April 22, 2009

Bill Could Cap Tuition Increases at U and MnSCU

The Minnesota House of Representatives passed a bill that would use money from the federal stimulus package to cap tuition at Minnesota schools, the Pioneer Press reports.

The bill was passed 86-46, and it would cap tuition at the University of Minnesota at $300, and 2 percent at Minnesota State Colleges and Universities.

A few other measures were passed along with the bill. All the schools would have to institute hiring and wage freezes; no human cloning would be allowed at the schools; and TCF Bank Stadium would need a liqueur license for the whole stadium or none at all.

The story also stated that the Senate had passed a different version of the bill, but they had higher caps on the tuition increase.

Pioneer Press:

April 21, 2009

Teen struck by car in St. Paul

A 17-year-old boy was seriously injured early Sunday morning when he was struck by car, reported the Pioneer Press.

The story said that a passerby found the boy near the intersection of University Avenue and Ardundel Street.

He is currently in critical condition at Regions Hospital, said Peter Panos, a police spokesperson. The story added that boy speaks Karen, and that police had difficulties talking to him.

The Pioneer Press earlier had reported that the boy had been beaten, but police later confirmed that he had been hit by a car.

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April 19, 2009

Fire at Xcel plant in Bayport

A fire broke out at the main conveyor belt that feeds coal to the Xcel plant in Bayport, the Pioneer Press reported.

Tom Hoen, the Xcel spokesman, said that the fire started at 2:35, and 45 firefighters reported to the blaze. Firefighters from Stillwater and Hudson assisted in the fire the Pioneer Press said.

The assistant Bayport fire chief, Matt Bell, said that the fire was contained by 4 p.m.

The cause of the fire is being investigated, and the plant will stay close for at least 24 hours.

Pioneer Press:

Man shot and killed in Hopkins

24-year-old man was shot and killed early Sunday at a White Castle in Hopkins, reported the Pioneer Press.

The story said that police were called to 1111 Cambridge Street at 2 a.m., and the victim was pronounced dead at the scene. The police said that two suspects were seen fleeing the scene after the shooting. They have not been identified.

The Pioneer Press reported that before the shooting there was a verbal altercation between the victim and the suspects.

It was reported that it was the first homicide in Hopkins in eight years.

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April 11, 2009

Man charged with DWI after wild ride on lawnmower

A 42-year-old man was charged Friday after he drove his lawnmower to a store drunk and urinated in public, reported the Star Tribune.

Darwin L. Christensen of Hutchinson took a trip to a Super America to buy some beer and weaved his way home. A witness said that Christensen stopped on his way home to urinate on the side of the road.

The man was charged Friday for drunken driving and public urination said the Strib.

Police told the Star Tribune that theyconfronted Christensen after he got home from the ride. There he confessed to the accusations and blew a 0.21 during the breath test.

The Tribune said that Christensen has plead guilty four times to DWI and has a long history with the law.

Star Tribune:

April 8, 2009

Teen arrested in Burnsville double stabbing

An 18-year-old Egan teen was arrested in connection to a double stabbing involving a 35-year-old woman and a 24-year-old man, reported the Pioneer Press.

Both victims were stabbed at their Burnsville townhouse late Tuesday night reported the Pioneer Press.

Police Sgt. Dan Carlson said that police were dispatched to the 1600 block of Riverwood Drive at midnight. He added that the man was stabbed in the back while the woman was stabbed in the neck. Carlson said that both victims were bought to the Hennepin County Medical Center, and they both have potentially life threatening injuries.

The Pioneer Press said that the teen was arrested and is currently in custody at the Dakota County Jail and is awaiting charges.

The names of the suspects were not included in the story because they were not released by the sheriff's office.

Pioneer Press:

April 5, 2009

Fargo Schools Starting Monday

Fargo students will be returning to classes this Monday, after a record flood forced the majority of the residents to flee the area, the Star Tribune reported.

The record 42.82 crest on March 28 was the climax to the sandbagging people from all over the region did. Schools have been closed for nearly two weeks.

The sandbagging and flooded roads has forced bus routes to change to avoid the trouble spots.

Even with the current flood over the National Weather Service predicted that a second flood could occur in mid-April, and it could be higher then the last flood.

