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News Briefs: TV reporter attacked at Spirit Lake Reservation

A WDAZ-TV reporter was attacked Tuesday while covering a story on the Spirit Lake Reservation.

Reporter Adam Ladwig was on the scene of a garage fire at a residence at 3:45 p.m. when two women, later joined by two men, tried to destroy his camera, he said.

He was also forced by a Bureau of Indian Affairs officer to delete his footage, he said, and his camera was damaged.

Devils Lake Police Chief Keith Schroeder told WDAZ the incident will be investigated by the FBI.

Sheryl Crow to headline Holiday Train

Earlier this year, Canadian Pacific asked Cottage Grove officials if the city would host a big event celebrating the 15th anniversary of the company’s Holiday Train.

“They didn’t have to say much else,” Mayor Myron Bailey said. The city eagerly agreed to play host without knowing more.

The big details came later: Canadian Pacific’s free public event will feature a concert by pop-turned-country star Sheryl Crow, the main attraction of family friendly festivities celebrating 15 years of the Holiday Train food shelf fundraiser. The concert is expected to begin at 5 p.m. and last about two hours.

Canadian Pacific released details of its Holiday Train on Tuesday, just over a month before the Saturday, Dec. 14, visit. Canadian Pacific and city officials are planning for up to 30,000 people, which would easily make it Cottage Grove’s largest event in history.

“The excitement of the event is going to be pretty cool,” Bailey said.

Cottage Grove is the only U.S. city picked to host the concert event. Canadian Pacific also chose Calgary and Hamilton, a city near Toronto, to stage similar celebrations.

Canadian Pacific says the Holiday Train has raised $7.4 million and more than 3 million pounds of food for local charities since 1999.

Cook County attorney’s hearings moved to Duluth

Attorneys agreed Tuesday to move Cook County Attorney Tim Scannell’s future hearings and a potential trial on sex charges from Grand Marais to Duluth.

The move comes three weeks after a Duluth grand jury indicted Scannell on two counts of fourth-degree criminal sexual conduct.

The change of venue prevents Scannell from having to stand trial in the courthouse where he has served as top prosecutor for nearly seven years and gained notoriety after being shot by a man convicted of sexual conduct charges in 2011.

“There are only about 4,000 eligible jury members in Cook County and, obviously, opinions are strongly held in this community,” special prosecutor Thomas Heffelfinger said. “Duluth just seems like the place to have it.”

Scannell should next appear for an omnibus hearing in January at the St. Louis County Courthouse.

He is accused of an inappropriate relationship for a 17-year-old girl. The indictment alleges that he engaged in sexual contact with the girl on two dates in August 2012. While the age of consent in Minnesota is 16, Heffelfinger said the case is being prosecuted because Scannell was more than four years older and in a position of authority.

Saltwater release reported near Williston

About 1,240 barrels of saltwater were released north of Williston, N.D., after a drain valve was left open on a pipeline, the North Dakota Department of Health said Tuesday.

Eric Bayes of Oasis Petroleum said an employee discovered a large puddle at a well site Monday morning north of Williston. The company believes the pipeline began releasing brine, a byproduct of oil production, early Sunday, Bayes said.

Most of the spill was contained on site and about 1,110 barrels of the wastewater were recovered, said David Glatt, chief of the health department’s Environmental Health Section.

Some saltwater did get off site and affected an area of a farm field that measures about 75 feet by 60 feet, Glatt said. It did not affect any water sources, Glatt said.

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