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19-year-old Mott man dies in farming accident

Mike Wehri

A 19-year-old Mott man beloved by the community he grew up in died Monday while doing what he loved, family and friends said.

Mike Wehri was attempting to spray a field for an area farmer he worked for when the machine he was driving "hit something electrical," Hettinger County Sheriff Sarah Warner said.

Wehri was a 2012 Mott-Regent High School graduate and recently completed his freshman year at North Dakota State University, where he was majoring in agronomy.

"All he wanted to do all his life was be a farmer," said Judy Martin, Wehri's grandmother who lives in Dickinson.

Wehri had been working for Mott farmer Stan Blickensderfer. The accident happened about 2 miles north of Mott, Warner said.

The Hettinger County Sheriff's Office is still investigating the accident, Warner said, and hopes to have more details within a week.

The accident caused power outages for Montana-Dakota Utilities Co. customers throughout Hettinger County, affecting the cities of Mott, Regent and New England, said Mark Hanson, the senior public relations representative for MDU Resources Group.

"We did have a piece of farm equipment that made contact with our (overhead) line," Hanson said in reference to the accident, adding that power was out to those communities for about an hour.

Wehri was an all-region lineman for the football team and excelled in FFA, speech, music and drama.

"The people in Mott are devastated," Martin said. "All over town, there are tears."

Throughout the day, hundreds of Wehri's friends posted tributes to his Facebook profile page.

A Friday funeral is being planned at the Mott National Guard Armory because of the expected attendance.

"He just touched so many lives," Martin said.

Dustin Monke

Monke came to The Dickinson Press in July 2006 as the newspaper's sports editor and was hired as its managing editor in March 2013. During his tenure at The Press, Monke has won multiple awards for sports reporting, feature reporting, column writing, page design and photography. He was a key part of The Press winning the North Dakota Newspaper Association's General Excellence and Sweepstakes awards in 2009 and 2012, and oversaw The Press' Sweepstakes and General Excellence wins in 2014, as well as its national first-place honors for Community Leadership in the Inland Daily Press Association and contributed to the first-place Inland award for Investigative Reporting. As the newspaper's editor, he writes an occasional Sunday column, is a member of The Press' Editorial Board, contributes feature stories and breaking news, designs pages, and oversees the day-to-day operations of the newsroom and editorial staff. In his free time, he enjoys watching sports and action movies, exercises whenever his schedule allows, and spends every minute he can with his wife and son.

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