Recently in Local News Category

Drug study on Hennepin County Jail's male inmates released

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by Sarah Harper

Nearly 70 percent of men booked into the Hennepin County Jail tested positive for illegal drug use prior to arrest, according to a new federal study released Tuesday.

The Minnesota Daily reported that there was an increase in prescription drug abuse. The study was conducted on behalf of the Office of National Drug Control Policy.

The biggest shift in drug use occurred for men ages 21 and younger, with an increase in Oxycodone use, according to CBS Minnesota.

For men of all ages, multiple illegal drugs were found in 18.6 percent of inmate men, according to the Minnesota Daily.

The Minnesota Daily reported that marijuana was the most commonly detected drug at 53.1 percent.

by Sarah Harper

Someone stole over $1,000 worth of gifts from a non-profit organization in Golden Valley early Thursday, but people donated enough gifts to cover the loss by Thursday afternoon.

KARE-11 reported the story of the theft on Thursday.

Someone smashed a window at The Family Partnership in Golden Valley and stole over $1,000 worth of gifts meant for families in north Minneapolis, reported KARE-11.

The Star Tribune reported that the Family Partnership put a list of stolen items on its website. The loss was covered and seven additional families had holiday gifts.

Golden Valley police are still investigating the theft, reported the Star Tribune.

by Sarah Harper

Top school officials in St. Paul will not experience increases in their health benefits or salaries for the next two years as a result of a compensation plan approved Tuesday.

The school board approved the contract for administrators, which will last until June 2013, according to the Star Tribune.

Administrators will be able to cash in five earned vacation days to get a $2,350 increase in their professional development allowances, which the district says will ease the pain of the pay freeze, reported the Pioneer Press.

The district and teachers are now in negotiations for a contract, which the district expects to approve in the spring, according to the Star Tribune.

The Star Tribune also reports that the board approved a budget that resulted in the loss of 345 jobs, the consolidation of programs and the reorganization of the administration.

St. Paul rape and robbery results in 27 years of jail time

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by Sarah Harper

A man was sentenced Thursday to more than 27 years in prison after he was convicted of raping and robbing a transgender person in St. Paul.

Demetrius Jermaine Miller, 33, was given a 23-year sentence for the rape charge and four years for aggravated robbery, reported KSTP-TV.

The Star Tribune reported that Miller decided to represent himself before Ramsey County District Judge Rosanne Nathanson.

The victim, a 27-year-old woman transitioning to become a man, testified about being beaten, robbed and raped in an alley behind a gas station in the 1300 block of W. University Avenue, reported the Star Tribune.

"As God is my witness: I am innocent. There is no way I would rape a girl who looks like a man," Miller said to Nathanson in court, according to the Star Tribune.

Minneapolis police investigate 17 fires

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by Sarah Harper

Seventeen fires were set in a south Minneapolis neighborhood over four hours Friday night, authorities said.

Garages, vehicles and bags of leaves were set ablaze between 8:30 p.m. and 12:30 a.m. in the area whose borders are West River Parkway, Snelling Avenue South, 32nd Street East and 45th Street East, reported KSTP-TV.

Most of the fires were sparked with leaves, according to the Star Tribune.

No arrests had been made late Saturday, reported the Star Tribune. KSTP reported that the Minneapolis Arson Squad is investigating the fires.

Police suspect arsonists were responsible for the Longfellow neighborhood fires. Forty Minneapolis police officers in 20 squad cars came to the area to search for suspects, according to the Star Tribune.

University of Minnesota lion research

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by Sarah Harper

An ecology professor at the University of Minnesota who wants to share millions of images of lions in Tanzania turned to "crowdfunding."

Craig Packer has been funded mostly by the National Science Foundation. To get the rest of the money, Packer relies on the public to make small donations through the SciFund Challenge online, reported the Minnesota Daily.

Packer set up more than 200 cameras in the Serengeti National Park in Tanzania. He wants to send the lion pictures back to the University, but can't because of a lack of internet access at the research station, according to the Star Tribune.

Researchers at the University have been doing research on lions for more than 45 years.

The images of the lions at Serengeti National Park will help scientists understand more about how they behave with each other, according to the Minnesota Daily.

Packer hopes that the public becomes excited about the project.

(Note: the Star Tribune story and the Minnesota Daily were written slightly differently, but the Star Tribune's did not contain any original reporting.)

Maplewood police warn residents after abduction attempt

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by Sarah Harper

A 12-year-old girl walking home from school Wednesday was asked to get in an unknown man's large, white van in Maplewood, Minn., police said.

Maplewood police are warning residents to look out for the man who got out of the van on Manton Street near Robinhood Park at around 2:30 p.m. and asked the girl to get in, reported the Pioneer Press.

The Star Tribune reported that the girl ran to the Gladstone Community Center about a block away. The man drove after her but turned around.

The man was described as a thin white man with light-colored hair who is about 6 feet tall, according to the Star Tribune.

The Star Tribune and the Pioneer Press provided the following instructions for anyone with information: call Maplewood police during business hours at 651-249-2600 and after hours, call the Ramsey County Emergency Communications Center at 651-767-0640.

Occupy MN restricted by winterization

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by Sarah Harper

In light of winter's approach, officials put new restrictions on protesters at the government plaza in downtown Minneapolis Friday.

Hennepin County Officials announced Wednesday that crews will begin winterizing the plaza, where protesters have been camping out for 26 days as part of the national Occupy Wall Street movement, reported KSTP.

Protesters will not be allowed to sleep overnight once temperatures fall below 25 degrees or significant amount of snow falls, according to Fox 9 News.

The number of portable toilets in the plaza will be reduced from seven to three and the signs that protesters have put up will have to be taken down.

KSTP reported that the water in the plaza will be shut off.

Fox 9 News reported that protesters said their rights are being violated by the county's restrictions.

University of Minnesota invests in wind energy

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by Sarah Harper

The University of Minnesota turned on its new wind turbine Tuesday in Rosemount, Minnesota.

The 2.5 megawatt wind turbine is located at the university's new Wind Energy Research Station at UMore Park, according to KARE.

The Minnesota Daily reported that the station comprises a meteorological tower, which collects data on the wind velocity, turbulence and weather conditions.

This project is the result of a $7.9 million grant from the U.S. Department of energy. Partnering companies and the University contributed $3.4 million.

Jeff Marr, a lead researcher for the wind energy station, said the new technologies will increase wind energy's efficiency, reported the Minnesota Daily.

Plymouth artist wins federal duck stamp honors again

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by Sarah Harper

A Minnesota artist's painting will be turned into a federal duck stamp, the U.S. Fish and Wildfre Service said Saturday.

Joseph Hautman of Plymouth has won the Federal Duck Stamp Art Contest three times, according to the Star Tribune.

The Fish and Wildlife Service pours the money raised by the federal duck stamp into conserving the wetlands for wildlife and people.

Hautman's wood duck painting will go on sale in late June 2012, reported the Star Tribune.

The Republic reported that Hautman painted a green-headed wood duck. The second place went to a South Dakota man, Adam Grimm.

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