December 9, 2007

Minnesotan woman among 2 killed in Colorado

According to the Star Tribune, a Minnesotan woman was among two of the staff member killed at a missionary training center in Arvada, just outside Denver, by a man who was upset after being told he couldnt stay the night.

Another shooting occurred just 12 hours later in Colorado Springs at a megachurch, just 65 miles away. The two incidents are not said to be related, but authorities aren't ruling it out.

According to the Pioneer Press, two others were injured and the gunman is said to be at large.

The shooting occurred at 12:30 a.m. at the Youth with a Mission Center.

Police identified the Minnesota woman as 26-year-old Tiffany Johnson and 25-year-old Phillip Crouse of Alaska.

Two men, who were also staff members, were injured and taken to the local hospital. One of them is said to be in critical condition. Their names have not yet been released. They are 22 and 23 years old.

Witnesses told police the gunman was a 20-year-old white male, wearing a dark jacket and skull cap. He may have glasses or a beard.

Vikings win Sunday's game

According to the Star Tribune, the Minnesota Vikings celebrated their fourth win on Sunday beating the San Francisco 49ers 27-7 and Adrian Peterson didn't have much to with it.

Defensive lineman Kevin Williams had an interception in the game's first play and scored a touchdown and Chester Taylor had an 84-yard scoring run, contributing to the victorious win.

The Vikings (7-6) made their way closer to the NFC playoff picture after they had a 27-0 lead by halftime.

Adrian Peterson was at an all time career low by game's end with 3 yards on 14 carries.

The 49ers shouldn't have been hard to beat with a current record of 3-10.

According to the Pioneer Press, Robert Fergusan caught a touchdown pass from Travaris Jackson, who passed for 163 yards.

The Vikings moved into the sixth spot for the NFC playoffs.

Chester Taylor's touchdown run was nothing short of dynamic, making the third longest in franchise history, and a bulk of his 101 yards rushing.

December 1, 2007

Missing refinery employee

According to the Pioneer Press, authorities searched for a St. Paul Park refinery employee Saturday night and some believe he may be injured or dead after a fire broke out earlier Saturday morning.

The man, whose name has not been identified, clocked in as usual at the Marathon Petroleum Company Refinery but was not accounted for after the tank fire ended.

We know that he was at work," Bob Behr, the refinery's human resources manager, said. "When people come into work, they have to scan into the plant so that if there's an emergency we can account for all individuals. We also know he didn't leave because he would have had to scan out."

The fire started about 8:30 a.m. and was declared out by 9:30 a.m. The fire was contained in a 10,000 barrel fuel oil tank.

No injuries were reported, Washington County Sheriff's department officials said.

The company will conduct a formal investigation to determine the cause of fire, but employees did say they heard an explosion.

The impact was minimal because the fire was confined and nothing indicates it had any environmental impact.

According to the Star Tribune, the barrel contained about 8.000 gallons of fuel oil and it wasn't immediately clear if production would be affected.

According to the Marathon company website, the plant has won several awards for workplace safety in recent years.

The employee was still missing around 5 p.m. Saturday evening.

Red Wing man claims Hot Lotto Jackpot

According to the Star Tribune, a Red Wing man the Nov. 21 jackpot for the Hot Lotto and opted to take the $4.4 million cash option.

After tax withholdings, Jerome Cody's net winnings are $3,025,867, lottery officials said in a news release.

Cody bought his ticket at Freedom Valu Center in Red Wing. He said he stops in there twice a week for gas before heading to work in Hastings.

Erickson Oil, the parent Company of Freedom Valu Center, received a $10,000 bonus for selling Cody the winning ticket.

According to the Pioneer Press, the jackpot was totaled to be worth $7.1 million dollars at the time the numbers were announced Nov. 21.

On Thanksgiving morning, Cody stopped back in the store and asked the cashier to scan his ticket. A printed message indicated the prize was too large to redeem at the store and when the clerk printed the winning numbers, they realized that Cody had the winning ticket.

