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April 22, 2009

Man Jailed After Trying to Lure two Edina Children Into His Car

A 21-year-old man was arrested Wednesday after allegedly trying to lure two Edina girls into his car, Star Tribune reports.

The Fairbault man approached one girl, 8,and then another asked them if they would get in and lead him to Concord Elementary School, authorities said.

Both girls refused, went home, and alerted their parents around 3:30 p.m. district spokesman Doug Johnson.

The man is currently in custody pending charges.

Several witness saw the man trying to lure the children into his school. One witness followed the man to read his license plate before calling the police.

The man was arrested shortly after by police on suspicion of attempted kidnapping.

The man claims he was merely trying to find directions home and had stopped to ask another man as well. No man has stepped forward as of this time, police said

The man has a criminal record including burglary and assault.

April 12, 2009

Elko New Market Disband Police Department

The Elko New Market city council voted Thursday to dissolve the city's police department, the Star Tribune reports.

In a 3-2 vote city officials decide to dissolve the city's entire police department in favor of contracting with the Scott County Patrol to save money for city residents, KTSP reports.

The hope is to keep costs low over time Council Member Bob Hanna said.

In bulking up its police department the city also sliding toward a campaign for a nice new police building, the kind that has cost neighboring towns many millions of dollars, Hanna said.

Some city officials did question the responsibility of the decision, showing that contracting with Scott County would cost the city more than keeping the current department.

Little details have been discussed with Scott County Patrol and establishing a contract could take months, Sheriff Kevin Studnicka said.

"Right now we don't have two deputies to free up so those deputies will have to be additional hires," Sheriff Studnicka said.

He also added that the city does not meet the requirements to make a contract with the patrol.

"The fact that three council members went ahead and voted without any plan in place to get rid of the police department, it's just irresponsible," said Ken Sulich, an Elko New Market resident.

April 10, 2009

Co-Creator of D&D Dies

David Lance Arneson co-creator of Dungeons & Dragons, a game that started millions of adventures and countless batles, died Tuesday in St. Paul, the Star Tribune reports. He was 61.

The game's website, wizards.com, said Arneson died Tuesday evening after "waging one last battle against cancer," CNN reports.

Arneson and Gary Gygax created Dungeons and Dragons in 1974, which became one of the best-selling games of all time. Players in the game battle monsters and solve mysteries using in a fantasy setting.

Arneson was a history student at the University of Minnesota where he developed an interest for recreating historical battles. Along with Gary Gygax and John Perron, Arneson created a game where one player was represented by one avatar who quested through dungeons, which eventually became Dungeons & Dragons.

April 5, 2009

Missing Twin Cities Girl Suspected in Texas with Boyfriend

A missing Crystal girl, 13, is suspected to be in Texas with her boyfriend, 27, and a warrant has been issued for his arrest, KSTP reports.

Jose Alberto Rueda-Abrego of the Twin Cities and the girl, whose name is being withheld, have been in a relationship said Crystal Police Lt. Dave Oyaas, the Star Tribune reports.

The girl's family reported he missing Wednesday and they believe the relationship was the reason two took off.

Police said the girl was last seen Tuesday morning with Reuda-Abrego in a borrowed truck, that was found unoccupied in Austin, Minn., Wednesday.

Oyaas said authorities have determined that Rueda-Abrego was in Texas on Wednesday. The two are expected to be together.

A warrant was issued Thursday for Reuda-Abrego's arrest.

3 Winona High School Student face Theft Charges

Three Winona High School Students have been charged with stealing over $1300 of cash and goods from gym lockers, the Star Tribune reports.

The three members of the WSHS have not been arrested, but will appear in Olmsted county court April 20, to face charges of felony theft, felony receiving stolen property and petty misdemeanor damage to property, Winona Daily News reports.

Police were called to John Marshall High School in Rochester when nine students reported missing items.

Authorities one student implicated the others after stolen items were found in his back pack.

