Recently in Local News Category

Twin cities man advances to finale of "The Voice"

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Nicholas David Mrozinski advanced to the finale Tuesday night on NBC's "The Voice," a singing contest that airs during the week, according to the Pioneer Press.

The Star Tribune reported that Melanie Martinez and Amanda Brown, Mrozinski's teammates and competitors, were not voted into the finale and left the show Tuesday night.

"It has been the experience of a lifetime," Mrozinski said on the show., according to the Pioneer Press.

The Star Tribune said that Mrozinski will be at the Mall of America on Thursday, with cameras following him, for a public reception. It will be his first trip home since October, when the live episodes began.

Suspect of Cold Springs police officer shooting released

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The man who was suspected of killing a Cold Springs police officer has been released from custody today, the Star Tribune reported.

The Star Tribune said that Ryan Michael Larson has been released pending further investigation. Authorities say that more evidence is needed.

The Pioneer Press reported that Larson allegedly shot Cold Spring police officer Tom Decker below his apartment Thursday night. Larson claims he was sleeping during this time.

Officials say that, although Larson has been released, the investigation is still active and they will still pursue their leads "exhaustively," the Pioneer Press reported.

Little Falls teens linked to other break-in

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The Star Tribune reported that the two Little Falls teenagers who were murdered on Thanksgiving after breaking into the home of Byron Smith were connected to at least one other burglary in the area, authorities said Wednesday.

Morrison County police found prescription drugs inside the car that Nicholas Brady, 17, and Haile Kiefer, 18, were driving the day they broke into Smith's home, the Pioneer Press reported.

The Pioneer Press also said that police confronted Brady Nov. 21, the night before he was killed, after receiving reports of a car suspiciously parked. Brady said that he and Kiefer had been driving around and ran out of gas.

The car was parked near the house of Richard Johnson, a retired English teacher, whose home was also burglarized, the Star Tribune reported. Prescription pills were among the stolen items.

Little Falls man charged with two counts of murder

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The 64-year-old man who shot and killed two teenagers in Little Falls was charged with two counts of second-degree murder Monday, the Pioneer Press reported.

Byron David Smith allegedly shot Nicholas Brady, 17, and his cousin, Halie Kifer, 18, after he found them in his basement on Thursday, according to the Star Tribune. Smith shot the teenagers multiple times to wound them, and told authorities he "finished" them with shots to the head, the Pioneer Press reported.

The Star Tribune reported that Smith waited a whole day to contact authorities, leaving the teenagers in his basement, so as not to "trouble [them] on a holiday."

It is legal to use deadly force to prevent a crime from happening in their homes. Morrison County Sheriff Michel Wetzel said that Smith did not use "reasonable force" to stop the teenagers from entering his home, the Pioneer Press reported.

Minnetonka High School bans leggings and spandex

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Minnetonka High School's principal sent a message to the parents of students Monday asking them to encourage their daughters to avoid wearing tight leggings as pants, the Star Tribune reported.

Dave Adney says that the leggings have become a distraction for other students, the Pioneer Press reported.

The message has spurred a debate. Some say that the leggings are no worse than the tightly fitting jeans that are still tolerated in schools, the Pioneer Press said.

"Cover your butts up," Adney said to the Star Tribune.

The Star Tribune said that the issue of dress code comes up just about every year in most high schools.

A 39-year-old Minnesota woman confessed Tuesday to shooting and killing her ex-husband in his apartment in central Minnesota. She still faces accusations that she fatally shot her boyfriend a few days later, according to the Star Tribune.

Angelina O'Mara pleaded guilty after three days of trial, the Pioneer Press reported. The shootings happened in the fall of last year, according to the Pioneer Press.

O'Mara (spelled Omara in the Star Tribune) was arrested in Sioux Falls on Nov. 3, 2011 shortly after the body of her boyfriend, Michael Pies, 36, was found, the Star Tribune reported.

Large grant will help Duluth recover from flash floods

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The Star Tribune reported that Duluth community leaders announced Sunday that a $500,000 grant will be in place to help victims of the floods last June.

The Star Tribune reported that 1,700 homes were damaged from the flash floods, and that this grant is the largest donation to help recovery efforts so far.

The money will be provided by the Margaret A. Cargill Foundation of Eden Prairie, according to the Duluth News Tribune, and will be distributed to three areas: supporting Lutheran Social Service's disaster case managers, addressing unmet financial needs and assisting nonprofits in the area that were affected by the floods.

The Duluth News Tribune said that a Habitat for Humanity group from Concordia College in Moorhead was responsible for much of the recent clean-up and aid in the area, something that the new grant will allow to continue.


Marriage amendment defeated in Minnesota

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The proposed constitutional amendment to define marriage as between a man and a woman failed to pass after elections Tuesday, the Star Tribune reported.

In a very close vote, with 99 percent of precincts reporting, supporters of the amendment reached only 48 percent, the Star Tribune reported.

The Pioneer Press reported that this historic defeat makes Minnesota the second state to defeat this amendment.

"Tonight Minnesota proved that love is bigger than government," said Minnesotans United for All Families campaign manager Richard Carlbom to the Pioneer Press.

The Minnesota Catholic Conference issued a statement Wednesday morning, according to the Star Tribune.

"Despite this setback, our efforts to promote and defend the cornerstone social institution of marriage will continue."

Paul Ryan to campaign in Minneapolis on Sunday

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Paul Ryan will be at the Minneapolis-St. Paul airport Sunday afternoon to campaign in the last few days of the presidential race, the Minnesota Daily reported.

The Republican vice presidential nominee campaigned in Hudson, WI on Tuesday and campaigning in Minnesota has increased recently due to the tightening race, the Minnesota Daily reported.

Ryan was seen at O'Gara's Bar and Grill Tuesday evening, the Pioneer Press reported. Former president Bill Clinton made stops in Duluth and Minneapolis last week to campaign for President Obama.

The event begins at 3:30 p.m. at the Sun Country Airlines hangar, according to the Pioneer Press.

Minneapolis teacher collapses in classroom

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A Minneapolis teacher collapsed in her classroom while she was teaching Monday and died in the hospital later that day, the Star Tribune reported.

Lori Blomme, 40, taught at Menlo Park in northeast Minneapolis for almost ten years, according to the Star Tribune. A School District spokeswoman said that Blomme suffered a "medical emergency," the Star Tribune reported.

The Pioneer Press reported that Blomme collapsed in her classroom on Tuesday after telling her students that she felt faint.

According to the Star Tribune, the school's director, Helen Henly described Blomme as a "committed and caring teacher who dedicated so much of herself to the Menlo Park school community."

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