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Investigation of multiple Richland break-ins continues
Two individuals named by sheriff during radio interview

Law enforcement agencies throughout Richland County, North Dakota, continue to investigate multiple break-ins that have occurred in recent months throughout the county.

Sheriff Larry Leshovsky, in a Friday, Jan. 3 radio interview with KFGO, named two individuals. One has been formally charged with burglary. The other is facing multiple charges including theft and possession of property, but not burglary as of Monday, Jan. 6.

Dillon Joe Huber, 29, is scheduled to appear in Richland County District Court Thursday, Jan. 9 for a bond hearing. The Moorhead, Minnesota man faces one count of class C felony level burglary.

Through an investigation of the Richland County Sheriff’s Office, Huber is accused of willfully entering a non-public place he was not permitted to enter or remain with the intent to commit theft. On Dec. 7, 2019, the sheriff’s office was notified about a theft in progress at a vacant house in rural Lidgerwood, North Dakota.

The homeowners received a call about an unknown vehicle on their property, court documents state. One of the homeowners returned to find Huber inside the house. He allegedly admitted ownership of the unknown vehicle to sheriff’s deputies and the homeowner showed a deputy an unfamiliar black suitcase found in the house.

“The suitcase contained copper pipes,” documents continue. “There was copper cut near the outlets in the laundry room and there was a medicine cabinet missing from the bathroom.”

Prior to a search of the vehicle, the victims’ medicine cabinet could be seen in Huber’s vehicle. Once a warrant was obtained, a search revealed copper wire and tubing (enough to fill the vehicle’s trunk area), tools including tin snips and a pry bar and a stun gun.

Huber is represented by attorney Don Krassin. Richland County State’s Attorney Casey Moen represents the state of North Dakota. Judge Bradley Cruff presides.

The maximum penalty for a class C felony is five years imprisonment, a $10,000 fine or both. A preliminary hearing is scheduled for Monday, Jan. 27.

At least three major burglaries have occurred since mid-November, Sheriff Leshovsky said Friday. They were reported at a grain elevator in Wyndmere, North Dakota, a mechanic’s shop in Hankinson, North Dakota and additional farm shops and houses, KFGO reported.

Items reported stolen have included tools, welding equipment and farm supplies, Leshovsky said. They have a combined value of several thousand dollars.

“It doesn’t take long (for losses) to add up,” Leshovsky said.

Sheriff Leshovsky was unavailable for additional comment Monday, Jan. 6. While interviewed, he named Andrew Michael Miklas, 31, in connection with home break-ins which occurred near Kindred and Barney, North Dakota.

Miklas, a resident of Cooperstown, North Dakota, appeared in Richland County District Court for nine felony and misdemeanor charges Thursday, Jan. 2. His court records as of Monday, Jan. 6 did not include open charges related to burglary, but did include six total class B and class C felony charges related to theft.

Through an investigation by the Wahpeton Police Department, Miklas is accused of knowingly receiving, retaining or disposing of a 2017 GMC van reported stolen from Schmitty’s Plumbing and Heating, Wahpeton. He is also accused of the theft and possession of 30 total credit cards, preventing his arrest, and the possession of both drug paraphernalia and methamphetamine. The latter two crimes are class A misdemeanors.

“We had some excellent police work in Wahpeton,” Leshovsky said.

Investigation of Miklas has tied him to the Kindred and Barney break-ins, Leshovsky said. He did not confirm Miklas’ involvement in other break-ins. The investigation was ongoing as of Friday.

Attorney Jason Butts represents Miklas. Moen represents the state of North Dakota. Judge Cruff presides. A preliminary hearing had not been scheduled as of Monday.

The maximum penalty for a class B felony is 10 years imprisonment, a $20,000 fine or both. The maximum penalty for a class A misdemeanor is 360 days imprisonment, a $3,000 fine or both.

Huber and Miklas are both currently confined in the Richland County Jail.

Residents are reminded to be vigilant, paying attention to theirs and their neighbor’s property, immediately contacting law enforcement in the event of a break-in or if concerned, making property distinctive with personal markings or other identifiers and remembering to secure homes and vehicles.

Daily News will continue to follow this story.

First Baby of the New Year

Marius Edwards is the first baby of 2020 born at CHI St. Francis Health in Breckenridge, Minnesota. His parents are Hannah Sallee and Thad Edwards of Wahpeton, North Dakota.

Marius is the couple’s first child. He was born at 1:01 p.m. Saturday, Jan. 4. He weighed in at 7 pounds, 10 ounces and measured 18 inches.

The engaged couple went into the hospital Friday evening and after a caesarean section, Marius was born Saturday afternoon.

“It was scary,” Sallee said. “It was all worth it.”

Sallee said Marius is very serious and likes his personal space.

“He’s a quiet baby, very laid back,” she said. “He only cries when he wants his diaper changed or is hungry. He just wants to be held. That’s what he wanted all last night.”

The couple moved to Wahpeton from Missouri a few months ago. They hope to be married by the end of this year. They are happier than words can say and are excited to have a baby boy in their life, they said.

“I have wanted to have my own family since I was four,” Edwards said. “This is really great.”

The family received a letter from Daily News good for various discounts, free merchandise and services from area businesses as a congratulation for having the first baby of 2020 at CHI St. Francis Health.

Sock Tree donations reach new record
Nearly 2,000 pairs collected since 2017

The 2019-2020 holiday season was another record-setter for the “Sock Tree.” Since 2017, the Leach Public Library in Wahpeton has annually collected men’s, women’s and children’s socks for Three Rivers Crisis Center, Wahpeton.

