MINNESOTA NEWS ROUNDUP: Johnson wins GOP primary for Governor
ST. PAUL -- Party-endorsed candidate Jeff Johnson will be Republicans' challenger to Governor Mark Dayton after winning yesterday's (Tues) primary election. Johnson held off three Republican challengers, taking about 30 percent of the vote. He pledges a campaign that will appeal to non-Republicans as well as Republicans. GOP challenger Kurt Zellers took about 24 percent of the vote in the primary, Marty Seifert roughly 21 percent and businessman Scott Honour -- who spent the most of any Republican candidate in the gubernatorial primary -- also ended up at around 21 percent.
District 88 voters narrowly approved New Ulm Public Schools' 46.9-million-dollar bond referendum in Tuesday's election. The measure passed with two-thousand-642 "yes" votes and two-thousand-590 "no" votes, which is 50.5 percent to 49.5 percent support. The funds will used to build a new high school on a site west of town, convert the existing high school into a middle school, and for renovations to Jefferson and Washington elementaries. The district says the tax impact on a home valued at 100-thousand dollars would be about 57 dollar a year.
A Lakeville man has been arrested and charged with killing a man in a Texas hotel room in 1983. Police believe 53-year-old Robert Otteson killed San Antonio businessman Francisco Narvaez in a Dallas suburb more than 30 years ago. Investigators say DNA connects Otteson to the killing. Otteson, his wife, and children have lived in Minnesota since the 90s.
A Coon Rapids man is charged with criminal vehicular homicide after a crash that killed 16-year-old Champlin Park High School student Jason McCarthy. Investigators say 24-year-old Michael VanWagner had a blood alcohol content of point-two-nine following the July 22 crash, almost four times the legal limit. Court documents show that VanWagner first crashed into a car on Highway 252 and took off, but a passenger was able to jot down the tag number on his car. Shortly after another witness saw him drive into the median, speed off, and then crash at about 60 miles per hour into the back of McCarthy's stopped car. Before the public was informed that the teen had died, prosecutors say VanWagner posted a photo of his wrecked car on Facebook and wrote, "That's her front end after I got done with her, LOL."
A Hayfield man is the victim in a fatal motorcycle versus tractor crash Tuesday morning in southeastern Minnesota's Dodge County. The State Patrol says a cycle driven by 58-year-old Steven Beaver collided with the tractor at an intersection on Highway 30. Beaver was thrown from his bike and pronounced dead at the scene. The accident report says he was not wearing a helmet. The tractor driver wasn't injured.
The U-S Department of Veterans Affairs is granting one-point-four-million dollars to the Minnesota Assistance Council for Veterans to help prevent homelessness. President and C-E-O Kathleen Vitalis (VY'-tal-iss) says the funding goes to services for veteran families, including housing supports, rents, deposits, utilities and a variety of other services. Vitalis says the V-A renewed the grant for the fourth year because the Assistance Council continues to meet its goals. The grant is expected to serve about 450 veteran families in the state.
Minneapolis City officials are warning residents to take proper precautions following a rash of bike thefts. Authorities say over the past week, 86 bikes have been reported stolen. Police remind owners to make sure their bikes are registered and that they are locked up properly.
Mike McFadden remains the Republican candidate for governor after defeating challengers Jim Abeler and David Carlson by a wide margin in Tuesday's primary election. At his victory celebration, businessman McFadden told supporters Washington is in complete gridlock, with Republicans blaming the president and the president blaming Republicans. McFadden is up against Democratic incumbent Al Franken in the November election. The Independence candidate is now Steve Carlson, who defeated party-endorsed candidate Kevin Terrell in yesterday's (Tues) primary.
State Auditor Rebecca Otto held off a primary challenge from fellow Democrat Matt Entenza, taking 81 percent of the vote to Entenza's 19. Entenza spent 600 thousand dollars on his unsuccessful campaign.
An upset in Tuesday's primary election in the 1st Congressional District in southern Minnesota, where Republican rival Tom Hagedorn bested party-endorsed candidate Aaron Miller. Hagedorn, son of former Congressman Tom Hagedorn, says his name doesn't hurt -- but says his campaign moved that recognition up by meeting people on the main streets of the 1st District. Hagedorn goes up against Democratic incumbent Tim Walz in the November general election.
GOP-endorsed candidate Tom Emmer is Republicans' candidate for U-S House in Minnesota's 6th District after winning yesterday's (Tues) primary election. Emmer handily defeated Republican challenger Rhonda Sivarajah. He's now up against Democrat Joe Perske (PER'-skee) and Independence candidate John Denney in the November election.
Authorities have released the name of a man shot by a Duluth police officer early Monday morning when he refused to drop a knife. Investigators say 34-year-old Joseph Zontelli cut himself and ran into a basement room and locked the door, saying he wanted to die. When Zontelli refused to come out, officers forced the door open, sent in a police dog and ordered him to drop the knife. When he didn't, Officer Marc Johnson fired his weapon, hitting the man. Johnson has been on the Duluth police force for seven years and was placed on paid administrative leave -- standard practice in such cases.
People across Minnesota and the country are expressing shock that actor Robin Williams took his life. Experts say depression is a disease that can affect anyone, but Saint Cloud Hospital Director of Behavioral Health Scott Palmer says there *is* hope. Palmer says about 15 percent of those who are clinically depressed commit suicide -- but 80 percent of those who seek help are successfully treated. He says it's very important to recognize warning signs and get quick access to services. Palmer says if you suspect someone you know is struggling with depression, get them to see their regular doctor or bring them to the emergency room. You can also call the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline at 1-800-273-TALK.
Federal investigators say they've shut down one of the largest organized crime rings in Minnesota trafficking in stolen smartphones, and 20 family members of the "Mustafa Organization" are under federal indictment. U-S Attorney Andrew Luger says there are more organized-crime rings out there and investigators are not stopping with Mustafa family -- but Luger says taking this group out of business will help. Prosecutors say through 13 Twin Cities storefronts the "Mustafa Organization" bought illegally-obtained electronic devices, including thousands from runners who took smartphones through robberies, burglaries, shoplifting, fraud and identity-theft schemes.