Recently in Local News Category

A newborn baby will have to endure a year of medical tests for HIV and hepatitis after he was breastfed by another new mother because he was accidentally put in the wrong bassinet on Wednesday at a Minneapolis hospital, ABC News reported.

The mix-up occurred at Abbott Northwestern Hospital when Tammy Van Dyke's newborn son, Cody, was accidentally put in the wrong bassinet in the nursery. "You put your baby in the nursery, not even 48-hours old, and you think they're safe," Van Dyke told ABC News today. "I'm holding it together. I'm just in disbelief, and it was like I was in a dream, a bad dream, and I couldn't get it to stop," ABC News reported.

Van Dyke, 40, from Apple Valley, put her son Cody in the nursery Tuesday night for one final night before she planned to take him home on Wednesday. At some point during the night, the baby was accidentally brought to the wrong room and breast-fed by a different new mom before the hospital realized the mistake, the StarTribune reported.

Van Dyke said "Cody and the other woman, who had given birth to twins, were given blood tests to make sure they were not exposed to any infectious diseases, such as hepatitis or HIV, that can be transmitted through breast milk. All the tests were negative, she said -- but Cody will have to be retested every three months for a year," the StarTribune reported.

Hospital spokeswoman Gloria O'Connell said the tests were "just a precaution," but declined to elaborate because of patient confidentiality, ABC News reported.

The hospital issued a public apology Wednesday, acknowledging the error and saying that its own safety procedures apparently "were not followed in this case," the StarTribune reported.

A 4-year-old boy accidentally shot and killed his younger brother Wednesday afternoon while playing with their father's handgun in the family's Minneapolis townhouse, police said, the StarTribune reported.

Around 12:45 p.m., police responded to reports of a shooting at 1907 7th Street South, Sgt. Steve McCarty confirmed. The police officers who arrived at the scene discovered the toddler suffered from a critical gunshot wound, MyFox9 reported.

Police said 2-year-old Neegnco Xiong died after his brother found a loaded handgun in a bedroom, and the gun discharged while he was handling it. Paramedics tried to revive Neegnco, but he died in an ambulance at the scene, said Minneapolis police Sgt. William Palmer, who called the shooting "a horrible accident" and a reminder to safely and properly store firearms, the StarTribune reported.

Homicide investigators have been assigned to the case and are interviewing the parents, but no arrests have been made. Once complete, the investigation will be referred to the Hennepin County Attorney's Office for possible charges against the parents. In Minnesota it is a crime to store a loaded gun where a child would be able to get access to it. Family members say they don't know how the boy found the handgun because his father kept it hidden on a shelf in the closet, MyFox9 reported.

Palmer said both parents were home at the time of the accident. Three of the couple's children, a 1-year-old, a 4-year-old, and a 5-year-old that was not home at the time, are now in protective custody, MyFox9 reported.

The Animal Humane Society seized dozens of horses from a farm in Fillmore County because of severe animal cruelty toward the horses at the farm, MyFox9 reported.

"When investigators arrived on the property, they found horse carcasses "all over the place" and removed 55 horses, ponies, and donkeys because of health concerns and grotesque conditions, including lack of shelter." This is one of the state's largest cases of cruelty toward horses that the Animal Humane Society is investigating, MyFox9 reported.

Several of the horses who were thought to be in the most critical conditions were brought to the University of Minnesota Large Animal Hospital in St. Paul for examination. The county prosecutor will review the results of the exams to decide whether criminal charges should be filed and, if so, what kind. The horses who were not taken to the St. Paul hospital were transported to the Fillmore County Fairgrounds in Preston. Four of the horses were in such bad conditions that they had to be euthanized on Friday morning, StarTribune reported.

"I'm very sad this would happen in the first place, and it makes me angry that it has," said Drew Fitzpatrick, of Minnesota Hooved Animal Rescue. "The best way to deal with it is to assist the animals, to give an apology from the human race they deserve and to prosecute," MyFox9 reported.

Charges have not been filed against the owner of the animals, but investigators say that as soon as next week the owner could face animal cruelty and neglect charges, StarTribune reported.

A man admitted killing two teenage cousins who broke into his home in LIttle Falls on Thanksgiving Day, the StarTribune reported.

Bryon Smith, 64, shot and killed Nicholas Brady, 17, and Haile Kifer, 18, in the basement of his Little Falls home after they allegedly broke in. Smith, a retired U.S. State Department employee shot, told authorities that he shot the cousins in self-defense, CBS reported.

