away with the popular Sturgis Motorcycle Rally, organizers have announced a major new event—a burger cooking battle with more than $10,000 in cash and prizes. Entries are now being accepted for the August competition that will be part of the 78th annual rally this year running from Aug. 3 to Aug. 12 in the Black Hills of western South Dakota. The winner will move on to the World Food Championships in Orange Beach, Ala., where the top prize is $100,000, according to rally director Jerry Cole.
FARGO—Arin Nygaard hasn't seen his daughter in 3½ years and Sunday, Jan. 28, is her fifth birthday. The 5-year-old girl, Cheyienna, was whisked away by her mother from Fargo to the remote Cheyenne River Sioux Indian Reservation about 350 miles away in far northwest South Dakota more than three years ago, despite a North Dakota court order giving full custody to Nygaard.
RAPID CITY, S.D. -- A 35-year-old Canadian man has been sentenced to 30 months in prison after he was arrested in an undercover sex sting at the Sturgis Motorcycle Rally. Alexandros Thymaras, of Calgary, must also pay a $1,000 fine and a $5,000 special assessment to victims of trafficking fund. He was sentenced last Friday, Jan. 19, in federal court in Rapid City.
SIOUX FALLS, S.D. -- A 61-year-old eastern South Dakota farmer has been found guilty by a federal jury of disturbing protected wetlands. Kevin Jay Mast, 61, of Volga which is just west of Brookings was found guilty last week in a trial in Sioux Falls. He faces a maximum penalty of six months in prison and/or a $10,000 fine when he is sentenced on April 9. He was indicted by a grand jury last September.
SISSETON, S.D. – A Granite Falls, Minn., woman has been identified as the victim in a one-vehicle fatal rollover that occurred early Saturday morning on Interstate 29 near the South Dakota-North Dakota border. Killed in the crash was Marrisa Mountain, 23, who was a passenger in the 2007 Ford Crew Cab that was southbound about 1:30 a.m. on the interstate, left the road and eventually rolled.
SPICER, Minn. — Despite the recent long stretch of below-zero weather in Minnesota in recent weeks, ice fishermen have been going through the ice on central Minnesota lakes in the past few days. Three incidents were reported on Friday, Jan. 19. Two ice fishermen from Spicer in east-central Minnesota were able to safely climb out of a pickup truck that plunged into water Friday evening offshore on Green Lake in Spicer.