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MINNESOTA NEWS ROUNDUP: Drunk boat operator runs over girlfriend

A man accused of drunken boating was arrested after he apparently ran over his girlfriend, who had fallen from the boat into Movil Lake in Beltrami County. Deputies say 22-year-old Lee Zitzer is charged with drunk boating after he registered a blood alcohol level of .099. They were called to the lake after a young woman received a 12-inch-long, deep gash to her thigh and another propeller wound to her shoulder. Another man at the scene first claimed he'd been driving the boat when the woman was injured, but after witnesses told investigators that he had been on shore when the accident happened the man finally admitted Zitzer had been at the helm. Zitzer will be back in court next Monday. 

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Some relief is in sight as Minnesotans continue to battle a heat wave that has gripped much of the state nearly all week. The National Weather Service in Chanhassen says a cold front has moved in, and pushed out the weather that created temperatures in the mid-to-upper 90's across the state yesterday (Thu). The threat of thunderstorms exists throughout the morning hours, but after that forecasters expect sunshine and highs that will range from the mid-70s in northern Minnesota to the low 90s in the southeast part of the state. 

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A Dodge Center man is accused of showing up at the Rochester business where he once worked and telling workers there he was going to blow himself up with dynamite. The employees called 9-1-1 after the man left, and police tracked down the vehicle and found what looked like a stick of dynamite in it. Investigators say there was no blasting cap, however. The Bloomington bomb squad is helping with the investigation, and police say if the dynamite is the real thing the man may face charges. Officers say he was taken to the hospital for a psychiatric evaluation. 

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A Ramsey County Medical examiner has testified that Nicole Beecroft's baby was born alive, but died soon after birth from knife wounds. Beecroft is being retried for first-degree premeditated murder, after a 2007 conviction was overturned. Dr. Kelly Mills autopsied the baby girl's body in April 2007, and says an x-ray showed air in the infant's lungs -- which doesn't happen with a still birth. Mills also told the court that bruising also indicated a live birth. Upon cross examination Mills acknowledged that some medical literature states that neonates can inhale air in the birth canal and still die before birth. Beecroft was 17-years-old when prosecutors say she gave birth, stabbed the baby 135 times, and disposed of the body in a trash can outside her parent's home in Oakdale. The then-high school senior had disguised her pregnancy. 

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A Hennepin County jury has found a man guilty of first-degree murder for breaking into a man's north Minneapolis home, beating and strangling him and then chopping his head and body with a sword. Prosecutors say after stealing a computer and cell phone, 19-year-old Joshua Eason then set fire to the house. The victim is 45-year-old Jay Rosio, and his cousin told the court he was a "good, decent and honest man." After the verdict, Eason was immediately sentenced to life in prison. He'll be eligible for parole after 30 years. 

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The U-S House is set to vote today (late am/early pm likely) on Congressman John Kline's bill that would cancel significant parts of the controversial No Child Left Behind federal law. It would replace the much-criticized "Adequate Yearly Progress" measure of schools with accountability systems determined by each state. Federally-mandated interventions in the case of poor-performing schools would be done away with, leaving those decisions to local school districts. Kline's bill also repeals federal "Highly Qualified Teacher" requirements and directs states and school districts to develop their own teacher evaluation systems. Backers say they're "determined to put an end to the Obama administration? overreach in our nation? classrooms and empower communities to fix our broken education system" -- but some conservatives say Kline's bill doesn't go far enough. The Obama administration calls it "a significant step backwards in the effort to help our nation's children" and has threatened a veto. 

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Although he didn't speak in court yesterday (Thu), a Moorhead man charged with the death of his baby daughter, after she was left in a hot minivan for hours last month, entered a not guilty plea to a charge of second-degree manslaughter. Police say that 5-month-old Christiana Sandstrom died when she was left strapped into her car seat in the van for more than four hours, and that 24-year-old Andrew Sandstrom forgot about the baby while unloading and caring for his five other young children. His trial is expected to begin October 8. 

Jason Schulte

Jason Schulte is a reporter for the New Richmond News since February 2015. Prior to that he spent eight years at the Pierce County Herald in Ellsworth. His duties with the News will include covering news out of Hammond and Roberts along with action from St. Croix County court system. He lives in Roberts. 

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