"Smith told authorities that when he saw Brady inside his house, he fired at the teenager and then shot him again in the face after he fell down. Smith said as he was dragging Brady's body into his workshop, Kifer came down the stairs and he shot her multiple times. He dragged her into the room and as she gasped for air, he fired what he described as a "good clean finishing shot" under her chin "up into the cranium," the complaint said," CBS reported.

There are many questions about the unnecessary force that Smith took against the teens. One question includes "how a man trained to prevent intrusions by terrorists and spies into U.S. embassies had become the victim of multiple break-ins at his property, the last ending in tragedy," the StarTribune reported.

Bruce Smith, the brother of Bryon Smith, said his brother had never seen killing during his job. A State Department spokesman said that Smith retired in 2006 from his job protecting embassies and consulates, StarTribune reported.

"Deputies discovered the bodies of Brady and Kifer on Nov. 23 after Byron Smith called a neighbor, asking about a lawyer and letting the neighbor know that he should call authorities," the StarTribune reported.

On Monday, Smith was charged with two counts of murder, CBS reported.

A third former teacher from Shattuck St. Mary's School is being charged with allegedly molesting a student while working at the school, Kare11 reported.

Authorities said Joseph Carol Machlitt allegedly molested a 14-year-old boy during the summer of 1980 when he was working as an art and photography teacher at Shattuck, Kare11 reported.

Dan Gudmundson, Faribault's Police Chief, says the victim, no 46, decided to come forward to police after the investigation of another former Shattuck faculty member, drama teacher Lynn Seibel, was launched. The alleged victim told investigators that 63-year-old Machlitt took him back to his apartment after he took him to the emergency room to get his head checked out after he hit on the side of the pool, Kare11 reported.

The alleged victim told police that back at Machlitt's apartment, he fell asleep on the sofa: "When he awoke, Machlitt was massaging his legs, according to the criminal charges. That progressed to Machlitt's touching the boy's genitals and performing oral sex on him, the charges say," the StarTribune reported.

In the complaint, the victim said he didn't tell anyone until he was 29, and he talked to a couple therapists about it. If Machlitt is convicted, "he'll face a presumptive sentence of 24 months on the third-degree charge and a 21-month stayed sentence on the attempted fourth-degree charge, under Minnesota sentencing guidelines in effect in 1980," the StarTribune reported.

After crashing her car in Anoka, a 41-year-old woman has been charged with drunken driving and endangering a child, KSTP reported.

Reports say before the car crashed, it was not only weaving, but it also went into a ditch twice. The crash happened on Saturday Afternoon on Nov. 17 near County Road 9 and 184th Lane Northwest, KSTP reported.

The car was on fire when emergency responders arrived at the scene. "Witnesses had helped pull the woman out of the driver's seat, and an 8-year-old child in the back was able to escape on his own," according to the criminal complaint. Dockter told authorities she was on her way to pick up her other child in St. Francis, KSTP reported.


The complaint said that police and emergency responders noticed Dockter had bloodshot and watery eyes and smelled of alcohol. Dockter allegedly admitted to having some drinks. At some time during the incident, Dockter allegedly said, "Why do I keep drinking?", ABC Newspaper reported.

The complaint said Dockter was taken to Mercy Hospital to be checked out for possible injuries and to have her blood drawn for a toxicology test, ABC Newspaper reported.

Tonia Rae Dockter was charged with second-degree and third-degree DWI and endangerment of a child. All three charges are gross misdemeanors. The complaint alleged that Dockter was also convicted of DWI in 2011, ABC Newspaper reported.

Authorities say two children were killed and two other people were injured when a pickup truck drove over their tent early Sunday morning at a North Dakota campground, Kare11 reported.

The Highway Patrol says the children, two boys ages five and nine, were killed when truck driver lost control of his truck while trying to get around a curve in the Hahn's Bay Campground at Lake Metigoshe. The truck also injured a man and another 9-year-old boy before crashing into a tree, Kare11 reported.

The patrol identified the injured man as 28-year-old Juan Ruiz of El Paso, Texas. The patrol says Ruiz suffered serious injuries and was flown to a Minot hospital. The 9-year-old boy suffered minor injuries. The identities of the children have not been released; the patrol has only identified Ruiz, Kare11 reported.

The truck driver has been identified though as 30-year-old Juan Acosta of Newburg. Prosecutors say they have charged Acosta. Swain Benson, a Bottineau County prosecutor, said Acosta is being "charged with two counts of manslaughter, two counts of reckless endangerment, one count of unauthorized use of a motor vehicle, and drunken driving," CBS reported.

The Minot Daily News reported that Acosta only received minor injuries from the accident. The two passengers in Acosta's truck were not hurt. Acosta is expected to appear in court on Tuesday, CBS reported.