March 27, 2009

St. Thomas Student Died in Mexico

The family of a St. Thomas University student Josh Gunderson who died in Mexico Tuesday are searching for details of there son's death, which is being investigated as an accident in Mexico, the Pioneer Press reports.

Officials with the American Consulate General in Guadalajara said Gunderson died early Tuesday morning.
Manuel Banuelos, a spokesman at the consulate, said that Gunderson was with two other Americans when he possibly fell and hit his head according to unofficial reports, the Star Tribune Reports.

The family's lawyer has been having difficulty contacting the families of Ashley Jones, 18, and Zachary Jensen who were staying in the Puerto Vallerta resort with Gunderson.

"We want to make sure it was just an accident. We just want some reassurance that that was the case," Brian Gunderson, Josh's uncle. said. "They haven't made any contact with us yet, and that to me is not right."

Mexican police are investigating the incident as an accident and do not suspect foul play. However, they are investigating to determine what may have caused the accident.

Funeral arrangements have been made for Gunderson of Oak Park Heights. His family has also started a memorial fund in Josh's memory for players needing finacial aid to play hockey.

March 15, 2009

Two Children Shot in Fairview Park

A shooting in North Minneapolis Friday has put two children into the hospital, MSNBC reports.

The shooting took place near Fairview Park resulting in a 15-year-old girl being shot in the leg and and 10-year-old Truvontee McElroy being shot in the abdomen, the Star Tribune Reports. Both children were taken to hospitals with non-fatal injuries.

Police say the shots were fired a block away from the park and the children were not the intended victims. There were roughly 30 to 50 children in the park at the time.

"This is not fatal, which I think we're very fortunate more people were not injured tonight," says Minneapolis Police spokesman Bill Palmer.

Police have suspect information, but are not releasing it at this time.

March 13, 2009

Sleepy Eye Teacher accused of Sleeping with Student

An English teacher at Sleepy Eye High School in southern Minnesota was charged Thursday for criminal sexual conduct with a 16-year-old student, KSTP reports.

Calvin C. Cullom, 47, of New Ulm was arrested on Wednesday for third degree sexual conduct, accused of being an authority figure and having intercourse with a student at his house with the past weeks, the Star Tribune Reports. He was later released on a $25,000 bail.

The police department learned about the allegations on Monday from a tip from the public senior investigator David Borchert of the New Ulm Police Department said.

Investigators told KSTP that the two had been suspected of having a relationship between February and March.

Students reported that during this time the two had spent a lot of time together and that the female student had asked friends to cover for her so she could spend the weekend at Culloms.

March 8, 2009

Teen Girls Rob Taxi Driver at Knife Point

Two girls were arrested Tuesday after a cabjacking Monday in south Minneapolis and another attempted robbery of a taxi Tueday, reports the Star Tribune.

The girls, 17 and 15, are jailed and face felony charges according to police records.

The two girls robbed the first man late Monday and stole his van, leaving him stranded on the side of the road. They then tried to rob another man Tueday before noon. The man resisted and called police who apprehended the two girls.

The first taxi owned by Latino Americano Express Taxi was found abandoned at 7 a.m., unharmed. No one was injured in either incident, reports Fox 9 News.

Body Found Frozen in Golf Course Stream

Groundskeepers of an Anoka County golf course found a body frozen in ice near the 16th hole Friday, reports the Star Tribune.

The groundskeepers were inspecting the condition of the Majestic Oaks Golf Course when they discovered the body frozen in 2-feet of ice in a nearby creek, reports the Pioneer Press.

Initially it was thought that only a severed head had been discovered. Animals had taken a toll on the head, exposing the throat and making the body initially unidentifiable.

A steamer from the Anoka County Highway Department was used to remove the body from the creek Lt. Paul Sommer of the Anoka County Sheriff's Office said to the Star Tribune.

"There's no straight protocol for removing a body encased in ice, so we used the steamer rather than chipping it out," Sommer said.

Authorities believe the victim was a man based upon his clothes. A wallet was also found on the body, but remained frozen late Friday.

