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Carl Remmers

Former Benson school superintendent dies after falling through ice near Pierre, S.D.

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BENSON -- A former superintendent of the Benson Schools died Tuesday after falling through the ice near Pierre, S.D., while trying to rescue his dog, the Bemidji Pioneer reported today.

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Carl Eugene Remmers, 66, drowned after falling through the ice on the Missouri River near a campground area east of the city.

Remmers served as superintendent in Benson from June, 2000 to June, 2006 when he accepted the superintendent position for the Cass Lake-Bena School District.

Hughes County Sheriff Sgt. Darin Johnson told the Bemidji Pioneer that it was a "tragic but simple accident.''

Remmers was walking his golden retriever at a recreation area east of town and the dog ran onto the ice, which broke, Johnson said.

Remmers attempted to save the dog, and also broke through the ice.

A rescue team had difficulty reaching Remmers because the ice was too thin to walk on and too thick for a boat.

Rescuers had to break through the ice, and it took more than an hour to reach Remmers.

Johnson said Remmers was found by divers near a hole where he fell in, which was not visible from shore.

Remmers was pronounced dead about 6:45 p.m. at a Pierre hospital. The dog was treated for hypothermia.

Remmer and his wife, Mavis moved to Pierre last November.

Remmers resigned from his position in the Cass Lake-Bena district in 2010 after he was charged with inappropriately touching a 17-year-old boy.

Last year, Remmers pleaded guilty to gross misdemeanor criminal sexual conduct and sentenced to one year in jail with 275 days stayed for two years. A police report said Remmers asked the boy for forgiveness and couldn't explain why he touched him.

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