Recently in Local News Category

University of Minnesota student, Benjamin Van Handel, who had been in a coma since Friday morning from a hit-and-run incident last week, died Thursday afternoon, reported the Minnesota Daily.

According to the Minnesota Daily, Van Handel was one of three students hospitalized, after a car going the wrong way down Fifth Street Southeast hit two groups of pedestrians.

According to a statement from a spokeswoman for Hennepin County Medical Center, Van Handel passed away with his family and friends by his side, reported the Star Tribune.

Van Handel suffered a servere brain injury and broken bones, while the others who were also struck had only minor injuries, reported the Star Tribune.

Teen suicides stir two families to action

Two distraught families gathered Thursday in search of the strength to speak out, after the families' 14-year-old southwestern Minnesota girls jointly committed suicide on Saturday, reported the Star Tribune.

The Marshall-area eighth grader Paige Moravetz and her best friend Haylee Fentress took their lives together, and Tricia Behnke and Joel Deruyck, the mother and stepfather of Paige Moravetz, searched for the signals that they missed along the way, according to the Star Tribune.

According to the Marshall Independent, the superintendent of the Marshall School District, Klint Willert, gave a public statement on Monday, in response to the deaths, and said that it was important that the community be allowed to grieve.

Willert said school administrators and staff have communicated with the girls' families in order to respect their wishes and privacy, reported the Marshall Independent.

Wild drama party gets Hastings musical canceled

HASTINGS, Minn.-- Hastings High school's spring musical has been canceled, after a drama club party got out of control, reported WQOW News.

The school district would not say exactly what happened at the drama club party that took place in late March, but according to the Pioneer Press, there was no alcohol or drugs involved, and there was no bullying or hazing, according to school officials.

According to Superintendent Tim Collins, around three dozen students attended the party on a Saturday night held at a drama club member's house. There was no school staff supervision present at the gathering, reported WQOW News.

The Pioneer Press reported that the party was a celebration after one-act play performances and a welcome for new club members. The Monday following the get-together students approached administrators about the happenings, which apparently had gotten out of control in some way.

St. Paul man killed after breaking up bar fight

A St. Paul man was shot and killed Wednesday morning on the city's North End for breaking up a bar fight between other patrons, reported the Star Tribune.

According to the Pioneer Press, four men total were arrested for 26-year-old Trevell Glass's death and a 28-year-old man was also injured in the North end shooting.

Thirty-one-year-old Byron Brantley is accused of shooting Glass, after Glass and a friend stepped in to try and break up a fight between Brantley and other bar patrons at Born's Bar, reported the Star Tribune.

According to the Star Tribune, Brantley was charged with second-degree murder and attempted second-degree murder on Thursday in Ramsey County District Court.

According to the Star Tribune, the number of sexually transmitted diseases in Minnesota rose to a record level in 2010, with new syphilis infections almost doubling and chlamydia cases at an all-time high.

According to the Star Tribune, state health officials could not exactly explain the cause for why the number of sexually transmitted disease cases went up so much, an estimated 5 percent since 2009.

According to the Pioneer Press, the report showed an increase in the number of chlamydia cases, which especially alarms health officials because that disease, if not treated, shows little symptoms and can lead to infertility.

Additionally, the report showed that syphilis jumped to a 30-year high of 347 cases, which also leaves health officials worried and uncertain, reported the Pioneer Press.

A St. Paul man charged with stealing more than 20 mounted animal heads, along with tools and equipment from the Minnesota Department of Natural Resources was sentenced Thursday, reported the Pioneer Press.

Timothy Heidenreich, 39, could potentially serve 21 months in prison if he violates any terms of his five-year probation, which was ordered by County District Judge Rosanne Nathanson, according to the Pioneer Press.

Nathanson also ordered Heidenreich to pay $8,204.74 in restitution to the DNR, which could be split up between the other two defendants involved in the case, reported the Star Tribune.

According to the Star Tribune, the St. Paul police connected Heidenreich to the criminal complaints from the DNR's metro storage facility, after he was seen stealing a tomato from the Washington County Courthouse cafeteria.

Lawmakers set to unveil Vikings stadium bill next week

The Vikings stadium bill, which is backed by two leading GOP lawmakers, got a lukewarm response from legislative leaders of both parties on Friday, reported the Star Tribune.

According to the Star Tribune, the bill, which is set to be presented next week, and any discussion of public subsidies for a new stadium will have to take a back seat to the continuing debate over the state's budget.

The Republican lawmakers in a letter to the Vikings, said that to other lawmakers the bill is secondary to the state budget debate, but still very relevant with the Vikings' Metrodome lease soon ending and the collapsed roof, reported the Pioneer Press.

According to the bill summary, a new stadium authority would pick a Twin Cities site and own and run the new stadium, reported the Pioneer Press.

City of Mpls. to tend to pothole problem

Almost $1 million was additionally put aside on Friday to speed up pothole repairs, which is very much needed on many Minneapolis streets, according to the Star Tribune.

Workers should be patching the streets up as soon as Tuesday, thanks to the approval of extra money by the City Council, reported the Star Tribune.

According to the Minnesota Daily, Mark Bridden, a co-owner of Como Imports, said that they have seen an increase in the number of cars needing service from pothole-related repairs.

Bridden said the worst incident he has seen this year was during the last week of February, when a University of Minnesota student hit a pothole so hard that both tires on the right side of her car blew out, also bending the right-side wheels, reported the Minnesota Daily.

U.S. Sen. Amy Klobuchar said that she will bring forth legislation on Monday that intends to preserve evidence of military sexual trauma incidents, in hopes of addressing one of the biggest problems facing the armed services as more women continue to enlist, reported the Star Tribune.

Klobuchar's bill is intended to assist victims of sexual assault and trauma in the military, and to allow research into military sexual assault and harassment, also known as MST, Military Sexual Trauma, according to the Star Tribune.

The Minnesota Democrat says that people in the military reported over 3,000 sexual assaults in 2009, which is 11 percent higher than the previous year, reported The Republic.

According to The Republic the new legislation will help the victims who may not report the sexual assault case immediately, but who seek benefits and treatment for it afterward.

4-year-old boy dies in snow plowing accident

An Akeley father accidentally backed over his 4-year-old son and killed him while plowing snow on Thursday, according to the Star Tribune.

According to relatives, Kyle Vredenburg was riding his bicycle towards the area where his father was plowing, when his sister tried to call him back closer but it was too late, reported the Star Tribune.

A family relative said Ron Vredenburg, Kyle's father, had always stressed the importance of safety around equipment, and said that he was moving snow quite a distance from the house, reported Duluth News Tribune.

"The family wants to stress that this was an accident...a very sad and tragic accident," said Marv Vredenburg, brother of Ron Vredenburg, according to the Duluth News Tribune.

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