As communities struggle to address the rising popularity of heroin and other opioid narcotics, attention has shifted away from another drug with a nationwide grip. But the popularity of methamphetamine does not seem to be waning. Figures from law enforcement and addiction treatment specialists in North Dakota and Minnesota show that meth remains the most commonly used hard drug in the region, with popularity levels surpassing those seen in the early 2000s.
Members of the Minnesota House Capital Investment Committee were in northwest Minnesota Wednesday to examine areas where bonding money has had a positive impact and other public facilities where funds are still needed. Rep. Deb Kiel, R-Crookston, invited committee members through their tour of the region, which included stops at Northland Community and Technical College in East Grand Forks, the North Country Food Bank in Crookston and University of Minnesota-Crookston. "It's really important that they're aware of our needs," Kiel said.
Grand Forks area law enforcement says a "bad batch" of methamphetamine mimicking the symptoms of bath salts led to erratic behavior and two hospitalizations for potential overdose Wednesday and are warning users to throw out their supply. East Grand Forks police officers were dispatched to the corner of Sixth Street Northeast and Central Avenue at 8 a.m. Wednesday for reports of a man acting erratically in a vehicle. The man was arrested for driving while intoxicated by a controlled substance.
A state investigation into an East Grand Forks addiction treatment center found an employee sexually abused a patient, the second time such an incident has been documented at the facility since 2014. An investigation by the Minnesota Department of Health made public last month found on two occasions in May a staff member at Douglas Place Treatment Center entered a patient's room and initiated sexual conduct, an action prohibited by state law and the facility's policies.
In Grand Forks, Judge Jon Jensen was an easy man to find. At 5 a.m. he'd be out on a trail or county roads for a run, though in recent months he's switched to a road bike. The exercise always lasts at least an hour. By 6:30 a.m., Jensen, a 52-year-old Grand Forks area native, would walk into Darcy's Cafe on North Washington Street, where the other regulars would hand him the cafe's copy of the newspaper. He'd eat two poached eggs and a big blueberry pancake.
Residents interested in the daily activities of the Grand Forks Police Department can now view their daily calls for service log on the city website. The move came in early August in an effort to boost transparency between the department and the public, according to Lt. Derik Zimmel. The log shows every call for service in the past week, including the time, location and nature of the call. If the incident resulted in police taking action, the incident report number is listed. "We knew the data out there was good to go, and that it could be released," he said.
Recent changes to state law have put more a burden on local jails to house inmates, according to Grand Forks County Correctional Center Administrator Bret Burkholder, who petitioned for a study on the future of incarceration in the county. On Aug. 1, Grand Forks County commissioners gave the go ahead to proceed with a $49,200 jail needs assessment study, which will explore whether the jail needs to expand and if policies regarding which crimes require incarceration should be re-evaluated.
Over the last decade, Grand Forks has become increasingly tied to the drone industry, so much so that a drone has appeared in the official logo of Grand Forks County, a spot previously reserved for the Red River. The state of North Dakota has invested $17 million of public money into infrastructure at Grand Sky technology park at Grand Forks Air Force Base in the hopes of attracting high-paying jobs and industry to the region.
A Minneapolis man who pleaded guilty to an armed robbery in March at a Grand Forks payday loan business has been sentenced to serve five years in prison. Salam Abdulkadir Hussein, 28, pleaded guilty Thursday in Grand Forks District Court to robbing the Payday Express at 1017 S. Washington St. on Mar. 23. Hussein brandished a gun, took an undisclosed amount of cash and fled the scene on foot, according to charging documents.
FARGO—A Canadian man who pleaded guilty to smuggling people across the U.S.-Canadian border in western North Dakota was sentenced to serve six months in prison Wednesday. Victor Omoruyi, 41, of Regina, Sask., was arrested April 14, and charged with partnering with his wife, Michelle Omoruyi, to smuggle nine Nigerian citizens seeking asylum in Canada across the border near the Northgate port of entry in Burke County and bringing two others back into the U.S.