Rick Buresh, superintendent of Fargo public schools told the Star Tribune that the missed school time will not affect final tests and graduation plans.

Star Tribune:

University of St. Thomas Student Missing

A University of St. Thomas student went missing early Sunday while walking on the Mississippi River Boulevard, the Star Tribune and Pioneer Press reported.

Daniel Zamlen, 18, was talking to a friend on the phone and the phone went dead around 3 a.m. A friend of Zamlen told the Star Tribune that Zamlen was heading to the University of Minnesota to meet up with some friends. Police believe that he disappeared around St. Clair Avenue.

Police have not yet started a full on search citing that Zamlen is an adult and he may not want to be found yet. Friends and family have been searching the area in which Zamlen disappeared.

Both papers reported that Zamlen has diabetes and wears an insulin pump.

Zamlen is 6 feet tall 175 pounds with blue eyes and blond hair. He was last seen wearing a blue jacket and blue jeans.

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March 29, 2009

Three Arrested in Lakeville Shooting

Four people were shot in Lakeville after a man was told that he had to leave a party Sunday morning, the Pioneer Press reported.

The four men are recovering at the Hennepin County Medical Center, and they suffered non-life-threatening injuries.

The Pioneer Press reported that the man along with two other suspects were arrested by Lakeville police, when they were pulled over at Cedar Avenue and 179th Street.

The suspects ages were 19,20, and 21 and they are being held at the Dakota County Jail awaiting charges.

Pioneer Press:

March 24, 2009

Metro Transit Bus Driver Charged With Driving Drunk

A Metro Transit bus driver was charged Monday for driving under the influence during his route Saturday, the Pioneer Press reported.

Alonzo V. Martin, 46 of St. Paul, was pulled over by officers in Brooklyn Center. He failed a field sobriety test and had a blood alcohol content of 0.24, triple the legal limit.

The Pioneer Press reported that a Brooklyn Center attorney charged Martin with gross-misdemeanor and third-degree driving while impaired.

Martin was driving the Route 5 at the point of the arrest, which runs between Brooklyn Center Transit Center and the Mall of America. The Star Tribune reported that the bus was stopped by officers at 9:40 p.m.

Metro Transit said that is the first first time this has happened to any of their drivers. Tuesday, Metro Transit told the Star Tribune that they have created an internal task force that will look at agency safety, hiring and performance review standards and procedures.

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March 15, 2009

Money found by Rosemount student from pot grower

Police say that the $18,000 found by a Rosemount student was from a Farmington marijuana grower, the Pioneer Press reported

That man, John T. Jordan, 36 faces charges from in Dakota County District Court for having over 200 pots of marijuana plants. A search warrant was issued for Jordan after police stopped by his house on a noise complaint and found a strong odor of pot.

On Tuesday police heard from a 16 year-old boy that he found $16,000 in a ditch. Police located the ditch and found four plants along with two scales and determined that Jordan threw them out his window before he was pulled over on a traffic stop on Monday.

Pioneer Press:

Man Hospitalized after being shot by police officer

A man was brought to the Hennepin County Medical Center after he was shot by a Litchfield police officer, the Star Tribune reported.

The incident happened at the 300 block of South Litchfield Ave at 1:30 a.m. After that, the man was airlifted to HCMC according to the Litchfield Police Department.

Janell Rasmussen, the spokeswoman for the Minnesota Bureau of Criminal Apprehension said that the man is in critical condition in an intensive care unit.

The BCA did not release any other information but they told the Star Tribune that they are investigating the incident.

Both the man shot and the police officer's names were not released.

Star Tribune:

March 8, 2009

Man taken into custody for kidnapping stepdaughter

A 46-year-old Elbow lake man was jailed for kidnapping his 17-year-old stepdaughter at gunpoint, the Pioneer Press reported.

Davin R. Sabby abducted Amy Henning at 7 p.m., in the parking lot of West Ridge Mall. Henning was about to view a movie with her 26-year-old stepbrother when Sabby duct-taped his son and took Henning.

At 1:15 a.m., Sabby gave the keys of the car to Henning and she drove to the nearest gas station to call the police. Sabby continued down the road and went to the house of person living near Swan Lake.

The homeowner called the police and Sabby was taken into custody.

Sabby is booked on suspicion of second-degree assault causing substantial injury, kidnapping causing bodily harm and possession of a firearm.

