Recently in Local News Category

Local reality show competition finalist comes home

| No Comments

A local finalist on NBC's singing contest "The Voice," returned home to Minnesota Thursday, celebrating with a performance at the Mall of America, news sources report.

Musician Nicholas David Mrozinski, 32, was greeted by an audience of a couple thousand, joined by NBC cameras, the Star Tribune reported.

Originally from Eagan, Mrozinski was named "The Voice of Eagan" by Mayor Mike Maguire at his homecoming performance. Mrozinski is one of the top four contestants in the singing competition and came home to briefly visit his family before immediately returning to Los Angeles for filming, Patch reported.

Mrozinski performed two songs that he has sang on the show, including Ben E. King's "Stand by Me" and Marvin Gaye's "What's Going On," Patch reported.

KARE-11's Eric Perkins emceed the event and renamed the Mall of America's amusement park "Nicholas-odeon Universe" as the star performed inside, Star Tribune reported.

Mrozinski is a father of two. This is the first time he has been home since the competition began its live rounds in early October, the Star Tribune reported.

"It's like I'm walking in a dream right now," Mrozinski told Perkins on stage, as the Star Tribune reported.

Toddler accidentally shot and killed by brother

| No Comments

A 2-year-old died Wednesday after his 4-year-old brother accidentally shot him while playing with his father's gun, news sources report.

The brother of Neegnco Xiong, 2, found a loaded handgun in a bedroom and was playing with it when it discharged and struck Neegnco around 12:45 Wednesday afternoon. He died at the scene after paramedic tried to revive him, the Star Tribune reported.

Sgt. William Palmer of the Minneapolis police called the shooting "a horrible accident" and said it served as a reminder to safely and correctly store all firearms, the Pioneer Press reported.

The parents of the children, Kao Xiong and Ma Vang, were at home in the 1900 block of S. 7th St. when the shooting occurred. Another child, a 1-year-old, was also home, while a 5-year-old sibling was at school, the Star Tribune reported.

The parents were taken downtown by police following the shooting and are under investigation. The children have been placed in protective services. The results of the investigation will be presented to the Hennepin County attorney's office for possible charges against the parents, Palmer said, as the Star Tribune reported.

In a news release, Palmer said, "It is a crime in Minnesota to store a loaded firearm in a manner where a child can gain access to it," the Star Tribune reported.

Guns should not be stored loaded, Palmer said. Firearms should be kept unloaded, with ammunition stored separately. Both should be locked up with a key, Palmer said, as the Pioneer Press reported.

A man was arrested Thursday in connection with a sexual assault that occurred in Minneapolis Nov. 19 as the victim walked to St. Catherine's University, news sources report.

The 48-year-old man is being held in Hennepin County Jail on suspicion of first-degree criminal sexual conduct. He has not been charged, the Star Tribune reported.

The woman attacked is in her 20s and is a student at St. Kate's. She was near West River Parkway and 27th Avenue South when the attack occurred, Kare11 reported.

The arrest of the man occurred Tuesday, after security officers at Region's Hospital in St. Paul received a complaint from two women. The women said a suspicious man was approaching women near the parking area, the Star Tribune reported.

The man was arrested on an unrelated outstanding warrant, and Ramsey County deputies noticed that he "bore a striking resemblance" to a composite sketch that was released to the news media Tuesday regarding the sexual assault at St. Kate's, Kare11 reported.

The man has a criminal history in Minnesota for theft and domestic abuse convictions, the Star Tribune reported.

$1 million Powerball ticket winner in Minnesota

| No Comments

Seven Powerball tickets sold in Minnesota yielded large winnings for their purchasers, including one for $1 million, news sources report.

One ticket sold in Winona County matched all five numbers in the Nov. 28 drawing, but not the Powerball. Five numbers matched yields a prize of $1 million, the Associated Press reported.

The prize has not yet been claimed. The winner has not yet come forward, and the person's identity and purchase location have not been released, Minnesota Lottery spokesperson Debbie Hoffmann told the La Crosse Tribune Thursday morning.

