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Downtown Detroit Lakes looked like a demolition derby Tuesday evening after multiple vehicles were hit by an out-of-control Ford Econoline van, driven by a man who may have been suffering from medical problems. The 10-vehicle accident with injuries was reported at 5:49 p.m. It began when a 1993 Ford, driven by Terrill Mark Simonson, 59, of Detroit Lakes, rear-ended a 2002 Hyundai driven by Barbara Jean Magnuson, 46, of Vergas. She was shaken up in the collision and was treated on the scene.
The City of Mahnomen looked like an armed camp Wednesday morning following the shooting of a Mahnomen County deputy. The deputy, a 26-year-old, four-year veteran of the Mahnomen County Sheriff's Department, was listed in critical condition and in surgery at 11 a.m. at MeritCare hospital in Fargo.
The Becker County Sheriff's Department is advising no travel today or Tuesday due to icy conditions. Numerous fender-benders and cars in the ditch have been reported around the region today, and ongoing rainfall continues to make for slippery conditions. According to the National Weather service, there is an ice storm warning for Becker County until midnight on Tuesday, and a winter weather advisory until 6 p.m. on Wednesday. Sheriff Tim Gordon said he issued the no-travel advisory about 8 a.m.
Here's an update on the legal status of Frazee hog farmers Robert and Virginia Briard, who both face felony charges in Becker County District Court. Although court dates shift frequently, especially with high-profile cases, here are the current dates and charges: Robert Briard, 62, was acquitted by a jury on Dec. 17 of first- and second-degree criminal sexual conduct charges involving a girl under the age of 13. Those incidents allegedly occurred in the 1980s. But he is still charged with felony second-degree criminal sexual conduct involving a girl under the age of 13.
A mobile home was destroyed by fire Sunday afternoon on the 21000 block of County Road 6. No one was hurt in the fire, which was reported at 5:38 p.m.
Christmas was a lot merrier than it would have otherwise been for dozens of U.S. soldiers serving in Iraq, thanks to 88 area residents who sent Christmas care packages and letters through David-Donehower Funeral Home. The stockings were stuffed with a wide variety of goods, from small electronics to batteries to beef jerky and pumpkin seeds, said funeral director Shawn Nygaard, who helped spearhead the effort. "The idea came up around Thanksgiving, and the entire staff wanted to send something over to the troops in Iraq," he said.
Virginia Briard turned herself in Tuesday morning. The wife of prominent Frazee hog farmer Robert Briard has been the focus of a law enforcement hunt since Dec. 9, when she first failed to appear at her husband's trial. A jury later acquitted him of felony first- and second-degree criminal sexual conduct. Virginia Briard, 62, showed up at the Becker County Sheriff's Department dispatch window about 7:30 a.m. Tuesday and surrendered to authorities.
Becker County is staying out of the assisted living business, at least for now. On a 3-2 vote, the county board on Tuesday voted down a proposal to purchase a 12-unit apartment complex in Lake Park. The complex would have served as an assisted living unit of the county-owned Sunnyside Care Center, located about three miles east of Lake Park on Highway 10. Sunnyside Administrator Katie Lundmark and Sunnyside board chairman Brad Grant went before the board earlier this month with a proposal to allow Sunnyside to purchase a 12-unit apartment complex in Lake Park for $265,000. The purchase
As a not-a-very-merry Christmas present, the state has handed Becker County a $300,000 cut in state aid for this year. That's a 21 percent cut, but -- adding insult to injury -- the state is calling it a 1.7 percent cut. "That's so deceitful," said Becker County Administrator Brian Berg.
Think property tax rates in Detroit Lakes are way too high? Here's some cold comfort in this holiday season: Tax rates are a lot worse in similar-sized cities around the state. According to information from the League of Minnesota Cities, Detroit Lakes' tax rate is the lowest among 20 cities with populations ranging from 8,283 (Detroit Lakes) to 19,040 (Willmar). Detroit Lakes' rate is also lower than cities with populations that are smaller, such as East Grand Forks. Detroit Lakes residents benefit from a growing tax base and revenue from city-owned enterprises like the public utilit