Recently in Local News Category

Mayor optimistic about St. Paul future

St. Paul Mayor Chris Coleman sounded optimistic Thursday during his fifth state of the union address, according to the Pioneer Press.

"It is true that these are no ordinary times," Coleman said "But that phrase itself suggests a sea of troubles and challenges. We should instead understand that we are in extraordinary times ... with endless opportunities."

Coleman discussed progress on the light-rail line, a new ballpark and ice arena, and the Penfield project. Additionally he discussed partnerships with St. Paul's public schools and their effort to cut costs and better serve students, according to the Star Tribune.

About 200 people were in attendance at the Como Park Zoo and Conservatory Visitor Center, according to the the Star Tribune.

Alleged Seward killer to get x-ray to determine his age

A teenager charged with killing three men in a Seward convenience store in January will get dental x-rays to determine his age, according to the Star Tribune.

Mahdi Hassan Ali claims he was 15 years old at the time of the crime, and should be tried as a juvenile. Prosecutors say Ali was 17 and should be tried as an adult, according to Minnesota Public Radio.

Ali has a document that he says is from a Kenyan hospital that proves his mother gave birth in August 1994. DNA testing shows the name of the mother is correct, according to MPR.

Lawyers met Thursday and agreed to the dental x-ray, to determine his age, according to MPR

If Ali is tried as a juvenile he may avoid being sentence to prison for life.

Prosecutors get extension to consider retrial in Toyota case

A Ramsey County judge approved an extended response time for prosecutors considering a retrial of a man convicted of criminal vehicular homicide involving a Toyota Camry in 2007, according to the Pioneer Press.

Judge Joanne Smith said prosecutors have until June 30 to respond to the request submitted by Koua Fong Lee, the Camry driver, according to the Pioneer Press.

After the recent Toyota mass recall, Lee filed a petition to present new evidence. He said his car experienced "sudden unintended acceleration" as reported in the other models recalled, according to the Pioneer Press.

Lee was driving his family home from church June 10, 2006 when his car accelerated down the I-94 exit off Snelling into an Oldsmobile Ciera. The driver of the Oldsmobile, his son and his niece all died, according to the Star Tribune.

Lee said the brakes failed, but St. Paul's chief mechanic said they worked fine, according to the Star Tribune

Lee is currently serving an eight-year sentence, according to the Star Tribune.

Eight St. Paul schools scheduled to close

The St. Paul Public School administration announced Thursday plans to close eight school and convert one high school into a middle school to balance the $27.2 million budget deficit, according to the Star Tribune.

The closing schools include Ames, Prosperity Heights, Sheridan, Franklin and Wellstone elementary schools, and Hazel Park Middle school, according to the Star Tribune.

The school closings are estimated to save $3.5 million, and converting Arlington High School into a middle school is projected to save over $900,000, according to the Star Tribune.

Arlington is considered the most dramatic of the school closings, according to the Pioneer Press.

At the time of Arlington's opening less than five years ago, it was expected to be a school of the future. Now it is enrollment has dropped by more than 50 percent, according to the Pioneer Press.


Veteran staffer named interim St. Paul city attorney

St. Paul Mayor Chris Coleman named 36-year veteran staffer, Jerry Hendrickson, as St. Paul's interim city attorney, according to the Pioneer Press.

City Attorney John Choi resigned Tuesday citing he did not want his campaign for Ramsey County attorney to interfere with his abilities to serve as the city attorney, according to the Pioneer Press.

Hendrickson, 58, is a deputy city attorney and leads the department's civil division, according to the Star Tribune.

Coleman said Tuesday that he admires Hendrickson's abilities as a lawyer and called him a leader in the department, according to the Star Tribune.

Hendrickson will begin his temporary duties April 19. He has not said if he will seek the position permanently, according to the Pioneer Press.

Four candidates still in the running for St. Paul police chief

Mayor Chris Coleman will select the St. Paul police chief from a pool of four finalists.

A committee of 21 city officials interviewed the candidates Thursday and advanced each to Coleman for selection, according to the Pioneer Press.

During the interviews candidates were asked to speak on community policing, diversity and communication, according to the Pioneer Press.

The candidates are Watch Commander Todd Axtell, Senior Commanders Colleen Luna and Bill Martinz, and Assistant Chief Tomas Smith, according to the Star Tribune.

Coleman will interview the candidates next, and host two public forums April 26 and 27, where residents may ask pre-screened questions, according to the Star Tribune.

Coleman will select the candidate by mid-May, and submit the candidate's name for approval from the City Council, according to the Star Tribune.

Bakery moves to East St. Paul

Baldinger Bakery closed on a purchase Wednesday to construct a 140,000 square-foot facility in East St. Paul, according to the Star Tribune.

The 120-year-old bakery paid $450,000 for the property between Phalen Boulevard and Johnson Parkway, and the construction will cost $30 million, according to the Pioneer Press.

The bakery is a major supplier of hamburger buns for McDonald's restaurants in addition to its other baked good, according to the Star Tribune.

Baldinger will bring 72 workers to the new site in addition to 40 new jobs added within the next decade, according to the Star Tribune.

St. Paul launches new system for domestic abuse

St. Paul launched the first comprehensive program to prevent domestic abuse Thursday, according to the Star Tribune.

The Blueprint for Safety aims to coordinate multiple agencies, ask more questions about the suspects' level of anger and violence, and move faster to issue charges and make arrests, according to the Star Tribune.

Police officials say the goal is to prevent domestic violence from turning into homicide, according to the Pioneer Press.

Additionally "gone on arrival" cases under the new system will be investigated sooner, moving the average time to make charges from 30 days to nine, according to the Pioneer Press.

St. Paul man accused of beating a quadruple amputee

At St. Paul man has been charged with fifth-degree assault for beating a quadruple amputee because she was blocking his view of the television in the apartment they shared, according to the Star Tribune.

Jacoby Laquan Smith, 33, allegedly threw her to the floor, punched her in the face more than 10 times, and interfered in her attempts to call 911, the complaint said.

Eventually the victim persuaded Smith to take her to the SuperAmerica to get ice for her face, where the victim asked the gas station attendant to call the police, according to the Pioneer Press.

Smith fled and as of Friday afternoon, is still being sought by the police, according to the Pioneer Press.

The woman, who had a split upper lip and swelling on the left side of her face, said she was very frightened of Smith because he had keys to her apartment, according to the Pioneer Press.


Standstill on Central Corridor remains

Negotiations between the Metropolitan Council and University of Minnesota over the Central Corridor light-rail line remain at a standstill, the Pioneer Press reported.

University officials rejected the Met Council's request Friday to begin early construction on the rail, citing that an remedy over noise and vibration on lab equipment must be agreed upon first, the Star Tribune reported.

Met Council chairman Peter Bell accused the University Friday of acting irrationally, blocking progress, and costing taxpayers $1 million in delays, the Pioneer Press Reported

University President Robert Bruininks said the University will continue to support a strong metrowide transportation system and noted that Bell had rejected requests for mediation five times in recent months, the Pioneer Press reported.

The issue of early construction is predicted to be resolved in court-ordered mediation, the Pioneer Press reported.

About this Archive

This page is an archive of recent entries in the Local News category.

International News is the previous category.

National News is the next category.

Find recent content on the main index or look in the archives to find all content.