Local laws give lottery participants up to a year to come forward, but "based on our history they don't generally wait that long," Hoffmann told the La Crosse Tribune.
Six other tickets had four of the five numbers correct and the Powerball. These tickets are each worth $10,000, the Associated Press reported.

Two tickets matching all six numbers and the Powerball for the record-breaking $587.5 million jackpot were sold in Arizona and Missouri. The grand-prize winners have not yet been identified, the La Crosse Tribune reported.

Children younger than 16 who are not with an adult 21 or older will not be allowed at the Mall of America on Thanksgiving Night or Black Friday, news sources report.

On the biggest shopping days of the year, the mall has decided to put its parental-escort policy in effect, mall spokeswoman Bridget Jewell said on Saturday, Nov. 17. The same rules will be in effect during the entire week between Christmas and New Year's, the Star Tribune reported.

The parental-escort policy is normally only in effect on Friday and Saturday evenings. After last year's chair-throwing incident on Dec. 27, though, the mall is trying to avoid a repeat, the Pioneer Press reported.

A crowd of more than 200 young people engaged in the chaos of last year, which was captured on smartphones and posted online. At least 10 juveniles and young adults were arrested, the Star Tribune reported.

"Last year we experienced a large influx of youth, more than we had anticipated." Jewell said. "We don't want it to turn into a place for people to come and hang out," Jewell said, as the Pioneer Press reported.

Last year, a record 219,000 people shopped at the Mall of America on Black Friday, which Jewell said was unprecedented, the Pioneer Press reported.

Many stores opened at midnight on Black Friday last year. Even more stores are planning to do the same this year -- at least 180. Every store at the Mall of America will be open by 6 a.m. Friday, Star Tribune reported.

Police search after shots fired call ends in all clear

| No Comments

Police searched the Target Headquarters in the Retek building in downtown Minneapolis after a report of shots fired late Friday morning and found nothing, news sources report.

A call of shots fired came in from the Retek building, located at 50 South 10th Street, at 11:10 a.m., police spokesman Sergeant Steve McCarty confirmed to Kare11. At no point was there confirmation of an active shooter on the loose. Police report that no shooting occurred, Fox 9 reported.

"There is no evidence of a shooting of any kind," Minneapolis Police Chief Janee Harteau said to Fox9.

Reports from employees in the building indicated that the incident that launched the 911 calls occurred on the 10th floor. The call came to police secondhand from security personnel who had received the call within the building. Initial callers allegedly heard "popping sounds" investigators now believe may have been from within the ductwork, Kare11 reported.

SWAT teams were on the scene, as were armed officers and K-9 teams. Police went floor to floor and office to office looking for an armed person but found nothing, Kare11 reported.

Employees inside the building received orders to barricade themselves in offices, Kare 11 reported.

The 11-story Retek building overlooks Nicollet Mall and is across the street from Target's main headquarters, Fox 9 reported.

Olympians sweep Minnesota Grand Prix event

| No Comments

Olympic swimmers Ryan Lochte and Missy Franklin finished the Minnesota Grand Prix Sunday night with five victories each, news sources report.

This was the first major competition since the London Games for both Lochte, 28, and Franklin, 18. The Minnesota event was the first meet of the six-meet Grand Prix series. The Grand Prix features a mix of competitors: Olympians, post-collegiate swimmers and top age-group swimmers from around the country, The Examiner reported.

Lochte won the 200-yard freestyle and the 100-yard butterfly on Friday, the 100 backstroke on Saturday, and the 200 individual medley and the 200 backstroke on Sunday. Franklin won the 200-yard freestyle on Friday, the 50-yard freestyle and the 100 backstroke on Saturday, and the 200-yard backstroke and 100 freestyle on Sunday, the Associated Press reported.

"I'm pretty pleased with the outcome of all my races that I had at this meet," Lochte told the Associated Press. "It's just a little stepping stone for how well I want to do at short-course worlds."

Next month, Lochte and Franklin will compete at the 2012 FINA Short Course World Championships in Istanbul, The Examiner reported.

