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MINNESOTA NEWS ROUND-UP: Sartell police officer dies after surgery

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SARTELL, Minn. - A Sartell police officer has died due to complications from surgery.  Officer Joe Schmitz passed away Thursday afternoon. 

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Police Chief Jim Hughes says Joe was an outstanding officer for the Sartell Police Department.  Schmitz had been with the Sartell PD since 2012, prior to that he worked in the Paynesville Department for 19 years, and also part-time with the Cold Spring-Richmond Department.  There is an account set up for Schmitz at the Central Minnesota Credit Union branches at "Joe Schmitz 7907." Schmitz is survived by his wife Stacy, and their four-year-old son.

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No word yet on whether a car dangling from a Mayo Clinic parking ramp is occupied or not.  Rochester fire officials have been on scene since 9:00 this morning trying to get the vehicle stabilized.  Local television station KTTC posted a picture on-line showing a portion of the vehicle hanging from the ramp roughly five to six stories up.

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Authorities in southeastern Minnesota are investigating a crash involving a Triton Public Schools bus and a pickup.  The Dodge County Sheriff's Office says the truck t-boned the school bus Thursday afternoon near Claremont.  Two students, an education assistant and the driver were on the bus and two people were in the pickup.  All were treated at a local hospital for non-life threatening injuries.  Investigators are trying to determined what caused the crash. 

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A jury has found 26-year-old Brandon Bedford not guilty of third-degree murder in the heroin overdose death of 19-year-old Miranda Gosiak of Little Falls.  But Bedford was convicted of third-degree sale of a controlled substance.  Jurors did not believe the prosecution was able to prove beyond a reasonable doubt that Bedford was the one who gave Gosiak a lethal dose of heroin on February 27th, 2012.  The defense argued that Gosiak got the drugs from someone else, and 30-year-old Keon "Bird" Mangun of Minneapolis was already convicted of third-degree murder in Gosiak's death.  Bedford will be sentenced on the controlled substance charge in 45 to 60 days. 

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A Two Harbors man accused in the stabbing death of a Duluth man has pleaded guilty to second-degree intentional murder.  Forty-two-year-old Raymond Weeks was charged in the December 21st, 2012 fatal stabbing of 54-year-old Kevin Tyman.  As part of the plea agreement, prosecutors will not seek a first-degree murder indictment and Weeks will serve a 30-year prison sentence.  Week's co-defendant, Joella Tucker, pleaded guilty to aiding and abetting second-degree murder.  She told the court she saw Weeks stab Tyman in the abdomen. 

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The flu season is winding down in Minnesota but there is still some activity around the state.  The Department of Health reports 28 influenza-related hospitalizations in the week ending March 22nd compared to 38 the previous week.  There was only one school flu outbreak and none in the state's nursing homes.  The geographic spread of influenza is considered "local." 

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