Beach Man Charged With Murder After Allegedly Shooting Man in Head

BEACH — A Beach man has been charged with murdering another man three weeks after he allegedly shot him in the head.

Though details about the incident are slim, court documents state Gabriel Alexander Castro, 22, shot Richard Young, 24, of Beach, on June 6 with a 1911 model .45-caliber pistol.

Young died from his injuries on June 10 in a Bismarck hospital.

Castro was officially charged with Class AA felony murder on June 24, the day he made his initial appearance in Southwest District Court, and is being held on $500,000 bond at the Southwest Multi-County Correctional Center in Dickinson. If convicted, he faces life in prison.

Court documents state Castro also intentionally interfered with law enforcement’s investigation by “altering the firearm and removing items with fingerprints.” He faces charges of hindering law enforcement, a Class C felony, and providing false information to an officer about the circumstances surrounding the shooting, a Class A misdemeanor.

Castro has a preliminary hearing before Southwest District Judge Dann Greenwood on July 28.

Golden Valley County Sheriff Scott Steele said he could not provide details about the case as it remains under investigation.

Steele added that he could not comment on whether or not the pistol Castro used was legally obtained.

Golden Valley County State’s Attorney Christina Wenko said both the sheriff’s office and the state Bureau of Criminal Investigation are investigating the shooting.

Beach Mayor Walt Losinski said it has been decades since the last murder charge in Beach. He recalled a murder happening sometime in the 1970s, but none since.

He said he doesn’t know much about the shooting and neither do many others in the southwest North Dakota town of about 1,100 people just 1 mile from the Montana state line.

“They’ve sure kept quiet about it because I haven’t heard anything,” he said, referring to law enforcement.

The two men both came to Beach from other states. Castro’s Facebook page states he was working in the deli at the Pilot Flying J Travel Center in Beach and that he attended high school in Phoenix.

A Flying J spokesperson said she could not comment on Castro’s employment. A GoFundMe page dedicated to Young states that he was originally from Oregon, was a member of the U.S. Marine Corps and had a child.

Referendum for New Richardton-Taylor School Passes

RICHARDTON — The Richardton-Taylor school district is getting a new high school.

Residents of Richardton and Taylor voted on Tuesday night to approve a bond referendum during a special election, though the results were clearly split between the two towns.

Sixty-five percent voted in favor of the $2 million bond referendum for the $12 million project. Curiously, nineteen less voters approved of raising the district’s debt limit by 5 percent to help finance the project with a $10 million loan from the Bank of North Dakota.

“We’ve been working on this thing for two-and-a-half, three years,” Richardton-Taylor Superintendent Brent Bautz said late Tuesday night. “We’ve put a lot of hard work into it. It’s good to finally realize it’s coming to fruition.”

The bond referendum needed a 60 percent “yes” vote to pass. It was decided by just 28 votes.

Vote tallies showed Richardton voters overwhelmingly supported the project while Taylor residents opposed it.

Seventy-three percent of Richardton residents voted in favor of both the referendum and raising the debt limit. Only 43 percent of Taylor residents voted for the referendum and 40 percent voting to raise the debt limit.

Bautz said the district needed to raise the debt limit because the North Dakota Century Code would have only allowed the district to borrow 5 percent of its assessed value, which wouldn’t have been enough for the project. The approve allows the district to borrow 10 percent of its assessed value.

Bautz said the district would like to begin construction on the project next spring with a scheduled completion by summer 2018.

Richardton-Taylor’s administration and school board approached residents about a remodel earlier this year because of decay in the 55-year-old facility and as a long-term cost-cutting move.

The current high school building in Richardton holds grades 7-12. The elementary school in Taylor has grades 2-6. Pre-kindergarten through first-grade students are in the St. Mary’s Social Center Building in Richardton, which costs roughly $72,000 annually in lease payments and additional staff.

With the referendum passed, pre-K through first grade will move to Taylor and grades 5-12 will be placed in Richardton.

Griemsman Sets Roughrider Days Barrel Racing Record

Tanner Aus, of Granite Falls, Minn., hangs on for an 85-point ride in the bareback riding on Flaxy Lady on Saturday in the Roughrider Days Rodeo at the Dickinson State Outdoor Arena.

When Jana Griemsman heard Dickinson received torrential rain on Friday night, she was discouraged.

The Piedmont, S.D., barrel racer said she and others scheduled to run Saturday evening at the Roughrider Days Rodeo were convinced they wouldn’t have much of a chance to finish in the money.

“We were all a little discouraged thinking we wouldn’t have a chance if the ground was wet,” Griemsman said. “But we got here, and we were all really impressed.”

Griemsman, however, was the one who left everyone dazzled. Three tight turns on a near-perfect path helped her set a Roughrider Days barrel racing record with a time of 15.51 seconds. Griemsman said her horse had struggled recently to make tight turns on the final barrel.

“I knew when she finished it tonight, my other two barrels were so close I knew I was going to have a good run,” Griemsman said. “I knew it was going to be good. I didn’t know I’d be winning it, but I was tickled when they announced my time.”

