Daily News Media

January 11, 2019

Daily News Media - Online version of daily newspaper serving Wahpeton, North Dakota, and Breckenridge, Minnesota. Selected news and sports stories, plus classifieds and more!

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W ednesday's fire at 509 Dakota Ave., Wahpeton, is on the re- cord as having an undeter- mined cause. Fire Chief Dale Rubish confirmed the undetermined cause Thursday, Jan. 10. The fire marshal, Rubish, Richland Coun- ty Emergency Manager Brett Lambrecht were at the downtown fire site. A fire began in a second story apartment at 1:26 p.m. Wednesday, Jan. 9. The build- ing has three apartments, not four as previ- ously reported. "Two families were displaced," Lam- brecht said. "There was a mom and her two kids in the main apartment. Next door, there was another mom and her two kids." The names of the displaced have not been released. They are receiving assistance from the American Red Cross and Salva- tion Army. "One family is staying in a hotel, the other is staying with friends," Lambrecht said. James Jawaski, who owns the building with his wife Kari, said two of the three apartments were occupied at the time of the fire. He's working on getting cleanup crews to the building. "We had two tenants on the north end of the building," Jawaski said. "We're proba- bly going to transfer one tenant to the back apartment that was vacant." Because firefighters responded quickly, Lambrecht said, fire damage was limited FRIDAY, JANUARY 11, 2019, WAHPETON, ND • BRECKENRIDGE, MN $1.00 VOL. 138, NO. 115 Head of the Red Youth Act. Assoc. Looking for Black- jack Dealers See gaming at Vets Club for Application after 4pm Or Email Resume to hotrgaming2018@ hotmail.com Farm Help Wanted: FT/ Seasonal depending on individual. Mechanical abilities for full time job, Call Breck- enridge 701-640-0322 Help Wanted Full-time counter person Automotive knowledge help- ful. Must be motivated and a team player. Apply at autopartshq.com/careers or Auto Value- Wahpeton Studio apartment, all utilities paid, off street parking, $350 call 218-531-9980 ext 501. 1 Bedroom Apt in Wahpeton All Utilities Paid 701-640-5120 CLASSIFIEDS ON THE COVER — SEE PAGE A7 FOR COMPLETE LISTING Published for the Red River Valley and David Manock of Breckenridge, Minn. Meet Richland County's new public health administrator Sunday's Daily News Media TWIN TOWNS AREA A2 OBITUARIES A3 OPINION A4 SPORTS A4 CHURCH A4 COMICS A6 CROSSWORD A6 DEAR ABBY A6 WONDERWORD A6 CLASSIFIEDS A7 STATE/REGION A8 WEATHER A8 Inside Coming Outside Tonight: Mostly cloudy High: 20 Low: 11 Tomorrow: Mostly cloudy High in 20s A8 Dawson Miller Student of Tarah Larson's second grade class at Wahpeton Elementary WWW.WAHPETONDAILYNEWS.COM Sports A4 ERLANDSON: PICKS UP 50TH WIN IN PELICAN RAPIDS, MINN. WWW.WAHPETONDAILYNEWS.COM IN PELICAN RAPIDS, MINN. Daniel Erlandson New playing field in diversion battle Richland-Wilkin JPA continues fight against Plan B BY FRANK STANKO • DAILY NEWS MEDIA franks@wahpetondailynews.com Commissioner Sid Berg, Rich- land County, North Dakota, has some strong words about Plan B of the Fargo-Moorhead Diver- sion. Berg serves on the Richland- Wilkin Joint Powers Authority, which is composed of Richland County and Wilkin County, Minnesota. The joint powers authority is contesting the Min- nesota Department of Natural Resources' decision to issue a permit for the diversion. "This is a whole new playing field," said Berg during a Tues- day, Jan. 8 meeting of the Rich- land County Board of Commis- sioners. The DNR announced its green light for the $2.75 billion Plan B on Dec. 27, 2018. The permit ap- proval comes with 54 require- ments which must be met. Notable conditions, the DNR stated, address: • acquisition of property rights for any impacted prop- erty in Minnesota • DNR review and approval of all final engineering prior to each construction phase • coordination with the Buffa- lo-Red River Watershed District on the Wolverton Creek cross- ing structure. "We think it's going to be very difficult for (the F-M Diversion Authority) to get a written per- mit signed by the DNR," Berg continued. Since Dec. 27, Minnesota has not only changed its governor but its DNR commissioner. Gov. Tim Walz, D-Minn., has succeeded former Gov. Mark Dayton, D-Minn. Commissioner Sarah Strommen has succeed SVEDA to hold informational summit Port Authority updated on 1 Million Cups BY JULIE BEZENEK• DAILY NEWS MEDIA julieb@wahpetondailynews.com The Southern Valley Eco- nomic Development Author- ity (SVEDA) will hold a summit Thursday, Jan. 24 at City Brew Hall in Wahpeton. Information will be given to stakeholders from around the region on why SVEDA was formed, what it has been accom- plished to date and what it looks to doing in 2019. Justin Neppl, SVEDA's execu- tive director, spoke at a Wednes- day, Jan. 9 meeting of the Breck- enridge Port Authority. Neppl informed the board that on the last Wednesday in Febru- ary, if all goes as planned, the first 1 Million Cups event will be held. The event has been one of the best ways that Fargo has used to connect entrepreneurs with different resources, he explained. 