MINNESOTA NEWS BRIEFS: Wheat Ridge police arrest Minnesota-native's roommate on suspicion of murder
WHEAT RIDGE, Col. - Authorities have arrested the former roommate of Minnesota-native Leann "Annie" Meyer on suspicion of murder in Colorado.
On Monday, Wheat Ridge Police arrested 54-year-old Melissa Miller who is currently being held without bond. While Miller was always a person of interest in the case, she never cooperated with the investigation. Meyer was reported missing in late February. Her remains were discovered July 4th near a cabin in Park County. The cause of death has yet to be released. Several of Meyer's family members are still living in Minnesota in the St. Peter area.
It's expected state officials will release preliminary damage estimates this afternoon from severe storms and flash floods that hammered a wide swath of Minnesota the third week of June. Early indications are that statewide damage will meet the seven-point-three million-dollar threshold for federal assistance. If so, then Governor Dayton would likely ask President Obama for a disaster declaration. If approved, federal aid would be available to local governments for infrastructure damage and also to certain non-profits. State matching dollars would also be required, but whether a special legislative session would be called to approve that funding is still up in the air. (Counties affected are: Benton, Big Stone, Douglas, Faribault, Fillmore, Freeborn, Hennepin, Houston, McLeod, Mille Lacs, Pope, Sibley, Stearns, Stevens, Swift, Traverse and Wilkin)
A high level staffer for Congresswoman Michele Bachmann has been arrested. Capitol Police say 37-year-old Javier Sanchez of Virginia has been charged with theft of money and goods, totaling less than one-thousand dollars. Earlier this year there were thefts reported at the Rayburn Office Building, which houses the offices of members in the U.S. House. A Bachmann spokesman says Sanchez was no longer with the office as of Friday.
A Minneapolis woman has pleaded guilty to kidnapping a friend's baby and will likely be deported after serving a three-year prison sentence. Prosecutors say 30-year-old Isabel Diaz-Castillo took the child from a woman she'd met at a laundromat. They say Diaz-Castillo went to the woman's south Minneapolis apartment to lend her some money, the woman left the baby in a car seat on the couch while she took a shower and, when she came out, the child was gone. Police say when they found Diaz-Castillo in the basement of her brother's house, she refused to hand over the child, saying "that's my baby"
More than a thousand former and current members of the military are expected at the Minnesota Veterans Career Fair today in Brooklyn Center from 10 a.m. until 3 p.m.. Governor Dayton's spokesman Matt Swenson says around 100 employers, businesses and educational institutions will be recruiting veterans. He says it's the seventh year of the career fair and, on average, 10- to 15-percent of veterans who participate end up finding a job on the spot. Swenson is encouraging veterans to attend if they're looking for work, a new career or to further their education and training. The state Legislature expanded the Minnesota GI Bill this year to give veterans additional resources to help pay for college. (www.PositivelyMinnesota.com/vetsfair)
Hundreds of people rallied in Minneapolis for Trayvon Martin. Supporters of Martin gathered outside the Government Center in downtown Minneapolis on Monday evening to protest the not guilty verdict of George Zimmerman in the shooting death of the Florida teen last year. Those who rallied then marched from the Peoples Square to the Nicollet Mall.
A White Bear Lake woman admits to harassing her neighbors. Forty-nine-year-old Lori Christensen received ten-years probation and has been ordered to stay away from her neighborhood and leave her victims alone for the next decade. Prosecutors say police received numerous complaints about Christensen's antics over the years including posting demeaning signs on her home and taunting a neighbor's children about their mother's struggles with alcoholism.
Dive teams will be back on the St. Croix River today searching for a missing adult male. The Chisago County Sheriff's office received a report of a man diving off a rock ledge and not surfacing after he jumped. The incident occurred yesterday near the Franconia Landing on the Wisconsin side.
The Minnesota Better Business Bureau says if you get a call saying you're eligible for a free medical alert device, beware. Officials warn it's really just a tactic used by the Med Alert company to collect credit card information and try to get people--especially senior citizens--to agree to monthly monitoring services, which are not free. The Bureau's Dan Hendrickson says these types of automated phone calls are illegal and if you receive such a call, you should contact the Federal Trade Commission at donotcall.gov.