Recently in Local Category

Hastings man convicted of sexual assault on an infant

A Hastings man was sentenced to 27 years in prison this morning for sexually assaulting a 9-month-old baby.

Michael Frederick Schmidt, 42, will serve at least two-thirds of that sentence, the Dakota County Attorney spokeswoman Monica Jensen told the Pioneer Press. Once released from prison, Schmidt will be on probation for 10 years.

At the time of the assault, Schmidt was babysitting for relatives.

On Monday, Schmidt's attorney, Cheryl Warn, told the Hastings Star-Gazette there would be an appeal.

Schmidt said he had been changing the baby girl's diaper when she slipped off the couch and he grabbed for her, possibly cutting her with a hangnail he thought he had on one of his fingers.

Comcast internet outage around Midwest

The Twin Cities experienced an internet outage Sunday night, along with other parts of the Midwest.

The Chicago Sun-Times reported Chicago, Northwest Indiana, parts of Michigan, and Minnesota were all affected by the outage.

The outage started around 7:30 p.m. Sunday night but was fixed by midnight Monday morning.

Twin Cities businesses that rely on Comcast Internet hookups for their credit or debit transactions were also affected by the outage, the Pioneer Press reports.

Cable and phone hookups were not affected.

Mother, two young children killed in Minneapolis police chase

A Minneapolis woman and her two children were killed early Sunday morning by a vehicle being chased by police, according to the Minnesota State Patrol.

Amanda Jean Thomas, 29, her 12-year-old son, and 3-month-old son were killed by Rufus Onel Victor, 29, who tried fleeing from police on foot from the crash scene, the Star Tribune reports.

Fox 9 reports Victor went through a red light at 2nd St. N. and W. Broadway Ave. and crashed into two vehicles. Lt. Eric Roeske, spokesperson for the MSP, told Fox the crash happened far ahead of the state trooper.

State police caught Victor and he is now being held in Hennepin County Jail without bail.

Woman found in Mississippi river still unidentified

A woman's body found in the Mississippi river more than a month ago still has not been identified, according to the Pioneer Press.

According to the Ramsey County medical examiner's office, the woman died of freshwater drowning. Chief Investigator Don Gorrie said the manner of the drowning has not been determined.

Police said an employee of St. Paul Yacht Club noticed the woman's body Oct. 14 in branches, the Associated Press reported.

The woman is described as a likely African American with short hair, age 16-40, 5 feet and 11 inches tall, and about 170 pounds.

Extremely icy roads not a part of Minnesota weather norms

Minnesotans should be used to cautious driving conditions, but the freezing rain this weekend allowed for an exception.

The Minnesota State Patrol responded to 376 crashes between 10 p.m. on Saturday and noon on Sunday from the Metro area. They responded to a total of 438 crashes statewide, KSTP reported.

Nearly 80 crashes involved injuries, with one fatality near Litchfield.

The woman who died was Kimberly A. Mead, 44, of Willmar, Minn. She was ejected from the vehicle she was in and died at the scene, the Pioneer Press reported.

There were also 135 spinouts reported. More than 200 crews laid salt, sand, and liquid Sunday to prevent such icy roads.

UW-Stout student charged

A University of Wisconsin - Stout student has been charged with three felonies in relation to a March accident he was involved with.

Isaac W. Storandt, 24, was charged Friday with two counts of homicide by intoxicated use of a vehicle in the death of Michael J. Dixon, 24, also a University of Wisconsin-Stout student, which took place last spring, the Pioneer Press reports. Storandt's third charge was felony homicide by negligent operation of a vehicle.

Storandt's blood alcohol level was .12. Wisconsin's legal limit is .08.

Storandt hit Dixon, who was from Minnesota, shortly after midnight on March 12, The Dunn County News reported.

Dixon died 11 days after being hit from pneumonia, the Pioneer Press reported.

The Dunn County examiner also said Dixon died from respiratory failure.

Human remains found in Hennepin County park identified

A body found in Elm Creek Park Reserve in Dayton has been identified, the Pioneer Press reported.

The body of Christopher Cox, 26, of Champlin was found Friday afternoon by a man who was walking in the park. The remains were about 400 yards from the parking lot.

Officials said the man died from a shotgun wound to the head, KARE11 reported. The body had been in the park for months.

The Hennepin County sheriff's office is investigating the case.

Federal officer's rifle, body armor stolen from his vehicle

A federal officer's car was broken into, and his gun and body armor are now missing, the Pioneer Press reports.

The vehicle was unmarked.

The car was parked in a single-family home's driveway in Stillwater. Several other vehicles at the home were broken into late Friday night or early Saturday morning, KSTP reported.

The missing .223 caliber rifle was locked and mounted on a rack, so the entire rack was taken.

There were no signs of forced entry, but the officer was certain he locked the vehicle.


Man killed in rollover on I-494

A man was killed Sunday morning when his car rolled over on Interstate 494 in Woodbury, KSTP reports.

The 24-year-old man was going southbound when he veered off the road and flipped shortly after 7 a.m., the Pioneer Press reported.

He was wearing his seatbelt. His name has not been released.

St. Paul police are investigating recent attempted child lurings in St. Paul, the Pioneer Press reports.

The first incident took place Oct. 24 near 7th Street and Maria Avenue to a 16-year-old girl. She told police three men got out of a vehicle, grabbed her arm, then she pulled away and ran off, reported KSTP.

There have been five other incidents since the Oct. 24 one, with the most recent occurring on Nov. 4 to a 12-year-old boy near Summit and Portland.

Anyone with information is encouraged to call police.

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