Recently in Local News Category

Police pull body from Mississippi River

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A homeless man died on Saturday after slipping into the Mississippi River, the Pioneer Press reported.

The man's friend alerted the police and firefighters after he saw him slip into the river, the Pioneer Press reported.

The incident occurred south of Gluek Riverside Park at Northeast 18th Avenue and Marshall Street Northeast, CBS reported.

The homeless man was intoxicated when he went into the river, the Star Tribune reported, but there is no clear indication of why he went in.

One of the firefighters recovered the body from about 15 feet away from shore, but the man had already drowned, according to CBS News.

Sheriff's spokesman Lisa Kiava said there is no indication of foul play, but "we investigate these things," CBS News reported.

Suspect in Cold Spring police officer death released

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Ryan Larson, the man accused of killing Cold Spring-Richmond Police Officer Tom Decker last week, was released without charges on Tuesday, Fox News reported.

Authorities released Larson, 34, after stating sufficient evidence had not been gathered to convict him, the Star Tribune reported.

"Our agencies have reviewed the investigative data collected thus far and must act within the time allotted by law, within the constraints of the law, and based upon the facts known at this time," said Stearns County Attorney Janelle Kendall.

Larson told the St. Cloud Times that the police have the wrong man. He said he was asleep at the time of the shooting.

"Basically, they have no evidence whatsoever that points in my direction," Larson told the St. Cloud Times in a phone interview.

Police have not yet found the shot gun that killed Decker, Minnesota Public Radio reported.

Larson told the police he had met Decker a few times while working as a bartender, the Star Tribune reported.

Cold Spring police officer killed in ambush

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A Cold Spring police officer was killed late Thursday after answering a call about a suicidal person, the Star Tribune reported.

Tom Decker, 31, was shot to death in what authorities are calling an ambush killing, the Huffington Post reported.

The shooter was identified as Ryan Michael Larson, 34, of Cold Spring, the Star Tribune reported.

Authorities received a call that Larson may be suicidal but were unable to get a response when they arrived at his apartment, the Huffington Post reported.

Decker and his partner returned to Larson's apartment one hour and 45 minutes later. Larson confronted the two officers upon their return and shot and killed Decker, the Star Tribune reported.

Decker had been wearing a protective vest, and authorities have not released where the bullets hit him, the Star Tribune reported.

Larson was the father of four children and had been on the police force for six years, according to the Huffington Post.

Little Falls man charged with Thanksgiving shooting

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A Little Falls man was charged on Monday for two teens that were shot and killed on Thanksgiving, Fox News reported.

The cousins, Haile Kifer, 18, and Nicholas Brady, 17, were allegedly shot by Byron David Smith, 64, according to Fox News.

Smith was charged Monday with two counts of second-degree murder, according to the Associated Press.

The cousins were shot during an apparent Thanksgiving Day break-in, the Associated Press reported. Smith allegedly shot Kifer several times as she made her way into his basement. After she fell to the ground laughing, Smith said he shot her several more times in the chest.

"If you're trying to shoot somebody and they laugh at you, you go again," Smith told investigators, the Associated Press reported.

Morrison County Sheriff Michel Wetzel told Fox News, Smith's actions exceed self-defense after the bodies were found on Friday.

Minnesota laws allow homeowners to defend themselves against intruders, the Associated Press reported. Smith said he believed the intruders may have had a weapon.

"The law doesn't permit you to execute somebody once a threat is gone," Wetzel said.

Teen denied confirmation for supporting gay marriage

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A Catholic teen from northwestern Minnesota was refused the sacrament of confirmation after posting a facebook picture against the marriage amendment, the Star Tribune reported.

Lennon Cihak, 17, was allegedly denied the religious rite of passage by Rev. Gary LaMoine of the Assumption Church in Barnesville, Minn. after seeing him online holding a sign in opposition of the marriage amendment, the Huffington Post reported. The amendment to define marriage as a union between one man and one woman was defeated on Nov. 6.

Shana Cihak, Lennon's mother, said she was shocked to hear about the decision and was told through a private meeting with the priest, the Huffington Post reported.
"I just thought it was wrong to single him out," his mother said.

Lennon said that though all of this, it hasn't affected his faith, the Forum reported.

"I don't want the church to be put down. I don't want the Catholic religion to be put down," he said. "It's just the way the priest has things running. He's so strict. He won't loosen up about things."

Police received a call that shots had been fired at Target Corporation's headquarters in downtown Minneapolis on Friday, the Star Tribune reported.

Police did not find any evidence of shots being fired after sweeping the building, the Pioneer Press reported.

