MINNESOTA NEWS ROUNDUP: Up to 19 inches of snow in Minnesota from yesterday's storm
CHANHASSEN, Minn. -- A major spring storm that brought more than a foot of snow to parts of east central Minnesota has wound down, prompting the National Weather Service in Chanhassen to cancel the winter storm warning that was in place for many areas. Forecasters say some new accumulation remains possible in the Arrowhead, but most locations will see the snow rapidly melt by mid to late morning. Thirteen inches of snow fell in Finlayson, 19 inches in Isanti, and 17 in Nowthen. Three to six inches came down across the northwest Twin Cities metro area, and about six inches in Duluth. The southern portion of the state received rain rather than snow.
The former second in command at the Archdiocese of St. Paul and Minneapolis gave sworn testimony in a deposition yesterday (Wed) concerning the allegation of sexual abuse of children by priests over several decades. Father Kevin McDonough responded to questions about his involvement with the Archdiocese's handling of allegations of clergy sexual abuse while he served between 1991 and 2013. While a statement from the Archdiocese says that McDonough clarified mis-characterizations of incidents that occurred during that time and cooperated throughout a session which met the court-ordered eight-hour requirement, the attorney representing victims in several civil lawsuits says neither claim is completely accurate. Attorney Jeff Anderson says McDonough admitted he had exaggerated the risk posed to the public by the practices used by the Archdiocese but refused to outline what instances those were, and that McDonough gave just six and half hours of testimony -- not eight. Anderson expects the Court will allow additional time to continue the deposition because the Archdiocese failed to supply all the materials ordered by the Court.
Four Roseville police officers are being sued by a Minneapolis man over his arrest last May. Victor Hernandez-Rivera alleges the officers used excessive force when they used a Taser on him following a traffic stop for speeding. Rivera does not understand much English and was a passenger in the car when it was pulled over. When the driver ran off, Hernandez got out of the car with his hands up before the officers wrestled him to the ground.
A Woodbury man convicted in the rape and stabbing death of a fellow student will not benefit from the 2012 U.S. Supreme Court ruling that mitigating circumstances should be taken into account before teenage killers are sentenced to life in prison without parole. Tony Nose had hoped the ruling would allow him to be released eventually but yesterday (Wed) the Minnesota Supreme Court reinstated his original sentence of life without parole. Nose was convicted in 2001 of first-degree murder while committing criminal sexual conduct, and a district court judge resentenced Roman Nose to life in prison with possibility of release after 30 years. The state high court has reversed that ruling, saying the U.S. Supreme Court ruling did not retroactively apply to his case. Nose broke into 18-year-old Jolene Stuedemann's house and stabbed her 29 times with a screwdriver after raping her. He was two months shy of his 18th birthday.
A Minneapolis man has plead guilty to two counts of attempted first-degree assault for having sex with two men he neglected to tell he was HIV positive, ending a case Hennepin County Attorney Mike Freeman says was filed more than four years ago. The two victims told investigators that they met Daniel Rick online in the fall of 2009 and invited him to their home. He never told them he had HIV -- yet had unprotected sex with both men. One of them became ill several weeks later and lab results revealed that he had the HIV virus. Rick was found guilty of similar charges in 2011 but the Minnesota Supreme Court overturned the conviction last year. Rick has been sentenced to three years probation, to run concurrent with 15 years of probation from a Sherburne County criminal sexual conduct conviction.
The Minnesota State Mankato football team does not want head coach Todd Hoffner back on the sidelines. Players refused to take the field for spring practice yesterday after Hoffner was reinstated, calling instead for interim coach Aaron Keen to be reinstated. MSU-Mankato brought back their fired coach this week after an arbitrator ruled he was wrongfully terminated after child pornography charges against him were dropped. A meeting will be held today with the players and both Hoffner and Keen.
Minnesota Power has applied to state and federal regulators for permits to build the 500-kilovolt "Great Northern Transmission Line" from the Minnesota-Manitoba border to an electric substation on the Iron Range. The line will deliver electricity generated by Manitoba Hydro and advance Minnesota Power's strategy of expanding its renewable energy portfolio. The cost of the project is estimated to be between 500 and 650 million dollars depending on the final approved route.
An Aitkin woman was killed in a three vehicle crash Wednesday night in Wright County. The Minnesota State Patrol says 65-year-old Karen Tibbetts of Aitkin was heading east on Highway 55 when she lost control on the slick roads and slid sideways into a vehicle driven by 28-year-old Brett Riske of Maple Grove. A third vehicle driven by Jon Tank of Buffalo had minor damage. Tibbetts was killed in the crash. Riske and Tank were not hurt.
A jury has been seated for the first-degree murder trial of 65-year-old Byron Smith of Little Falls. Jury selection was completed Wednesday afternoon at the Morrison County courthouse. The jury will be composed of seven women and seven men with 12 members seated as jurors and two as alternates. Smith is charged in the deaths of two Little Falls teenagers on Thanksgiving Day 2012. The trial will begin Monday at 9 a-m and is expected to last two to three weeks.
The man accused of shooting a Norman County sheriff's deputy during a traffic stop Tuesday makes his first court appearance this morning in Ada (Thurs9:30am). County Attorney James Brue says 19-year-old Steven Henderson from Fertile will likely be charged with first-degree attempted murder of a peace officer. Henderson shot the deputy while the deputy was taking his brother into custody on a warrant. The deputy was shot in the chest and back but his bullet-proof vest saved his life.
Police in Duluth believe the body found Tuesday in the Lincoln Park neighborhood is that of a missing woman. Seventy-four-year-old Dale Elizabeth Gerard was last seen on July 20th, 2013 at an assisted living facility. Investigators say they are waiting for final confirmation from the St.Louis County Medical Examiner's Office, which should be in two or three days. It may take several weeks to determine a manner and cause of death.
The first tow of 2014 passed through Lock and Dam 2 on the Upper Mississippi River last night (Wed) near Hastings. Thick ice at Lake Pepin significantly delayed commercial boat traffic. George Stringham with the U-S Army Corps of Engineers says it's the unofficial start to the navigation season and for many people it's sort of the unofficial start of spring as well. The Motor Vessel Angela K brought with her a total of 12 barges. Stringham says the April 16th arrival makes this latest opening of the navigation season since 1970, excluding 2001 when historic flooding delayed the first tow until May 11th.
March employment numbers come out later this morning(Thurs10am). The last report showed Minnesota's jobless rate inched up slightly in February to 4.8 percent. Despite the small increase, state job analyst Steve Hine says the labor participation rate climbed 0.2 percent for the second consecutive month to reach 70.5 percent in Minnesota. He says that may well be a sign that the economy is improving and employment opportunities are out there.
Minnesota's unemployment rate remains well below the national jobless rate of 6.7 percent.
Heroin use is up significantly throughout the state. A Town Hall Meeting in Hennepin County tonight (6:30 pm) is meant to bring the experts and members of the public together to begin a dialogue on how to face the problem. Sheriff Rich Stanek says emergency room admissions and the general public are seeing an exponential rise in heroin overdose deaths and every single one of these are tragic and every single one of these are preventable. He says law enforcement and its community partners need to have this discussion about what can be done . Stanek says in his county alone there were 56 heroin overdose deaths in 2013 compared to eight just three years before. And so far this year, there have already been 17 heroin overdose deaths in Hennepin County.