Mitchell arts center flooded

MITCHELL | A broken sprinkler system pipe caused minor flooding at the Mitchell High School Performing Arts Center on New Year's Day.

Fire Department Battalion Chief Ben Vanden Hoek told The Daily Republic that everyone inside left the building, and the sprinkler system was shut off. There was no fire — Vanden Hoek says a system malfunction likely caused the pipe to break.

Mitchell Technology and School Security Director Dan Muck said damage was concentrated to only a small part of the building, and he doesn't expect a lengthy cleanup process.

Big jackpots tempt lottery players

DES MOINES, Iowa | Lottery players have a chance at winning two giant jackpots that together amount to nearly $800 million.

The Mega Millions drawing took place Tuesday night, offering players an annuity jackpot of $343 million, paid over 29 years. The game's cash option is an estimated $215 million. It's the largest Mega Millions prize since a $393 million drawing last August.

Tonight, players of the Powerball game will seek a $440 million annuity prize, or a $278.3 million cash prize. Powerball hasn't had such a big prize since August, when a Massachusetts player won a $758.7 million jackpot.

The odds of winning jackpots in either game are incredibly small. Mega Millions has odds of one in 302.6 million and Powerball is slightly better at one in 292.2 million.

Pilot lands plane without wheels 

FARGO, N.D. | A pilot and three passengers escaped injury when their single-engine airplane made an emergency landing at the airport in Fargo.

Officials at Hector International Airport say the pilot put the plane down on its belly after its landing gear failed Monday evening. Airport Authority director Shawn Dobberstein tells KFGO the Trinidad plane left the airport in Moorhead, Minnesota about 5 p.m. A short time later the pilot determined the landing gear didn't work, which was confirmed by the control tower at Hector in a fly-by.

The pilot landed the plane shortly before 6 p.m. Air traffic was diverted for about 90 minutes while the damaged plane was cleared from the north-south runway.

Warrant issued in Neb. slaying

GRAND ISLAND, Neb. | Authorities have issued an arrest warrant for a homeless man suspected of killing a 19-year-old in Grand Island.

Police said in a news release Tuesday that the warrant for 24-year-old Herbey Portillo Jr. lists charges of first-degree murder and a weapons crime. Police say he may be armed with a semi-automatic handgun.

He's accused of shooting to death Trevor Sok, who officers found wounded around 3:45 a.m. Monday at a Grand Island home. Police said he died later at a hospital.

No arrest has been reported. Court records don't list the name of an attorney who could comment for Portillo.

Man charged with abandoning puppy

GILLETTE, Wyo. | A 24-year-old Wyoming man is charged with felony animal cruelty after a hound mix puppy was found abandoned in a dumpster in Gillette in sub-zero temperatures.

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The Gillette News Record reports people walking by the garbage bin heard the puppy whining Saturday morning. The dog was rolled up in an air mattress and unable to escape.

Sgt. Eric Dearcorn says police posted a picture of the puppy on its Facebook page, which led to the identification of the owner. Manuel Rodrigues was arraigned Sunday and his bail was set at $10,000 cash. He remained jailed Monday. Jail records did not indicate if he had an attorney.

The Animal Medical Center of Wyoming says the 4- to 6-month-old puppy, Missy, is in intensive care and has a long road ahead of her, but that her strength is inspiring.

Boy crashes into parked squad cars

DEVILS LAKE, N.D. | A 15-year-old Fort Totten boy is facing a charge of driving under the influence after crashing into two unoccupied Devils Lake police vehicles.

The Highway Patrol says no injuries were reported in the incident about 5:30 a.m. Monday.

Authorities say the boy was trying to back a pickup truck into a street when he struck the two parked police sport utility vehicles. The boy then backed into an unoccupied car that was parked in a driveway, pushing it into a fence.

Man sentenced for assaulting teen

MINOT, N.D. | A man has been sentenced to serve three years in prison for sexually assaulting a 14-year-old runaway girl while working as a hotel clerk in Minot.

Authorities say 24-year-old Mohammed Siddiqui offered to let the girl stay in a vacant room and then assaulted her when she came to the Astoria Hotel on Oct. 31, 2016, to use the internet after running away from the Dakota Boys and Girls Ranch.

The Minot Daily News reports Siddiqui eventually pleaded guilty to a reduced charge of sexual imposition. He was sentenced Friday, and given credit for more than a year he has already served behind bars.

— From wire reports

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