A SWAT team and about a dozen squad cars were dispatched to 10th Street South and Nicollet Avenue after the call was received at around 11:30 a.m., the Pioneer Press reported. Police gave sounded the all-clear at about 1:30 p.m.

Some workers at the headquarters barricaded themselves into their offices once reports of the reported shots were received, the Star Tribune reported.

"We're all in a conference room. They had an announcement that there was a situation and we should go into a locked office," said Julia Brosz, a Target store planner who works in the downtown Retek Building.

Minneapolis Police Chief JaneƩ Harteau said workers may have mistaken noises in the duct work for shots, the Star Tribune reported.

Bachmann defeats Jim Graves

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Michele Bachmann defeated democratic challenger Jim Graves on Tuesday to continue representing Minnesota's 6th congressional district, the Huffington Post reported.

Bachmann won the race by just more than 3,000 of the 350,000 votes, according to the Washington Post.

Although there was talk of a recount, Graves conceded at 10 a.m. on Wednesday, New York Daily News reported.

After unsuccessfully running for the 2012 Republican presidential nomination, she faced a tough reelection campaign against Graves, the Huffington Post reported.

The Washington Post reported Bachmann releasing this statement,"It has truly been an honor and a privilege to represent the people of Minnesota's Sixth District in Congress, and I am humbled that they have placed their trust in me for another term."

Bachmann has been criticized for a number of public mistakes she has made, including saying that the first shots of the Revolutionary War were fired in New Hampshire, repeating one woman's unverified story of a child suffering from mental retardation from the HPV vaccine, and claiming that the Founding Fathers "worked tirelessly until slavery was no more," New York Daily News reported.

Bachmann, founder of the Tea Party caucus in the House of Representatives, was elected to Congress in 2006, according to the Huffington Post.

Target Center drops Ticketmaster

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Target Center announced on Monday it will no longer be using Ticketmaster to see seats for non-basketball events, the Star Tribune reported.

Starting Nov. 6, Target Center will begin using AXS Ticketing in place of Ticketmaster, Kare 11 reported.

Ticketmaster has been under a lot of scrutiny over the exorbitant processing fees attached to tickets, according to the Star Tribune. Although AXS does not get rid of all those fees, unlike Ticketmaster, they will be clear, less steep and there will not be a fee for printing tickets off at home.

"Ticketmaster took the bad rap for ticket fees because they were the dominant ticketing company for so long, but those fees are still a reality with every new ticketing company that's emerging," said David Balcer, Target Center's director of ticketing.

AXS will give customers more transparency throughout the buying process and list the fees upfront, according to Kare 11.

The company has also developed a way to ticket purchasers to reserve seats adjacent to the already purchased seats for friends and family, the Star Tribune reported.

By Laura Marrinan
A 22-year-old man was charged Wednesday with stabbing his mother and nephew to death with what police suspect was a samurai sword at their north Minneapolis home, the Star Tribune reported

Ishmael Roberts was arrested on six charges, including second-degree theft, public intoxication, reckless driving and harassing officers, after crashing one of the victim's cars in Waterloo, Iowa, the Pioneer Press reported.

"He's the No. 1 suspect, and we connected that very quickly," Minneapolis police spokesman Sgt. Stephen McCarty said of Roberts, according to the Pioneer Press.
He was charged on two counts of intentional second-degree murder, according to the Star Tribune.

Beatrice Wilson, 57, and her grandson Peter, 14, were found stabbed early Monday in their home in the 1200 block of 10th Avenue North, according to the Star Tribune.

According to the Star Tribune, Roberts had not been in contact with anyone in his family for the past two years. The family and police do not have a motive for the murders and Roberts has not spoken with investigators since his arrest.

Pileup kills cabdriver in I-494

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By Laura Marrinan
BLOOMINGTON, Minn. - A cab driver was killed Monday on Interstate 494 after an unlicensed driver ran out of gas and caused a major pileup, the Star Tribune reported.

Nadir I. Ombabi, 57, was killed in the crash and David B. Paul, 64, was injured and sent to Hennepin Country Medical Center with non-life threatening injuries, the Burnsville Patch reported.

The crash, involving a tanker truck and six other vehicles, occurred just after 5 a.m. near Interstate 494 and France Avenue, according to the Star Tribune.

The minivan driver, Isidoro B. Corona, 49,ran out of gas while driving in the right lane and came to a stop causing three other vehicles to crash, the West Central Tribune reported. There was no shoulder due to construction.

"In Bloomington, there is probably a gas station every block or two," said patrol Lt. Eric Roeske. "There really is no reason to run out of gas."

Corona has been cited at least seven times for driving without a valid license since 2005, the Star Tribune reported.

The freeway reopened at 9:15 a.m., according to the Burnsville Patch.

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