Recently in Local News Category

Vikings' Cook accused of pointing gun in altercation.

By Octavio Abea

Chirs Cook, a Minnesota Vikings cornerback, was arrested after an altercation with a neighbor in Virgina on Sunday where he was accused of pulling out a gun.

Cook, 24, was riding his bike when a neighbor, who believed he called the police on his brother, began to arge with him and later accused Cook of pulling a gun on him, Fox Sports reported

"I wasn't in a fight or nothing," Cook said, "it was just an argument," NFL News reported.

Fox News reported that Cook has recently recieved a license to carry a concealed weapon.

"It's just crazy," Cook said, "I just have to deal with it the best way I can," NFL News reported.

Miami Beach murder suspect arrested in Minnesota

By Octavio Abea

A South Florida man has been arrested in Minnesota on Saturday after being recognized from "America's Most Wanted."

Abraham Mpaka, 46, was arrested without incident in a library in the city of Hastings, a suburb of St. Paul, said the FBI, the Miami Herald reported.

Mpaka has been on the run for two years after being accused of fatally stabbing his girlfriend Coty Paul in the heart, NBC Miami reported.

A women read the story of the fugutive on the "America's Most Wanted" website and thought Mpaka resembled her friend's boyfriend and called the tipline, the Miami Herald reported.

"America's Most Wanted" had featured Mpaka on the show three times before his arrest, the FBI said, NBC Miami reported.

Hazelnuts recalled after E. coli contamination

By Octavio Abea

Hazelnuts in certain bulk containers allegedly contain E. coli and are being recalled by the California distributor, Minnesota Health and Agriculture departments said Friday.

Defranco & Sons located in Los Angeles, which sold the nuts nationwide and to Canada have recalled their hazelnuts on the suspicion of E. coli contamination even though no detections have been found, The Associated Press reports.

Seven cases of E. coli infections have occurred with three of those being men over the age of 50 living in Minnesota, but they have already recovered, the Star Tribune reports.

E. coli symptoms usually consist of abdominal cramps and diarrhea, while children and the elderly have the highest chance of developing a life-threatening complication, The Associated Press reports.

The investigation has now moved to farms in Oregon that produce the majority of the hazelnuts in the U.S. since the E. coli source has not been found, the Star Tribune reports.

Minnesota sex offender asks for his freedom

By Octavio Abea

A convicted sex offender with over 90 offenses pleaded in court that he should be under supervised release through Minnesota's controversial sex offender program Friday.

John Rydberg, 69, would the first to be released through this program that was started in 1994, but he would first have to be approved by a three-judge panel, the Star Tribune reports.

"I'm a recovering sex offender," Rydberg said, "I offended sexually. I'm not cured. I have it managed," the Pioneer Press reports.

Brian Southwell, Rydberg's attorney, makes the argument that he has proved he deserves the public's trust after spent more than 30 years in prison and in treatment, the Star Tribune reports.

The Pioneer Press reports that Rydbergs's assaults have been extremely violent including his last one that occurred in 1979 in Blue Earth County where he raped a woman at knifepoint, but his program workers still recommend his release.

Chipotle fired 450 workers once singled out by audit

By Octavio Abea

Chipotle says it fired 450 workers in Minnesota who could not prove they could work in the U.S. after an audit from Homeland Security targeted the restaurant chain.

When Chipotle was chosen for review they gave their employees an opportunity to prove that they were able to legally work. The company added that although this is standard procedure they may have employed unauthorized workers without their knowledge, the Star Tribune reported.

The audit happened last year and Chipotle only disclosed that the firings were in the hundreds, but a recent filing with the Securities and Exchange Commission reveals the actual figure, Fox News reported.

The Star Tribune reported that Chipotle employed 1,200 workers all over Minnesota before the audit took place.

The Department of Homeland Security is now targeting Chipotles in Virginia and Wachington D.C. to see if their employees are legally able to work as well, Fox News reported.