Cody is Minnesota's sixth jackpot winner since Hot Lotto debuted in 2002.

November 18, 2007

Chester Taylor bring Vikings to a win

According to the Star Tribune, Adrian Peterson stood on the sidelines in a sweat suit and watched Chester Taylor impressively lead the Minnesota Vikings in a 22-29 victory over former Vikings player Daunte Culpepper and the Oakland Raiders.

Peterson was restricted to play in Sunday's game due to a knee injury from last week's game against the Packers. Taylor did his best to match Peterson's performance with 22 rushes for 164 yards.

"I ain't the one to start no controversy," Taylor said. "I knew I could do what I did in the game. I'm going to play hard no matter what, and if I get the opportunity I'm going to take advantage of it."

Matt Birk, another teammate, said Chester has been overshadowed this year with Adrian Peterson and that he'd take him on his team anytime. "He runs hard. He fights for every last yard he can get."

According to the Pioneer Press, Taylor had three touchdowns and 202 total yards and the Vikings turned the ball over four times during the first half of the game.

Taylor, smaller than Peterson, played just like him until Peterson fell to the Vikings on the draft board last spring.

He touched the ball eight times in the first quarter and picked up five first downs. He also scored his second touchdown on a 38-yard scamper to make it 19-13 Minnesota midway through the second quarter.

The Vikings revived themselves in Sunday's game after an embarrassing loss to longtime rival Brett Favre and the Green Bay Packers.

Two dead in mobile home fire

According to the Star Tribune, two people died Saturday in North Mankato in a mobile home fire that started after an explosion occurred.

Neighbors rushed out of their homes to see Shawn and Beth Marxen's mobile home in flames.

The fire department arrived at 114 Kingsway Drive and removed the two bodies out of the home after putting the fire out.

Neighbors broke several windows in the home and attempted to rescue the people inside but the thick smoke restricted them from helping.

The bodies have not yet been identified and the investigation has started to determine the cause of the fire.

According to the Pioneer Press, several 911 calls were received at North Mankato Police at 1:25 a.m. Saturday.

he rear of the residence was engulfed in flames when firefighters arrived at the Camelot Mobile Home Park.

Two bodies were recovered from the charred mobile home.

Autopsies were being conducted, and authorities said the fire was under investigation.

November 11, 2007

Packers declare victory of Vikings in Green Bay

According to the Pioneer Press, the Packers declare yet another victory Sunday after beating the Vikings 34-0 and roughing up rookie running back Adrian Peterson.

Peterson injured his knee late in the third quarter after catching a pass from quarterback Brooks Bollinger and being tackled bycornerback Al Harris.

Peterson was escorted to the bench and medical examiners looked at his knee. He did not return back to the game.

The Vikings (3-6) were hoping to declare this game, especially after Peterson broke a record last Sunday in a victory over San Diego carrying the NFL-record rushing yards to 296.

According to the Star Tribune, Peterson wasn't the only one feeling a little off balance in Sunday's game. Brett Favre, quarterback for the Packers, took an elbow the head in the third quarter and reported feeling woozy once he stood up.

But that didn't stop him from driving his team to another glorious win. "I don't want to say it was a concussion, I'm not a doctor," Favre said. "But I was a little woozy when I stood up. I was well aware of what was going on, but I was a little light on the foot."

Favre passed yet another milestone in Sunday's game joining Dan Marino in the only NFL quarterbacks ever to thre over 60,000 career yards.

November 9, 2007

Police Officer dies after being hit by squad car

According to the Star Tribune, a police officer died Friday after being hit by a squad car in the line of duty on Nov. 1.

Mark Berinard, 34, a Minneapolis Park Police officer, was on foot chasing a suspect when a squad car had struck him in the alley, which was also pursuing the suspects.

After being admitted to the hospital, Bedard suffered from a collapsed lung, several broken bones, and a torn aorta. During surgery, his heart had stopped twice causing him to have a stroke.

This is the first time in the department's 100 years that an officer died in the line of duty from a traumatic incident. Bedard was a 12-year veteran of the park force.

