A move from the Trump administration to increase enforcement on illegal immigration has led to a nearly 500 percent increase in the amount of U.S. Immigrations and Customs Enforcement detainees housed this year in the Grand Forks jail. Through November, the Grand Forks County Correctional Center has recorded 5,361 ICE bed days, meaning the jail has averaged about 15 ICE detainees per day, according to administrator Bret Burkholder. A bed day is roughly calculated as a day in which an inmate stays overnight.
Minnesota prides itself on having one of the nation's lowest incarceration rates, but an increasing number of experts say the less discussed trade-off is the large number of people on probation. Minnesota has the third lowest incarceration rate in the nation, with 196 people per 100,000 in prison, according to the Bureau of Justice Statistics. But the BJS also found the state had the fifth-highest rate in the nation, with 2,328 people on probation per 100,000.
The East Grand Forks City Council voted to approve an altered version of the 2018 budget Tuesday after Mayor Steve Gander used his first-ever veto to reduce the previously approved 10 percent levy increase. Gander issued what he called a "friendly veto" in a letter to the City Council last week in which he expressed concern that final numbers from Polk County showed a 10 percent levy increase would increase city property taxes by about 7 percent. The mayor, in an attempt to keep property tax increases near 5 percent, proposed a 8.5 percent levy increase for the city.
CROOKSTON—A Crookston man who was sentenced to nearly 27 years in prison for selling methamphetamine had his conviction overturned by an appellate court and will begin a new trial process next week. Zane Robert Stigen, 49, was convicted of first-degree methamphetamine sale after a jury trial in February 2016 and received a sentence of 322 months in prison from Judge Anne Rasmussen. He was sentence came with an aggravated durational departure, meaning he was sentenced to serve more time than state guidelines typically call for.
CROOKSTON—A Minneapolis man who is accused of strangling a woman to death in a Crookston apartment in May had his charges upgraded after a grand jury indictment this month. Eddie Markeith Frazier, 49, is now indicted on first-degree murder charges in connection to the death of Tawnja Rene Wallace, who was found dead in her apartment at 104½ S. Broadway on May 3.
A Grand Forks man was hospitalized and cited for driving under the influence after suddenly changing lanes on the west side of Grand Forks and crashing into a vehicle with child passengers Monday afternoon. The North Dakota Highway Patrol said it cited 33-year-old Justin Loterbaugh on suspicion of driving under the influence after he crashed into an SUV while driving west on U.S. Highway 2 at 2:25 p.m. Monday.
The leader of a Grand Forks nonprofit serving people with disabilities is denying claims made in a lawsuit that the organization housed a known sexual predator with a man who was later raped and attempted to cover up its actions. Sandi Marshall, CEO of Development Homes Inc. and a Grand Forks City Council member, said she intends to push back on the civil lawsuit. "The accusations are entirely false and based upon information provided by a former disgruntled employee," Marshall said in a statement. "We will aggressively defend our employees and the company."
A Grand Forks man who was charged with attempted murder in connection with a road rage shooting in July had his bond revoked after a weekend arrest. Jody Christopher Bergland Jr., 23, was arrested late Saturday on a disorderly conduct citation, according to court and jail records. That charged was dismissed in municipal court Monday morning, records show, but Bergland did have his bond revoked for his attempted murder charge stemming from a July 31 shooting in Grand Forks.
A civil lawsuit filed in Grand Forks County District Court accuses a developmental housing nonprofit of housing a known sexual predator with a disabled man, who was raped, and attempting to cover up their actions. The lawsuit, filed Dec.12 by the mother of the victim, charges Development Homes Inc., its CEO, Grand Forks City Council member Sandi Marshall; and other DHI employees with negligence, failure to provide a safe environment, violating the victim's rights and inflicting emotional distress.
A Scientologist urologist and a Muslim internist have charged Grand Forks' largest health care provider with discriminating against them based on religion, according to ongoing complaints filed with state and federal authorities. Dr. Ralph Highshaw, a urologist who worked for Altru from 2013 to 2016, claims he began receiving unfair treatment from his superiors and other hospital staff after requesting time off to attend a Scientology retreat in December 2015, according to a charge of discrimination filed with the North Dakota Department of Labor and Human Rights in January.