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FARGO — In February, a fire at a home in Carrington, N.D., took the lives of three children. To much of the world, it was a sad news story. For Dawn and Brandon Tufte, it was much more. "They were our world," Dawn Tufte said, referring to the couple's three children: Spencer, 7, Melody, 8, and Alex, 11, who died in the fire. Tufte said unless someone experiences such a loss themselves, it may not be possible to understand what the fire took from them. "We lost the most important thing that was dear to us," she said.
FARGO — Documents unsealed this week in Cass County District Court shed light on the prosecution's approach to a case involving Darren Patterson, who is accused of causing another man's death with a punch outside a Fargo bar in May. Patterson, 43, is charged with felony manslaughter in the death of James "Jamie" Grant. Earlier this year, Judge Tom Olson, without explanation, sealed documents relating to the case.
FARGO — A Moorhead woman charged in Cass County District Court with stealing about $1,000 worth of goods from a Fargo department store told authorities she didn't have any money to buy Christmas gifts. According to court documents: Police were called to the Fargo Herberger's store on Saturday, Dec. 23, on a report of an uncooperative female shoplifter. Officers were told that Melanie Marie Sargent was stopped outside the store with a cart full of merchandise that was not purchased.
CROOKSTON, Minn. — An attorney representing a man who claims a Catholic priest sexually abused him as a teen expressed outrage Wednesday, Dec. 27, that the Crookston Diocese has reinstated the priest as pastor of the Dilworth and Hawley parishes. The diocese announced on Tuesday, Dec. 26, that Father Patrick Sullivan resumed his priestly duties at St. Elizabeth's Parish in Dilworth and St. Andrew's Parish in Hawley. Sullivan had been placed on administrative leave after the abuse allegations surfaced in 2016. The diocese said it had concluded that allegations of wrongdoing by Sullivan were unfounded.
FARGO — The emerald ash borer is getting closer to North Dakota. That's according to news from the Canadian Food Inspection Agency, which reports it has found the pest in Winnipeg. "Winnipeg is only a short 65 miles north of the North Dakota border," North Dakota Agriculture Commissioner Doug Goehring said in a written statement.
MOORHEAD — A Hawley, Minn., man already facing a charge in Clay County District Court of sexually assaulting an acquaintance is now accused of trying to bribe the victim to make the case go away by offering to buy her a mobile home. Alexander John Cookson, 28, is charged with third-degree criminal sexual conduct, false imprisonment, conspiracy to commit bribery and attempted bribery, all felonies.
FARGO — A Mandan, N.D., company that paints stripes on pavement is challenging $17,746 worth of fines leveled against it by OSHA following a worker's death July 31 at Fargo's Hector International Airport. Darry Arveson Jr., 48, of Glen Ullin, N.D., was using a vehicle to paint lines on the runway when he was hit by an SUV driven by airport assistant director Darren Anderson. Anderson, who has worked for the airport since 1997, and his passenger in the SUV were not hurt in the crash. Arveson died at the scene.
FARGO — A Cass County District Court judge on Tuesday, Dec. 19, set the bail amount for a former Fargo priest who faces child sexual abuse charges at $5 million cash only — a stratospheric amount nearly unheard of in area courtrooms. Prosecutors had asked for the amount, arguing that Fernando Laude Sayasaya posed a flight risk, given that he fled to the Philippines about 15 years ago and never returned of his own volition, even though he told investigators at the time that he would return.
FARGO—Somebody remember to plug in Rudolph. Daily low temps in the Fargo-Moorhead area are forecast to drop to about zero Thursday and Friday night but, just like Santa and his reindeer, the real fun begins Sunday on Christmas Eve, when bone-chilling temperatures of double-digits below zero blanket the night. By Christmas Day, Monday, Dec. 25, the low temperature is forecast to hit the teens below zero with a high near zero. And that cold snap could linger for several days next week, with highs below zero or in the single digits and lows double-digits below zero.
DILWORTH, Minn.—Some area volunteer fire departments are getting Christmas presents from R.D. Offutt Co. The company is awarding grants of various sizes to 41 volunteer fire departments in areas where R.D. Offutt does business, with the total value of the gifts reaching about $500,000. One of the recipients is the Dilworth Fire Department, which is using its award to help pay for new radios, including radios for department vehicles and individual firefighters.