West Fargo school looking into report of student’s shooting threats

WEST FARGO (FNS) — A Cheney Middle School student is not in school Thursday after fellow classmates reported overhearing the student make shooting threats Wednesday, Nov. 6.

“Toward the end of the school day yesterday, a group of students spoke with administration at Cheney Middle School regarding threats they were hearing from a fellow student about a school shooting,” district spokeswoman Heather Leas said in a statement from the West Fargo School District.

“The child’s parents were contacted and a search of his locker was conducted; nothing was found. The student is not in school today, pending the results of a threat assessment,” Leas said.

Principal Don Lennon initially sent a similar message to staff, but the district waited until later Thursday morning to send a statement to parents, Leas said.

Leas said a message was not immediately sent to parents because there was no social media threat.

ND IT department taps new cybersecurity head

BISMARCK (FNS) — The North Dakota Department of Information Technology announced Thursday, Nov. 7, the hiring of new man in charge of cybersecurity.

Kevin Ford will begin his new job as chief information security officer in about two weeks, according to a news release. Ford will be responsible for overseeing information security and cyber-risk management practices for public and private clients.

The Maryland native was working in a similar role for CyberGRX, a Denver-based cybersecurity startup, prior to taking the job. He has also worked as a consultant for professional services corporation Deloitte and a cyber-risk manager for NASA.

Shawn Riley, the department’s chief information officer, said Ford’s expertise would help protect North Dakota from cybersecurity threats.

“Kevin’s deep, holistic knowledge of enterprise security is a great asset to our team and we’re looking forward to welcoming him and continuing to grow our whole-of-government approach to cybersecurity,” Riley said.

Ford earned bachelor’s and master’s degrees from the University of Maryland. He replaces Sean Wiese, who took over a new position at the state’s Cyber Operations Center.

Alexandria man killed in two-car crash in northwestern Minnesota

GRYGLA, Minn. (FNS) — A 58-year-old Alexandria man was killed when the vehicle he was driving crossed over the centerline on a curve and collided with an oncoming vehicle Wednesday afternoon, Nov. 6, near Grygla in northwestern Minnesota.

Kevin Arthur McCormick was driving a 2018 Nissan Frontier southbound on Highway 219 near 340th Avenue NE around 4:20 p.m., the Minnesota State Patrol said, when it approached a 2017 Jeep Grand Cherokee driven by Samantha Sue Lunsetter, 43, of Gatzke. Both individuals were airlifted from the scene with life-threatening injuries.

McCormick was transported to Altru Hospital in Grand Forks and later died. Lunsetter was taken to Sanford Medical Center in Fargo.

Both drivers were wearing seat belts, the State Patrol said.

Grygla is about 40 miles northeast of Thief River Falls.

Police investigating 2 separate shootings, 1 fatal and 1 involving federal officer

ST. PAUL (FNS) — Police were investigating separate shootings on Wednesday afternoon, Nov. 6 — one was a fatality on the West Side and the other shooting happened near downtown and involved at least one federal law enforcement officer, the St. Paul Pioneer Press reported.

St. Paul police were dispatched about 3:30 p.m. to a house where they found a teenage boy with an apparent gunshot wound to his upper body already being treated by paramedics, said Steve Linders, police spokesman. The boy, who has not yet been identified by authorities, was pronounced dead at the scene.

The teen’s death marked St. Paul’s 28th homicide of 2019, Linders said.

At about 4:50 p.m., there was an officer-involved shooting of a male at a Holiday gas station, according to emergency radio traffic and the Minnesota Bureau of Criminal Apprehension.

The person was reportedly bleeding from the shoulder. He suffered injuries that weren’t life-threatening, the BCA said.

The BCA said no officers were injured and that more information about the shooting would be forthcoming.

In a later statement, the U.S. Marshals Service confirmed that at least one deputy marshal was involved in the incident. Both the agency and St. Paul Police Department said the BCA was handling the investigation.

Ex-director stole nearly $30K from nursing home, charges say

TWIN VALLEY, Minn. (FNS) — A former director of a Twin Valley nursing home is accused of stealing nearly $30,000 from the facility that closed last year for financial reasons.

Shari Ann Schreiner, 54, of Ulen, Minn., is scheduled to appear Wednesday, Nov. 13, in Norman County District Court on four felony charges of theft.

The charges were filed in late October after law enforcement investigated Schreiner for suspected embezzlement. The bookkeeper for the Twin Valley Living Center noticed in July 2018 that Schreiner allegedly wrote several checks to herself using the facility’s account, according to a criminal complaint.

The checks written between Nov. 10, 2017, and Jan. 9, 2018, totaled more than $28,000 and were not approved by the living center board, the complaint said. Three of the checks were designated as bonuses, and there was no supporting documentation for the fourth, the complaint said.

Police were contacted about the suspected embezzlement Aug. 6, 2018, almost two weeks after the board held a meeting July 25, 2018, to discuss the bookkeeper’s findings, the complaint said. Schreiner resigned effective immediately the day of the meeting.

Water Gremlin faces new pollution charges

WHITE BEAR LAKE, Minn. (FNS) — Water Gremlin LLC had been open one day when it was hit — again — with charges of polluting the environment, the St. Paul Pioneer Press reported.

The Wednesday, Nov. 6, order from the Minnesota Pollution Control Agency said the company let contaminated engine oil leak out of the factory. The MPCA also charged the company with new releases of toxic lead and airborne fumes from a solvent.

The order came after officials shut down Water Gremlin on Oct. 28, saying the company allowed employees to track lead dust into their homes.

The factory reopened Tuesday morning. The new administrative order does not require the company to shut down, according to MPCA spokesman Darin Broton.

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