MINNESOTA NEWS BRIEFS: Missing Minnesotan's body found in Colorado
WHEAT RIDGE, Col. - The body of a Minnesotan who went missing in Colorado has been found.
Park County, Colorado deputies were called on July 4, after a group of people found a body near their cabin. Annie Meyer was reported missing in February, after she didn't show up for work for several weeks and only communicated with family members through text message. Not much information is available this morning, but the Wheat Ridge Police Department has scheduled a news conference for later this morning.
Minnesota Governor Mark Dayton has turned down a request for a special session. Republican leaders had called for a special session to repeal a tax increase on warehouse services. The new tax takes effect next April, but Dayton says he will consider cutting some taxes if the economy continues to improve.
Rochester police confirm that a suspicious item found near a power pole by a Rochester Public Utilities employee was a pipe bomb. Officers say the explosive was an 8-to-10 inch long pipe with metal caps on each side. The street was blocked off while the Bloomington Bomb Squad was called in to help investigate and detonate the bomb. Rochester PD continues to investigate, and say right now they have no suspects. The bomb was left in a fairly quiet residential neighborhood.
A large fire that destroyed dozens of antique cars remains under investigation. The blaze broke out at a warehouse in Hollandale yesterday afternoon in Freeborn County. Officials say two buildings were destroyed and one of them contained at least 30 antique vehicles.
A St. Paul man is dead after getting trapped inside his burning home. Firefighters had a difficult time getting inside the home because of the large number of personal items -- including large piles of papers and books -- that were blocking access. Fire crews had to enlarge some of the doorways and windows with power saws from the outside to get inside. The man was found just feet inside the side door, surrounded by his belongings. The victim's name has not been released.
The Itasca County Attorney's Office has asked a judge to charge a 17-year-old involved in a high-speed chase last week as an adult. Court papers show that officers were responding to a domestic assault call when the Grand Rapids teen took off from the scene at speeds of more than 100 mph. Investigators say he tried to ram two squad cars and forced them off the road. During the chase a Grand Rapids police officer fired shots at the vehicle. The suspect was alone in the car, and is charged with domestic assault, use of deadly force against a police officer and running from police. A judge will announce on Wednesday whether he'll be charged as an adult.
Rochester Police say they have arrested a man who threatened a female officer at gunpoint. Investigators say the woman was writing tickets in the Civic Center parking lot Sunday night when a man approached her, pulled a gun from his waistband and threatened to kill her if she wrote him a ticket. He walked away, but officers were able to track him down about an hour later. While they say 30-year-old Casey Dozark of Rochester did not have a gun when they arrested him, police are charging him with 5th degree possession of a controlled substance because he had a small amount of marijuana.
Nobody was hurt when a small plane crashed at Airlake Airport in Lakeville yesterday. Officials say a pilot and a student were onboard the antique plane when it crashed and flipped over. The FAA is investigating the cause of the crash.
One man was killed and another injured in a Minneapolis shooting. After a 911 call reporting shots fired, officers found one man dead from an apparent gunshot wound and another that was hurt but is expected to survive. Minneapolis Police Department Homicide Unit investigators are just beginning their investigation and say no one has been arrested. They're hoping someone will come forward with more information.
A deputy state fire marshal is in Moorhead investigating the cause of a fire that heavily damaged a former nightclub. The fire broke out at the former Coach's Bar, and fire chief Rich Duysen says investigators are getting closer to finding a cause. Duysen says it appeared that someone had been in the building, and intentionally set the fire in the kitchen. Duysen says it'll take some time to comb through the 20,000 square-foot building. Investigators have interviewed about a half-dozen people.
Minnesota saw about a three percent increase in violent crimes between 2011 and 2012, according to the latest report from the state Bureau of Criminal Apprehension. Most dramatic was a 26 percent increase in murders, from 73 in 2011 up to 92 in 2012. But authorities say data collected over the past five years show significant fluctuation in the homicide number. The number of rapes in Minnesota dropped slightly in 2012 to 2,060, robberies were up about three percent and aggravated assaults increased about six percent. Authorities say burglary numbers have remained steady over the past five years. Motor vehicle theft rose again in 2012 after seeing a drop in 2011, and the number of arsons rose in 2012 after two consecutive years below 700.
