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Man charged in sexual assault of St. Kate's student

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A Hastings man was arrested Tuesday and later charged with the Nov. 19 sexual assault of a St. Catherine's student walking in Minneapolis, WCCO said.
The student was walking to St. Catherine's from Riverside Park when she was approached by a male asking for money. He claimed to have a gun and took her by the arm, WCCO said.
"He took the victim onto a trail in a wooded side of the park and robbed the victim of cash, her backpack, wallet and financial cards. Then, the complaint says he forcibly pulled down the victim's pants, pulled off her panties and sexually assaulted her with his finger. He also struck the victim in the face, leaving an abrasion," WCCO said.
Louis Richard Oliver, 48, who is also known as Terry Woods, was arrested after Regions Hospital security officers noticed him approaching women in the parking lot, the Pioneer Press said. Oliver was allegedly asking women for jumper cables for his car, WCCO said. When security went to where he said his car was parked, they found nothing, WCCO said. A Ramsey County deputy recognized Oliver from a sketch of the man who allegedly assaulted the St. Kate's student, WCCO said. After Oliver was detained, a background check found he is a registered sex offender, WCCO said.
The victim of the alleged assault confirmed Oliver as her assailant in a photographic lineup, WCCO said.
"Oliver faces one felony count of first-degree criminal sexual conduct. If convicted, he could face up to 30 years in prison and/or a $40,000 fine plus conditional release," WCCO said.

Joe Mauer gets hitched

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Minnesota Twins' catcher Joe Mauer tied the knot Saturday in St. Paul, the Pioneer Press said.
Mauer, 29, married Maddie Bisanz, of St. Paul, at Nativity of Our Lord Catholic Church, the Pioneer Press said.
The reception was held Saturday at the Depot in downtown Minneapolis, the Pioneer Press said. Photos can be viewed here. Over 600 guests attended the reception that lasted until 2 a.m., the Pioneer Press said.
One guest reported, "Joe and Maddie went out of their way to make sure it was very entertaining, and they thought of every detail," the Pioneer Press said.
The reception was full of current and former Twins players and coaches. Jim Thome, J.J. Hardy, Jesse Crain, Orlando Hudson, Mike Redmond, Justin Morneau, Glen Perkins, Brian Duensing, and general manager Terry Ryan, the Pioneer press said.
Mauer's wedding was not the only marriage in the Twins family this weekend, the Star Tribune said.
Joe Gaetti and Ashley Gladden were married Saturday in Scottsdale, Ariz., the Pioneer Press said. Gaetti is the son of former Twins third baseman Gary Gaetti, and Gladden is the daughter of former Twins outfield and current Twins radio analyst, Dan Gladden, the Pioneer Press said.
Dave St. Peter, who was not in attendance at the Gaetti/Gladden wedding, tweeted he heard the wedding was "quite the bash," as reported in the Star Tribune.
Jack Morris, Kent Hrbek, Tim Laudner and Randy Bush joined about 150 guests at the wedding, the Pioneer Press said.

Vikings' Smith and Rudolph cleared from concussions

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Vikings' head coach Leslie Frazier announced Tuesday two key starters have been medically cleared to practice after both receiving concussions on Sunday, the Star Tribune said.
Tight end Kyle Rudolph and free safety Harrison Smith each received concussions while playing against the Chicago Bears at Soldier Field in Chicago Nov. 25, the Pioneer Press said. Rudolph may not practice due to a shoulder strain he has been dealing with, Frazier said as reported in the Star Tribune. Both players are expected to play in Sunday's game against the Green Bay Packers at Lambeau Field, the Pioneer Press said.
"To know that Kyle and Harrison have been cleared, that's a big deal because they are two keys to our football team," Frazier said, as reported in the Pioneer Press.
Receiver Percy Harvin sprained his ankle Nov. 4 and has not played a game since. He will be testing his ankle in practice today, the Star Tribune said. It is unclear whether he will be able to play in Sunday's game, the Pioneer Press said.
"Percy is going to try and see what he can do and then we'll get a better gauge [on his status for Sunday's game at Green Bay] post-practice," Frazier said as reported in the Star Tribune.
Harvin ran drills on Tuesday, but was not fully functioning, the Pioneer Press said.
"[T]he fact that Percy is going to attempt to do something today, that's encouraging. It's just a matter of how far he can go," Frazier said as reported in the Star Tribune.
Running back Adrian Peterson, dealing with a shoulder strain, will participate in practice, but plans on taking it easy, the Star Tribune said.
The Vikings', who are 6-5, embark on their toughest lineup of the year. Their game against the Packers could weaken or strengthen their playoff chances, the Pioneer Press said. The Vikings trail Green Bay by one game in the NFC North, but they are 1-5 on the road. The Vikings have lost nine of their last 12 games against the Packers, the Pioneer Press said.
Quarterback Christian Ponder has faith in the team.
"We're 6-5, sitting in a great position, going into one of the biggest games of the year. We're ready. I think it's a lot easier to focus this week than it has been any other week. We know how good an opponent this is and what this game means," Ponder said as reported in the Pioneer Press.

