Former legislator James Kerzman of Mott dies in farm accident

Jim Kerzman, a former state legislator from Mott, holds a lamb on his farm in this undated photo. The state representative of 20 years who also farmed near Mott for a half-century died Saturday in a tractor accident on his farm. (Submitted Photo)
Jim Kerzman, a former state legislator from Mott, holds a lamb on his farm in this undated photo. The state representative of 20 years who also farmed near Mott for a half-century died Saturday in a tractor accident on his farm. (Submitted Photo)

MOTT — Jill Kerzman said her husband wasn’t perfect — but he was close.

Now, as she prepares to say goodbye, she said she’ll forever remember how he tried to treat others with care and help those who were less fortunate.

James Kerzman, a state legislator of two decades who farmed near Mott for a half-century while raising 10 children, died Saturday in a farm accident involving one of his tractors. Details of the accident have not been released by the Hettinger County Sheriff’s Department.

“He was one of the kindest men I will ever know in my life,” Jill Kerzman said in a phone interview. “He was a humble, hard-working man who really got into his life and got dirty.”

Kerzman, 68, was a Democrat who represented District 31 from 1990 to 2010. After his political career ended, he stayed busy as a member of the Slope Elective Cooperative and the North Dakota Farmers Union boards, and was an active member of St. Vincent’s Catholic Church in Mott while also being heavily involved in the Knights of Columbus.

“His heart was as big as the prairies of North Dakota, but it was also as gentle as the little lambs he raised on his farm,” said Aaron Krauter, a former Democrat state senator from Regent.

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Univited Guest: Pickup crashes into unoccupied Dickinson residence, driver faces charges

The Dickinson Fire Department works at the scene of an accident at 45 Ninth Ave. W after a pickup truck crashed into the side of the unoccupied duplex going about 60 mph, according to investigators, at about 9 p.m. Sunday.

The driver of a pickup was injured Sunday night after violently crashing into the side of an unoccupied Dickinson residence.

Brian Foss, 40, of Dickinson, was traveling eastbound on First Street West at about 60 mph when he lost control of the Dodge Ram 1500 he was driving and crashed into the northwest corner of a residence at 45 Ninth Ave. W. The pickup drove over and uprooted a large tree on the property before entering the residence just before 9 p.m.

Capt. David Wilkie of the Dickinson Police Department said Foss was charged with driving under the influence and reckless driving. He was taken to St. Joseph’s Hospital by the Dickinson Ambulance Service. A neighbor, whose vehicle was narrowly missed by the pickup, said he responded immediately after the crash and found Foss responsive but badly injured.

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Back on the mat

Shane Bennett is one of Dickinson State’s top wrestlers. But, just 18 months ago, his life hung in the balance after a horrific accident.
Shane Bennett is one of Dickinson State’s top wrestlers. But, just 18 months ago, his life hung in the balance after a horrific accident.
Dickinson State’s Shane Bennett has returned to wrestling 18 months after an accident nearly claimed his life

Shane Bennett doesn’t believe he’s where he needs to be on the wrestling mat.

 He’s not competing at full strength and he’s nowhere near the conditioning level he was at when he took second place at the NAIA national tournament as a redshirt freshman.

 Still, the 21-year-old Dickinson State University fourth-year sophomore takes comfort knowing there was a time — not that long ago — when those close to him didn’t know if he would live to see the next day.

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