According to the Pioneer Press, Bedard was pronounced dead around noon Friday.

November 1, 2007

Suspect charged with killing Katherine Olson

According to the Star Tribune, Michael John Anderson has been charged with 2nd-degree murder for killing Katherine Ann Olson who disappeared Thursday after accepting a nanny job she found on Craigs List.

Olson arrived at a Savage home expecting to babysit from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. after being hired by "Amy" from the nanny ad she answered.

When she arrived at the run-down house, she was met by Anderson who got her upstairs to his bedroom and reportedly shot her in the back with a .357 Magnum handgun, dragged her downstairs and tied her ankles together with twine.

Olson put her in the trunk of her car and parked the vehicle several blocks away, where police authorities found it later that day.

Olson also put her crushed cell phone in a bloody towel that had his name written on it and threw it into a nearby garbage can.

He was charged Tuesday by the Scott County court. He had told police at one point that somebody else killed her and that another friend thought it would be funny. He also, at one point, told police he witnessed her being killed.

His bail is set at $1 million.

According to the Pioneer Press, Olson's first hearing is scheduled for Nov. 16 at 8:30 a.m., and told police he had no contact with Olson even though cell phone records show that he had.

At a press conference, authorities said Anderson seems to be the only one involved in the killing and that they don't have a motive yet. The investigation is still continuing.

The maximum sentence for Anderson's current charge is 40 years in prison, but charges could change once he goes before a grand jury.

Mankato student drinks herself to death

According to the Star Tribune, Amanda Jax died in Mankato Monday after what police say was due to drinking herself to death, but official cause of death is unknown. Police officials are not surprised by this and have actually expected something like this to happen soon or later.

Matt Westermeyer, deputy director of public safety for Mankato, said that binge drinking has been a problem for sometime now.

He also added that other college towns have the same problem and mentioned other situations in which students had to face deadly consequences from their unruly behavior after drinking.

Jax, from Meyer, was found dead in the morning after her 21st birthday celebration, in an apartment neary Minnesota State University, Mankato. Her friends had brought her there after a night of drinking.

Police said it "appears that alcohol played a significant role in the death of Ms. Jax" after she "became quite intoxicated."

Services for Jax are scheduled for 11 a.m. Friday at St. Boniface Catholic Church in St. Bonifacius. Visitation is from 4-8 p.m. today at the Johnson Funeral Home in Waconia and one hour prior to Friday's service at the church.

According to the Mankato Free Press, Jax had been convicted of alcohol-related offenses in two separate counties, both in 2005 and 2006.

The university, in the past, has promoted decreasing drinking on or around campus and new programs have been so far sucessful.

This incident has reawoken the Health Services department at the university and further steps are going to be taken into yet again trying to prevent drinking.

October 28, 2007

Woman dead, could be cause of online nanny ad

According to the Star Tribune, Katherinne Anne Olson could be dead because she answered the wrong nanny ad on the popular website

Olson, 24, was found dead in the trunk of her car Friday night a few block away from a park in Burnsville. The St. Olaf college graduate had answered several online ads for nanny jobs previously and didn't believe it to be unsafe.

Her friends were the last to see Olson on Thursday morning when she was on her way to meet someone in Savage about a nanny job.

A 19-year-old Savage man is in custody at the Scott County Jail and police officials believe they have the right suspect. They also believe he was the one who placed the ad.

The name of the suspect has not been released but he was arrested at work at the Mpls./St. Paul International Airport.

According to the Pioneer Press, her parents said they believed the ad was placed by a newly married couple who had recently moved to the Twin Cities.

Officials say this homicide is unusual because there doesn't seem to be a connection between the victim and murderer, a common characteristics of most homicides.

Police were called after someone had found a purse that was later identified as Olson's in the garbage can at the park. Officials had called her home and left a message saying they had her purse.

Poiice immediately shifted gears after receiving a phone call from Olson's roommate saying she hadn't seen her since Thursday morning.

