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Trove of bison bones and dart tips unearthed in Glyndon

ALSO: Live to replace Smashmouth at RibFest; Le Sueur County facilities need major upgrades; 22 reports of weekend vehicle break-ins in Faribault; and more.

Land that was formerly part of the Ponderosa Golf Course in Glyndon has coughed up a large number of bison bones and dart tips that are between 800 to 2,000 years old, writes Helmut Schmidt of the Moorhead Forum. A previous dig in the area found bones and tools at least 8,000 years old, but for this dig, Minnesota State University Moorhead anthropology professor George Holley and three undergraduate students dug about 700 holes a foot wide and a foot and a half deep. They found “bags and bags of bones,” dart points and tools. Life for humans in the area at that time wasn’t idyllic. Holley said the Late Woodlands people would drive multiple darts into bison, then chased them until blood loss weakened the animal. Kind of like bringing down a lion in 21st-century Zimbabwe.

You think those bones and tools are old, take a look at the study released that says Le Sueur County’s facilities are in need of millions of dollars in upgrades. Suzanne Rook of the Le Center Leader writes that the tab could be between $32 million to $34 million. The county hired consultants BVK Group to assay the situation, and they said the biggest need is the public works shop in Le Sueur, built in 1958. The study says the Le Sueur and Le Center shops have outlived their useful lives and need major upgrades that include building replacement and site reconfigurations. The county jail, which is about 33 years old, is poorly laid out, has narrow corridors and poor sight lines, which is “potentially dangerous to staff and has inherent security risks,” according to the study. Also, the consultants recommend adding space at the county courthouse to fix the already cramped space and to anticipate an increase in employees over the next 15 years.

Brad Phenow of the Faribault paper tells the story of the local dentist who has a name that is similar to everyone’s favorite Zimbabwean lion slayer, Walter Palmer of Eden Prairie. The phones have been ringing off the hook at the office of Faribault-based dentist Todd Palmer, who is no relation or affiliation to Walter. Annie Quast, with the Faribault-based Palmer Dental, said Todd is on a previously planned vacation, but confirmed there is no relation or affiliation. Newspaper letters and Facebook posts are working to keep this Palmer’s name out of the mud. “Great dentist and dental team. Very friendly and caring towards patients, and it is very unfortunate for them to be mixed up with another dentist/dental office,” reads one post. 

The Owatonna People’s Press briefly detailed the circumstances surrounding a May sting operation in which 20 people were arrested for soliciting sex. Police posted an ad online to meet customers for sex in an Owatonna hotel. They received 1,200 responses in four days. One of the suspects, Mark Hinsch, 59, of Waltham, Iowa, allegedly told police he had never been arrested for anything like this before, yet a background check found a 2011 arrest for prostitution in Olmstead County. Gary Percival, 29, of Minneapolis, allegedly agreed to bring “10 friends … crispy Benjamins” to the hotel. Upon placing said friends on the nightstand, he was arrested and will appear in court on Wednesday. Franklin Voeltz of Austin allegedly agreed to pay $300 for an hour of sex with both women, then wanted to include his wife, Rebecca Voeltz. They were arrested when Franklin Voeltz allegedly put the money on the dresser. Both are scheduled to appear in court Wednesday. All the suspects are charged with a gross misdemeanor punishable by one year imprisonment and $3,000 in fines.

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Speaking of a person caught in a pickle, the “Recall Ron” committee – dedicated to the removal of Willmar City Councilor Ron Christianson — has exceeded all the petition requirements necessary to file the recall, according to David Little of the West Central Tribune. In an earlier story, Little outlined the beeves the committee has against Christianson: They say he violated the trust of citizens and bypassed state open meeting laws when terminating City Administrator Charlene Stevens, which cost the city an estimated $150,000 under a separation agreement; he used his council position to fight the Westwind rental housing project, yet received approval for his own rental twinhomes; and he broke the law when he drove around barricades and through a restricted area while responding to a gas leak.

Christianson’s future is cloudy, but the future of RibFest is clear, and it doesn’t include Smashmouth, according to the Mankato Free Press. Apparently, there’s an illness in the band, so it will be replaced by “the band Live, known for hit songs ‘Lightning Crashes,’ ‘I Alone’ and ‘All Over You.’ ” The band plays on Saturday. The rest of the RibFest schedule remains the same.

Missing Smashmouth is crummy, and so are the 22 reports of vehicle break-ins in Faribault over the weekend, according to Cammy Thibodeau of the Faribault Daily News. “Police Captain Jason Severson said the actual number was probably closer to double that number because he has also heard of crimes that were not reported. According to police reports, 94 thefts from vehicles were reported from June 1-Aug. 2.” Severson says the problem is recidivism: “The problem is that they go right back out and do it again because they only get a slap on the wrist. They need some consequences,” he said.

Lastly, the Austin City Council dropped the hammer, so to speak, on Rock, a 4-year-old pit bull that the council deemed a dangerous dog, Trey Mewes writes in the Austin Daily Herald. Rock repeatedly attacked or threatened residents since 2013. Police say he jumped on a man on July 1 and tried to bite him. He twice attacked mail carriers who have had to deploy mace to fend off the dog, and last December ran after a father and his 6-year-old daughter walking to school. Rock’s owner, Sofia Smith, said Rock was a gentle dog who simply wanted to play. An animal-rights advocate from New York had stepped forward to persuade the council not to kill Rock, but apparently hadn’t made much progress. Rock will be euthanized under the city’s dangerous dog law.

And extra-lastly, here’s an ad that is on the Fargo Forum’s website: “6 North Dakota Cities That Should Be on Your Bucket List.” The North Dakota Department of Commerce says before you die, you should visit – got a pen and paper ready? – Fargo, Grand Forks, Bismarck-Mandan, Minot, Williston, and Dickinson. That’s technically seven cities, but why not? Come to think of it, I’ve already been to all of them except Williston. I guess that dry cough and 1,000-yard stare I’ve developed means I’d better plan a trip soon.