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MINNESOTA NEWS ROUNDUP: Minneapolis Police Chief concerned by Independence Day weekend violence

MINNEAPOLIS -- The Minneapolis police chief is calling on the city's residents to put down their guns and find another way to resolve personal conflicts, after a particularly violent Fourth of July weekend.  Chief Janee Harteau says there were three shooting incidents in north Minneapolis in the early morning hours of July 5 - in which two adults died from gunshot wounds and at least three more people were hurt.  The Hennepin County Medical Examiner's Officer has identified the victims as 24-year-old Francesca DeSandre and 28-year-old Cabrie Young, both of Minneapolis.  They were killed in separate violent incidents.  Police also say there were two stabbings downtown, and a man and woman were hospitalized.  Harteau says she and other city leaders are concerned about the level of violence.


Authorities are investigating after a body was found at a Blaine mobile home park Sunday.  Police were called to the park at around 8:30 am when the body was discovered.  It is unknown at this time if there are suspcious circumstances surrounding the death.  


A State Trooper has avoided serious injury despite being hit by a driver who was apparently asleep at the wheel.  Authorities say the crash happened yesterday morning on Shady Oak Road and Red Circle Drive in Minneapolis.  A man in an SUV, 28-year-old Timothy C. Radloff, allegedly ran a red light and struck the side of the squad car that 31-year-old Michael M. Cleveland was riding in.  Cleveland suffered non-life threatening injuries while Radloff was unharmed. On Friday  48-year-old Trooper Scott Reps was hospitalized with serious but non-life-threatening injuries suffered in a crash in Cannon Falls. Investigators say Reps was on his way to a motorcycle accident and his squad had its lights flashing and sirens activated.  The crash killed 79-year-olds Norman Scott and his wife Geneva.


A 40-year-old man is dead after he drowned in the St. Croix River in Hastings.  The Washington County Sheriff's Office says the man, who has not been identified, was swimming near Point Douglas Beach with his family early Sunday evening.  He went under the water and did not resurface.  Dive teams were able to locate the man's body later in the evening.


Hennepin County authorities have identified the Metro Transit bus driver who ran off the road into a Nicollet Mall sidewalk and died.  Edina native John Lamaitre Senior Jr was driving the bus in downtown Minneapolis around 10 a.m Friday, when he collapsed suddenly, causing the bus to roll up onto the sidewalk.  Senior was later pronounced dead at the Hennepin County Medical Center of natural causes.  No one else was injured in the incident.


The 273-million-dollar Minnesota State Capitol restoration project kicks into high gear this week(7/7).  The Department of Administration says workers will begin replacing the roof and prepping the interior for new mechanical and electrical installation.  There will be no access to the Rotunda, all floors of the east wing and the ground and first floors of the west wing.  Officials warn there will be short-term inconveniences, lots of noise and detours.  The construction phase of the restoration began in the fall of 2013 and will end in 2017.    


A U.S. Supreme Court decision on union dues for child and home care workers isn't sitting well with some Minnesotans.  The court ruled that independent contractors should not have to automatically pay union dues, regardless of "agency shop" rules that say a public-sector union has to cover everyone in the workplace.  But Mounds View child care provider Clarissa Johnston says without what are known as "fair share dues," some may try to get the benefits without paying their part. She says she wants all of her peers in Minnesota to be part of a union, because in her view, they need it. In Minnesota, child care providers still have the right to vote on a union and to collectively bargain with the state. She says the union will help the providers with training and things such as group life insurance.  


A Center for Disease Control (CDC) study finds vaccine side effects are extremely rare.  The analysis comes as many diseases are making a comeback.  Kris Ehresmann with the Minnesota Department of Health says just this year we've seen a resurgence in measles in the U.S.--the biggest outbreak in 20 years. 


Mankato Police arrested a man yesterday (Sun) after they say he set off a homemade pipe bomb outside a home.  Investigators say they also found several other such bombs and they called in the Bloomington Bomb Squad to remove and dispose of them.  Nobody was hurt and the suspect was jailed.  The case is still under investigation.  


It has taken over 20-years for temperatures to take this long to reach 90-degrees in Minneapolis.  KMSP-TV says the city has yet to see a 90-degree day this summer which is the longest time period since 1993.  The average date for the first 90-degree day is May 31st.  


Eighty-two postal processing facilities across the nation will be closed beginning in January of 2015, including four in Minnesota.  U.S. Postmaster General Patrick Donohoe plans to close facilities in Duluth, Waite Park , Mankato, and Bemidji.  U.S. Senator Al Franken supported a bill in 2012 that would have kept post offices and processing plants open.  Franken said closing the processing centers will significantly impact local businesses and drive business away from the postal service. Congress did not take up the 2012 bill.  This week Franken wrote a letter to the Post Master protesting the planned closures.