A "significantly bloody towel" was found in the garbage can when police went back to look for further clues and other search teams were called in to try and locate Olson.

A helicopter swarming the area noticed a car parked just a few block away from the park and that's where the body was found.

Olson graduate Phi Beta Kappa and summa cum laude last year and was a double major.

"The world has just lost a wonderfully intelligent, talented young lady," said her father, "who would have made such a significant contribution had she been given time to do that."

October 26, 2007

First Ward conduct candidate forum and discuss light-rail project

According to the Star Tribune, the two candidates for St. Paul's First Ward met Thursday to discuss several issues, including new plans for the light-rail, a billion dollar project.

Debbie Montgomery, the incumbent, and Melvin Carter III spoke about the changes that would occur if they took the city council seat.

Both Montgomery and Carter have connection to the ethnically and economically diverse community that is about to gain some major construction as the Central Corridor light-rail project begins to unfold.

At the meeting, both parties said that residents and businesses of the First Ward need to start planning and preparing for the project starting now.

According to the Pioneer Press, the light-rail to be constructed is going to run along University Avenue.

Montgomery vowed to the 100 people at the meeting that she has the experience to do the job and discussed her plans.

"There's a whole lot of negotiation that has to go on in this city to get things done," she said.

Carter told the forum he didn't think Montgomery or the city have done enough to minimize the effect of the employment and economic loss once the construction begins, but he said it would be his top priority if he were to be elected.

October 21, 2007

Teenage boy goes on shooting rampage inside home

According to the Pioneer Press, a teenage boy from Hudson fired over 100 shots from inside his home Saturday while police surrounded the property.

The 15-year-old boy began around 9 PM after his parents left for the movies. Close friends of the boy's called police saying he was threatening suicide.

When authorties arrived at 269 Troon Court, an upscale neighborhood of Hudson, the boy was firing from two shotguns and a .22 caliber-pistol. The standoff lasted more than three hours and finally gave after authorities convinced the boy to stop.

According to the Star Tribune, no one was injured and the boy was taken to a nearby hospital for a mental health evaluation.

Authorities did not fire back at the boy as it was clear he was not aiming for police.

He surrendered at 12:30 a.m., Saturday.

October 19, 2007

3 dead in car crash in Scott County

According to the Star Tribune, three people are dead after an early morning accident Friday that involved two vehicles and a trailer on I-35 in Lakeville.

The names of the three victims have not been released.

The male driver, 20, from Minnetonka was traveling northboundwhen their Ford Taurus hit the rear of a semitrailer truck. He lost control and ran into the median and veered into the southbound lane where it was hit by another vehicle.

The driver's mother, 46, and a 22-year-old girl, both from Mound, were taken to Regina Hospital in Hastings where they died.

The drivers of the two other vehicles were not injured.

According to the Pioneer Press, the Ford Taurus was hit head-on when it veered into the southbound lane.

A stretch of I-35 was closed for more than three hours as crews tried to clear the scene, WCCO said in a report.

October 13, 2007

Suspect arrested in connection with light-rail kidnapping

According to the Star Tribune, a 20-year-old man was arrested Friday in connection with the kidnapping and rape of a woman at a light-rail stop in Minneapolis Oct. 4.

The St. Paul police arrested the man, who has no permanent address, and is currently being held in the Hennepin County Jail, though no formal charges have been sustained.

The woman was waiting at the 38th Street platform around 1:55 a.m. when a man held a gun to her back and forced her into a nearby laundromat. It was there that the man had beaten and raped her. He also stole her purse.

The victim was treated at a nearby hospital.

This is the first abduction since the trains first began operating in 2004.

According to the Pioneer Press, the man held in custody is 28 years old.

Authorities say the suspect is expected to be charged with first-degree criminal sexual conduct, kidnapping and aggravated robbery.

Police say the 44-year-old woman was forced into an apartment building and that video surveillance helped in finding the suspect.

