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Macalester students protest Wells Fargo ties

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A group of Macalester students refused to leave administrative offices Tuesday after the college decided not to cut ties with Wells Fargo bank, Twin Cities Daily Planet said.

The group initially consisted of 15 students who entered Macalester President Brian Rosenberg's office, the Pioneer Press said. The crowd increased to 35 students by the evening, the Pioneer Press said.

Students told the Pioneer Press that Wells Fargo was the biggest forecloser in Minnesota. The Kick Wall Street Off Campus movement at Macalester accuses Wells Fargo of refusing to help homeowners, during the mortgage crisis, who are in foreclosure on their mortgages, the Twin Cities Daily planet said.

Students believe that community banks would be able to handle the relationship that the school currently has with Wells Fargo, and the switch would help the community, the Pioneer Press said.

"Kick Wall Street Off Campus," a student group on campus, also organized a rally outside a building on campus, which 80 to 90 students showed up in support of the cause, the Pioneer Press said.

The student group is associated with Occupy Homes MN, a group that fights foreclosures by large banks, such as Wells Fargo, the Pioneer Press said.

Two men who escaped from the Duluth Federal Prison Camp were arrested Friday, the Star Tribune said.

Gerald Greenfield and Michael Krzyzaniak fled the prison camp on March 30, and were found at a hotel in Burnsville Friday, the Pioneer Press said. Tips had led authorities to the hotel, the Pioneer Press said.

The inmates were discovered missing the night of March 30 during a routine head count at the prison, the Star Tribune said. The prison camp has no fence and operates on the honor system, the Star Tribune said.

They checked into the hotel, about 175 miles away from the prison camp, Sunday under an alias, the Star Tribune said.

The two were arrested on federal warrants of escape from custody, and booked at the Ramsey County Jail, the Pioneer Press said.

Both were booked at the prison camp on fraudulent charges, the Pioneer Press said.

Couple admits to $114B harrassment scheme

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A Brooklyn Park couple pleaded guilty Thursday to a $114 billion harassment scheme aimed towards public officials, the Star Tribune said.

Thomas Eilertson and Lisa Eilertson pleaded guilty to 12 counts of fraud each, the Pioneer Press said. The plot targeted prosecutors, a judge, a Hennepin County sheriff and other bureaucrats, the Star Tribune said.

The scheme started in 2009 when the couple's home was foreclosed, the Pioneer Press said. They began filing fake Uniform Commercial Code liens against those associated with their misfortune, the Star Tribune said. The couple said they received instructions on how to file the liens by someone online, the Pioneer Press said.

The case was referred to the Saint Paul police in February 2010 by the Hennepin County Sheriff's Office, the Star Tribune said.

The couple is scheduled for sentencing on June 7, the Star Tribune said.

Woodbury man charged with murder of 18-year-old girl

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A Woodbury man was charged with second-degree murder of an 18-year-old Saint Paul woman Friday.

Alberto Palmer,23, is accused with hitting Brittany Clardy in the head multiple times with a hammer, the Star Tribune said.

Palmer said he met Clardy on an online escort site, and met up for sex at his brother's home in Brooklyn Park, the Pioneer Press said. Palmer said they started to "tussle" and he choked her until she was unconscious, then hit her in the head multiple times with a hammer, the Star Tribune said. Palmer said he put the body in the backseat of her car, drove it to an apartment complex and returned back to the house to clean up, the Star Tribune said.

Clardy's mother reported her missing Feb. 12 and on Feb. 21 she was notified that their car had been towed to Columbia Heights lot, the Star Tribune said. St. Paul police found Clardy's body frozen in the backseat of the car covered by blankets, the Star Tribune said. The car had been towed on Feb. 13.

Investigators tracked Palmer from cell phone records, in which they determined he was the last one to contact Clardy's phone, the Star Tribune said.

Police documents show that they found what appeared to be blood soaked through several areas of the carpet at Palmer's brother's house, the Pioneer Press said.

Palmer is also wanted In Georgia on charges of assaulting three women that he met through online escort services, the Star Tribune said.

Clardy's parents said they weren't aware of her working as a prostitute, the Star Tribune said.

St. Paul man pleads guilty to killing his wife

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A St. Paul man pleaded guilty to pre-meditated first degree murder of his wife Friday.

Steven Johnson, 35, admitted to killing his wife, Mayna Johnson, and dismembering her body, the Pioneer Press said. Johnson was immediately sentenced to life in prison.

After Mayna Johnson told her husband that she was going to leave him and take their son, Steven Johnson went to the basement and took a few shots of vodka. Before returning upstairs he grabbed a loaded handgun, which he had stolen from Johnson's father, the Star Tribune said.

Johnson told his attorney that he grabbed the handgun to scare her, the Star Tribune said.

