Recently in Local Category

A convicted felon made a court appearance Friday after being indicted by a Washington County grand jury for the fatal stabbing and robbery of an Oakdale nanny, the Star Tribune reported.

Thomas James Fox was attempting to leave town under a false name when he was arrested, and had apparently begun dating the victim, Lori Baker, while using a false name, the Pioneer Press reported.

He faces a maximum penalty of life in prison without parole, the Pioneer Press reported.

Many of the state's witnesses are those who spent time in prison with him and heard his confessions, the Star Tribune reported.

The number of sexually transmitted diseases in Minnesota hit an all time high in 2011, up 8 percent from last year, the Star Tribune reported.

Most cases were in teens and young adults ages 15 to 24, Minnesota Public Radio reported.

Chlamydia was the most commonly reported disease with 16,898 cases, followed by gonorrhea with 2,283 cases and syphilis with 366 cases, the Star Tribune reported.

A group of republican and democrat lawmakers joined business leaders Thursday for a push for Minnesota to require Internet retailers to collect state taxes, the Star Tribune reported.

State Revenue Commissioner Myron Frans says the state could expect roughly $4 million over the next year or more if purchases made through online retailers had Minnesota tax applied, Bloomberg Businessweek reported.

With more and more small businesses suffering in the recession, it is frustrating for many business owners, such as the owner of Creative Kidstuff Roberta Bonoff, to see people come in, find what they like in the store, then go off to buy it cheaper on Amazon, the Star Tribune reported.

She told the Star Tribune, "If we can just level that playing field and make it equal for all of us, no matter where you are buying your product, that would be fabulous."

Deaths caused by Heroin in Hennepin, Ramsey, and Anoka counties have almost tripled in the last year -- rising from 16 in 2010 to 46 in 2011 -- and sheriffs think they know the reason why, the Star Tribune reported.

More and more teens and young adults are getting addicted to prescription pills such as Oxycontin, and once those pills get too expensive to buy as regularly as they need, they turn to heroin, another cheaper opiate, Minnesota Public Radio reported.

Even worse, the heroin making its way around the metro area right now has been tested by police at over 90 percent purity -- making the heroin far more potent than before and far easier to accidentally overdose on, KARE 11 reported.

Authorities are not calling the heroin situation in Minneapolis an epidemic quite yet, but it is a growing trend that they say they would like to stop in its tracks, the Star Tribune reported.

Gary Tinsley, 22, a senior linebacker for the Minnesota Gopher football team, was found dead by his roommate early Friday morning in his room in Roy Wilkins Hall, the Minnesota Daily reported.

University of Minnesota Police Chief Greg Hestness said that it is being treated as a suspicious death, though so far there is no evidence of drug or alcohol use on Tinsley's part, nor is there any evidence of foul play, the Minnesota Daily reported.

Tinsley was due to graduate in May with a Business and Marketing Education Degree, the Minnesota Daily reported.

MarQueis Gray, quarter back for the Gophers and friend of Tinsley's, said in a statement to ESPN, "It's just weird how things work. Last night, we were just texting each other and today he's gone".

A Trader Joe's store proposed for the Lyn-Lake area of south Minneapolis is encountering resistance, the Star Tribune reported.

Opposition to the building is lead by City Council Member Meg Tuthill, who says that her primary issue with the project has to do with current zoning laws, the Star Tribune reported.

Current zoning laws require stores selling liquor to be a certain distance apart from one another, and a liquor-selling Trader Joe's in the proposed spot would violate current laws, CBS Minnesota reported.

Tuthill told the Star Tribune that changing zoning for one business is bad policy.

The Minnesota House of Representatives passed a bill Friday that would allow beer to be sold at TCF Stadium, right on the tail of a similar Senate bill passed earlier this week, the Minnesota Daily reported.

It passed in the house with a 107-16 vote, MPR reported. TCF Stadium is currently required to make alcohol available to at least two-thirds of the stadium, though ambiguity in the law has resulted in alcohol not being sold at all, MPR reported.

The school's Board of Regents originally wanted to only sell alcohol to luxury suites, the Star Tribune reported, but a university spokesman said is still supportive of the change.

Police chased 15 to 20 youths around Nicollet Mall Friday when they simultaneously attacked a group of bikers, the Star Tribune reported.

They have been nicknamed "flash robs" because of their resemblance to "flash mobs", where people will simultaneously start dancing in a public place. The difference here is that instead of dancing, these youths are attacking then fleeing in bulk, KARE 11 reported.

There have been six similar incidents since February, usually centering around Nicollet Mall, KARE 11 reported. In Friday's incident, one man flew off his bike and broke his jaw while another was surrounded and beaten, the Minnesota Daily reported.

Four people from that Friday's attacks have been captured and charged: three juveniles, ages 15, 16, and 17, and Antonio D. Jones, 20, with felony fifth-degree drug possession, gross-misdemeanor third-degree riot, and misdemeanor fifth-degree assault, the Minnesota Daily reported.

Kahn Wins DFL Endorsement

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For the 20th time in her 40-year career as state representative, Rep. Phyllis Kahn won the DFL endorsement at the convention Saturday, the Minnesota Daily reported. She was challenged by Mike Griffin, a 26-year-old University of Minnesota grad, who kept her from achieving the necessary 60% majority for two rounds of voting.

Mike Griffin has been heavily campaigning in the University of Minnesota district for more than a year, and was able to bring a lot of young people to the convention who, in previous years, might not have shown much interest in Minnesota house elections, the Minnesota Daily reported.

The Minnesota Daily reported both Griffin and Kahn as being happy with how Griffin's campaign brought students to the polls, but students at the event said that Kahn's demeanor told a different story. After the first round of voting did not work out, she went around to the Griffin students and told them that by voting for Griffin a second time, all they were doing was slowing down the process and causing division in the party. "Up on stage she seems sweet, but one-on-one I found her whole attitude to be very rude and abrasive and dismissive towards students, so I could not vote for her in good conscience," student Kim Thompson said.

A student working in Kahn's campaign, who preferred to remain nameless, had to say of her boss, "Kahn can be nice when she wants to be."

On Wednesday, the "Voter ID Act" passed through the Minnesota House of Representatives, the Minnesota Daily reported. On Friday, it passed through the Senate, the Star Tribune reported.

Now, Minnesota citizens will get to vote on the issue themselves when it goes on the ballot this November, the Minnesota Daily reported. The Daily said that voters will be asked, "Shall the Minnesota Constitution be amended to require all voters to present valid photo identification on election day and that the state provide free identification to eligible voters?"

This issue is sharply divided across party lines, with most Republicans voting for and most Democrats voting against, the Star Tribune reported. Democrats worry that the measure will disenfranchise certain groups of voters such as the very old, the homeless and, above all, students -- groups that generally tend to vote for Democrats, the Star Tribune reported.

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