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Area news digetst

Demolition hearing moved to earlier date Cass County will challenge the legality of an order blocking the demolition of the county's old jail and residence in a hearing on Tuesday. The hearing was originally scheduled for April 24, but Thursday a...

Demolition hearing moved to earlier date

Cass County will challenge the legality of an order blocking the demolition of the county's old jail and residence in a hearing on Tuesday.

The hearing was originally scheduled for April 24, but Thursday afternoon it was moved to the earlier date.

The hearing will take place at 10 a.m. Tuesday in the Cass County Courthouse with Southeast Judicial District Judge Mikal Simonson presiding.

Officials say shooting death was self-inflicted

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BATTLE LAKE, Minn. -- A man who was found dead outside of his burning home near here Wednesday night apparently died of a self-inflicted gunshot wound, the Otter Tail County Sheriff's Department said.

The Sheriff's Department identified the man Thursday as Douglas A. Tougas, 38.

Sheriff's Lt. Michael McCormick said a neighbor noticed the fire about 9:30 p.m. The Battle Lake and Ashby Fire Departments fought the blaze but the home was a total loss, McCormick said.

McCormick said it appeared Tougas, whose body was found outdoors but close to the burning house, apparently died of a self-inflicted gunshot wound. He said Tougas lived alone in the residence.

McCormick said fire investigators have been unable to determine what started the fire and he said it's possible the precise cause will never be determined.

Man, 22, who hits cab arrested in DUI case

A 22-year-old man had to be extricated from his car after smashing into a cab Wednesday night, Fargo police said.

Thirty minutes before crashing his car, Benjamin Curt Johnson had refused to pay his tab at Granite City, had gotten irate, was throwing his shoes and threatening an employee, police said.

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Johnson was arrested for driving under the influence of alcohol and taken to MeritCare Hospital Wednesday, police said.

The hospital refused to release Johnson's condition Thursday.

Park District Garden Party will be April 27

The Fargo Park District will hold the Second Annual Garden Party from 1 to 4 p.m. April 27 at Rheault Farm, 2902 25th St. S., Fargo.

Children can gather for an afternoon of gardening activities including planting a seed to take home, helping color a garden mural, creating a butterfly, face painting and more.

The event is open to all ages. Activities are most appropriate for children ages three to 10. Children must be accompanied by an adult. Admission is free.

For more information, call (701) 241-8160.

Shanley forensic team hosts showcase

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The Fargo Shanley forensic team will sponsor a showcase at 7 p.m. Tuesday at Shanley High School.

Individual performances will be given by national qualifiers and members of the 2003 North Dakota Class A championship speech team.

A reception will follow in Shanley cafeteria. The event is free and open to the public.

The Shanley forensic team recently placed first at the North Dakota district tournament of the National Forensic League.

Shanley has qualified 10 students to compete at the National Tournament June 15-21 in Atlanta.

Students qualifying to advance in speech events include Paul Storm and David Thoreson, international extemporaneous speaking; Brady Littlefield, humorous interpretation; Matthew Sinner, U.S. extemporaneous speaking; Natalia Espejo, original oratory; and Amanda Gapp and Annie Krapu, Ted Turner debate.

Littlefield, Espejo, Ryan Thoreson and Megan Kosse qualified in policy debate. Storm will compete in Lincoln Douglas debate, and Jeff Bozovksky advanced to the House of Representatives in the national student congress.

For more information about the showcase, call (701) 293-7910.

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