A 49 year old Grand Rapids man has been charged with murder in his wife’s death. Terry Wayne Richards appeared in District Court Monday. He is being held without bail on charges that he bought a Schedule 2 drug, provided it to his wife, and that his wife died as a result. Richards told investigators he bought a Fentanyl patch, extracted the drug, and he and his wife injected the drug. Richards told investigators he and a friend tried to revive her when she appeared to have overdosed. They called 911. First Responders transported her to Grand Itasca Clinic and Hospital, where she was pronounced dead. His wife is identified only with her initials, K.L. R. Richard’s next court appearance is set for October 6th.
On Tuesday, twenty-four year old Devin Michael Wood pleaded guilty to the sexual assault of a 15 year old. Wood was working as a corrections officer at North Homes Juvenile Correctional Facility in Grand Rapids when the assault occurred. Wood’s pleaded guilty to three counts of criminal sexual conduct in the Third Degree. The assaults took place in April of 2014.
The plea agreement calls for Wood to receive a 100 month executed prison sentence. The sentence is consistent with the Minnesota sentencing guidelines. The plea agreement also calls for Wood to register as a predatory offender, pay fines in the amount of $225, provide a DNA sample and be subject to lifetime conditional release. The plea agreement is subject to the approval of the court.
Following his guilty pleas, Wood’s bail was revoked and he was remanded to custody pending sentencing. Wood is scheduled to appear for sentencing on October 27, 2014 at 2:00 p.m.
The Grand Rapids State Bank is expanding. Wilcox Bancshares Inc., which owns Grand Rapids State Bank, purchased west metro lender Crow River State Bank Sept. 12 and plans to rename it Minnesota Lakes Bank. Founded in 1982, Crow River State Bank has branches in Delano and Mound and a mortgage loan production office in Buffalo. The bank had 27 full-time-equivalent workers at the end of June, according to regulatory records. Wilcox Bancshares President and CEO Noah Wilcox said he met with each employee and that “the majority” will stay on. According to bizjournals.com, Crow River State Bank had $84 million in assets and was well capitalized at the end of the first half of the year, Federal Deposit Insurance Corp. figures show. The bank posted a $684,000 profit last year.
The Grand Rapids Alliance Church was vandalized sometime last Thursday night. Two juveniles were arrested in the case.
Police were called to the Alliance Church Friday morning. Someone had spray painted graffiti inside the church and left a pair of shoes. Police tracked the shoes to those given to a resident of North Homes. The two juveniles were located riding spray-painted stolen bicycles on Pokegama Avenue. They were arrested.
Independent School District 318 has exceeded the projection of student enrollment for the fall of 2014. If this growth of students continues, it will lead to future discussion on district buildings.
Also at last night’s District 318 school board meeting, board members approved an Independent Provider Application for the Grand Rapids Gymnastics Academy and set the date for the Truth in Taxation Public Meeting for December 15th. The next ISD 318 School Board meeting will be on Tuesday October 7th in Bigfork with telepresence set up in the Administrative Services Building Board Room.
Itasca is one of the thirteen deadliest counties in Minnesota. Itasca County’s Public Health Department has taken over the Toward Zero Deaths effort. The county will receive over twenty-three thousand dollars to focus on four goals. Itasca County Public Health will concentrate on alcohol use, non-compliance with seatbelt use, speed, and inattentive driving. Itasca County ranks high in all four areas.
Today, there are five different generations of workers in the workplace. Monday, Rita Olness and Teri Dudley of the Northeast Minnesota Office of Job Training presented “Influences and Characteristics of the Various Generations in the workplace” to Grand Rapids Chamber members.
According to Olness, each generation has its own values- and each thinks theirs is the only one. But, motivating a Gen Y employee versus a “traditional” employee (one born before 1945), is very different.
The Office of Job Training will present a two hour workshop on teaching, hiring, motivating, and rewarding different generations later this year.
18 year old Rodney Jacob LaBrosse of Grand Rapids entered pleas of not guilty in Itasca County District Court on Monday. LaBosse had been charged with two counts of Kidnapping, one count of Domestic Assault By Strangulation, one count of Fleeing a Peace Officer in a Motor Vehicle and one count of Interference with an Emergency Call from an incident on July 24th.
LaBrosse allegedly absconded from probation, and had a female friend drive him to his ex-girlfriend’s residence on July 24, 2014. The charges allege that LaBrosse hid in the woods near the residence and got into the vehicle with his female friend, his ex-girlfriend and their infant child, and kidnapped and chocked his ex-girlfriend . The charges further allege that LaBrosse later released the three individuals and then led law enforcement on a five mile police pursuit until surrendering.
Based upon subsequent further investigation, charges of one count of Assault in the Second Degree and two counts of Kidnapping that stemmed from initial allegations by his female friend have been dismissed.
LaBrosse appeared in court and plead not guilty to all charges. LeBrosse’s next court appearance is set for October 7, 2014 at 8:30 a.m.
September is Hunger Action Month. That proclamation was made at last night’s Grand Rapids city council meeting by Mayor Dale Adams. The areas food bank, Second Harvest North Central, provided food for 950 families last year and distributed 4.5 million pounds of food to the community.
Also at last night’s Grand Rapids City Council meeting a Tax Increment Financing District was approved for the Grand Rapids River Hills housing project, and a resolution was approved to accept the $292,786 FAA Grant for the Grand Rapids city airport. The next Grand Rapids City Council meeting will be at 5pm on September 22nd.
Greater Minnesota is still facing a number of challenges that metro area doesn’t have to worry about- issues including workforce housing, skilled job vacancies, transportation, and health services. State Senator Tom Saxhaug is a member of the task force, along with other out-state senators. The task force met recently and decided there were enough issues to continue the discussion.
The will meet again in Mid-October.