MINNESOTA NEWS ROUND-UP: Another police shooting of suspect takes place Thursday
RAMSEY, Minn. - The second officer-involved fatal shooting in the metro area in one day, Thursday afternoon took place outside a daycare in the far northwest suburb of Ramsey.
Officers shot and fatally wounded a man after he pointed a gun at them as he was running away from a suspicious vehicle parked outside the day care. No one inside was injured and two other occupants of the car were arrested. The shooting led to a 30-minute lockdown of the center that ended when the children there were evacuated to a nearby church, where they were picked up by their parents. What the men were doing in the car or why their presence prompted a suspicious-activity report has not yet been determined. Yesterday morning in Saint Paul, police shot and killed a suspect during a confrontation near a gas station on that city's West Side. A witness says the man was throwing rocks, punched an officer, then charged another officer who fired his weapon three times.
MnDOT is urging drivers to use extra caution in work zones as they go to and from their Labor Day holiday destinations. Spokesman Kevin Gutknecht says even though construction crews are taking a break this weekend, there will still be lane restrictions on some major routes. For more information go to 511-mn-dot-org (511mn.org). Among areas affected: I-35 around Owatonna, the Dresbach Bridge and a couple stretches of I-90 in southeast Minnesota, sections of I-35 between the Twin Cities and Duluth, and Highway 52 around Cannon Falls.
Another court hearing in Bemidji this afternoon for a man charged with attempted first-degree murder for allegedly shooting a 17-year-old girl three times in mid-July as she stood on the deck of her home in Eckles Township. The victim told authorities she talked to Pickering, a neighbor, about trespassing after he repeatedly rode his lawnmower through her yard carrying a pistol in a holder. Investigators say Pickering first denied shooting the teen, but later admitted to firing at her several times because he felt threatened after the confrontation over trespassing.
Police in Thunder Bay, Canada say it was only a false alarm when officers thought they spotted a murder suspect wanted in an Arden Hills shooting. Police believe they saw Ty Hoffman Thursday night near Riverside Drive and Central Avenue. A car with Minnesota license plates was found in the same area but a search by police came up empty. Hoffman is wanted for the murder of his ex-business partner and boyfriend Kelly Phillips. Phillips was shot and killed at an Arden gas station on August 11th. A reward of 25-thousand-dollars has been issued for the whereabouts of Hoffman.
U-of-M women's gymnastics coach Meg Stephenson has resigned amid allegations of sexual harassment against her husband, Jim Stephenson, who was a volunteer assistant with the team in 2013. The federal Office for Civil Rights received a complaint from a student and has opened an investigation. It comes after two university investigations that led to Coach Stephenson's departure. The University determined Stephenson violated anti-retaliation policies.
Molly Kolstad says her husband, former Minnesota State football player Isaac Kolstad, will be back in Mankato September 4th to attend the season-opener against Saint Cloud. Kolstad has been in intensive rehabilitation in the Twin Cities, recuperating from an assault in downtown Mankato in May that left him with severe head injuries. MSU-Mankato officials say they'll make the 22-Strong hashtag a prominent feature at the season opener, with members of the Kolstad family raising a special flag that will fly on game days throughout the season. Kolstad will lead the team onto the field and serve as an honorary captain for the game. Molly Kolstad says she doesn't know yet when Issac will be coming home to stay.
Blue Cross Blue Shield of Minnesota is opening a retail store in the Twin Cities suburb of Edina -- the first store of its kind in the state. Vice president of sales Monica Engel says it will be very similar to a "spa-like experience," where people come in and are greeted, and then directed to the appropriate part of the store where they can get help with their needs. Engel says in addition to helping consumers with health insurance needs, they'll answer claims questions for existing customers, assist with access or service issues, and offer health and wellness programs. Engel says they'll help people set up a MNsure account if they wish, or assist with Blue Cross Blue Shield products available separately from the state-run health insurance exchange.
A Minnesota higher ed institution is tackling the serious issue of preventing sexual assault on campus and off, in an unusual way. Today, Gustavus Adolphus College in St. Peter is bringing in national expert Mike Domitrz, who uses humor to show what he calls the "ridiculous assumptions and stereotypes people use for dating and making sexual decisions." Domitrz says he's visited Gustavus every year for several years, and is always impressed with how dedicated they are to the issue, with a packed house each time and administrative support from the top down. His dedication to this topic began when his sister became a victim of sexual assault. Domitrz set out to inform people about the rights and wrongs of intimacy and consent, but in a way that would keep the audience's full attention on the presentation.
The 28th annual Duluth-Superior Pride Festival kicked off last night with a reception featuring Duluth Mayor Don Ness at the Depot. The festival is set for Saturday from 11 a.m. to 7 p.m. at Bayfront Park and will include a wide variety of entertainment for the whole family. Sunday's events include the Pride Parade on Tower Avenue in Superior, the "Fruit Float" Vista Fleet cruise and the "Foo-Foo Choo-Choo" train ride on the North Shore Scenic Railroad. Get more information at dspride.com
If you were hoping to check out the "Big Bugs" exhibit at the Minnesota Zoo your days are numbered. The creeping, crawling, flying and leaping exhibit will only be open through Labor Day Monday. The "Big Bugs" exhibit is free with a paid zoo admission. For more information go to mnzoo.org.