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MINNESOTA NEWS ROUND-UP: Shelley charged with attack upon Kolstad

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MANKATO, Minn.  --  Twenty-one-year-old Trevor Shelley of St.Peter is now charged in Sunday's attack on former MSU-Mankato football player Isaac Kolstad. 

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Shelley is accused of sucker punching Kolstad and fleeing the scene before ex-University of Minnesota quarterback Philip Nelson allegedly kicked Kolstad in the head.  He remains hospitalized in critical condition after surgery.  Shelley told BCA agents that Kolstad swung at him after punching Nelson.  He claims he did not hit Kolstad or anyone else.  Shelley could faces up to 20 years in prison on a first-and third-degree assault conviction. 

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Two suspects in a 2007 Wisconsin murder are being set free after a judge ruled that prosectors violated their requests for speedy trials, and one of them will await her court date in Minnesota.  35-year-old Kandi Siveny and her 55-year-old mother Diana are each charged with murder and battery in the death of Lara Plamann.  Prosecutors say Kandi shot Plamann to death for cheating on her mother.  Once speedy trial requests are filed, Wisconsin law requires a trial to be held within 90 days or the defendants must be released.  The charges can also be dropped if the delay is ruled to be deliberate but the judge said it didn't reach that threshold.  Diana Siveny's trial is now scheduled for August and Kandi's for September.  Kandi will be allowed to return to St. Paul but will be required to wear a GPS monitor, check in with police regularly, abstain from drinking, and submit to random drug tests.

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A New London woman has raised questions about attacks on children in Paynesville in the mid-1980s and a possible connection to the abduction of Jacob Wetterling.  Joy Baker writes a blog called Joy The Curious in which she explores on-line mysteries and other topics.  Baker says she recently discovered a spate of attacks on children that occurred in Paynesville in the years and months leading up to the abduction of Jacob Wetterling in October 1989 in St. Joseph.  She says there's a child abduction case in Cold Spring that happened nine months prior and incidents of attacks on young boys in 1986 and 1987.  Baker says the description of the man suspected to be involved in the Cold Spring, Paynesville, and the Wetterling cases are very similar. 

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Congressman Tim Walz (DFL-Mankato) is on a fact-finding tour today, visiting VA Medical offices in Mankato and Rochester, as well as meeting with Veterans Administration officials in Minneapolis.  At a stop in Mankato, Walz says he wants to be sure Minnesota veterans are not experiencing any of the problems that were discovered in Phoenix, where a secret list deliberately put vets on a wait list for care.  He says we have no knowledge that there is any list or anything out of the ordinary in Minnesota.  Walz says the target maximum wait for an appointment in Minnesota is 14-days.  Walz serves on the House Committee on Veterans Affairs. 

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The EPA came out with a surprise proposal last November to weaken the Renewable Fuel Standard, which sets a goal for how much of the nation's fuel blend would come from renewable resources like biofuel and ethanol.  Minnesota U.S. Senator Al Franken (DFL-Minneapolis) says the weak and uncertain renewable fuels policy hurts farmers, jobs, and the economy -- and only benefits one industry.  He says the EPA's proposal to weaken the RFS. would be a big victory for big oil.  And he says cutting the RFS would shed about 1,500 jobs in Minnesota and cost over $600-million in economic activity.  The measure would cut the fuel requirement in 2014 to 15.2 billion gallons of ethanol and other biofuels, three billion gallons less than Congress required in a 2007 law. 

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Voters in the Fergus Falls School District have approved a $2,725,000 bond referendum.  Sixty-two percent of patrons supported the plan for new football bleachers, more track lanes, re-tiling the pool and auditorium upgrades.  Litchfield Public Schools' $3.2 million bond issue also passed Tuesday.  The funds wil be used to upgrade school security, the computer network backbone, and technology for students.  And residents of the Cedar Mountain School District overwhelmingly approved a $7.7 million referendum  The new funding will help update the facilities in Morgan and Franklin    

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