1. Eastern ND braces for coming storm

A storm system heading for parts of North Dakota and Minnesota and promising snow, rain and high winds was expected to strike in two waves, with the first hitting Wednesday evening, Oct. 9 and the second arriving Friday and lasting into Saturday.

In general, the worst hit areas will likely be west of the Red River Valley, where snow and high winds are expected to create a blizzard that will shut down travel in many spots.

"This might be a doozy," said Carl Jones, a meteorologist with the National Weather Service in Grand Forks, which provided an update on the storm picture Wednesday afternoon.



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Jones said the first round of the storm should hit the central and northern parts of North Dakota, including the Devils Lake area, Wednesday evening, with spots like Devils Lake possibly getting 12-18 inches of snow.

More from The Forum's Dave Olson

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2. Fargo man pleads not guilty in arson, murder case

Sheldon Davis appears for a hearing in Cass County District Court on Wednesday, Oct. 9. Davis is charged with murdering Denise Anderson. David Samson / The Forum
Sheldon Davis appears for a hearing in Cass County District Court on Wednesday, Oct. 9. Davis is charged with murdering Denise Anderson. David Samson / The Forum

A man accused of killing his ex-girlfriend and setting fire to his apartment pleaded not guilty Wednesday, Oct. 9, to felony counts of murder, arson and endangering by fire or explosion.

Sheldon Davis, 44, faces charges in connection with the death of 52-year-old Denise Anderson. Anderson's body was found at Davis' apartment on Aug. 1 after a fire was reported in the apartment building at 417 12th St. N. in Fargo.

Davis' attorney, David Ogren, argued that Davis' bail should be reduced to $500,000 from the $1 million bond that was set at an August court hearing. Cass County District Judge Tristan Van de Streek denied the defense's request.

More from The Forum's Raju Chaduvula

3. 'I see myself as a survivor, not as a victim,' teen tells abuser

Viet Doan
Viet Doan

The underage teen who was sexually abused by an ex-North Dakota State University administrator said she can succeed in life despite the emotional impacts of her perpetrator's actions.

“I see myself as a survivor, not as a victim,” the teen wrote in a statement that was read Wednesday, Oct. 9, in Clay County District Court during Viet Doan’s sentencing hearing.

Doan, who resigned last month as NDSU’s enrollment management administrative systems director, sat still and silent for most of the hearing as an impact statement from the girl was read. Judge Michael Fritz ordered Doan to serve 180 days in jail Wednesday after pleading guilty in September to fourth-degree criminal sexual conduct, which carries a maximum prison sentence of 10 years in Minnesota.

More from The Forum's April Baumgarten

4. Authorities revive push for missing woman near DL

Melissa Eagleshield. Becker County Sheriff's Office
Melissa Eagleshield. Becker County Sheriff's Office

Five years after her disappearance, Becker County officials again ask the public for help in the search for Melissa Dawn Eagleshield.

Eagleshield, who was better known by friends and family members as “Mitz,” was last seen in the early morning hours of Sunday, Oct. 5, 2014, at a residence, owned by a male acquaintance of Eagleshield’s, along County Road 126 just south of Island Lake, approximately 15 miles northwest of Detroit Lakes.

She was 42 years old at the time.

Since her disappearance, the Becker County Sheriff’s Office, which has been leading the investigation, has conducted several air and ground searches of the rural, heavily wooded area near the residence. All of their searches have turned up nothing.

On Saturday, the sheriff's office again reached out to the public in a Facebook post, reminding residents to be on the lookout for anything that may lead to information about Eagleshield. As deer season starts up, hunters and other outdoors enthusiasts are asked to be on alert for anything that might help the search.

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5. ND officials working to spot lung illnesses from vaping

Melissa Markegard, tobacco prevention coordinator for Fargo Cass Public Health, displays some of the devices used for vaping. WDAY file photo
Melissa Markegard, tobacco prevention coordinator for Fargo Cass Public Health, displays some of the devices used for vaping. WDAY file photo

State health officials, public health agencies and hospitals have been working closely to identify vaping-related lung illnesses while trying to find possible common denominators in the growing outbreak.

It’s proven to be a challenge, said Tracy Miller, state epidemiologist at the North Dakota Department of Health. “In every single case, there has not been the exact same situation,” Miller said.

Like other states have been doing since the outbreak began, North Dakota health officials are trying to connect the dots.

“It’s been a whirlwind,” said Neil Charvat, director of the state’s Tobacco Prevention and Control Program.

More from The Forum's Robin Huebner