Recently in Local Category

A Rochester man was sentenced to 14 years on Monday after pleading guilty to three robberies at gunpoint of McDonald's, Paul Walsh reported.

Christian Alexander, 25, was sentenced in federal court in St. Paul for robbing a McDonald's in Byron, Rochester, and Winona. In total, Alexander and his accomplices nabbed less than $6,500.

The first robbery occurred September 19, 2010 in Winona. The Rochester and Byron robberies occurred within 11 days of each other in June 2011.

Following the Rochester robbery, police traced Alexander back to his home where they found him sitting in his car, which had money on the floor, guns and ammunition, and several McDonald's bags.

His accomplices have not been identified.

Star Tribune by Paul Walsh

Man Shoots Ex-Wife, Self In Standoff With Deputies

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A Pine County man shot and wounded his ex-wife and then turned the gun on himself Wednesday night, Paul Walsh reported.

Police received a call around 9:15 p.m. and arrived at the home at the 29200 block of Sunny Hill Road between Pine City and Hinckley, where the ex-husband was standing on the front deck. Retreating inside, he held a gun to his head and threatened to kill himself. Following two hours of police attempting to diffuse the situation, the man fatally shot himself.

The events occurred near the 29200 block of Sunny Hill Road between Pine City and Hinckley. Names of the man and woman have not yet been released because the relatives have not been notified. The cause of the shooting is also not released.

Star Tribune by Paul Walsh

Air Pollution Alert Issued for Rochester, Minn.

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Officials issued a health alert Saturday regarding air pollution in the southern part of Minnesota, Associated Press reported.

According to the Minnesota Pollution Control Agency, the alert will last from Saturday afternoon until Sunday at noon.

Monitoring stations have begun noticing high levels of fine-particle pollution in the area. When the levels get too high, people that are sensitive to air pollution will being to feel chest pain and have difficulty breathing.

Air quality should improve by Monday due to an expected cold front, officials said.

Post Bulletin
by Associated Press

Suicide Call Sends Officer Into Ambush

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A Cold Spring police officer was fatally shot Thursday evening when responding to a report of a suicidal person, Larry Oakes reported.

Officer Tom Decker, 31, was shot and killed behind Winners Sports Bar after responding to a call about a suicidal person at a Main Street apartment around 11 p.m. Decker died on the scene because, according to witnesses, he had been shot in the face.

Police have arrested Ryan Michael Larson, 34, on suspicion of murdering a police officer. He was a resident in the apartment above the sports bar and is also a co-owner with his parents, Oakes wrote.

Decker leaves behind a wife and four children.

Star Tribune by Larry Oakes

Local Teacher Receives Award For Excellence

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A St. Paul teacher won $25,000 after receiving an award for excellence in teaching on Friday, Anthony Lonetree reported.

Steve Abenth, 37, was recognized as an "elite educator" after accepting the 2012 Milken Educator Award. He is currently a fourth-grade teacher and the choir director at Highland Park Elementary School.

In an effort to maintain secrecy and surprise, Abenth was brought to the school's auditorium for what he was told would be a celebration of student achievement when the news was announced, Lonetree wrote.

"He's the best teacher in the world!" Abenth's son said as his father was being interviewed.

Star Tribune by Anthony Lonetree

Body Of Shooting Victim Found In Minneapolis Alley

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A body of a man who had been shot was discovered in south Minneapolis early Wednesday morning, Randy Furst reported.

After a report of the sound of shots being fired near the 2100 block of 10th Ave. South, Minneapolis police arrived at the scene around 3 a.m..

"The victim had apparent gunshot wounds," Police Sgt. William Palmer said in a news release.

The identity of the victim will be released by the Hennepin County Medical Examiner's Office.

Star Tribune by Randy Furst

New Path Connects Rosedale, U's St. Paul Campus

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A path for walking and biking connecting Rosedale and the University of Minnesota's St. Paul campus was opened on Thursday, Tim Harlow reported.

After a year of working to make better opportunities for biking and walking in local areas such as Roseville, Lauderdale, and Falcon Heights, the Northeast Suburban Campus Connector trail saw its grand opening.

The trail is paid for by Bike Walk Twin Cities, with a funding of $1.3 million, and $330,000 coming from local funding. Among the many features of the new trail is the addition of bike lanes, wider sidewalks, and new traffic signals.

Star Tribune by Tim Harlow

Man Allegedly Uses Sword to Kill Mom, Nephew

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A local Minneapolis man allegedly used a sword to murder his mother and nephew on Monday, Abby Simons reported.

A criminal complaint filed Wednesday stated that Ishmael Roberts, 22, calmly walked into his mother's home in north Minneapolis and killed his mother, Beatrice Wilson, 57, and nephew, Peter, 14, with a samurai sword, Simons wrote.

Police say that the injuries on the two victims indicate that they put up a fight.

"They had multiple lacerations, and the lacerations they had were indicative of a struggle and a vicious fight," said Minneapolis Police Capt. Amelia Huffman.

Police are hinting at mental illness as a possible cause for the tragedy.

Four People Wounded In Minneapolis Club Shooting

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A shooting occurred, injuring four people, Saturday morning at closing time at a Minneapolis nightclub, Nicole Norfleet reported.

According to Sgt. Steve McCarty, two men and two women were shot at the Red Sea Bar and Restaurant at approximately 2 a.m. The bar is located 320 Cedar Ave. S.

Bouncers were attempting to remove a crowd of people with pepper spray when someone opened fire, Norfleet reported. The victims' injuries were not life threatening

Star Tribune by Nicole Norfleet

An explosion occurred at an Albert Lea family's home on Sunday, Sarah Stultz reported.

Cathy Rofshus told reporters that her husband, Ronald Rofshus, was experimenting with chemicals beneath their driveway when it caused an explosion. Rofshus credited her 10- and 12-year-old children for saving his life.

The children called 911 and were able to follow the dispatcher's instructions for how to apply towels to Ronald Rofshus's wounds.

Authorties are currently investigating the explosion and determining whether criminal charges apply.

Albert Lea Tribune by Sarah Stultz

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