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MINNESOTA NEWS ROUNDUP. Man accused of threatening to kill another in fireworks dispute

CHISHOLM, Minn. -- A 61-year-old Britt man was in custody Friday after allegedly pulling a gun and threatening to kill another man in a dispute over fireworks Thursday night.

The St. Louis County Sheriff’s Office reported that deputies were called to a fireworks complaint about 8:30 p.m. Thursday in Great Scott Township, about 12 miles northeast of Chisholm.

While deputies were on their way to the area, the sheriff’s office reported, the suspect drove to the nearby property of a 43-year-old West St. Paul man to confront him about fireworks.

The suspect allegedly pulled out a handgun, pointed it at the head of the property owner and, in front of other witnesses, threatened to kill him.

The 61-year-old man was arrested without incident, and authorities executed a search warrant at his residence. Officers seized several handguns that fit the description provided by the victim.

The suspect is being held on tentative charges of second-degree assault, terroristic threats and damage to property.


FERGUS FALLS, Minn. -- A Breckenridge man was listed in critical condition Friday after taking a dive head first off a dock on Otter Tail Lake.

Gene Erickson, 35, dove into 3-foot-deep water Thursday on the east side of Otter Tail Lake, according to a news release from the Otter Tail County Sheriff’s Office. A witness noticed that Erickson became unconscious after the dive and brought him to shore.

He was alert for a “short period of time” before he stopped breathing and lost his pulse. Bystanders performed CPR and his pulse and breathing were restored.

He was airlifted to North Memorial Medical Center in the Twin Cities for treatment, according to the report.


GRAND RAPIDS, Minn. -- A 17-year-old Grand Rapids boy led Itasca County authorities on a high-speed pursuit Thursday, during which a Grand Rapids police officer fired shots at the fleeing vehicle.

The Itasca County Sheriff’s Office reported Friday that the incident started about 10 miles east of Grand Rapids about 5:35 p.m., when a deputy responded to a domestic-assault complaint. The deputy located the suspect in a vehicle and attempted to perform a traffic stop, but the driver fled. That led to a chase in which speeds approached 100 mph. The sheriff’s office said the suspect tried to ram two squad cars head-on, forcing the squads into the ditch.

As the suspect approached Grand Rapids, Officer William Saw, a three-year veteran of the Grand Rapids police, fired shots at the vehicle; no one was hit.

The pursuit ended on U.S. Highway 169 about 10 miles south of Grand Rapids, with the assistance of the Minnesota State Patrol. A Grand Rapids police officer and an Itasca County deputy received minor injuries while apprehending the suspect.

The 17-year-old driver was charged Friday with one count of domestic assault, three counts of use of deadly force against a peace officer and one count of fleeing a peace officer in a motor vehicle — all felonies, among other charges.


WILLMAR, Minn. -- A dozen bicycles ready to be given to needy children were removed this week from the warming shed in Lincoln Park.

The bikes belonged to the Wheels4Kids program affiliated with the Willmar Child Guide Program and Willmar Community Education and Recreation.

With financial support from Willmar Kiwanis, the program accepts donated bikes, and volunteer Jim Bode repairs them to give away.

When Bode last left the shed Saturday, he had more than a dozen bikes lined up bearing tags that read “Fixed.” When Christine Hilbert, who organizes the program, arrived at the shed Wednesday, she found several bikes in a pile and the “Fixed” tags on the floor.

“This was full, completely,” Bode said as he gestured around the large empty space in the shed. About 25 bikes he uses for parts were left untouched at the far end of the room. Bike stands and some tools were also left in the room.

Bode had lined up the finished bikes and taken a photo of them, so he was able to show the photo to Willmar police Officer Gene Schneider when he arrived.

Two doors were tagged with spray paint in the past few days, too. A pitchfork was painted on one door, and three 6’s and a pitchfork were painted on another. Schneider said the tagging could be unrelated to the bike thefts.