River drowning victim identified

CLOQUET (FNS) – Authorities have identified the man who drowned early Saturday morning in the St. Louis River in Scanlon, Minnesota.

Ryan William Hill, 34, of Scanlon was pronounced dead at the scene after falling through the ice south of Minnesota Highway 61.

Around 1:30 a.m., Cloquet police officers who were finishing a call at a nearby bar heard Hill calling for help, according to a news release. The St. Louis County Rescue Squad located Hill about 5:45 a.m., 40 feet from where he was last seen and in about 20 feet of water.

Minnesota Power reduced water flow at the dam upstream from the incident while rescue crews conducted the search.

Traffic was shut down over the Highway 61 bridge while the rescue and recovery operation occurred, the news release stated. The river is entirely open south of the drowning location under Interstate 35.

Medical examiners will further examine Hill’s body. The case remains under investigation.

Man arrested in connection to fatal overdose

NAYTAHWAUSH, Minn. (FNS) – A Minnesota man was arrested in connection to the overdose death of a Naytahwaush man from Oct. 24, according to a statement from the White Earth officials.

Authorities responded to a report of an unresponsive man in the Village of Naytahwaush where they found Dominic A. Buehner, 26, who was pronounced dead at the scene, the statement says.

The White Earth Police Department and Mahnomen County Sheriff’s Office suspected Buehner died from an overdose, leading to an investigation which resulted in Robert Snider, 52, of Naytahwaush being arrested on Saturday, Nov. 23, White Earth officials say.

According to the statement, Snider was taken to Tri-County Community Corrections in Crookston, Minn., where he awaits formal charges.

$1,200 worth of cigarettes stolen from MN tobacco shop

ROCHESTER, Minn. (FNS) – A Rochester business had approximately $1,200 worth of cigarettes taken from it Saturday night.

Rochester Police officers responded around 11:50 p.m. to Tobacco Discounts for an alarm, officials said. Officers initially found no signs of forced entry but later found that some sort of pry tool had been used to force a door open.

When the store’s manager arrived, police found that approximately $1,200 worth of cigarettes had been taken, as well as $700 in lottery money and $300 worth of items stored at the store but not for sale.

Pilot rescued after plane gets tangled in power lines

SHAKOPEE, Minn. (FNS) — Getting tangled in electrical lines may well have saved the life of a pilot Saturday, Nov. 23, from a deadly crash on the ground. The pilot also was somehow spared electrocution when he flew his small plane into the live wires.

Thomas Koskovich, 65, of Shakopee flew into the power lines and became entangled about 4 p.m. Saturday, according to the Scott County Sheriff’s Office.

Authorities responding to a 911 call found the aircraft suspended upside down just south of Shakopee.

Koskovich was not seriously injured, and rescue crews got him safely to the ground once power to the lines was temporarily cut.

Fargo police K-9 to compete on ‘America’s Top Dog’

FARGO (FNS) — One of the Fargo Police Department’s police dogs will get a chance to show their skills in the newest competition from TV network A&E.

On each episode of “America’s Top Dog,” which will premiere at 8 p.m. Central time Wednesday, Jan. 8, four police K-9 units and a civilian team from across the country compete “in three rounds of high-velocity, furry competition,” according to A&E.

Fargo police announced in a Thursday, Nov. 21, Facebook post that one of its K-9 units will compete on the show.

Teams are tested on speed, agility and teamwork by completing a series of tasks on one of the biggest and toughest K-9 obstacle courses ever assembled, which was designed to mimic real-life challenges these dogs face every day at their jobs. That includes a complex maze to locate scented items, apprehending a suspect and other difficult tasks.

Each week’s winning team receives $10,000, plus an additional $5,000 to donate to an animal charity. All of this leads up to a finale that will bring the top competitors together to battle it out for a $25,000 cash prize and the title of “America’s Top Dog.”

Armstrong critical of Democrats’ inquiry efforts

BISMARCK (FNS) — North Dakota’s member of the U.S. House of Representatives on Sunday, Nov. 24, was critical of Democrats’ efforts to impeach President Donald Trump, calling House Intelligence Committee Chairman Adam Schiff’s work “the most narrowly tailored and controlled thing.”

Armstrong, a freshman Republican, was a featured guest on the national CBS show “Face the Nation” Sunday morning, spending time with host Margaret Brennan discussing the impeachment inquiries conducted by the House Intelligence Committee along with an outlook of the case’s future.

Armstrong, a lawyer from Dickinson, participated in depositions earlier this year and will be involved going forward as a member of the House Judiciary Committee. During his appearance on “Face the Nation,” he cited new polling and a recent report by Vanity Fair, saying Democrats’ focus on impeachment has not been a political success.

The Politico/Morning Consult poll showed that more independents are moving toward opposing impeachment and removal from office. The Washington, D.C., newspaper The Hill reported last week that 47% of independents are against the inquiry, a 10-point jump from a week previous. Support for the inquiry among independents moved downward seven points to 40%.

The report in Vanity Fair notes that independents tend to be moderate and pay less attention to newsbreaks and politics; therefore, independents may be the key to the 2020 presidential election.

Meanwhile, Armstrong’s home state gave 63% support to Trump in the 2016 election.

“When you come from a state like mine and you continue to work through these things, as a political exercise I don’t think it’s been a success for the Democrats over the last two weeks,” Armstrong said on “Face the Nation.”

Brennan asked Armstrong: “Do you have any indication of what the timeline is and what this is going to look like as those articles of impeachment are drafted?”

Armstrong responded.

“I don’t, and I think as we continue to move forward, the one thing that is true is that the Democrats are going to lose more and more control over this. At some point in time, Democrats are going to have to enforce some of the rules they passed in their own legislation,” he said. “Regardless of how you feel about this, this has been the most narrowly tailored and controlled thing by Chairman Schiff, both in the depositions, of which I was a part, and the Intelligence Committee. But as it moves over to the Judiciary Committee, they are going to lose more and more of that control.”

Armstrong’s appearance lasted about five minutes. After a few minutes of banter about the future of the hearings, Brennan asked him a series of questions about President Trump’s July 25 phone call with Ukraine President Volodymyr Zelensky, during which Trump allegedly sought help with an investigation of the son of Democratic presidential candidate Joe Biden in exchange for military aid. Brennan also asked Armstrong about Trump lawyer Rudy Giuliani.

Brennan asked, “Would you be comfortable with a Democrat or any other president asking a foreign government to investigate a political opponent?”

Armstrong: “The facts of this thing don’t change. This president was interested in how Ukraine interfered in the 2016 election. He was interested in the corruption in Ukraine. He has always been skeptical of foreign aid. There was no favor. There was nothing that happened. The aid was released.”

Brennan countered: “So the answer is you are comfortable?”

Armstrong: “I think there is only one person who gets away with talking the way he does, and that’s President Trump. That’s why the American people elected him. As you see through all of these conversations that have occurred is these career federal employees ...”

Brennan interrupted: “So no one but President Trump should be allowed to get away with this?”

Armstrong: “No, I just think that President Trump communicates in a way — the reason he got elected is because he doesn’t do things the way everybody else does them. You can tell that is a frustration from where we talk about career federal employees versus President Trump. President Trump said the call was perfect. President Zelensky has said on numerous occasions that he didn’t feel pressured.”

“And you accept all of this?” Brennan asked.

“I do,” Armstrong said. “I think you have the transcript and you have the two principals on the call that say that. After that, everything else is really just noise.”

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