Recently in Local News Category

Community Responds to Weekend Violence

Minneapolis community leaders are concerned about a rash of shootings over the weekend that left a teenager dead, according to the Star Tribune.
17-year-old Alisha Neeley was killed by gunfire outside a north Minneapolis party.
Four young men were wounded in three other separate incidents on Saturday and Sunday.
Renewed gang activity from members released from jail could be the cause of Neeley's death, according to K.G. Wilson, president of Hope Ministries and City Council member Don Samuels.
Minneapolis police said in a Minnesota Public Radio story that the shootings are "unacceptable," but not necessarily related to each other.

U of M President Appeals To Legislature on State Aid

The University of Minnesota's president appealed to the Minnesota legislature to soften cuts to the university's state aid Thursday, according to an article in the Pioneer Press.
President Robert Bruininks said he'd like to see Gov. Tim Pawlenty's $36 million cutsreduced to $24 million. Cuts to education are a part of Pawlenty's plan to reduce the state's budget deficit.
The university has weathered many significant cuts since 2004, and has reached the limits of its ability to make deep cuts, said Bruininks.
Bruininks said the university would explore energy conservation and administrative reorganizations to lessen the blow, but that serious job cuts and tuition hikes would be necessary.
He also stressed that the university is a valuable resource for the state's future that shouldn't be choked off.
According to the Minnesota Daily, higher education makes up 9% of Minnesota's budget.

Home Explodes in Edina

No one was hurt when a house exploded at West 50th St. and Arden Ave. Tuesday afternoon, according to WCCO.
The explosion happened when a cable company contractor severed an underground gas line nearby, a spokeswoman for Centerpoint Energy said in this Star Tribune article.
Residents were evacuated one block north and one block south until the leak is located.
Homeowner Jeannette Auguston said the house was empty when it exploded. "We are so glad we weren't home, and so grateful for everyone's support."
According to Hennepin County Records, the house was worth an estimated $538,900.

One Shot, Another Injured in Woodbury Domestic Dispute

A man was shot and a woman injured during an apparent domestic dispute in Woodbury Monday morning, police told the Star Tribune.
The man was taken to Regions hospital for an abdominal gunshot wound. The woman suffered a head injury that did not result from gunfire, and was taken to Woodwinds Hospital.
According to the Pioneer Press, children were removed from the home and taken into police custody.
The Star Tribune reports that a handgun was found at the scene, and that there had been no previous police calls to the residence, located on the 2200 block of Kings Drive.

Pawlenty Hopes to Slash Budget (Again)

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Gov. Tim Pawlenty unveiled a budget proposal Monday that would cut aid to cities, counties, and human services to tackle a $1.2 billion state budget deficit, reports the Star Tribune.
The proposal would cut $250 million from aid to local government, $347 million from human services programs, $47 million from higher education, and $181 million from other programs, according to the governor's office.
Pawlenty's proposal also includes a 20 percent tax cut for small business and corporations, costing the state $278 million in tax revenues through 2013.
Pawlenty said these cuts would improve the business and job climate in the state. According to the Pioneer Press, DFL leaders have criticized Pawlenty for a budget they say hurts Minnesota and benefits corporations. They say his cuts will hit public safety programs despite the governor's previous pledges to protect them.

Ex-Gopher Pleads Guilty

Former Gopher basketball player Royce White has plead guilty to a single count of trespassing, reports the Pioneer Press. The former University of Minnesota freshman had been charged with three counts of trespassing in an investigation into the theft of a laptop from a dorm.
White's lawyer said White must serve 50 hours community service and pay a $100 fine, and that the offense will be expunged if he has no legal troubles for a year.
According to the Star Tribune, White was a sought-after recruit. He was unable to play this season due to suspension after an Oct. 13 incident at Mall of America. He received a stayed sentence and served no time.
White withdrew from the university last week. While Gophers coach Tubby Smith is willing to let White return next year, White has said he would only do so under "perfect circumstances," reports the Star Tribune.

Major Snowstorm Hits Twin Cities

The Twin Cities are expected to receive upwards of 10 inches of snow from a slow-moving storm that will last into Tuesday, says the Star Tribune.
The Minnesota Department of Transportation reports hazardous road conditions across the state, said the Star Tribune. According to the article, Twin Cities traffic is flowing smoothly in general, except for a rollover on I-94 and a spinout on Highway 169. Both accidents are blocking traffic.
The Pioneer Press reports that MnDOT has closed I-35 in Lakeville after a semi-truck crashed there.
Officials are waiting to declare a snow emergency, hoping to avoid plowing twice, said the Star Tribune.

Two women escaped unharmed when a mattress became stuck under their SUV and caught fire on Interstate 494 in Woodbury, reports the Star Tribune.

According to the Duluth News Tribune, driver Kathleen Rich didn't see the wayward mattress until it was too late to avoid it. She didn't realize the mattress was wedged under the car until other alarmed drivers motioned for her to pull over. After she stopped and exited the SUV, flames shot up from the underside of the car. The car burst into flames moments later.

"When I look at the pictures on the Internet, we are grateful that we are alive. We had just gassed up," Rich said in the Star Tribune article.

St. Paul Stabbing Suspect Wanted to Go To Jail, Say Police

A St. Paul man charged with stabbing a grocery store clerk said he did it because he wanted to go to jail, according to a criminal complaint quoted in the Pioneer Press.
The suspect, Raymond Andrew Berg, claimed to be on schizophrenia medication. Berg previously plead guilty to vandalizing a Wal-Mart store on University Avenue because "he had no place to stay, and he knew this action would get him in jail," according to the complaint. This was apparently his goal when he stabbed the clerk as well. The Star Tribune quotes Berg as saying "I wouldn't like to go back out on the street again."
Berg chose a male clerk because he didn't want to stab a woman, according to the Star Tribune article.
The 35-year-old victim was stabbed in the chest and suffered a punctured lung but was expected to recover, according to the Pioneer Press story.
The Pioneer Press reports that a judge has ordered Berg to undergo evaluation for mental illness before the trial proceeds.

University Student Shot Near Dorm In Crime Spree

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According to the Star Tribune, a student was shot without apparent reason outside a University of Minnesota dorm late Monday. The shooting was the third in a 20-minute string of three random but possibly related crimes in the area around Centennial Hall, where, according to the Minnesota Daily, the shooting occurred.
The victim, 19-year-old Timothy Schumaker, underwent surgery and was reported Tuesday by the Star Tribune to be in stable condition.
Police have made no arrests, but are combing security camera footage for clues as to the identity of the perpetrators, according to the Star Tribune article.
According to the Pioneer Press, The string of incidents began around 10:50 p.m. when a female student was robbed just of campus by two men in the 500 block of Huron Boulevard.
Following the first robbery, two female students were approached and robbed near Moos Tower by two men, probably the same individuals. The robbers then fled toward the residence halls where the shooting occurred several minutes later.
Police and school administration officials stressed that this is an isolated incident. Serious crime against people on campus has declined significantly in recent years. However, according to the University of Minnesota Police Department's website, there has been an uptick in thefts since 2009.

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