FEMA officials are in 17 Minnesota counties today through Thursday, assessing damage from severe storms and flash flooding that hammered a wide swath of the state the third week of June. Officials are trying to determine if statewide damage meets the seven-point-three-million-dollar threshold for federal assistance. Preliminary indications are that it will. If so, then Governor Dayton would likely ask President Obama for a disaster declaration. If approved, federal aid would be available, but state matching dollars would also be required. Whether a special session would be called to approve that funding is still up in the air. (Counties are: Benton, Big Stone, Douglas, Faribault, Fillmore, Freeborn, Hennepin, Houston, McLeod, Mille Lacs, Pope, Sibley, Stearns, Stevens, Swift, Traverse and Wilkin)
A special Minnesota State House panel haa its first hearing at the State Capitol today as lawmakers explore ways to combat the upsurge in synthetic drugs. Duluth Democrat Erik Simonson, who chairs the committee, says every time there's a change in a synthetic drug, it's a way to get around state law. He says state law needs to go to the next level to keep synthetic drugs off the streets. Simonson adds "synthetic marijuana" is really a misnomer. He says the impact is more along the line of serious, hard-core drugs.
Minnesota's U.S. senators want a repeal of the medical device tax included in any comprehensive tax reform effort. Senators Al Franken (DFL-Minneapolis) and Amy Klobuchar (DFL-Plymouth) are calling on Senate Finance Chair Max Baucus and House Ways and Means Chair Dave Camp to fully repeal the medical device excise tax Baucus and Camp visited 3-M headquarters in Maplewood Monday as part of their tax reform listening tour. In a letter, Franken and Klobuchar say the tax "jeopardizes the small and large companies that produce the world's highest quality medical technologies, the high-quality jobs these businesses have created, as well as the lives of the patients who depend on these products." The two-point-three-percent excise tax hike was part of federal health care reform.
There is little information available, but police have reportedly arrested the driver they believe ran a stop sign in Uptown Minneapolis last Wednesday, hit a young woman riding her bike and didn't stop. Investigators say 24-year-old Jessica Hanson died two days after the crash. It happened at about 10:30 p.m. and police believe the driver was not only speeding, but also did not have the car's headlights on when he ran the stop sign and hit Hanson's bike.
Minneapolis Police are investigating after finding a body under a bridge along Interstate 94 this morning. Police say it's that of an adult male and there are no signs of foul play. The right lane of the freeway was shut down for a time near where the body was found so emergency vehicles could access the area.
A man critically injured in a Fourth of July ATV crash in Dakota County has died. The sheriff's office says 26-year-old Isaac Lucking of Vermillion Township passed away at Regions Hospital. Lucking was driving on a county road Thursday evening when he lost control of the ATV and suffered a serious head injury. He was not wearing a helmet.
A man who was shocked last Thursday while charging a boat battery in a Sherburne County lake has died. Forty-six-year-old Daniel Peterson of Big Lake died Sunday at a Minneapolis hospital. According to witnesses, Peterson was attempting to charge his boat battery while the boat was in about 20 inches of water. Sheriff's officials say Peterson lost his footing and fell in the water while holding on to the battery charger. Peterson's sister, 49-year-old Kris Biser, ran into the water to help her brother and was also shocked. Neighbors pulled the electrical cord from the socket then got the two out of the water.
Parents of children participating in a youth basketball program in Duluth say 47-year-old Peter Olson continued to coach a little league team in Duluth, even after police began investigating him on child molestation charges. Olson was terminated from his job with the Duluth Salvation Army in November, after officials with the organization found child pornography on his work computer -- but Lake Park Little League parents say they didn’t learn about the investigation until late June, after Olson was arrested. He is charged with engaging in sexual acts with a preteen boy and photographing those acts.
The 4th Annual Food Shelf Summer Challenge is underway at more than 160 foodshelves across the state. Kristin Zoellner(zell-ner) with the group "Open Your Heart to the Hungry and Homeless" says whether it's a small or large donation, people should make a gift and build a relationshup with their local foodshelf. Zoellner says food need is especially great over the summer when kids are out of school. Statistics show one-in-five Minnesota families with kids are visiting food shelves.
Nine-time Grammy Award winner Sheryl Crow will headline the Minnesota State Fair Grandstand on Sunday August 25th. Country star Dwight Yoakham is the opening act. Fifty-one-year-old Crow just performed at Mystic Lake Casino in Prior Lake on June 28th. The announcement completes the lineup for the 2013 Grandstand Concert Series. Tickets for Sheryl Crow and Dwight Yoakam go on sale this Saturday (7/13 10am). The State Fair runs August 22nd through Labor Day September 2nd. (mnstatefair.org or etix.com)