Recently in Local News Category

By Sam Preston

Six Minnesota residents were killed in a head-on crash in Cambridge Sunday, according to both the Pioneer Press and the Star Tribune.

Four of the victims were in a 1998 Pontiac Grand Am driven by 16-year-old Sabrina Schumacher, both sources said, who was the lone survivor of the accident. She was airlifted from the scene and is in serious condition at Hennepin County Medical Center.

The victims have been identified as Kelsee Blackledge, 15, of Cambridge; Travis Buchan, 17, of Cambridge; Travis Gryczowski, 21, of Cambridge, and Kendryna-Whitefeather, the Tribune said.

The other two fatalities of the accident include the driver of the other car, A 24-year-old Sandstone man, and his male passenger, who has not yet been identified, the Press said.

This accident ends a deadly weekend in Minnesota that has claimed the lives of ten people-- seven of them teens-- all in car accidents, both sources said.

Minn. authorities ID 3 teens killed in truck wreck

By Sam Preston

Three teenage girls died in a rollover car accident Friday, according to both the Star Tribune and the Pioneer Press.

The victims have been identified as 16-year-old driver Shauna Marie Rohoff and 13-year-old Morgan Zeller of Lewiston, as well as 14-year-old Katie Lee Hornberg of Altura, both sources said.

A fourth girl in the vehicle, 12-year-old Cydney Maker, was in critical condition Saturday at a hospital in La Crosse, Wis., both sources said.

The teenagers were on their way to a track meet, the Tribune said, when the pickup driven by Rohoff rolled into a ditch east of Winona County Road 27.

This is the second time in only the past five days that these communities have seen young people killed in a car crash, the Tribune said.

Klobuchar meets with families adopting from Russia

By Sam Preston

Hopeful Minnesota families wanting to adopt children from Russia may run into some difficulties, according to both the Pioneer Press and the Star Tribune.

A woman from Tennessee sent back her recently adopted 7-year-old son from Russia with a note saying her was mentally ill, the Press said, causing Russia to block future U.S. adoptions, both sources said.

This is sad news for couples such as Rick and Barb Durig of Minneapolis, who have plans to fly to Russia next week to meet the three daughters they were planning to adopt, the Tribune said.

But the Durigs are not alone, as the recent suspension by Russia has postponed the asoption process for thousands of couples across the United States, the Tribune said.

But Senator Klobuchar has been has been lobbying the State Department to resolve the issue before adoptions such as the Durigs' get delayed or even canceled, the Tribune said, by pushing the federal government to focus on post-adoption services.

By Sam Preston

Two Columbia Heights residents were found dead near one of the city's busiest intersections, according to both the Pioneer Press and the Star Tribune.

It appeared to be a suicide-murder, Columbia Heights Police Chief Scott Nadeau said at the scene Saturday, according to the Star Tribune.

The couple was found in the parking lot of Asia Chow Mein restaurant, which is located at 4905 Central Av. NE, both the Press and the Tribune said.

It took place at about 10 a.m., and nearby police were the first to respond around 10:30 a.m., the Tribune said. Shots were reported by nearby construction workers, but nobody inside of the restaurant heard the shots.

The names of the couple have not yet been confirmed, though suspects are believed to be Jozef Franz Tomasovic, 66, owner of the car found at the scene, and his wife, Natalia Jurjevna Tomasovic, 55, both sources said.

Hackers attack Eden Prairie High School website

By Sam Preston

The Eden Prairie High School website was shut down Sunday due to hackers, according to both the Pioneer Press and the Star Tribune.

The hackers posted a video, a picture of the Turkish flag and a handgun, both the Press and the Tribune said. The hacker's message said "Hacked by Silent Assault," the Press said.

School district administrators diabled the site after learning about the viral attack, but the main school district Web site was not affected, both the Press and the Tribune said.

The hackers did not access school district data and the attack did not affect school district servers or other technology systems, the Tribune said.

The person or organization behind the attacks created a Web page that was posted on top of the high school's Web page, the Tribune said, affecting more than 100 websites around the world.

U grad killed when Osprey crashes in Afghanistan

By Sam Preston

An Air Force pilot from Minnesota as well as three other victims died Friday in a CV-22 Osprey crash, according to the Pioneer Press and the Star Tribune.

