Forum News Service
The Forum Communications News Service is the premier news wire service covering the Upper Midwest, including the Dakotas, Minnesota and Wisconsin. In addition to breaking and enterprise news, we offer a wide variety of sports, features, business, agriculture, outdoors and opinion content. For more information about the services we offer or to discuss content subscriptions, please contact us.
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Forum Communications Co. announced Friday it is entering into an agreement to purchase the publications and a carrier delivery company owned by Helmer Printing. The deal is scheduled to close Monday, June 27. Helmer Printing is a third-generation, family-owned company based in Beldenville, Wis. Siblings Mark, Scott and Jenny Helmer will continue to operate their busy commercial printing business.
BEMIDJI -- The City Council of Blackduck voted to fire Chief of Police John Wilkinson earlier this month for violating city and state policies and for conduct unbecoming of a law officer. Wilkinson officially was placed on paid administrative leave June 6 and has 60 days to request a hearing before a neutral party.
ROSEAU — A Roseau County deputy sheriff who pleading guilty to “shooting up” a hunting cabin and burning the gun has resigned from the department. Joshua McGurran Olson, 34, was charged in April with Roseau County District Court with first-degree damage to property, a felony, and falsely reporting a crime, a misdemeanor. Olson was supposed to make his first appearance in court on the charges May 12, but that was cancelled. Instead, he pleaded guilty to both charges June 9.
VIRGINIA — A teenage girl allegedly witnessed the killing of a Hibbing man last month, drove with the suspect when he dumped the body and later lied to investigators about the events of that night, according to charges filed this week. A Hibbing man also faces charges after allegedly seeing the aftermath of the crime, hearing the suspect confess, helping to clean the apartment of blood and also lying to authorities.
ST. PAUL — Minnesota’s unemployment rate remained at 3.8 percent in May, for the second straight months, but employers reported they eliminated 1,900 during the month. The state Department of Employment and Economic Development issued the report Thursday. Losing 1,900 jobs last month followed the addition of 14,300 in April. Over the past year, the number of Minnesota jobs grew 1 percent; the national rate in that time was 1.7 percent.
ST. PAUL — Becker County attorney Gretchen Thilmony has been appointed as the new district court judge in Minnesota’s Seventh Judicial District. She replaces Judge Joseph Evans and will be chambered in Detroit Lakes. Minnesota’s Seventh Judicial District consists of Becker, Benton, Clay, Douglas, Mille Lacs, Morrison, Otter Tail, Stearns, Todd, and Wadena Counties. In announcing her appointment, Gov. Mark Dayton said she has “dedicated her career to bringing justice for Minnesotans, as an attorney at the county and federal levels, and in private practice.”
AITKIN — Local and state authorities are asking for the public’s help in solving what may be a second fatal hit-and-run crash in Aitkin County last week. The Aitkin County Sheriff’s Office and Minnesota State Patrol are investigating the death of Margaret Ann Johnson, 85, of rural Aitkin County. Johnson was found dead Friday near her mailbox on the shoulder of Minnesota Highway 47 about 3½ miles east of Aitkin.
EAST GRAND FORKS — East Grand Forks police still can’t put their finger on where two severed fingers that were found in late May at an East Grand Forks campsite came from — but police say there are a few new theories. Melissa and Monty Atkinson were setting up at a Red River State Recreation Area campsite May 26 when their 6-year-old child found the two fingers on a picnic table. They called law enforcement, and East Grand Forks Lt. Rodney Hajicek is trying to find out where they came from.
MINNEAPOLIS — The Hennepin County Medical Examiner's Office confirmed Wednesday, June 15, that it is investigating the cause of death for Samantha Edwards, a former Fargo resident who was crowned Miss North Dakota USA for 2003. A spokesman for the office said he is waiting for results of an autopsy on Edwards before any further information is released on the case. Edwards was reportedly found dead Tuesday.
ST. PAUL - The Minnesota State Patrol is asking for the public's help as it continues to investigate a hit-and-run crash Friday that killed 10-year-old Caylin Donovan. The Lake Park girl was struck and killed just before 8 p.m. while walking on Highway 18 near Mille Lacs Lake. Col. Matt Langer, chief of the State Patrol, held a news conference Tuesday, June 14, to again ask for help in the investigation.