Continue reading “Griemsman Sets Roughrider Days Barrel Racing Record”

Insight Interview With City Commissioner-Elect Sarah Jennings

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This week, Brock and I sat down to talk with Sarah Jennings, who was recently elected to the Dickinson City Commission at age 26.

Here’s the rest of the episode:


Kat Perkins Makes Waves With Musical Tribute to Late Friend Christina Grimmie

Kat Perkins is back in North Dakota on a week that her newest song is making waves in the music industry.

Perkins, a Scranton native, was featured on the homepage of music magazine Rolling Stone’s website throughout Tuesday for an article about the release of her song “Angels.”

Perkins recorded “Angels” as a tribute to her friend, the late singer Christina Grimmie, as well as the victims of the Orlando, Fla., nightclub shootings. She said Tuesday afternoon that the response to the song — which was written by her boyfriend, producer and guitarist Eric Warner — has been “overwhelming.”

“It was one of those cool, spontaneous moments for us to do what we know how to do and that’s make music and help people heal through music,” Perkins said. “It was helping us heal at the same time. It was a cool moment to see it come together like that and make an impact on others, because that’s what we set out to do.”

Perkins’ popularity rose after she appeared on season six of NBC’s singing competition show “The Voice.” There, she met Grimmie. The two were not only competitors but roommates who became fast friends.

Grimmie, a 22-year-old Christian pop singer, died June 11 in Orlando after being shot while signing autographs following a concert. Her shooter, 27-year-old, Kevin James Loibl, took his own life.

Perkins said “Angels” won’t be released on iTunes until Wednesday, at the earliest. When it is, proceeds from the single’s sales will be given to Grimmie’s family through a GoFundMe website. Perkins said Grimmie’s mother, Tina, is not only dealing with the loss of her daughter but has also been fighting cancer.

“She was everything to that family, not only as a daughter and an awesome human being, but her career was something that was taking off,” Perkins said. “They moved to L.A. for her. They fully supported her passion for making her music.”

Perkins will perform “Angels” live for the first time Saturday during a concert that begins at 3:30 p.m. at Medora’s Burning Hills Amphitheatre.  

Leading up to the concert, she’s hosting the Badlands Rising Star Music Camp. It begins today with 28 singers from across the upper Midwest and as far away as California.

Perkins will coach and mentor the campers throughout the next three days. They’ll then perform as the concert’s opening act and alongside Perkins during her concert.

“It felt so right,” she said of the camp. “I’ve never been so excited about something in my life. Now in the light of the last week or so, it’s kind of a shining light in my life and I feel like I can carry on a really cool legacy for not only myself but for Christina and the other musicians to help our young ones not only become better singers and performers, but to be better people and to be kind and choose love.”


If you go

What: Kat Perkins concert

When: 3:30 p.m. Saturday

Where: Burning Hills Amphitheatre, Medora

Opening act: Participants of Perkins’ Badlands Rising Star Music Camp, which is being held this week in Medora.

Online: Visit to watch the music video for “Angels.”

Mott-Regent Passes $8.7 Million School Bond Issue by Thinnest of Margins

MOTT — Mott-Regent is getting a new elementary school and making major improvements to its high school.

The district’s school board made that official Monday after a canvassing meeting found that 61 percent of the district’s residents voted in favor of the $8.7 million bond referendum. The project needed a 60 percent “yes” vote to pass.

Viola LaFontaine, the district’s new superintendent who is just settling into her role and doesn’t start full time until July, said she has heard the mixed opinions about the bond passing.

“When you get a vote this close, you know there’s opinions out there,” she said. “I’m hearing different things.”

The bond calls for a 32.01 mill levy increase, or about a $143 increase on $100,000 in residential property. Cropland will see an average tax increase of 93 cents an acre.

A total of 639 district residents in Hettinger, Adams and Stark counties voted on the bond referendum, with only 390 voting yes. It was such a thin margin, the school board waited to receive additional mail-in ballots at Monday’s canvassing meeting to officially announce the results. They received just one mail-in ballot.

Mott-Regent has 240 students in its system.

With the funding, the district will construct a new elementary school, remodel and renovate the high school building, and demolish the old elementary school.

Work could begin immediately, LaFontaine said. Though she and school board president Kevin Roth said the school is likely going to ensure all the legal aspects of the project are shored up.

“We’re not going to rush into anything,” Roth said. “We’re going to do our due diligence and do everything properly. Hopefully everything will come in under bid.”

Consolidated Construction was hired as the contractor at-risk for the project. LaFontaine said the company wants to start soil borings and sight surveys soon.

“Some of those things, I think we can do pretty quickly,” she said.

The school will officially approach the Bank of North Dakota this week about a 2 percent, 20-year loan.

“The main thing is we just move forward from here,” she said. “I’m a very open and willing to listen to people, and am looking to make this a positive move for the Mott-Regent School District. … This is an opportunity for the school to celebrate education.”

The district also canvassed the election of incumbent school board members Garret Swindler and Lucas Greff, as well as newly elected Jeremy Ottmar. All three ran unopposed.