Pioneer Press:

Hit-and-Run Victim Still in Critical Condition

A 26-year-old Apple Valley woman remains in critical condition at the Hennepin County Medical Center following a hit-and-run incident last week.

The victim Joan LeVasseur was walking down Ceder Avenue when she was struck at 153rd Street. The Pioneer Press reported that a large light-colored vehicle hit LeVasseur and continued without stopping.

Her sister-in-law, Lori LeVasseur told the Pioneer Press that LeVasseur sustained head trauma, a severe brain injury, multiple fractures to both legs, a fractured pelvis, a broken right hand and lacerations to the face.

Pioneer Press:

February 27, 2009

Man sentenced to 15 years for killing using his GMC Yukon

A Richfield man was sentenced Friday to 15 years in prison for killing his romantic rival with a GMC Yukon, the Star Tribune and Pioneer Press reported.

Moises Nieves, 36 told Judge Michael Fetsch, "God forgive us all, because we are all sinners."

This was not enough to temper the sentence for Nieves who killed Sergio Escalona, 46.

The incident occurred Oct. 21 at 3:30 a.m. Reports say that Nieves saw Escalona talking to Maria Rocha, 23, Escalona's ex-girlfriend and the woman Nieves was in love with.

Nieves crushed Escalona between two cars and drove off, staging an accident in an attempt to cover up the murder.

The defense argued Escalona had been abusive to Rocha during their relationship, and Nieves was trying to defend her.

The Star Tribune reported that Nieves will be eligible for release two-thirds of the way through his 15 year sentence.

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Woman, struck and killed by Metro Transit bus.

A Metro Transit bus struck and killed a 55-year-old woman Wednesday evening according to the Star Tribune and Pioneer Press.

Authorities say that a northbound Route 24 bus struck and killed a woman at 46th Street and Minnehaha Avenue. The driver didn't realize that they had struck someone until about 20 minutes later near 43nd Avenue and 35th Street.

The Pioneer Press reported that the woman was identified as 55-year-old Mary Ann O'Dougherty,

One passenger was onboard at the time and he also did not realize that someone had been hit.

The driver is on paid administrative leave and will go through standard drug and alcohol testing according to the Star Tribune.

This is the third bus related fatality in nine years and the first since October 2006.

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February 22, 2009

Minneapolis police officer accidentally shoots other officer

An off-duty Minneapolis police officer accidentally shot a retired Minneapolis police officer Saturday afternoon reported the Pioneer Press and Star Tribune.

The accident occurred at the Minneapolis Convention Center during the Minneapolis Gun Show.

At around 1:15 p.m. the Minneapolis police officer's gun got caught on the chair he was getting up from and a single bullet was shot.

The bullet hit the ground and fragmented hitting the retired police officer in the left leg and hand and also grazing the other officers leg.

The 61-year-old former officer was treated and released from the hospital suffering minor wounds. The other officer needed no medical attention.

The Pioneer Press reported that the semi-automatic had its safety off, which is standard procedure when a gun is in the holster.

Minneapolis Police didn't put the officer on administrative leave because it's considered an accident, but they will be investigating the gun and the holster

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Man shot dead by Shakopee police

Shakopee police shot and killed an armed man with a criminal history Saturday afternoon, the Pioneer Press and the Star Tribune reported.

A man wanted for second-degree assault, second-degree domestic assault, and for violating an order for protection, was shot and killed by two Shakopee officers.

The incident happened at 4 p.m., according to the Star Tribune.

Both the Pioneer Press and the Star Tribune reported that the officers are on administrative leave and the incident is being investigated by the Minnesota Bureau of Criminal Apprehension.

Administrative leave in these situation are standard procedure.

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February 15, 2009

St. Paul mayor makes pick on the head of the human rights and equal economic opportunity department

A former aid to St. Paul mayor Chris Coleman will head the new Human Rights and Equal Economic Opportunity Department, the Pioneer Press and the Star Tribune reported.

Luz Maria Frias, was Coleman's director of external affairs and she will start her three-year term on Feb. 23.

The Human Rights and Equal Economic Opportunity Department was created to fix the problems that led to tensions between City Hall and the minority community.

Minority-owned business accused City Hall of giving them an disproportional amount of St. Paul's contracting funds.

