MINNESOTA NEWS ROUNDUP: A heat wave with no end in sight until Thursday
MINNEAPOLIS -- An excessive heat warning is in place for much of Minnesota through tomorrow (Tue), but the National Weather Service says there isn't a lot of relief expected until Thursday. Yesterday's (Sun) high of 96 in the Twin Cities broke a record set in 1948 by two degrees, and it's expected to be another record-breaker today (Mon). It will be just as hot in Rochester, with feels-like temperatures between 95 and 105, and near Duluth lakeside temperatures are expected to range from the upper 70's to mid 80's, but it will be 90 to 95 inland.
The first Somali-American to hold public office in Minnesota has died at the age of 45, from complications of leukemia. Minneapolis school board member Hussein Samatar died yesterday (Sun). Hussein also founded the African Development Center, and the board of directors has released a statement saying he will , "Be missed by many well beyond those who have benefited from his ambitious initiatives...at ADC, the Minneapolis School Board, and throughout the community." A funeral is planned for Monday at the Burnsville Mosque at 1 p.m.
The sentencing phase of Nidal Hasan's trial begins today at Fort Hood Texas. A jury of 13 military officers will decide whether Hasan will be put to death or spend the rest of his life in prison for killing Army Specialist Kham Xiong of Saint Paul and 12 others in his 2009 shooting rampage. The 42-year-old was convicted Friday on 13 counts of premeditated murder and 32 counts of attempted murder. Numerous relatives of the victims will testify about their losses - but they will not able to express their feelings about Hasan, or what they think should happen to him. Hasan is acting as his own attorney, and his court-ordered standby attorneys believe Hasan is trying to get a death sentence. No military member has been executed since 1961.
Two people are dead and two others were injured in a shooting in a Minneapolis alley. Police say a 9-1-1 call came in, reporting shots fired, at around 8:30 last (Sun) night. Officers arrived at the scene and found two men dead, and a woman and a teenage girl injured. The injured were taken to the hospital and are expected to survive. The Minneapolis Police Department? Homicide Unit is investigating and say no one is in custody.
State lawmakers will convene on September 9th for a special session to approve disaster aid to 18 Minnesota counties affected by severe June storms. President Obama signed a disaster relief declaration in July, with federal funds covering 75-percent of road, bridge and public infrastructure costs, the state is responsible for the other 25 percent. The bill's chief author, Democratic Austin Representative Jeanne Poppe says roughly four-and-a-half million dollars will go toward aid for the counties. Per an agreement among legislative leaders, no other bills or amendments are to be allowed as part of the session.
Representative Keith Ellison held a public forum on immigration reform in Minneapolis Sunday. The 5th District Congressman says it's not a coincidence the event was held around the 50th anniversary of Martin Luther King's historic march on Washington and "I Have a Dream" speech. Ellison says immigration reform is related in many ways to the civil rights movement. He says that while we no longer have signs telling people where they can sit, live and work, we still have human beings who don't have the full measure of human dignity because of their immigration status. Ellison says he hopes the House will pick up a similar version of immigration reform that has already passed in the Senate.
A libertarian think-tank report claims that poor Minnesotans and those in 34 other states are living comfortably on public and assistance have little incentive to find work because they make more than they would with a minimum-wage job. The Work versus Welfare Trade-Off: 2013 by the CATO Institute says a parent with two children could receive about $12,000 in direct assistance in Minnesota, but when federal benefits like housing and health care are factored in the compensation jumps to more than $31,000 a year. Karen Boorshtein of the Family Service League says the CATO report really amounts to criticism of America's low-wage economy, and that the minimum wage is not enough to get by on. The authors of the report acknowledged that they found 42 percent of adult welfare recipients are working and that many are participating in community service or pursuing educational opportunities related to employment.
Bystanders are credited with saving a man that was pulled under water when he was skipping his snowmobile on a pond in Britt. The St. Louis Sheriff's Department says 46-year-old Vincent Dishneau's sled sunk, and he was unconscious when he was brought the shore but CPR was performed and his pulse and breathing were restored before he was airlifted to a hospital in Duluth. His current condition is unknown.
A woman with Twin Cities ties who had been missing for five days was found dead late yesterday (Sun)in Wisconsin. Chippewa County. Sheriff's deputies say a friend found the body of 33-year-old Courtney Hagel in a wooded area near railroad tracks, about 200 yards from where she was last seen in Lafayette. Officials said there were no signs that Hagel was wounded, and foul play is not suspected. An autopsy will be performed to determine the cause of death. Sheriff's deputies said Hagel threatened to harm herself last Tuesday night, when she walked away from a mobile home near Lake Wissota. She has family around Bloomer, but officials said she spent most of her time in Minnesota's Twin Cities.