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MINNESOTA NEWS ROUND-UP: Vikings and state sign new stadium deal

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News Ellsworth,Wisconsin 54011
Pierce County Herald
MINNESOTA NEWS ROUND-UP: Vikings and state sign new stadium deal
Ellsworth Wisconsin 126 S. Chestnut St. 54011

MINNEAPOLIS - The new Minnesota Vikings stadium use agreement will require the team's owners to come up with about $100-million of their own money.  The state has agreed to sell $125-million in personal seat license fees on the team's behalf, but the Vikings were hoping to generate closer to $200 million. 


Governor Dayton wanted to see the Wilf family contribute their own cash and credited the Sports Facilities Authority for "hanging in there and...bringing down the amount of revenue from personal seat licenses considerably."  The team is getting $200-million dollars from the NFL in loans and grants, along with revenue from naming rights, concessions and ticket sales.  Several citizens addressed the Sports Facilities Authority to criticize the deal and State Representative Bob Barrett said "it should make Minnesotans angry."


A fatal crash has closed Highway 212 in Eden Prairie this morning.  Authorities say the head-on collision happened just after 8:30 am and involved two vehicles and two people.  MnDOT says at least one person is dead and another seriously injured. The accident remains under investigation. 


A Crow Wing County teenager pleaded guilty yesterday  to fatally shooting his father two years ago at their Riverton home.  17-year-old Karsen King admitted to shooting his father Stanley two times in September 2011, but told the judge he didn't intend to kill him.  According to the criminal complaint, the teen's mother says her son was upset because his father "never let him do anything."  Sentencing is set for November 4th.    


A former youth sports coach from Duluth has pled guilty to sexually assaulting two young boys.  Peter Olson admitted yesterday to two counts of first-degree criminal sexual conduct, and six other charges were dropped in exchange.  The judge ordered a psychosexual evaluation be performed before Olson's Nov. 25 sentencing, and the prosecutor intends to argue for the longest sentence possible -- about 18 years.  Olson coached the victims in the Lake Park Little League in Duluth.  He was also a coach in the Salvation Army's Rookie Basketball Association from 1988 until he was fired in last November.


Over 470 nurses at Mayo Clinic Health System-Mankato have agreed to a new contact that addresses quality of patient care in the hospital.  RN Chad Weiler says "we want to make sure patients are safe in this facility... and what we've ratified gives more sway to professional nursing judgment."  The Minnesota Nurses Association says bedside nurses will begin to have input on staffing levels at their hospital.  The contract was ratified last night after five months of negotiations and an informational picket.  


It's a good idea to make sure you're buckled up, as extra "Click It or Ticket" seat belt patrols take to the roads statewide today (Fri) through October 19th.  To launch the enforcement campaign, the Office of Traffic Safety rolled out a new video "Yearbook" that focuses on teenage unbelted traffic deaths.  The 30-second video features the faces of real Minnesota teenagers whose yearbook photos are marked up by the pen of a peer.  Each year in Minnesota, more than half the teenagers killed in crashes are not buckled up.  There were 102 teen vehicle occupant deaths in Minnesota between 2010 and 2012, and only 42 were belted.


The man accused of slapping a Minnesota toddler on a Delta Air Lines flight early this year pled guilty in federal court Wednesday afternoon.  Joe Hundley agreed to a plea deal that could mean up to six months in federal prison, instead of a one-year term he would have faced if he had gone to trial and lost.  Hundley told the judge that alcohol may have been a factor in the incident, but the fact that his son was about to die likely played a bigger role, and he has been in both AA and grief counseling since the February incident.  Hundley was arrested after hitting a 19-month-old baby and using a racial slur to describe the crying child.  Hundley lost his job as an executive for an aviation company after the charges were filed.  He will be sentenced in January.


An Iowa state Senator has resigned, after the Senate Ethics Committee received an independent investigators's report outlining improper payments Senator Kent Sorenson apparently received from Michele Bachmann's political action committee prior to the Iowa caucuses in 2012.  The Senate Republican Leader called for Sorenson's resignation.  The report details money Sorenson apparently received from Bachmann-controlled PACs was filtered through two separate consulting firms.  It also states that Sorenson lied about where the money came from, which is a possible felony under Iowa election law.  Sorenson served as the Iowa campaign chairman of Bachmann's presidential campaign until a dramatic defection to the U.S. Rep. Ron Paul's campaign just days before the January 2012 caucuses.


A south-central Minnesota school district was locked down Wednesday for the second day in a row. Superintendent Dr. Dennis Goodwin says a police presence will be maintained at the secondary school in New Richland after a threat was found written on the wall of a bathroom.  Police thoroughly searched the building, determined there was no danger, and Goodwin says the lockdown was lifted after just over two hours.  The superintendent also says, "swift action is being taken to identify the culprit and take disciplinary measures."  Tuesday's lockdown came as police searched the area near the school for a wanted felon.  


A southeast Minnesota woman is facing additional charges in a case that accuses Pamela Fahy of Hokah of having sex with a 13-year-old boy in Winona County.  The former elementary school paraprofessional and foster parent was charged with third-degree criminal sexual conduct in September after admitting that she had sex with her boyfriend's son. Shortly after charges were filed, Fahy resigned from the La Crescent-Hokah school district, and two foster children were removed from her home.  She will be back in court on the new charges October 30.


The Foley School District has posted a health update on its website regarding cases of viral meningitis among students. Superintendent Darrin Strosahl said three students have been affected.  He noted there is a difference between viral and bacterial meningitis, which is far more serious. Viral meningitis is usually less severe and normally clears up without specific treatments. Common symptoms include high fever, severe headache, a stiff neck, sensitivity to bright light, sleepiness, nausea and lack of appetite.  The symptoms usually last 7-10 days and people with normal immune systems usually recover completely. Strosahl said district officials have been in contact with the state health department and are following correct procedures.