Sgt. Mike Longbehn of the Anoka County sheriff's department said that body could be linked to on of four missing person cases from the north metro/

Continue reading "Body Found Frozen in Golf Course Stream" »

March 1, 2009

UMD Consider Medical Amnesty

The University of Minnesota Duluth is considering a policy to limit legal ramifications to students seeking medical attention for other students with alcohol related illnesses, reports the Star Tribune.

Since the school year began 9 students and 4 visitors have been taken to the emergency room with problems caused by alcohol, only one was over 21, reports the Duluth News Tribune.

The university is aware that there are more cases that go unreported and untreated. They hope to increase the number of students seeking help by giving students some level of legal amnesty.

The proposal the university is seeking will encourage students to call an authority figure for help. Neither the student seeking help nor the afflicted student would be receive any legal punishments.

The university worked with 9 of the 90 colleges and universities with similar policies in developing their own policy which would take effect next fall.

The policy would only include those students living in university dormitories. Students would not be completely free of consequence for seeking help. The university may require chemical dependency evaluations for the ill student and education or counseling for those who called.

February 27, 2009

Boy, 5, Run Over by Bus

A Minneapolis boy, 5, was seriously injured Tuesday when a bus ran over over him after he slipped on the ice while waiting for the school bus with his mother reports the Star Tribune.

The boy was taken to Hennepin County Medical Center in critical condition, reports MPR. The injuries he sustained included a broken leg and a crushed pelvis.

According to the Star Tribune, the boy and his mother were waiting for the school bus that goes to Windom School. The two boarded a bus and were told by the bus driver they were on the wrong bus. As the two exited the bus the boy slipped on an icy path and fell below the bus as it pulled away.

Police Sgt. Bill Palmer told the Star Tribune that the incident was a freak accident.

"We're all Minnesotans, and we've all slipped on the ice. That's what this little boy did, and he went under the bus." Palmer said.

The Bbs driver said he was not aware that the boy had fallen below the bus as he pulled away.

No Charges are expected.

February 22, 2009

Mother and Daughter Indicted For Death in Day Care.

A Bloomington woman and daughter were indicted Thursday on charges of manslaughter for the death of a 22-month-old boy at the woman's day-care last summer, reports the Star Tribune.

Doris D. Meeks and Harmony S. Newman. were charged with three charges of manslaughter each for child neglect, child endangerment, and culpable negligence.

Demar Joseph-Amir Hicks as placed in a car seat in a play-pen for a nap on Aug. 28 at Mama D's Day Care on 10th Avenue South, reports the KTSP TV.

Police told the Star Tribune that Hicks was found unconscious with the seat belt buckle under his chin. He was revived by paramedics as he was taken to Fairview Southdale Hospital in Edina where he died two days later.

According to the indictment, Meeks had left Newman in charge of watching the 23 children while she went to run some errands. Meeks' license only allows her to watch up to 14 children at a time and requires two adults to be present at a time.

Meeks' license has been suspended and the county has shut down the daycare, reports KTSP.

February 18, 2009

Fire Temporarily Closes School

A fire that closed down Sleepy Eye, Minn., public schools is being investigated as vandalism, reports the Mankato Free Press

The Sleepy Eye Fire and Police Departments arrived at the scene around 2:45 Wednesday where there found a fire in the basement and smoke in the building. Police said vandalism appears to have cause the fire but the cause exact cause is unknown, reports the Star Tribune.

No one was hurt in the fire, but several adjacent rooms did receive minor damage.

February 15, 2009

Man Killed By Train in St. Paul

A 33-year-old man was found dead after being struck by a train late Saturday, reports the Pioneer Press.

Police Cmdr. Kevin Casper said a train operator reported around 11:00 p.m. that a man was laying on the tracks near Bush Avenue and Burr Street.

Police spokesman Peter Panos told the Star Tribune that the man was already on the tracks when he was struck by a train.

It is unclear why the man was on the tracks. The time the man was struck is still unknown.

February 13, 2009

Starbucks Closes, Spurs Protesters

Customers of the Main Street location of Starbucks in Stillwater are staging a rally Sunday to help keep the store open, reports the Star Tribune.