The couple continued to argue, and a few minutes later Johnson pulled the gun out and shot his wife in the temple, the Pioneer Press said. Johnson moved his wife into the bathroom and took their young son to Menards were he bought items to aid the cover-up of his wife's murder, the Pioneer Press said.

Johnson dismembered her body in their bathtub, put the pieces in garbage bags and stashed them in a friend's garage, which the friend had no knowledge of, the Star tribune said. Johnson admitted to his friend what he had done and the friend called the police, the Star Tribune said.

However, Johnson had gone through a series of actions of cover-ups, the Star Tribune said. He drove his wife's car to the park-and-ride lot and smashed her cell phone near the car to make it appear that she had been abducted, the Star Tribune said. He then reported his wife missing after co-workers texted him saying she never showed up to work, the Star Tribune said.

In exchange for Johnson's guilty plea the second-degree murder charge was dropped and the state agreed to not oppose attempts Johnson could make for early release after serving 30 years in prison, the Pioneer Press.

MnPass lanes approved by Saint Paul City Council

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Saint Paul City Council approved plans to add carpool lanes on Interstate 35E from Saint Paul to Maplewood and Little Canada.

The Minnesota Department of Transportation MnPass lanes would run from Pennsylvania Avenue to Little Canada Road. The construction would be expected to start in 2014 and end in 2015, the Pioneer Press said. The project proposal is waiting for further approval.

The express lanes will be free for bus riders and cars with two or more people. Single drivers can use them for a fee during rush hours, the Star Tribune said.

The project is expected to cost over $100 million, the Star Tribune said.

MnDOT officials believe it is an important connection between downtown Saint Paul and the northern suburbs, the Pioneer Press said. Reconstruction of the pavement between Maryland Avenue and Little Canada Road would also be a part of the project, along with a few bridges over I-35 East, the Pioneer Press said.

A football coach at Hill-Murray High School was arrested with 22 others during a prostitute sting Tuesday.

Coach Mark Mauer, 54, of Woodbury was arrested in Fridley and charged with a misdemeanor of soliciting prostitution, the Pioneer Press said.

"The sting was staged by undercover officers pretending to buy or sell sex via online sites," the Pioneer Press said.

Eighteen other men and four women were arrested in the two-day sting at LivINN Hotel on Central Avenue NE, the Star Tribune said. All the men have been charged with soliciting sex from a prostitute and the women with prostitution.

This was Mauer's first year coaching football at Hill-Murray, a private Catholic prep school in Maplewood. Mauer was a former coach at Concordia University of St. Paul. He was also a St. Paul City Council member for a brief time.

Man slaps crying 2-year-old on plane

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A 60-year-old man is being charged for allegedly slapping a crying toddler and uttering a racial slur on a plane from Minneapolis to Atlanta, the Star Tribune said.

Joe Hundley from Idaho allegedly slapped and uttered a racial slur at the son of a Minneapolis woman sitting next to him.

Hundley has been charged with simple assault. Hundley's attorney, Marcia Shein, said he is pleading not guilty to the charge, the Star Tribune said.

The toddler's mother, Jessica Bennett, said her son was crying from the change in pressure and she was trying to calm him down, the Star Tribune said.

Several passengers assisted Bennett after they heard derogatory language used, the Pioneer Press said.

A food fight erupted at Minneapolis South High school Thursday which escalated into a brawl involving hundreds of student and injuring several.

Staff called the police to break up a fight consisting of more than 200 students, which forced the school into a partial lockdown, the Los Angeles Times said.

When the police arrived they demanded the students to disperse. When the students did not listen, the officers sprayed mace in the air causing students to flee from the area, the Los Angeles Times said.

One staff member and three students were taken to the hospital for medical attention.

Although school district officials said they did not know what sparked the fight, parents and students believe it is the increasing racial tensions between Somali-American students and the others, the Star Tribune said.

Officers will review the surveillance cameras and charges will be filed from there, the Los Angeles Times said.

Water main ruptures in downtown St. Paul

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An underground water main in downtown St. Paul broke Friday night sending 1.75 million gallons of water onto the streets.

The 61-year-old water main broke on Wall Street, causing the city to advise residents not to drink tap water until it was tested, the Pioneer Press said.

By Saturday afternoon the city had changed the advisory to a boil-water advisory after finding no harmful chemicals, the Pioneer Press said. The city issued the boil-water advisory for safety, which would kill any harmful bacteria present in the water. The city also put tons of salt down to prevent dangerous ice from forming along the streets.

However, not only were residents affected, restaurants in the area were affected as well. Certain menu items weren't able to be served due to the advisory, the Star Tribune said.

Construction crews drilled into the ground on Wall Street to start replacing the pipe Saturday. The reason for the rupture is still undetermined, the Star Tribune said.

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