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University of Minnesota President Eric Kaler announced Norwood Teague, currently the director of athletics at Virginia Commonwealth University, as the lone finalist for the athletic director position, the Pioneer Press reports.

The position was held for the past 10 years by Joel Maturi, who announced in February that he would be retiring.

Teague, 46, has more than 20 years of experience in intercollegiate athletics and has held his current position at VCU since July 2006, the Pioneer Press reports.

According to the Pioneer Press, Teague was one of about 40 candidates to interview for the position in a national search.

The Washington Post reports VCU's athletic annual fund has grown more than 119 percent under Teague. He has also led the campaign to build a $10 million practice facility for men's and women's basketball and other sports, the Washington Post reports.

Viking stadium plan still alive

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The possibility of a new Vikings stadium in Minnesota has been brought back to life after a 8-6 vote in the Senate on Friday, the Pioneer Press reports.

The vote came just hours after NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell met with Gov. Mark Dayton and other legislative leaders, according to the Pioneer Press.

"We're very pleased with the progress," said Vikings vice president Lester Bagley. "It's been an up-and-down week."

The stadium bill proposal was shot down in the House in a 9-6 vote last week, the Star Tribune reports.

According to the Star Tribune, a NFL executive said last week that the lack of progress on a stadium was creating "ripe'' conditions for the Vikings to be sold and moved.

Under the plan approved Friday, the Vikings would pay $427 million while the state would add $398 million, the Star Tribune reports. Minneapolis would contribute $150 million to construction costs. The team would also contribute $327 million to the stadium's operation, and the city would add another $189 million.

St. Paul man gets 12 years for setting teen on fire

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Curtis E. Reed, who set his girlfriend's son ablaze after an early-morning altercation in their St. Paul home last summer, was sentenced Thursday in Ramsey County District Court to 12 years in prison, the Star Tribune reports.

Reed, 55, pleaded guilty as charged on March 2 to first-degree assault on Antoine Willis, the Pioneer Press reports. Ramsey County District Judge Rosanne Nathanson called the attack "senseless and unconscionable."

The victim, Antoine Willis Jr., then 19, had been asleep when Reed sprayed him with lighter fluid and lit him on fire, according to the Star Tribune.

Willis attended the sentencing, but did not speak to the judge or with reporters afterward. He had scarring on the left side of his neck, but he appeared in good physical condition, the Star Tribune reports.

The Pioneer Press reports Reed apologized to Willis on Thursday, saying, "I made a stupid mistake."

Heroin use is up in Twin Cities

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A recent article in the Star Tribune reports heroin deaths in the Twin Cities made a large increase last year as the drug grew more popular and potent.

Heroin-related deaths nearly tripled in Hennepin, Ramsey and Anoka counties in 2011, prompting sheriffs in the Twin Cities area on Thursday to issue a public plea for help in combating growing use of the drug in the area, the Albert Lea Tribune reports.

"We don't want to see heroin claim more lives and we don't want another year with huge numbers like that," Hennepin County Sheriff Rich Stanek said. "And even one death, of course, is way too many."

According to the Star Tribune, new test results showed that heroin purchased in the Twin Cities is 93.5 percent pure -- the highest potency in the nation.

"You don't know how strong it is until you get high," 21-year-old Will Connell said. "And then it can be too late. It's just one of the easier drugs to overdose on."

Connell is a former heroin user who has been sober for 20 months, the Star Tribune said. Analyzing his own pathway to heroin use, he said it is important to stop young teens from abusing drugs that are easier to access.

"It all starts with people being more conscious about prescription pill abuse," Connell said.

The Star Tribune reports Minneapolis police ordered Occupy movement activists to take down their tents at a downtown plaza on Saturday night, causing protesters to march through busy streets and block traffic. Later, police arrested about 15 people for public nuisance and impeding traffic.

Activists left the Peavey Plaza near Orchestra Hall in Minneapolis, carrying tents and stopping cars from moving across the intersection of 10th Street and Nicollet Mall, according to the Star Tribune.

Police had asked the activists to dismantle their tents at Peavey Plaza because it violated a city public nuisance ordinance.

The group of roughly 60 people eventually reassembled at Loring Park, where they had also set up a gathering spot, the Star Tribune reports.

Saturday marked the six-month anniversary of the Occupy Minneapolis movement, and organizers plan to occupy both locations Minneapolis throughout the spring and summer, WCCO News reports.

