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MINNESOTA NEWS ROUND-UP: Visitation today for man shot by ex-partner at gas station

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news Ellsworth, 54011

Ellsworth Wisconsin 126 S. Chestnut St. 54011

MASON CITY, Iowa -  Visitation is this afternoon (Fri 5-8pm) in Mason City, Iowa for the Boston Scientific lawyer killed by his former partner Monday at a gas station in Arden Hills. 

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Ramsey County authorities believe 48-year-old Kelly Phillips of Minneapolis was shot to death by 44-year-old Ty Hoffman, who remains at large.  Phillips will be laid to rest Saturday in his hometown in northern Iowa.  Phillips and Hoffman opened the Lush Food Bar together five years ago in northeast Minneapolis.  Phillips is survived by his fiance, Nathon Bailey.  Anyone who knows where Hoffman is should contact the Ramsey County Sheriff's Office.

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Crime Stoppers of Minnesota is offering a one-thousand dollar reward for information leading to the arrest of a suspect in a gas station murder in Arden Hills.  44-year-old Lyle Marvin Hoffman, who also goes by the name Ty Hoffman is accused of gunning down his ex- boyfriend Kelly Phillips.  Police say they have found the BMW Hoffman was driving when he left the scene.  

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State Representative Erik Simonson says the 17-year prison sentence for the former owner of the now-closed Last Place on Earth head shop in Duluth sends a strong message that synthetic drugs are illegal.  The case prompted the legislature to toughen state laws, but Simonson says more work remains, particularly on Internet sales of synthetic drugs.  He says it's more of a federal and international issue, but there are some things the state can do.  Simonson says research has begun and whether there's legislation next session depends on what comes together.

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A number of Iron Range leaders hold a news conference in Virginia (Minnesota) today to blast Republican U.S. Senate candidate Mike McFadden for comments he made about using Chinese steel on American projects.  At Farmfest last week, McFadden was asked whether Chinese steel would be okay for the proposed Keystone pipeline, a project McFadden says he strongly supports.  McFadden responded he'd love to see American products used but "we gotta be cost-competitive."  A reporter then asked if Chinese steel would be okay if it's cheaper, and McFadden said "yes, if it's not being subsidized by the Chinese government.  So it needs to be free and fair trade."  The McFadden campaign hasn't commented further, except to say that Democratic-Farm Labor Senator Al Franken does not support the Keystone pipeline.

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A new study shows that the increase in farmers markets in Minnesota and across the county that accept SNAP vouchers -- or food stamps -- does help families on food assistance programs eat more fruits and vegetables.  NYU Steinhardt professor of food studies Carolyn Dimitri says it's a good first step, but it would also help if rural families had access to grocery stores and not just convenience stores "that sell basically junk food."  SNAP shoppers this summer were able to use EBT cards at more than 70 farmers markets across the state.

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A statewide impaired driving enforcement campaign begins this weekend and runs through Labor Day September 1st.  State Patrol Lieutenant Eric Roeske says last year in Minnesota, officers arrested 25-thousand-719 drivers for DWI -- an average of 70 per day -- which Roeske calls "very scary numbers."  Roeske says they are urging motorists to help keep Minnesota roads safe by not drinking and driving.  Twenty-three-hundred people were injured in alcohol-related crashes in 2013 -- and 81 were killed.  

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Broadway lovers take note:  The Ordway Center is bringing their "Songbook" series to St. Cloud. It's the first time the Ordway has taken one of their series on tour in greater Minnesota.  Their five-city trip includes a stop in St. Cloud November 1st through the 3rd.  Spokesman James Rocco says the Ordway will also hold several community workshops while they're in town. Other cities on their tour include Austin, Red Wing, Dawson, and Detroit Lakes.

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An NFL policy preventing off-duty Minnesota police officers from bringing their guns to Vikings games has been shot down by the state court.  Two police organizations challenged the rule, arguing that NFL policy cannot trump state law.  A Hennepin County court ruled Thursday in favor of the Minnesota Police and Peace Officers Association and the Police Officers Federation of Minneapolis.  The ruling applies only in Minnesota.

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A former North Dakota college football player has been found guilty of murder and attempted murder in a shooting outside of a Valley City bar last October.  Prosecutors say Cedric Chappell Jr. shot and killed 22-year-old Willie Smith and injured another man during a gang altercation, during which at least 35 gunshots were fired.  Sentencing is set for September 11.

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Police are searching for a 48-year-old Pine County man who apparently jumped right back into his life of crime just days after being released from prison.  Sheriff's officials say Jesse Ericson once tried to hire a hit man to kill his ex-girlfriend.  Just a few days after his release, Ericson stole three cars belonging to his father and also violated his supervised release in connection with a kidnapping conviction.  Deputies are asking the public to help locate Ericson, but say he is considered dangerous and should not be approached.  Anyone with information should call 911.

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A Lakeville man arrested in connection with a 1983 murder in Texas will not fight extradtion.  53-year-old Robert Otteson is accused of killing San Antonio businessman Francisco Narvaez in a Dallas suburb more than 30 years ago -- stabbing him more than 35 times.  Investigators say fingerprints and DNA left at the scene are a match to Otteson.

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An inmate at the Minnesota Correctional Facility in Oak Park Heights has admitted to murdering a fellow inmate by strangulation last year.  Washington County Attorney Pete Orput says 30-year-old Benjamin Beck pled guilty to second degree intentional murder in connection with the death of fellow inmate 30-year-old Shane Cooper.  Beck was accused of strangling Cooper with a shoelace and given the maximum sentence of 40 years.

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A cabin was destroyed in a fire Thursday morning on Lake Miltona in Douglas County.  When fire crews arrived the cabin was fully engulfed in flames.  Everyone got out safely.  The cause of the fire is thought to be a gas lantern that ignited spilled fuel. 

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The Minnesota State Patrol is investigating a fatal motorcycle crash in Montrose, west of the Twin Cities.  The crash happened Thursday morning on Highway 12.  Officials say a car driven by a 17-year-old girl crossed the center line and struck the motorcycle.  The patrol is not is not releasing her name at this time due to possible charges.  The victim's name will be released later today. 

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Two Lincoln Stars junior hockey players accused of using a 15-year-old girl to make a sex video in Moorhead may be tried separately after all.  Clay County prosecutors have reversed course and say they will not seek a joint trial for Thomas Carey and Brandon Smith.  Prosecutors earlier were attempting to have the trials combined.  Defense attorneys say a judge may eventually decide to combine the trials on his own.  Carey and Smith are charged with using a minor in a sexual performance, possession of child pornography and distributing child pornography.  Prosecutors say the video was made in a Moorhead motel room in February.  Carey and Smith remain free on personal recognizance bonds.

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