The event was held at the University Aquatic Center on the University of Minnesota campus. It began on Friday and concluded Sunday evening, the Associated Press reported.

Organizer of Lumberjack Days charged with theft

| No Comments

The organizer of the popular Lumberjack Days summer festival in Stillwater has been charged with 10 felonies, news sources report.

David Eckberg of Stillwater, 61, is being charged in Washington County District Court with five counts of theft and five of issuing a dishonored check, The Star Tribune reported. He owes more than $50,000 to distributors and business partners, investigators say, as The Pioneer Press reported.

A criminal complaint was filed in Washington County district court Thursday. It claims Eckberg wrote checks to four companies that provided services or products for the July 2011 Lumberjack Days Festival, but told them that not to cash them because his account had insufficient funds. The total of these checks is $54,859.25, The Star Tribune reported.

Police verified that there were in fact insufficient funds in Eckberg's bank account and various company accounts. However, the complaint states that Eckberg had cashed $41,000 into his company accounts and then moved the money into either his personal account or his wife's personal account, The Pioneer Press reported.

A letter demanding payment on the dishonored checks was issued to Eckberg by Stillwater police in November 2011. The complaint states that no payments were ever made, The Star Tribune reported.

"This has been a careful, painstaking investigation that has required the issuance of multiple search warrants and the review of boxes and boxes of documents," County Attorney Pete Orput told The Star Tribune. "Frankly, the victims deserve more than the criminal justice system can provide them."

The felony counts bring potential fines and a prison sentence, the Star Tribune reported.

St. Cloud woman rescues man from river

| No Comments

A St. Cloud woman with multiple sclerosis, a fractured ankle, and limited swimming ability saved a man in the Mississippi River Friday, news sources report.

Connie Burczyk was walking with her friend, Kathy Maloney, and their dogs when they encountered a person in distress. They heard someone struggling in the water, crying for help, Huffington Post reported.

"We thought it might just be somebody joking...It was so dark we could barely see," Maloney told the St. Cloud Times.

Burzcyk left her dog with her friend and waded into the icy water to pull a man to shore, the Huffington Post reported.

"By the time we found him, his hands were already blue," Maloney told the St. Cloud Times. "It was a miracle that it happened the way it did because that man would have froze to death or drowned."

The man would have faced serious hypothermia had it not been for the rescue, the St. Cloud Fire Department told the Huffington Post.

"They are two incredible women who answered the call to help another person," St. Cloud Battalion Chief Greg Newinski said in an email to the Huffington Post.

The man was transported to the St. Cloud Hospital and is recovering, St. Cloud Times reported.

All 1,400 officers of the Minneapolis and St. Paul police departments are on "high alert," news sources report.

The Gangster Disciples, based in Chicago, made the threat after Victor Gaddy, a 41-year-old member of the gang, was shot and killed by police last week during a narcotics investigation. Multiple informants gave similar accounts of the alleged hit on any officer, the Star Tribune reported.

Gaddy ran his car into squad cars after St. Paul police tried to question him regarding a drug investigation. The car almost pinned a police officer against a vehicle, and police opened fire. Gaddy died at the scene, Kare11 reported.

Gaddy was a high-ranking member of the Gangster Disciples here in the Twin Cities. He had the street name "Gov," which means he is the number three man in the gang in the area, according to gang hierarchy, KAAL TV reported.

St. Paul City Council member Dan Bostrom confirmed to Kare11 that the entire St. Paul Police Department has been put on "high alert." He was told the gang wants revenge for Gaddy's death and they have ordered a hit on any officer in either city's department, Star Tribune reported. Boston said authorities are taking the threat seriously because the multiple informants, who were not connected to each other, had very similar information, Star Tribune reported.

Bostrom, who served on the St. Paul police force for 26 years, also told Kare11 that the Gangster Disciples have killed officers in other cities and would not be afraid to do it again, Kare 11 reported.

About this Archive

This page is an archive of recent entries in the Local News category.

International News is the previous category.

National News is the next category.

Find recent content on the main index or look in the archives to find all content.