Kevin Thode, Starbucks regular, organized the Sunday's rally to stop the closing of the Main Street location. He is hoping that at least 200 people attend the rally.

"It might be a fool's errand" said Thode. "It still will be fun no matter what the results are."

Similar rallies have occurred in other cities since Starbucks began closing under-performing stores in July.

A spokeswoman for Starbucks said that the company does grant interviews for individual store closings. She commented that the company was humbled by the support the company was receiving and realized the effect the closing had on the community.

Two other Starbucks remain open in Stillwater along with two locally owned coffee shops on Main Street.

February 6, 2009

Eagan Principal in Trouble For Questionalbe Punishment

Discipline was proposed Thursday for an Eagan elementary school prinicipal who forced a 6-year-old student to unclog a toilet with his bare hands, Reports the Star Tribune.

Doug Steele, prinicipal of Rahn Elementary, has been on paid leave since December while the Burnsville-Eagan-Savage school district investigated the event. The district passed a resolution proposing disciplinary action against Steele. No specifics of his punishment have been announced, reports KSTP.

The boy's parents, Elijah and Shannon Hannah, said their Steele asked their son to unclog a toilet by hand which their son had accidentally clogged on Dec. 12. They said the boy had used the paper towels to clean himself.

Elijah Hannah described Steele as being apologetic for the event. He has not said the nature of the discipline or whether he plans to appeal the districts resolution, reports the Associated Press.

February 4, 2009

University Puts Garbage in Public to Raise Recycling Awareness

Student volunteers sorted through a load of garbage Wednesday to raise awareness about recycling on the University of Minnesota Campus, the Star Tribune reported.

A garbage truck emptied its entire load in of Coffman Memorial Union on the university campus Wednesday. Volunteers started to sort through the load of garbage in search of recyclable material shortly after. The effort hopes to increase the amount of recycling done on campus and decrease waster per student.

The Star Tribune reports that recycling efforts have been going on at the university for 25 years. Currently only 32 percent of waste at University is recycled.

Dana Donatucci, the director of university recycling programs hopes to increase that to 50 percent.

Wednesday's event and the university's recycling programs are part of the university RecycleMania effort. RecycleMania is a competition between university to reduce waste and increase recycling.

January 30, 2009

Three Women Sexually Asaulted on University Campus

Thursday night three female University of Minnesota students were sexually assaulted by a man on a bicycle, announced the University of Minnesota Police Department.

The UMPD announced Friday that three women were assaulted on the West Bank of Campus at approximately 8:30 p.m., Thursday. The suspect is still at large as the announcement.

Two women reported to the UMPD that a man touched them in the genital area.

The first victims said that a man on a red bicycle approached her from the rear, dismounted and touched her. The man the fled the scene.

Shortly after the first victim had been assaulted, the second victim was asaulted in a similar fashion in front of Wilson Library, also on the West Bank.

The second victim reported witnessing the man assault a third victim. A third victim has yet to come forward at this time.

According to the UMPD the suspect is described as a black male, aged 29 to 39, with a tall thin build. The suspect was wearing a green hat, brown coat, white tennis shoes and sunglasses.

January 29, 2009

Best Buy Makes Cuts

Best Buy said this Tuesday that they will have to use involuntary layoffs to further cut expenses, reports the Star Tribune. These cuts will affect those currently working at Best Buy's corporate headquarter in Richfield, Minn. This news comes after a voluntary layoff of 500 employees.

Best Buy announced the corporate layoffs through e-mails and meetings at their headquarters. Layoffs will begin on Feb. 19. The layoffs will only affect those working and the corporate store. No layoffs are currently planned for retail employees. No definitive number of upcoming layoffs have been announced at this time.

Anyone terminated by Best Buy will receive a severance package including six months pay and one year of medical and dental coverage.

The cuts aim to make up for consistent same store losses over the past several months, the Pioneer Press reported.

Best Buy will be joined by Minnesota based Target in making layoffs in the coming months.