The Star Tribune reported that a study found that in 2006, only 7 percent of $220 million of contracts went to minority-and-female owned business.

To combat the unequal distribution of funds, the department will increase commerce for minority-and-female owned businesses.

In 2009 their budget will be $4.7 million.

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Man killed by Train in St. Paul

A 33-year-old man was struck and killed by a Union Pacific train Saturday night on tracks in St. Paul's East Side, the Pioneer Press and the Star Tribune reported.

The Star Tribune reported that the man was struck by the train Saturday night near the tracks at Payne Avenue and Phalen Boulevard and it was called into the authorities around 10:30 PM.

The Pioneer Press reported that it was called in around 11 PM.

St. Paul police Cmdr. Kevin Casper said that the body was found on the tracks near Bush Avenue and Burr Street.

The man didn't seem to be hit by the train and then knocked on the tracks said Peter Panos, the St. Paul police spokesman. He was already on the tracks," said Panos.

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February 7, 2009

Minneapolis mayor to run for reelection

Mayor R.T. Rybak announced Saturday at the Riverview Theater that he will be running for reelection according to the Star Tribune.

This will be Rybak's second term if he defeats his opponents. His biggest challenger will be Bob Miller according to the Star Tribune.

Rybak didn't promise that he would be able to serve the full-term, fueling already hot speculation that he's planning on running for governor in 2010.

Miller said that he would pledge to serve his full-term.

According to MinnPost in mid-January, Rybak would run his reelection on, "promoting safe neighborhoods, creating jobs, building great places, and transit; laying the groundwork for the next generation."


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Eagan elementary school principal in hot water

An Eagan elementary school principal is facing disciplinary action for making a 6-year-old kindergartner clean a toilet after being clogged according to the Pioneer Press and the Star Tribune.

On Dec. 12, Doug Steele, the principal of Rahn Elementary School in Eagan, forced a kindergartner to take paper towels out of a toilet that was clogged by the 6-year-old boy.

The boy told his parents, Elijah and Shannon Hannah, of the incident and they subsequently reported it to the school. The boy's name wasn't release by both the Pioneer Press and the Star Tribune because of his age.

Steele was been on paid administrative leave since Dec. 15, while Elaine Mehdizadeh has held the interim principal position.

Both the Star Tribune and the Pioneer Press reported that the school board passed a measure on Thursday to discipline Steele. Steele has 20 days to file a grievance.

According to the Pioneer Press, "The Hannahs are demanding the district fire the principal; otherwise, they will consider legal action."

The boy continues to attend the school.

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January 31, 2009

Vikings looking to push for stadium in new legislative session

The Minnesota Vikings are looking to build a new stadium and they are getting ready to push for it during the new legislative session KSTP-TV reported.

With the Metrodome lease ending in 2011, the Vikings are looking to make sure that a new facility can be built to increase revenue and keep the team in Minnesota.

The current economic climate, including the $4.8 billion budget deficit is going to make it difficult for the Vikings to convince lawmakers to use taxpayers money to pay for the a new sports facility. "I just don't think there is any reason taxpayer dollars should be going to fund a stadium to increase the profits," said Sen. John Marty, (D) Roseville, KSTP-TV reported.

The Vikings say that even with the tough economic times a new stadium could create up to 3,000 jobs.

Roger Goodell the commissioner of the NFL says that a stadium for the Vikings is a priority. The Vikings last year were last in revenue in the NFL the Star Tribune reported. Goodell cited the new Twins' and Gophers' stadiums as signs that the community does put a priority in sports.


Star Tribune:

Man killed and 3 arrested in St. Paul.

A man was shot and killed Saturday morning at 976 Legion Ave., behind the American Legion in St. Paul the Star Tribune reported.

Jeffery Lamont Logan, 44 was found lying in the alley and was rushed to Regions Hospital where he was pronounced dead.

Witnesses saw a vehicle leaving the scene and officers found it driving south on St. Albans St., and arrested three men there.

The men were, Elston Marc Williamson, 28, of St. Paul, Ronald Hill, 20, of West St. Paul, and Henry Marcello Reed, 27, of St. Paul, the Pioneer Press reported.

Only two men were arrested at the scene of the vehicle, while the other two were captured after a search. All the men are being booked at the Ramsey County jail reported the Star Tribune.