April 12, 2009

Zebra Mussels might have spread to Prior Lake

Zebra mussels may be present in Prior Lake, making it the first recreational lake in and around the Twin Cities to be invaded by this aggressive pest.

The DNR received notice from a homeowner that zebra mussel shells were found on the lake's beach. The DNR has sent divers into the lake to search for the presence of the zebra mussel.

Luke Skinner, supervisor of the DNR invasive species unit said that the divers will find that "likely it's infested.

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Last of Working Bloomington Farms might Sell

The last working farm in Bloomington may forced to sell in order to make room for development. The 58 acres of the Kelley Farm, which is in view of the Mall of America, might be purchased by United Properties.

One of the reasons the farm has lasted so long is that it is near the airport runway, which means that housing cannot be built on the site. Bill Katter, a United Properties senior vice president for development, said that there are already clients interested in putting offices up on the land.

"It's a unique property for its views and proximity to the Mall of America and airport," he said. "All those things play into our interest to make a deal there."

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April 5, 2009

3 Winona High School Students Charged with Theft

Three honor students at Winona Senior High School have been charged with stealing more than $1,300 in cash and merchandise for school gym lockers. The charges against the boys, one 17 and the other two 16, include felonies.
The boys broke padlocks on lockers in December and stole items that include cash, a credit card, and electronic devices. One of the boys implicated the rest after he was caught carrying some of the stolen items in his backpack.

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St. Thomas Student Missing

A University of St. Thomas freshman went missing on Sunday, St. Paul police report. Dan Zamlen last spoke with friends at 2:30 a.m. as he was walking on St. Clair Avenue toward Mississippi River Boulevard S.
Zamlen had reportedly left his friends at a house party after getting into a verbal dispute. Authorities and family are concerned that his disappearance may have something to do with the fact that he has Type I diabetes.

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March 29, 2009

Lawsuit Costing Osseo Schools more than $460,000

Osseo schools are having their insurance company pay a bill of $460,000 to keep a Maple Grove High School student-run gay-rights group from having the same privileges as condoned school clubs. The three-year legal battle with the group, Straights and Gays for Equity, was recently abandoned by the district after repeatedly failed appeals.

Red River Valley Hoping for End of Floods

The Red River floods during the past week may recede in the coming days. The Red River fell to a height less than 40 feet for the first time in three days Sunday in the Moorhead area.
Residents of the Red River Valley are not yet out of the clear, officials say. A snowstorm is likely to hit Minnesota in the next couple of days, while problems such as damaged schools and large cleanups may persist for some time.

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March 1, 2009

Gopher Men, Women Sweep Big Ten Indoor Track

The Gophers men and women teams won the Big Ten Indoor Track and Field Championships on Sunday. No school has had men and women's teams win both titles since Wisconsin in 1997.
The men won the Big Ten Championship title for the first time since 1998. The women edged out Penn State by four points.

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Lakeville Man Not Guilty in Fatal Baseball Bat Beating

A Dakota County jury has acquitted a man of four murder counts concerning the death of his friend. Charlie Reynolds, who admitted to killing longtime friend Joshua Skare with a baseball bat, was acquitted of all charges after only 30 hours of jury deliberation.
"Ultimately, the jury concluded that the state had not proved beyond a reasonable doubt that self-defense was not a factor in this case," Dakota County Attorney James Backstrom said.

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February 15, 2009

Man Found Dead on Train Tracks in St. Paul

A man was found Saturday night lying dead on train tracks in St. Paul. The man was apparently run over by a train the same night.
The man, appearing to be in his 30s, was found by a passing Union Pacific train operator at about 10:30 p.m. The train operator reported the body to the train-dispatch center, which then notified authorities.
Police do not so far suspect foul play in the early stages of the investigation.
"It doesn't look like he was hit by the train and knocked on the [adjacent] tracks," Peter Panos, a St. Paul police spokesman, said.
It is common for people to cross these tracks in this area of St. Paul, Panos said.

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St. Louis Park Man Dies from Smoke Inhalation

A man was found dead Friday after a fire ravaged his house. A fire believed to have originated in the kitchen area of his house left Thomas Costello Holden, 56, dead from smoke inhalation.
The fire was reported by a neighbor who noticed smoke and flames emanating from the house around 1 p.m. Friday. Firefighters found Holden lying in his first-floor bedroom.

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February 8, 2009

Democrats Spent $1 million more on Minnesota House Races

Democrats helped increase their advantage in the Minnesota House of Representatives by spending more than $1 million more on races in the November election, a report stated recently. Democrats were able to add two more seats to their House majority, though they fell short of a veto-proof majority by three representatives.

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Judge Allows 4,800 Rejected Absentee Votes in Franken-Coleman Recount

A three-judge panel announced Tuesday that they will accept 4,800 absentee votes previously rejected in the U.S. Senate election between Norm Coleman and Al Franken. During the initial recount these absentee votes were rejected for various apparent errors and other discrepancies but will are now considered fair play.

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February 1, 2009

Governor Pawlenty's Budget Proposal Puts State Art Schools at Risk

A budget proposal by Gov. Tim Pawlenty will reduce funding for some state schools devoted to the arts by converting them to charter schools. The conversion will cut $4.5 million from Minnesota's annual budget during a time when the state is seeing a budget shortfall.

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Greenfield Residents Learn that City Council Members Carry Guns to Meetings

Greenfield residents learned this week, following months of rumor, that city council members carry guns to meetings. The revelation came about following a confession by Council Member Howard Velhuizen that he was carrying two handguns in a meeting in December.

Some council members explained that they brought their guns out of concern for their safety around council opponents.

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