New teaching license clears path for new teachers

By Octavio Abea

A bill is moving through the legislature that makes teaching licenses alternately available through non-profit organizations.

WXOW reports that this bill makes it possible for new young teachers to obtain licenses without attending the traditional teaching colleges that have been in use.

Governor Mark Dayton has expressed concern that these new licenses will yield teachers who are unprepared to teach their subject, KSFY reports.

Supporters claim that this will help solve the teaching gap between races, but critics say that there is no evidence showing that these new teachers will be any more capable, WXOW reports.

Dayton points out that the bill has no requirement for these non-profit organizations to partner with existing colleges, which he says is essential, KSFY reports.

Girl Scouts inside bank during robbery

By Octavio Abea

Two Girl Scouts were trying to sell cookies when a man entered the Minnetonka TCF Bank and tried to rob it Friday.

According to Jeff Sebenaler, the Minnetonka police captain, the man walked into the bank at 11:30 a.m., waited in line, and then demanded all of the teller's 50s and 100s, Fox 9 reported.

KSTP reports that the hooded man did not pull out any weapons or make any indication of even being armed.

A woman and her two daughters were trying to sell cookies at the bank during the incident, Fox 9 reported.

The man is, who still has not been caught, left the bank empty handed and did not hurt anyone, KSTP reported.

Minnesotans enjoy some fresh air

By. Octavio Abea

An encouraging drop in adult smoking rates occured from 22.1 percent in 1999 to 16.1 in 2010 thanks to the Freedom to Breathe Act and a number of other anti-tobacco measures, according to a study released Thursday.

The study, which was done by the Minnesota Department of Health, interviewed 7,057 participants by phone and found a steady decrease in adult smokers while at the same the state saw a 40 percent decrease in cigarette sales, Bloomberg Business Week reported.

The survey also found that the number of people who have been exposed to second-hand smoke inthe past week has gone down from 57 percent in 2007 to 45 percent in 2010, according to the Star Tribune.

Bloomberg Business Week reports that Minnesota implemented an extensive anti-smoking campaign with not only the Freedom to Breathe Act, but also the higher cigarette taxes, public education campaigns, and quit-line services.

Raymond Boyle, director of non-profit anti-smoking group Clear Way Minnesota, told the Star Tribune that this survey is the first one that demonstrates the results of all of the measures Minnesota has taken.

Iowa teen dies after collision with snow plow

By Octavio Abea

A Riceville, Iowa teen dies after colliding with a snow plow near the southeastern Minnesota city of Spring Valley on Sunday.

Brooke Elliot, 18, was in the passenger side seat when the car clipped another driver in front of them who was turning left. They clipped one more vehicle before crossing into the oncoming lane and crashing into a Minnesota Department of Transportation snow plow, the Globe Gazette reported.

Elliot, the recently elected homecoming queen of Riceville High School, was pronounced dead at the scene, according to Fox 9.

"We are a close-knit school and community, and she willed be missed," Greg Adams, the principal of Riceville High School, said to the Globe Gazette.

Fox 9 reports that everyone was wearing seatbelts and no alcohol was involved, according to the state patrol.

Judge orders mediation in SweeTango Dispute

By Octavio Abea

The judge orded Friday that the University of Minnesota will enter a 60-day mediation session with local apple growers over the future of the SweeTango apple.

Judge Lloyd Zimmerman dismissed almost all of the claims made by local apple growers which described an unlawful monopoly created by the University over the SweeTango apple, according to the Star Tribune.

One of the only claims left in place by Zimmerman was that the Univeristy entered an exclusive agreement without the chance for the apple growers to be heard, or violation of federal procedural due process, reported the Minnesota Daily.

The Star Tribune reports that Zimmerman has given both sides 60 days to mediate the charges in order to avoid undue time, energy and expenses.

The SweeTango apple was created by crossing the Honeycrisp and Zester apples and is expected to replace the Honeycrisp in popularity, according to the Minnesota Daily.

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