Gopher football player Gary Tinsley dead at 22

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Gary Tinsley, a recent University of Minnesota football player who dreamed of turning pro after graduation this spring, was found dead in his Minneapolis dormitory room Friday morning, the Pioneer Press reports.

Authorities are treating the death of Gophers linebacker Gary Tinsley as "suspicious," University of Minnesota Police Chief Greg Hestness said at a press conference this afternoon, City Pages reports.

Hestness says there was nothing about the scene to suggest a crime had been committed, but "the death of a young athlete is out of the ordinary."

According to the Pioneer Press, Tinsley's roommate found him about 7:40 a.m. on the floor of their room in Roy Wilkins Hall, not breathing, and called for help. Police officers and medics responded but could not revive Tinsley, who was pronounced dead at the scene about 8:15 a.m.

"It's a very, very sad day for our football program and for our young men," Gophers coach Jerry Kill said at a Friday afternoon news conference. "We lost one of ours today in Gary Tinsley, who I know is in a good place."

Tinsley was a senior at the University of Minnesota, originally from Jacksonville, Florida. He played linebacker for the Gophers since 2008, and has started every game for the past two seasons. Tinsley was just weeks away from graduating, City Pages reports.

Synthetic drug lab busted in St. Paul

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The Star Tribune reports Ramsey County authorities say they busted the first synthetic drug lab in the county, and possibly the state, on Thursday.

Thousands of dollars' worth of drugs were found in the apartment of a 32-year-old man and a 23-year-old woman. A 4-year-old that was living with the couple has been placed under the care of protective services.

According to the Pioneer Press, the apartment covering the entire second floor of a building at 101 Douglas St., above an antiques store, contained chemicals shipped from China, grain alcohol and ether.

The suspects were taking prescription drugs and turning them into "club drugs," using ether, paint thinner and grain alcohol to alter them, the Star Tribune reports.

In the Pioneer Press article, the county sheriff's office spokesman Randy Gustafson said that the duo was using high-grade chemicals. "It wasn't like your dirty meth-lab operation," Gustafson said.

Charges have not been filed, and the case probably won't be forwarded to the county attorney's office until the Bureau of Criminal Apprehension tests are complete, according to the Star Tribune.

A semi-trailer truck collided with a train in northwestern Minnesota, killing the truck driver and derailing at least one rail car, the Star Tribune reports.

The accident occurred near the town of Plummer, FOX 9 reports. Plummer is in Red Lake County southeast of Thief River Falls.

No members of the train crew were injured, the Star Tribune said.

According to the Star Tribune, Canadian Pacific spokesman Ed Greenberg says the derailed car was carrying bunker oil, a fuel oil used aboard ships.

FOX 9 reports residents within a one-mile radius of the crash site were evacuated about 8 a.m. because of the oil leakage. The evacuation order was lifted about two hours later.

Motorist falls to his death during police chase

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A motorist being chased by police crashed his pickup truck on a St. Paul overpass near downtown early Thursday and then fell about 50 feet to his death, the Star Tribune reports.

According to the Star Tribune, St. Paul police identified him as Keith A. Johnson, 38, of Apple Valley. Johnson died of multiple injuries from the fall.

The chase began in Maplewood shortly after midnight and ended in a crash on the Highway 52 bridge just south of downtown, WCCO reports. Police still don't know if he was ejected from the car or if he jumped from the bridge.

The Star Tribune reports Maplewood Deputy Police Chief Dave Kvam said the pursuit began when Johnson did not signal a turn.

Supplier of fatal drug receives 10 year sentence

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Timothy LaMere agreed in court Thursday to a state-maximum 10 years in prison for supplying the synthetic drug that killed his close friend at a party in Blaine last year, the Star Tribune reports. LaMere was charged with felony third-degree murder last March.

LaMere, 22, spoke briefly about how he ordered the substance online but didn't know it was illegal, the Star Tribune reports.

The Pioneer Press reports Trevor Robinson, who was 19, ingested a white powder hallucinogen called 2C-E at a party the night before St. Patrick's Day last year. He died hours later from an overdose.

10 others who took the substance, including LaMere, were also taken to the hospital, the Pioneer Press reports.

LaMere told Anoka County District Judge Alan Pendleton he understood what he was admitting to and that he knew it meant he likely would be in prison for 10 years. He is set to be sentenced in May.

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