October 10, 2007

Drug suspect caught after police chase

According to the Star Tribune, a drug suspect is recovering at the hospital Tuesday after the St. Paul police chased him into a Minneapolis neighborhood and shot him after the man fired shots at the officer and a trained narcotics dog, who was hit and sent to the hospital.

The suspect, Hector C. Aguilar, 41, of Bloomington, was sent to Hennepin County Medical Center after being shot in the hand and the buttocks and is now listed as satisfactory condition.

The dog underwent surgery at the University of Minnesota Veterinary Medical Center after being shot in the front right paw. The dog is recovering and is in stable conditions.

Officers were waiting for the drug suspect at the corner of West 7th and Davern Streets, where the man was expected to be carrying drugs.

Aguilar showed up with a second man and quickly fled after seeing police.

He led police on a chase west into Minneapolis, to Chicago Avenue and East Minnehaha Parkway, where the man's truck crashed into another vehicle after turning onto Minnehaha. The driver of the other vehicle was injured, but not seriously.

The suspect took off and the police officer and his police dog began chasing him on foot. The suspect fired them, hitting the dog. The officer then fired back striking the man.

According to the Pioneer Press, shots were being fired as the German Shepherd was closing in on the suspect. After the dog was shot, it took the man to the ground.

The dog, Rico, was shot two times and is a multiyear veteran of the force. It is said that he will survive.

St. Paul police spokesman Tom Walsh declined to identify the suspect, saying only that he had a criminal record that included a $100,000 warrant for his arrest on a charge of drug possession with intent to distribute.

Walsh would not release the identity of the officer involved in the shooting, saying only that he was at least a 10-year veteran. The officer will be on paid administrative leave while the shooting is investigated.

October 6, 2007

Two are dead after head-on collision during traffic

According to the Star Tribune, two men were killed in a rush-hour collision Friday after on U.S. 61 in Maplewood.

Timothy Jones, 24, from Oakdale, was driving southbound on U.S. 61 near Beam Avenue apparently lost control of his vehicle and started driving on the other side of the road towards oncoming traffic.

Jones collided head-on with Kong Vang, an 18-year-old Linwood man.

Both men died and Vang had two teenagers in his vehicle, ages 15 and 16, but only sustained minor injuries.

Vang apparently colided into a third vehicle being driven by a 58-year-old woman. No injuries were reported on her behalf.

According to the Pioneer Press, the state patrol reported that Jones had alcohol in his system.


October 4, 2007

Students mistake meth for candy at school

According to the Pioneer Press, a 14-year-old girl admitted Wednesday to bringing crystal methamphetamine to school and giving it to other on Tuesday.

Seven students, including the girl at Hazel Park Middle School in St. Paul were sent to nearby hospitals after taking the meth. Her house was searched and authorities found about two grams of the drug.

The girl is being held at the Ramsey County Juvenile Detention Center and will remain there until her Oct. 10 court date. She has pleaded guilty to second-degree sale of a controlled substance in a school zone, a felony.

Officials said the fate of the girl will most likely be up to a judge and her background will be taken into consideration.

All the students were released from the hospital after being treated on Tuesday.

According to the Star Tribune, the students who ingested the drug were all around 14 years old and because the drug they took is usually smoked, it appears that at least some of the kids didn't know what they were doing because they had eaten it.

All seven students are suspended from school until further notice and some, if not all of them, may receive further consequences said Principal Coleman McDonough.

Other students at the school said they heard the girl told classmates that the drug was candy.

As of Wednesday, no other arrests were made in the case.

October 1, 2007

Favre sets record during Vikings game

According to the Star Tribune, Brett Favre, quarterback for the Green Bay Packers, set an NFL world record today during the first quarter of Sundays game while playing the Minnesota Vikings.

Favre became the all-time leader in career touchdown passes throwing his 421st pass to Greg Jennings. To win, and get this behind us, is a great feeling," Favre said. The Packers are now 4-0 after Sunday's game and Favre is playing the way he used to when he was an MVP (Most Valuable Player).

The game ended 23-16 with the Vikings stats at 1-3.