Stolen items found in shooting victims' car

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A car believed to belong to the Little Falls' teens who were shot to death Thanksgiving Day was found to contain burglarized items, including prescription drugs, the Pioneer Press said.
Haile Kifer, 17, and Nicholas Brady, 18, cousins who were shot repeatedly, and eventually died, in the home of Byron Smith, of Little Falls after they allegedly broke into his house and encountered him in his basement, the St. Cloud Times said. Smith is charged with two counts of second-degree murder, the Pioneer press said.
Today, Morrison County Sheriff Michel Wetzel said the red Mitsubishi Eclipse seized after the shooting of Kifer and Brady contained items reported stolen from an earlier burglary south of Little Falls, the St. Cloud Times said.
Morrison county deputies were in contact with Brady on Nov. 21 around 9:25 p.m. after a homeowner reported a suspicious vehicle parked on Hilton Road in Little Falls Township, the St. Cloud Times said.
Brady told deputies he and Kifer ran out of gas, and Kifer left to get gas, the Pioneer Press said. Deputies gave Brady a ride to Little Falls, leaving the car on Hilton Road near the residence of Richard Johnson, the St. Cloud Times said.
Johnson reported a burglary on Sunday after he had been out of town for over a week, the Pioneer Press said. Six bottles of prescriptions were reported missing, the St. Cloud Times said. The prescriptions bottles found in the Mitsubishi Eclipse were in Johnson's name, the St. Cloud Times said.
Wetzel said authorities are still looking into the shooting and the possible connection of the burglaries, the St. Cloud Times said.

No voters in a Minneapolis precinct

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A computer error resulted in no votes being cast in the Nov. 6 election from Ward 10, Precinct 3B in Minneapolis, the Star Tribune said.
City Clerk Casey Carl said the occurrence was due to the electronic redistricting of the area, therefore the precinct lies underneath the water of Lake Calhoun, United Press International said.
"It's the unintentional result of a programming error made in drawing new ward boundary lines during the redistricting process," Carl said in a email to the Star Tribune.
The Star Tribune noticed the lack of votes in the precinct after the elections. The error was to have been corrected before the elections, but never was, the Star Tribune said.
"So far, no one has been lured to the precinct to cast a vote," United Press International said.

Red Bull Crashed Ice event to return to St. Paul

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St. Paul will again be host to the Red Bull Crashed Ice World Championships in late January, the Pioneer Press said.
New details were announced Wednesday regarding the changes from last year's Crashed Ice event, which will include a more challenging course, WCCO said.
The event, which is scheduled for Jan. 24-26, will feature over 200 competitors, WCCO and the Pioneer Press said.
Last year, the event drew in 100,000 spectators, $20 million and national television coverage, WCCO said.
Like last year, the event will start near the cathedral in downtown St. Paul. Competitors start at a ramp 48 feet high, which is 12 feet higher than last year's ramp, WCCO said. The course will lead them down 1,300-foot ice-covered course, in which racers could reach speeds of 40 miles an hour, the Pioneer Press said.
"We wanted to make it more fun for the athletes," Team USA Coach Charlie Wasley said of the taller ramp, as reported in the Pioneer Press.
Athletes come from a variety of backgrounds including hockey, downhill skiing, and speed skating, the Pioneer Press said.
Brian Schack, of Lino Lakes, is a former University of Minnesota Golden Gopher hockey player competing in the event, WCCO said.
"It's fun. I know, we're crazy," Shack said. "You got be athletic, but you also gotta have that little edge of 'I can do this.'"
Red Bull, the sponsor of the event, will be providing shuttles and parking for the event, the Pioneer Press said. The energy drink company also funds extra police coverage of the event, costing St. Paul virtually nothing, the Pioneer Press said.
Mayor Chris Coleman said last year's event of Crashed Ice "was too good not to do again," the Pioneer Press said.

