GRAND FORKS — 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 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.
CROOKSTON, Minn.—A Crookston man who was sentenced to nearly 27 years in prison for selling meth 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 meth sale after a jury trial in February 2016 and received a sentence of 322 months in prison from Judge Anne Rasmussen. His sentence came with an aggravated durational departure, meaning he was sentenced to serve more time than state guidelines typically call for.
"Did you take your pill?" That's the question Greg Murphy hears multiple times a day from his wife, Barb, two sons and any other friend or relative who stops by his Grand Forks home. The pill in question is a chemotherapy pill. Greg Murphy has been taking one every day for the past year since undergoing surgery to remove a large, cancerous tumor from his gastrointestinal tract. He'll be on the pills for the next three to five years as a precautionary measure to keep his rare form of cancer at bay. The prescription costs $19,000 per month.
As high-profile men in the worlds of entertainment, media and politics continue to be ousted from their jobs and shunned after allegations of sexual harassment, a UND School of Law professor who has fought for victims in the workplace has been shocked. "For people to get fired just based on allegations is very much stunning to me," said Margaret Moore Jackson, who has been practicing and teaching employment, housing and civil rights law for more than 20 years.
Justice administration in Minnesota varies across its 10 judicial districts and 87 counties, each of which has its own prosecutor's office, but in recent years Polk County in the northwest corner of the state remains an outlier for sentencing. A New York Times analysis of data from the National Corrections Program found the county sent more people to prison per capita than any other in the state in 2014.
GRAND FORKS — Two Grand Forks incidents were counted among the FBI's 2016 Hate Crime Statistics Report released last month, though neither prompted criminal charges. One incident, the widely reported and criticized Snapchat photo of University of North Dakota students gloating after locking a black student out of a residence hall drew national attention to Grand Forks. The other—the assault and harassment of a Muslim-American airman at downtown bars—was largely unknown.
OKLEE, Minn. — A Minnesota man was charged in connection with a stockpile of pipe bombs discovered in rural Red Lake County after deputies found a receipt with his name on it with the explosives.
BAUDETTE, Minn.—A northern Minnesota woman who was convicted of stealing money from a fundraising account for three men killed in a 2015 Lake of the Woods boating accident has been sentenced to serve time in prison after being convicted for writing bad checks while on probation. Retina Rayellen LaValla, 30, was sentenced to serve 42 months in prison last week after being found guilty of writing a bad check-- a violation of her parole from a conviction for stealing money from a GoFundMe account she set up for three victims of a October 2015 boating accident.
GRAND FORKS—The vast majority of gun deaths recorded in North Dakota and Minnesota are suicides, a national trend that has public health officials calling for the community to be alert to people in their lives who are showing suicidal tendencies and to temporarily disarm them if necessary.
CROOKSTON, Minn. — A northwest Minnesota judge has until Dec. 19, 2017, to rule on a lawsuit accusing the Diocese of Crookston and its bishop of covering up abuse and inflicting emotional damages on a man who says his bid to become a deacon was rejected because he reported being sexually abused by a priest more than 40 years ago.