According to the Pioneer Press, former teammate Darren Sharper had one in the first quarter that was wiped out by a penalty. He congratulated Favre after the game that left the frustrated Vikings 1-3. The Packers joined the Dallas Cowboys as the NFC's only undefeated teams.

This victory at the metrodome is the first in five games.

Two teens in rollover accident weren't found until morning

According to the Star Tribune, two teens were found in Itasca County the morning after they were in a rollover car accident. Both were thrown from the vehicle Friday night.

John S. Xiong, 18, who lives in St. Paul, drove a Honda Prelude and was heading west on Hwy. 2 near Swan River along with passenger Bee Vang, 18, of Newport. Swan River is located150 miles north of the Twin Cities.

Both victims were sent to the hospital and the drive Xiong was air lifted to St. Mary's Hospital in Duluth as he had serious injuries.

According to Pioneer Press, both victims were listed as being in good condition as of Saturday night. Authorities also stated that alcohol was found in both men.

September 23, 2007

Girl, 12, recovering from being shot

According to the Star Tribune, a girl, 12, was shot in the head on Saturday in Minneapolis while walking home from a party and is now in critical condition at the Hennepin County Medical Center. This event raises concerns from officials about the link between youth and violence.

"The ages of the people being shot and the ages of the shooters has gone down over the past four, five years," said City Council Member Don Samuels.

The criminal activity of youths have declined according to Police Chief Tim Dolan, but there still have been recent incidents involving violent acts. Officials have not ruled it gang related.

According to the Pioneer Press, the name of the girl was not released Saturday but the Hennepin County Medical Center said the girl, who is in critical condition, is named Vernice Hall.

Apparently, the girl, who lives with her parents, was at a party for her brother. While leaving shortly after midnight, witnesses said they heard eight or nine shots fired. One witness said he saw a bunch of 17-, 18-year-old boys crouching down behind bushes about a block away from the party.

Police said the girl's wounds are "very grave," but they would not comment on a possible motive for the gunfire and said no arrests had been made Saturday night.

Minnesota man receives silver star

According to the Pioneer Press, Staff Sgt. Chad Malmberg of the Minnesota National Guard was awarded the silver star for his curageous acts during an ambush south of Baghdad last January.

More than 30 insurgents ambushed him while he was commanding five gun trucks escorting a convoy. During the 50 minute battle, he had jumped out of his truck under gunfire to throw grenades at the enemy to protect himself and the civilian drivers.

At the end of the battle, Malmberg and all 20 of the drivers, including their trucks, were not harmed.

According to the Star Tribune, his ceremony was held on Saturday where he was awarded the silver star, the fourth-highest military decoration available to a member of any branch of the U.S. military.

"Anybody who is there when their country calls upon them and is willing to go overseas and serve their country is a hero," Malmberg said.

The 27-year-old University of Mankato student is the first since World War II to receive this outstanding medal of honor.

September 16, 2007

Gun fired at Target Center

According to the Pioneer Press, a man was shot Saturday night at the Target Center where the WFC World Fighting Championship was being held. Bystanders say they saw the gunman fire the gun at the top of a stairwell and then saw a man fall down the stairs immediately after. A Minneapolis police officer said the victim ran off untreated. No one was taken into custody.

According to the Star Tribune, reports stated that no one was hit by the gunfire and that the gun went off after an argument occurred between two men.

September 15, 2007

14-year-old boy in surgery after being run over

According to the Pioneer Press, a 14-year-old W. St. Paul boy was hit by a car Friday while riding his bike to school. Fernando Hernandez is now sedated after surgery this afternoon and Leutenant Brian Sturgeon of the W. St. Paul Police Department said more surgeries are possible in the near future.

Hernandez was just two blocks away from his school at the intersection of Bidwell Street and Moreland Avenue when a car proceeded through the 4-way intersection and struck him.

According to the Star Tribune, Sturgeon said the female driver was not cited and didn't appear to have broken any traffic laws. The school is now reviewing safety rules with students.