Dave Roepke is the news director for The Forum of Fargo-Moorhead. Previously, he was a reporter who covered a variety of beats at one time or another for The Forum, including courts/crime, city/county government and nightlife/entertainment. He's been with The Forum since 2004. He's a native of Iowa and a graduate of Iowa State University.
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The pastor of a church in Wheaton, Minn., where a toddler died in a fight this month will finish up a five-day stay in jail tonight for uttering a curse word in a court hearing last week. The Rev. Danny Barnes is the pastor and founder of Thy Kingdom Come, where a 14-month-old girl died on Sept. 4 several hours after being struck by a baseball bat. The incident has led to murder charges for David Eric Collins, a 50-year-old member of Thy Kingdom Come. In an unrelated case in nearby Big Stone County, Minn., Barnes and three others are charged with burglary and kidnapping.
Murder charges were filed Tuesday against the man accused of swinging a baseball bat in a church in Wheaton, Minn., killing a 14-month-old girl with a blow meant for her father. David Eric Collins faces two counts each of second-degree murder and second-degree attempted murder, as well as a felony charge of second-degree assault. The charges include two counts of both murder and attempted murder because the attack during a prayer service at Thy Kingdom Come World Ministry on Thursday could be viewed as intentional, and it is a different charge when the crime is intended, said Matt Franzese,
Despite some clucking by concerned neighbors, city dwellers in Fergus Falls, Minn., will soon be able to raise backyard chickens. John Demuth, who suggested the ordinance, was pleased to see the poultry provision pass. He plans to order fertilized eggs this week in hopes of having his chicks hatch after the law comes into effect in about two weeks. Demuth, a middle school teacher, was surprised by how much discussion the law allowing four hens per household generated.