Recently in Local Category

House fire claims life of St. Thomas Student

A University of St. Thomas student died early Saturday in a house fire as he and three other students were asleep.

The fire department arrived at the house at 1795 Selby Ave. around 3:15 a.m., and the house was engulfed by flames, the St. Paul Fire Marshal Steve Zaccard said to the Pioneer Press.

Three students were asleep on the second level, and one student was asleep on the first level. He died in the fire, according to the Pioneer Press.

The three students jumped from the second-story window, and they were taken to Regions Hospital in St. Paul, according to the Star Tribune.

They suffered smoke inhalation and minor injuries, according to the Star Tribune.

It is not clear how the fire started, but preliminary indications show the fire started outside the house, Zaccard said to the Star Tribune.

The name of the victim has not been released, according to the Star Tribune.

Mark Dayton declared gubernatorial winner, Emmer concedes

Former Sen. Mark Dayton was declared Minnesota's next governor Wednesday after opponent Tom Emmer conceded the election.

A statewide recount showed that Dayton won the most votes, and he will be the first democratic governor since 1986, according to Minnesota Public Radio.

The recount did not allow Emmer to close the gap between him and his opponent, according to the Los Angeles Times.

Emmer said to reporters on Wednesday, "I do not believe a delay in the seating of the next governor will unite us or help us move the state forward," according to the Los Angeles Times.

Dayton received 8,770 votes more than his opponent, according to the Star Tribune.

Minneapolis, St. Paul declare snow emergency

Minneapolis and St. Paul declared a snow emergency Saturday after a winter storm dumped up to 10 inches of snow Friday in some Twin Cities communities.

Snow plows will begin clearing roads Saturday at 9 p.m., according to the Star Tribune.

Parking is not allowed on either side of Minneapolis snow emergency routes until 8 a.m., or until the road has been completely plowed, according to the Pioneer Press.

As for St. Paul, streets designated as "Night Plow Route" will be cleared, and beginning Sunday at 8 a.m., all non-posted residential streets will be plowed, according to the Pioneer Press.

Illegally parked cars face the possibility of being impounded or fines, according to the Minnesota Daily.

Snowy conditions cause plane to slide off MSP runway

A Delta Air Lines jet slid off the runway Friday at Minneapolis-St. Paul International Airport as several inches of snow fell across the Twin Cities.

The Boeing 757 carrying 189 people slipped off the taxiway around 7 p.m., according to the Pioneer Press.

None of the passengers were injured, according to the Associated Press.

The pilot called for assistance after the plane's left side landing gear was stuck in the grass, according to KARE 11.

Nearly 40 regional flights to other Midwest cities were canceled Friday by Delta Air Lines, according to KARE 11.

U Names New President

The Board of Regents named Eric Kaler as 16th president of the University of Minnesota Thursday.

The board unanimously voted for the Stony Book University provost and University of Minnesota graduate, according to the Star Tribune.

Kaler, 54, signed a four-year contract with a salary of $610,000 and retirement payments of $50,000 during years two through four, according to the Pioneer Press.

He will remain as provost in the State University of New York system until the current president, Robert Bruininks, steps down in July, according to the Star Tribune.

Kaler received his Ph.D. in chemical engineering from the University of Minnesota in 1982, according to the Star Tribune.

"The opportunity to come back to a place that was so meaningful to me, at such an important time for the university, and is such a wonderful place to start a presidency -- it's just a thrill beyond words," Kaler told the Star Tribune.

Wisconsin Man Allegedly Shoots TV After Palin Dance

A rural Wisconsin man allegedly shot his television after Bristol Palin's dance Monday on "Dancing With the Stars."

Steven Cowan, 67, became enraged after watching Palin dance, which resulted in an all-night standoff with a SWAT team, according to the Pioneer Press.

This Vermont, Wis. man was arrested Tuesday morning at his home, according to National Public Radio.

Cowan was charged Wednesday with second-degree reckless endangerment, according to the Pioneer Press.

After shooting his TV, Cowan then threatened his wife with the gun, according to NPR.

Suspect Held in St. Paul Church Fire

Police arrested a Maplewood man on suspicion of setting fire to a St. Paul church Friday.

Tou Chai Lee, 18, was arrested on suspicion of arson and criminal damage to property, according to the Pioneer Press.

The fire broke out around 8:30 p.m. at the Faith Alliance Church at 520 Howard St. N., while about 18 members of the youth group were in the basement, according to the Star Tribune.

The tires of four cars in the church parking lot were also slashed, according to the Pioneer Press.

None of the youth group members were injured, but the fire was blocking the entryway, according to the Pioneer Press. They exited the building through a side door.

Police said that witnesses had seen the suspect at the scene, according to the Star Tribune.

Roseville K-9 Stabbed but Survives Emergency Surgery

A Roseville K-9 was stabbed early Friday after sniffing out a theft suspect in a truck lot near Maplewood.

The dog named Major was stabbed four times in the head and neck, according to the Pioneer Press.

Police said that the 9-year-old dog was taken to the University of Minnesota Veterinary Medical Center, where he had emergency surgery for his wounds, according to the Star Tribune. However, it is unclear if Major will regain the use of his back legs.

Dr. Lisa Powell at the veterinary center said that it is unknown if Major will be able to return to the K-9 unit, according to the Pioneer Press.

Brainerd Woman Owes $1.5 Million for Dowloading Music


A Brainerd woman was ordered Wednesday to pay $1.5 million for downloading music from the Internet after being sued by the recording industry.

Jammie Thomas-Rasset was ordered to pay $62,500 for each of the 24 songs she downloaded via an online file-sharing program, according to the Star Tribune.

Last year, Thomas-Rasset was ordered by a federal jury to pay $1.92 million, according to the Pioneer Press. However, the penalty was reduced by Chief U.S. District Court Judge Michael Davis to $54,000 per song, but the Recording Industry of America (RIAA) rejected the reduced penalty.

The RIAA offered to settle with Thomas-Rasset in September if she paid $25,000 to a music charity, according to the Star Tribune. Thomas-Rasset rejected the RIAA's offer.

Minnesota Will Face Gubernatorial Recount

Minnesotans will face a gubernatorial recount because of the narrow margin of votes between candidates Mark Dayton and Tom Emmer.

All precincts have reported, and the narrow lead of Democratic candidate Mark Dayton over the Republican candidate Tom Emmer is close enough to trigger a recount, according to the Pioneer Press.

Dayton leads Emmer by nearly 9,000 votes, according to the Star Tribune.

However, State Elections Director Gary Poser told the Associated Press Thursday that 3,012 were denied, according to the Star Tribune.

Republican officials plan to look "hard at the mechanics of the election to detect any wide-scale fraud that could change the result," according to the Star Tribune. However, experts said it will be difficult to flip the result.

Dayton has not claimed victory in this election, and Emmer has not made any public appearances since rallying supporters Wednesday morning, according to the Pioneer Press.

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