After allegedly being assaulted by her mother's boyfriend, Investigators say a toddler from Minneapolis, may now need a permanent tracheotomy to breathe or have to suffer through life as a quadriplegic, Kare11 reported.

Police have charged 22-year-old Eric Paul Boone with first degree assault in the alleged attack. The attack happened on Oct. 26 at the 2400 block of Logan Avenue N. After getting a call about a child not breathing, police were dispatched to the location. When police arrived at the home they said they saw first responders attending to the 21-month-old female victim. "Medical personnel had to manually breathe for the victim as she was unable to breathe on her own." Police were told that Boone, the boyfriend of the toddler's mother, had been caring for the toddler, Kare11 reported.

After paramedics examined the victim and realized there were signs of swelling and bruising around the toddler's eye, chin and around her neck, she was immediately taken to North Memorial Medical Center. Officers said Boone told them he had been sleeping with his girlfriend's newborn and the victim when he woke up to discover the toddler wasn't breathing. Boone said he rushed upstairs to tell others in the residence to call 911, Kare11 reported.

A child protection investigator learned three days later that Boone had thrown the toddler on the bed. The investigator said Boone became enraged with the girl after she feel out of his hands while he was walking down the stairs with her, so he angrily threw her on the bed. The second time police interviewed Boone, he said he became angry with the toddler and threw her on the bed "like a sack of potatoes," the StarTribune reported.

Medical specialists say the victim's injuries could be a result of being thrown on the bed by Boone or be a result of other violent acts. The toddler's doctors say she suffered a cervical spinal cord injury that was most likely from the assault, the StarTribune reported.

Authorities have not yet released the names of the victim or her mother, the StarTribune reported.

A former pastor of a St. Paul church has admitted to possessing child pornography and sexually abusing two boys, the PioneerPress reported.

On Thursday in Ramsey Count court, Curtis Wehmeyer, 48, plead guilty to having child pornography and molesting two boys while he was working as a pastor at The Church of the Blessed Sacrament on St. Paul's East Side. In the summer of 2010, Wehmeyer was accused of exposing himself to one of the boys and sexually abusing the other. After the church's authorities became aware of the allegations against Wehmeyer, he was removed from his position at the church in June, the PioneerPress reported.

Wehmeyer is being accused of committing criminal sexual conduct when he was working and living as the parish pastor of the Catholic church where he worked. He allegedly molested two brothers, ages 14 and 12. "He said he would plead, and I'm just glad he kept his word," the boys' mother said outside the courtroom, the StarTribune reported.

The sexual abuse occurred in the summer of 2010 in Wehmeyer's camper trailer in the church parking lot. The complaint reported that he took the two brothers into his trailer where he showed them pornographic movies. He also allegedly provided the brothers with marijuana and alcohol and then exposed himself to one of the boys and molested the other, the StarTribune reported.

Wehmeyer plead guilty to the possession of child pornography and 20 charges related to criminal sexual conduct. "Each of the 17 child porn counts is punishable by up to five years in prison and/or a fine of up to $5,000. The earlier charges included not only second-degree criminal sexual conduct but also two counts of gross misdemeanor fifth-degree criminal sexual conduct." He will be sentenced in February and prosecutors will not be offering him a deal, the StarTribune reported.

Police have canceled the Amber Alert for the 17-month-old who was abducted from St. Louis park after she was found safely with her non-custodial father in Blaine, Minn., Kare11 reported.

George Rutledge, 31, is in custody for abducting Nahla Sky Rutledge. Sky was found safely with Rutledge by police in a Blaine home around four in the morning on Friday. Police were able to find Rutledge after receiving a tip from someone regarding his whereabouts, Kare11 reported.

The Amber Alert was issued Thursday night around 7:30 p.m. after Sky was abducted from her St. Louis Park home. Authorities said Rutledge allegedly assaulted the toddler's mother while kidnapping Sky at gunpoint. The Associated Press reported that Rutledge allegedly also "used a pistol to threaten the lives of the mother and the toddler," the Pioneer Press reported.

When the Amber Alert was issued, the Minnesota Bureau of Criminal Apprehension reported that Rutledge was possibly "armed and dangerous." "The Amber Alert said Rutledge was seen driving away from the 1300 block of Jersey Avenue in St. Louis Park driving a tan 1998 Ford Expedition with a temporary registration sticker on its back window," the Pioneer Press reported.

Currently, Rutledge is facing possible charges of assault and kidnapped. He is being held in the St. Louis Park, the Pioneer Press reported.


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