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White supremacist Cobb’s new town watchful

SHERWOOD, N.D. – Near the end of U.S. Highway 28, past fields of wheat, soybeans and lemon-yellow canola lies a sleepy town where residents are friendly, but a man who recently arrived in town has some not feeling so welcoming.

Craig Cobb, the white supremacist convicted of terrorizing and menacing residents in the small North Dakota town of Leith, walked into the Renville County Courthouse on June 30 and paid $1,084.90 to cover two years of outstanding taxes on a rundown house on Third Avenue East in Sherwood, a town of about 240 people about 65 miles northwest of Minot, near the Canadian border.

“I was kind of frightened,” said Nettie Daeley, owner of Nettie’s Diner on Main Street. “I was concerned because of all the things I read about him, the way he thinks. We live in a family community. We don’t think the way he does. We’re a much more loving community than that.”

Cobb, 62, was sentenced April 30 to four years of supervised probation after pleading guilty to one charge of felony terrorizing and five counts of misdemeanor menacing stemming from November incidents in Leith, southwest of Bismarck.

Cobb tried unsuccessfully to turn Leith into an all-white enclave during a nine­month period last year. An armed patrol of the town led to the terrorizing charges.

After his request to serve his probation in Missouri was denied, Cobb set his sights on buying property elsewhere in North Dakota.

When Cobb arrived in Sherwood, some residents panicked; others said they weren’t concerned – like Mark and Susie Knox, who live in a 100-year-old Victorian house off Main Street and spend part of the year in Scottsdale, Ariz.

“I’m not nervous, not concerned. We live in Arizona; we have lot of issues in Arizona,” Susie said.

Chief of Police Ross Carter, the town’s lone officer, said Cobb got a haircut and cleaned up quite a bit, and stays “pretty much to himself.”

“He doesn’t go anywhere without somebody knowing. Somebody’s always watching. I’ve talked to him. He’s talking about his water, power, sewer – getting it all turned on. I haven’t had any trouble. I haven’t really been anticipating any unless somebody wants to start trouble,” said Carter.