“We had 887 pairs donated this year,” Library Director Melissa Bakken said. “This year, there were more women’s and children’s socks donated.”

Just before Christmas, Bakken had publicly announced a need for women’s socks. Wahpeton residents, folks from throughout the Twin Towns Area and holiday visitors got the message.

“They came with bags,” Library Clerk Nicci Bigwood said.

Donations are appreciated by both Three Rivers Crisis Center and the men, women and children it serves, director Susan Rittenour said.

“People do depend on these items. Especially when you’re leaving a domestic violence situation, it is sometimes only with the clothing you have on your body. It’s nice that when people come here, we are able to give them a little gift to take on their way,” Rittenour said.

While new socks were the requested item, the Leach Public Library also received a donated new man’s scarf, hat and mittens.

“In this part of the country, we’ll take it,” Rittenour said.

Three Rivers Crisis Center is a private, nonprofit agency providing services to victims of domestic violence, sexual assault and child sexual assault in Richland County, North Dakota. The center is preparing to hold its annual baked potato fundraiser, expected for April.

“People are so giving and we’re actually doing really well with donations,” Rittenour said.

The most requested items from Three Rivers clients continue to be toiletries including shampoo and paper products including toilet paper. For more information, call the center at 701-642-2115 or visit it at 509 Dakota Ave. in Wahpeton.

Thursday, Jan. 9 is a milestone day for Three Rivers Crisis Center. It marks one year since 509 Dakota Ave. caught fire. The disaster’s aftermath included a temporary relocation of the crisis center to Evergreen United Methodist Church in Wahpeton and even shorter concern about the survival of the 2018 Sock Tree donations.

“We came back here last summer and we’re happy to be back,” Rittenour said. “We’re not completely settled the way we were before the fire, but we’re getting there.”

Nearly 2,000 pairs of socks have been collected since 2017. A total of 312 pairs were collected the first year, followed by 556 pairs in 2018.

Donations for the 2019-2020 Sock Tree were only going to be accepted until Tuesday, Dec. 31. Just past the cutoff, the Leach Public Library received another contribution.

“We never did get ‘garlands’ of socks to match the tree,” Bakken said. “Still, it just keeps growing every year. It’s all so exciting.”

Leach Public Library is located at 417 Second Ave. N. in Wahpeton.

4 Things to Know Today

1. Celebrate Your Love Bridal Show: The 2020 wedding fair will be held from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m. Saturday, Jan. 11 at the Wahpeton Event Center.

2. This Day in History: In 1955, Marian Anderson made her debut at New York’s Metropolitan Opera House, becoming the first African American to perform there.

3. Did you know? The Harlem Globetrotters weren’t from Harlem, they were from Chicago. They played their first game on this day in 1927 in Hinkley, Illinois, and didn’t play in Harlem until 1968.

4. Ladies Night Out: Mark your calendar for the annual Purple Power event, a fundraiser for Someplace Safe, coming Feb. 20. This year’s theme is “French Flair.”

Lambrecht resigns from Wahp council
Plans to run in June election; no longer serving 3rd Ward due to residency

Wahpeton Councilman Brett Lambrecht resigned Friday, Jan. 3 from serving the city’s 3rd Ward. While Lambrecht’s new residence is in Wahpeton, it is no longer in the ward, he wrote.

“I look forward to running again in the next few months for a city council position,” Lambrecht wrote.

Four Wahpeton City Council offices will be on the Tuesday, June 9 ballot. They include two at-large council positions and one position each representing residents in the 2nd Ward and 4th Ward.

The now vacant 3rd Ward council position has a term expiring in 2022.

Mayor Steve Dale announced Lambrecht’s resignation when the council met Monday, Jan. 6. It will take 15 days before the council can consider filling the empty position, Dale said.

Lambrecht was first elected to the 3rd Ward in 2014 before being re-elected in 2018. Before resigning, he served on the city Public Works and Safety Committee, Flood Committee and Leach Public Library Board. He currently serves as the emergency manager of Richland County, North Dakota and with the Wahpeton Fire Department.

New year, new income tax brackets

The Minnesota Department of Revenue has adjusted this year’s state income tax brackets to account for inflation.

The department announced the adjusted 2020 individual income tax brackets on Dec. 13, 2019. This year’s state individual tax brackets will change by 1.657 percent from 2019.

According to a release from the department, this annual adjustment will prevent taxpayers from paying taxes at a higher rate because of inflationary changes in their income. Since 1979, the state has been indexing for inflation of individual income tax brackets. This is required by law for the state to update.

Tax brackets are adjusted annually by an inflation factor based on the change in the U.S. Chained Consumer Price Index for all urban consumers.

The adjustment does not change the Minnesota tax rate that applies to each income bracket, according to the news release.

A full list regarding Minnesota income tax brackets with inflation-adjusted amounts can be found at https://www.revenue.state.mn.us/press-release/2019-12-13/minnesota-income-tax-brackets-standard-deduction-and-dependent-exemption/.

Another update from the department is for those taking a standard deduction or a dependent exemption at the state level. The 2020 calculated amounts are as follows:

• Married Filing Joint standard deduction, $24,800

• Married Filing Separate standard deduction, $12,400

• Single standard deduction, $12,400

• Head of Household standard deduction, $18,650

• Dependent exemption, $4,300

The department will begin accepting Minnesota income tax returns mid-January. State tax returns can be filed electronically or by mail. The due date for 2019 state income tax returns is April 15.

For further information regarding taxes, visit the department’s website, https://www.revenue.state.mn.us/minnesota-department-revenue.

Coco Comstock is a student in Jennifer Shockley’s second grade class at St. John’s School.