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A Grand Forks man says he's ready to go to trial to face charges alleging he broke into a woman's home, beat and sexually assaulted her. Rolando Rodriguez, 39, appeared for a final hearing Thursday. His case has been prolonged because he has switched attorneys four times. Public Defender Erik Escarraman was assigned to the case just over a month ago and raised concerns he may not have enough time to prepare for the trial, although Rodriguez told District Judge John Thelen he is "ready to go to trial."
We've all seen the emails—they start out with a friendly "Hello!" and detail how you've been selected for a grand prize or tell you that if you help a prince from Nigeria transfer money into an American bank account you'll be rewarded handsomely. And then there are the pop-up ads declaring loudly, "You're a winner!" or promising free goods if you only enter your credit card information for a small shipping fee.
A man Grand Forks police were searching for has been found. The UND Police posted on Twitter that Jordan Thomas Granger, 31, is being held at the Grand Forks County Jail. Granger failed to register as a sex offender and the department tweeted out his photo Tuesday. He has five other convictions for failing to register.
FISHER, Minn. -- Before Hunter came to Walk by Faith Therapeutic Riding, the yearling mustang had never been touched by a human. He was scared and spooked easily. Kristen Schwarz, cofounder of the nonprofit Walk By Faith, said it took patience and time before the horse began to trust people -- nearly four years later he’s still sometimes uncertain.
Former U.S. Sen. Heidi Heitkamp announced Tuesday on Twitter she is starting a new job as a CNBC contributor. Heitkamp, a Democrat from North Dakota, was defeated in her re-election bid by Republican Kevin Cramer in November. “Off to an interesting start! Looking forward to talking with you all as a @CNBC contributor. #NewBeginning,” Heitkamp tweeted Tuesday, along with a photo of herself sitting in a panel in a studio.
Ready or not, the frigid cold is coming back. National Weather Service Meteorologist Carl Jones said a strong cold front will bring arctic air to the region from Canada on Tuesday night. Low temperatures are expected to reach about 13 below zero Wednesday and could dip to 18 below Friday, although wind chills late this week will make it feel like it is 20 to 30 below zero. Jones said winds could be in the 20-30 mph range Tuesday, which could lead to some drifting or blowing snow. He said the week is not expected to be exceptionally windy otherwise.
Two women are in custody after police say they found methamphetamine and oxycodone in their Grand Forks home during a search. Heather Lynn Williams, 33, is facing felony charges for possession methamphetamine and marijuana with intent to distribute and endangerment of a child. Megan Marie Bergdahl, 28, is facing a felony charge for possession of an opiate with intent to deliver.
ROLLA, N.D.—A Dunseith, N.D., man will spend two years in prison for sexually assaulting a child. Gerald Belgarde was sentenced Monday morning in Rolette County District Court on a Class A felony gross sexual imposition charge. The maximum penalty was 20 years behind bars. A criminal complaint said Belgarde touched a 7-year-old girl inappropriately on July 30, 2017 in his home. On Oct. 29, Belgarde entered an Alford plea, which means the defendant does not admit to the act but acknowledges there is enough evidence to prove guilt.
A Grand Forks area man appeared in court Friday on accusations that he repeatedly sexually assaulted a 12-year-old girl during a two-year period. Christian Dion Tolbert, 33, could be sentenced to life in prison without parole if convicted. An affidavit for Tolbert's arrest said he began abusing the 12-year-old victim in 2012. He kissed the girl while they were sitting on the couch and told her not to tell her mother, a court document said. A week or two later, Tolbert allegedly began fondling the girl and eventually had sex with her.
There's no one solution for homelessness, but police say the Grand Forks community has significantly reduced the number of people living on the streets by addressing underlying problems and providing resources for those on the street. Cpl. Justin O'Neill, the Grand Forks Police Department's homeless liaison officer, said there were about 50 people struggling with chronic homelessness earlier this year—but now there are just two or three.