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SIOUX FALLS, S.D. — Between them, North Dakota and South Dakota are home to a large number of churches, synagogues and mosques. A Hindu temple will soon join those places of worship. The Hindu Temple of Siouxland in Tea, S.D., is expected to open in the fall and is said to be the first Hindu temple to operate in the Dakotas. It will serve a growing population in the region that practices the world's third-largest religion. The temple is close to completion and is slated to open in September or October.
MOORHEAD — A prosecutor read the statements of loved ones affected by Melissa Willcoxon's murder out loud Monday, July 9, in an otherwise silent courtroom filled with lawyers, reporters, court staff and law enforcement officials. The 49-year-old woman's killer, Justin Critt, sat quietly as the statements were read on behalf of Willcoxon's friends and family — none of whom were in attendance.
ALEXANDRIA, Minn. — A lawsuit involving a Minnesota engineer and a construction company has now expanded to include an entire county. The company, Central Specialities Inc. of Alexandria, is suing Mahnomen County and its highway engineer, Jonathan Large, for unspecified damages incurred when Large allegedly detained trucks owned by the company during summer 2017. The suit claims that Large "intentionally and maliciously abused his governmental authority."
MOORHEAD, Minn. — Human remains found at a Clay County farmstead last week were confirmed to be those of a missing person in connection with a murder case, according to a Clay County Sheriff's Office news release. The remains found in Hitterdal were identified by the Ramsey County Medical Examiner's Office in St. Paul on June 26, as belonging to Troy Edmond Yarbrough, who was reported missing out of Wahpeton, N.D., police said.
FARGO — A woman is charged with murdering her newborn baby by drowning him in a bathtub in a Fargo apartment, according to Cass County District Court documents filed Tuesday, June 26. Ginny Rose Lubitz, of West Fargo, faces a count of murder and a count of attempted murder in connection with the baby's death on May 5. On that day, Fargo police, medics and firefighters were dispatched about 9:39 p.m. to 4530 Bluestem Court S., Unit F, for a report of a deceased newborn.
FARGO — An elderly couple in poor health reportedly tried to commit suicide by carbon monoxide poisoning over the weekend. When that didn't work, the husband got a handgun and shot his wife in the chest, according to Fargo police. The husband then turned the gun on himself and fired a bullet into his own chest, police said. The husband survived the shooting; his wife did not. Police publicly identified the couple on Monday, June 4, as Louis and Ila Averson, both 85.
MOORHEAD, Minn. — A Moorhead man has been convicted in Clay County District Court of arson and murder in the death of a 49-year-old woman here in the summer of 2016. A grand jury convicted Justin Critt Friday, May 25, for the second-degree murder of Melissa Willcoxon and a first-degree arson charge for burning down the house she was staying at in that summer. A sentencing date has been set for July 9. Brian Melton, Clay County attorney and the prosecutor in the case, said the jury came to the right verdict after listening to two weeks of testimony and evidence.