Randall 'Randy' Voas, 43, was a Major in the U.S. Air Force who was assigned to the 8th Special Operations Squadron at Hurlburt Field, Fla, both the Press and the Tribune said.

One of the other victims was 45-year-old Senior Master Sgt. James B. Lackey of Green Clove Springs, Fla., and the other two aboard the aircraft have not yet been named, both the Press and the Tribune said.

Voas' father said Voas had been deployed overseas several times before, including twice to Iraq and once to Africa, the Press said. "But you can never be 100 percent ready when you're losing a member of the family," his dad said.

The aircraft went down near Kandahar, and the incident still remains under investigastion, the Press said. The Taliban has claimed responsibility for shooting down the aircraft.

Faribault woman missing after car goes into Cannon River

By Sam Preston

A search continues Sunday for a Faribault woman who is missing in the Cannon River, according to both the Star Tribune and the Pioneer Press.

Brittney Landsverk, 20, went missing on Friday after the car she was riding in crashed into the river, both the Tribune and the Press said.

The driver, Mitchell Bongers, who turned 22 Sunday, was traveling through private property when his car went over the river's bank sideways and entered the water, both sources said.

Brittney had been pulled from the water by another passenger, but it was reported that she slipped back in and was swept away by the current, the Press said.

The driver is in critical condition at North Memorial Medical Center in Robbinsdale and the two other passengers were not injured, both sources said.

A whole family is lost in Minneapolis fire

By Sam Preston

A family of five perished in a blaze on Lake Street Friday, according to both the Star Tribune and the Pioneer Press.

The family was staying in the apartment with a friend, Rick Richtner, who also died in the fire, both the Tribune and the Press said. The apartment building and the pub below were destroyed in the accident, and Richter was a bartender for McMahon's.

The family has been identified as Anne Gervais, 43; her son, Andrew Gervais, 26, and Andrew's three children, Colten Gervais, 2, and 3-year-old twins Austin and Aliciah Gervais-Hjellming, both the Tribune and the Press said. Richter was 25.

The reason for the fire is still being investigated, according to the Tribune and the Times. The family was there because they were in the process of searching for other housing.

St. Paul man accused of assaulting quadruple amputee over TV

By Sam Preston

A St. Paul man has been charged with two misdemeanor's after beating up a quadruple amputee, according to both the Pioneer Press and the Star Tribune.

The man, 33-year-old Jacoby Laquan Smith, lived with the victim, according to both sources. He has been charged with fifth-degree assault and interfering with a 911 call.

Smith originally hit his roommate, the complaint said, because she was blocking his view of the TV, according to both sources. He threw her to the floor and punched her 10 times in the mouth and face, and then swiped her phone away and refused to give it back, the Press said.

The complaint said that he stopped the woman from leaving, but then agreed to take her to a SuperAmerica gas station to get ice for her face, the Press said. While they were there, the woman asked the attendant to call the police, and Smith fled the scene.

Smith has not yet been found, the Press said, and the woman told police she is still "very frightened," because he still has a key to her apartment.

Troubled son, 27, jailed in St. Paul family's fatal fire

By Sam Preston

A fatal fire took place Thursday on the 800 block of Blaine in St. Paul, killing a 2-year-old nephew and injuring four other family members of the suspect, according to both the Pioneer Press and Star Tribune.

Khairi Coleman, 27, has been arrested on suspicion of arson and homicide, the Tribune said. He is being held in the Ramsey County jail, but no charges have been filed.

Coleman is suspected because he was seen at the residence just before the fire started at 2:30 p.m. that day, the Tribune said. He was seen arguing earlier that day with his two brothers and victims, Khalil and Kareem Coleman, 18 and 22.

Mother Shari Coleman obtained two previous orders of protection against him, and said he once threatened to destroy her house if she ever tried to put him out, both the Tribune and the Press said. However, she said in an interview Friday that there is no way he would have done this, the Tribune said.

The other two injured parties in the fire were Coleman's cousin and the cousin's 4-year-old-son. Coleman was arrested at Regions Hospital in St. Paul Thursday, after going to visit the four injured family members.

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