1 Million Cups was developed by the Kauffman Foundation which believes that entrepre- neurs discover solutions and engage with their communities over a million cups of coffee. 1 Million Cups was designed to educate, engage, and inspire entrepreneurs as well as those who are creatively thinking. Neppl is still in talks with a few businesses who might be looking to come to the area or contracting work through local industry. On Wednesday, Jan. 30, Nep- pl will attend the Coalition of Greater Minnesota Cities (CGMC) Legislative Action Day in St. Paul, Minnesota. He will meet with the local legislators to schedule meetings and talk to them about business concerns in this part of the state. Later this month, Neppl will also go to Bismarck, North Da- kota to meet with state policy- makers for Entrepreneur Day BY FRANK STANKO • DAILY NEWS MEDIA franks@wahpetondailynews.com Zachary David Britten, 21, made his initial appearance before Richland County District Court Monday, Jan. 7. The Wahpeton man is charged with one count of property theft. It is a class C felony charge. Through an investigation conducted by the Wahpeton Police Department, Britten is accused of knowing obtain- ing property, namely money, by decep- tion with the intent to deprive the own- ers thereof. Between May-October 2018, Britten was an employee of Farnam's Genuine Parts Inc., also known as NAPA Auto Parts, in Wahpeton. On Oct. 28, 2018, a store em- ployee observed some suspicious activity in some invoices. "Store employees dis- covered that the defen- dant's credit card infor- mation matched at least one of the suspicious invoices," court docu- ments state. Following questioning by his direc- tor of human operations, Britten al- legedly admitted that between May- October 2018, he used excess inventory to process several fraudulent returns. "He would identify excess inventory and then enter it into the story's re- cords as a returned item," documents continue. "He would then either take cash from the cash register or credit the amount to his credit card or debit card." Britten allegedly identified 15 in- voices for his fraudulent returns, total- ing $2,301.27 in funds that he obtained from Farnam's (NAPA) without autho- rization from the store. "The defendant also stated that there were additional invoices that might have been from his fraudulent re- turns," documents continue. Britten faces a class C felony charge because the allegedly stolen property exceeds $1,000 in value. Richland County Assistant State's Attorney Casey Moen represents the state of North Dakota. Attorney Don Krassin represents Britten. Judge Bradley Cruff presides. Bail was set at a $1,000 unsecured appearance bond. This means Britten didn't have to pay to be released from the Richland County Jail. He is not to leave the states of North Dakota and Minnesota. The maximum penalty for a class C felony is five years imprisonment, a $10,000 fine, or both. A preliminary hearing has not yet been scheduled. Britten is not currently confined in the Richland County Jail. Wahpeton man accused of property theft: FIRE CAUSE UNDETERMINED FIRE CAUSE UNDETERMINED BY FRANK STANKO • DAILY NEWS MEDIA franks@wahpetondailynews.com Two families displaced, businesses in temporary offices PHOTOS BY FRANK STANKO • DAILY NEWS MEDIA The Wednesday, Jan. 9 fire in downtown Wahpeton has an undetermined cause. Fire Chief Dale Rubish confirmed this after meeting with the fire marshall. A fire began in a second story apart- ment at 509 Dakota Ave. Cleanup crews are expected to soon work in the building. Because firefighters responded quickly, fire damage was limited to one apartments. It is considered totaled, a 'total gut job.' The apart- ment was located in the historic Citizens Nation- al Bank building. Facing felony charge for allegedly obtaining money by deception Zachary Britten See PLAN B, Page 2 See FIRE, Page 8 See SVEDA, Page 2

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