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Minn. roundup: State Fair breaks attendance record again; Predatory sex offender being sought

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FALCON HEIGHTS, Minn.—This year's Minnesota State Fair was yet another record-breaker.

Attendance over the 12 days this year was 1,997,320, the Fair announced Tuesday morning. That beats last year's record of 1,943,719.

Along with setting the record for the year, fairgoers also broke three daily records.

Here's the attendance by day:

• Thursday, Aug. 24: 117,877;

• Friday, Aug. 25: 125,324;

• Saturday, Aug. 26: 158,525;

• Sunday, Aug. 27: 197,891;

• Monday, Aug. 28: 144,504 — record;

• Tuesday, Aug. 29: 132,120;

• Wednesday, Aug. 30: 119,975;

• Thursday Aug. 31: 145,549;

• Friday, Sept. 1: 187,066 — record;

• Saturday, Sept. 2: 254,431;

• Sunday, Sept. 3: 242,759 — record;

• Monday, Sept. 4: 171,299


Northwest Minn. man accused of kidnapping his ex-girlfriend

BLACKDUCK, Minn. —A northern Minnesota man was charged with felony false imprisonment Tuesday after allegedly abducting his ex-girlfriend and holding her against her will.

Joshua Malcom Smith, 31, of Blackduck was arrested Friday evening after Beltrami County deputies received a call from the victim's family, who reported the alleged abduction. When they arrived at Smith's house in Blackduck, about 30 miles northeast of Bemidji, the deputies found the woman walking away from the home, according to a news release.

According to a criminal complaint, Smith and his ex-girlfriend had met in International Falls, Minn., earlier Friday to exchange property. The victim agreed to go with Smith to get the property, but he began driving south on Koochiching County Road 9.

The victim tried to get Smith to pull over and grabbed the steering wheel, but Smith pushed her onto the floor and put plastic cuffs on her wrists. After 15 or 20 minutes the victim's hands started to turn purple, so Smith took off the cuffs. He then took out a handgun and threatened to shoot himself. When Smith and the victim arrived at his Blackduck home, he took her cell phone and continued to show the gun and threaten to kill himself. Smith eventually decided to let the victim go and returned her cell phone. She met law enforcement a short time later as they arrived at Smith's home.

Smith claimed the victim willingly rode with him to his home.


Minnesota boy suffers severe head injuries when goose blind knocks him off pickup onto pavement

BROOTEN, Minn.— A 15-year-old boy is in the Children's Hospital in Minneapolis with severe head injuries after he fell from a pickup over the Labor Day weekend and hit his head on pavement.

Dylon Jergenson of Glenwood was standing on the rear bumper of a 2000 GMC Yukon attempting to hold down a portable goose blind being transported on the roof of the Yukon when a gust of wind caused the blind to break free, according to the Stearns County Sheriff's Office.

It knocked Jergenson off of the rear bumper and onto the pavement of County Road 27 near Brooten shortly after 7 a.m.

Others in the pickup driven by Jayden Miller, 17, of Brooten, were also holding the goose blind down from inside the pickup through their open windows. They were Owen Rajdl, 17, of Villard and Payton Van Beck 16, of Brooten.

Jergenson was transported by LifeLink III air ambulance to the St. Cloud Hospital and later transported to Children's Hospital in Minneapolis by Gold Cross Ground Ambulance for treatment of his injuries. His injuries were reported to be severe, said the sheriff's office.


Police: Iowa man stabs friend to death when visiting in St. Cloud

ST. CLOUD, Minn.—Two friends from Iowa who were visiting a home in St. Cloud got in a fight early Tuesday morning with one of the men accused of stabbing the other to death.

St. Cloud Police said they were called to a home in southwest St. Cloud about 6:35 a.m. where a man had been stabbed in the torso.

Life-saving measures were started and continued on the way to the St .Cloud Hospital, but the man died at the hospital at 7:25 a.m.

His friend, Robin Russell Hanson, 22, was arrested and taken to the Stearns County Jail, said police, on a charge of second-degree murder.

The case is being investigated by the St. Cloud police investigations unit with assistance from the Minnesota Bureau of Criminal Apprehension.

No other information was available Tuesday afternoon.


Predatory sex offender being sought

SEBEKA, Minn.—A predatory sex offender is being sought by the Wadena County Sheriff's office in northwest Minnesota.

The offender, Timothy George Bungert, 35, was last registered as living at Becker AvenueSouth in Sebeka.

Bungert is about 6-feet tall, weighing 214 pounds, with hazel eyes, brown/gray hair and a medium build.

Bungert is currently on warrant status out of Wadena County for failure to register as a predatory offender.

The sheriff's office said Bungert has a history of contacting girls, ages 12-14, on the Internet and engaging in sexual conversation. He has also attempted to arrange to meet for sexual contact with one victim, the sheriff's office said.

He was not known to victims. Anyone with any information regarding Bungert's whereabouts is asked to contact the Wadena County Sheriff's Office at 218-631-7600. Callers may remain anonymous. Tips may also be submitted online at