Secession petitions picking up steam

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Approximately 700,000 residents in the U.S. hailing from all 50 states have signed petitions on the White House website to secede from the country to create their own governments as of Wednesday, the Philadelphia Inquirer said.
At least seven petitions have over 25,000 signatures, the Philadelphia Inquirer said. Texas has the most of any state's petition with 99,000 signatures, the Inquirer said.
Upon further review of these petitions, many of the signatures are from residents not even living in the states. Minnesota's petition has signatures from people living all over the U.S.
Many Republican governors are taking a stand against these petitions, the Huffington Post said.
Jennifer Ardis, spokeswoman for Alabama Gov. Robert Bentley, spoke of the secession petitions to Alabama Live, as reported in the Huffington Post.
"We can disagree on philosophy, but we should work together to make this country the best it can be," Ardis said.
Conversely, two petitions have been proposed to exile and deport those wishing to secede from the U.S. Those petitions currently have a combined 25,000 total signatures, the Philadelphia Inquirer said.

Target Center switches from Ticketmaster to AXS

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The Target Center announced Monday it would be switching ticket provider companies in order to provide lower fees for customers, WCCO said.
AXS, a ticketing service run by AEG Live, will take over for Ticketmaster, the Pioneer Press said. AEG Live currently oversees day-to-day operations at the Target Center, the Pioneer Press said. AXS will begin selling tickets for the Target Center starting Tuesday, WCCO said.
AXS is considered a better alternative because it does not charge customers for printing their tickets at home, which Ticketmaster does, WCCO said.
AXS provides for a lot of new innovations in ticket servicing. Their innovations include a virtual waiting room which allows customer to enter payment information before the tickets go on sale, WCCO said. This can speed up the process of purchasing tickets. Another commodity of AXS is the ability to reserve seats for friends, the Pioneer Press said.
In previous years, many venues have dropped Ticketmaster for alternatives, the Pioneer Press said. However the Xcel Energy Center and Hennepin Theatre Trust still utilize Ticketmaster's services.
The entire move will be complete after One Direction's concert in the summer of 2013, as that will be Ticketmaster's last event at the Target Center, the Pioneer Press said.

Mom leaves baby in car while at a bar

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Police arrested a woman they said left her baby in her car while drinking at a St. Paul bar on Sunday, the Pioneer Press said.
Heather Marie Anderson, 23, reportedly went into El Alamo bar to celebrate her friend's birthday, WCCO said. Witnesses say the bartender told her she could not bring in the 3-month-old girl, WCCO said. Anderson was seen placing the baby in her car and going back into the bar, the Pioneer Press said.
Howie Padilla, a police spokesperson, was told by a patron Anderson took at least one shot of alcohol, the Pioneer Press said. The patron saw Anderson leave and try to drive away. The patron tried to stop her, reportedly upsetting her, the Pioneer Press said.
Officers were called to the scene and saw Anderson driving away. They stopped her and arrested her on suspicion of child endangerment, the Pioneer Press said.
Anderson called her family and they came to pick up the child, WCCO said.
Anderson remains in the Ramsey County jail while the case is being reviewed, the Pioneer Press said.

Paul Ryan to rally in Minnesota Sunday

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Republican vice presidential nominee is set to campaign at the Minneapolis-St. Paul International Airport on Sunday, the Minnesota Daily said.
The rally will take place at the Sun Country Airlines hangar, the Pioneer Press said. This visit marks the second visit in a week from Ryan, but this will be his first public appearance, the Pioneer Press said. The first visit was a stop en route to Wisconsin.
Campaigning has increased as Election Day nears. Bill Clinton visited the University of Minnesota to campaign for President Barack Obama, the Minnesota Daily said.
Minnesota, widely considered Democratic, has not elected a Republican presidential candidate since 1972, the Minnesota Daily said.
Obama led the polls over Republican presidential candidate Mitt Romney earlier in the fall, however the gap between the two is quickly closing, the Pioneer Press said.
The event begins at 3:30 p.m. with doors opening at 1:30 p.m. Attendance requires a ticket to obtained from Romney's website.

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