MINNESOTA NEWS ROUNDUP: Secretary of Education visited Minnesota to tout early learning
Governor Mark Dayton joined U.S. Secretary of Education Arne Duncan in Bloomington yesterday for a town hall forum focused on early learning. The discussion highlighted the $38.7 million Minnesota would receive under the Obama administration's proposed Preschool for All program, which would serve nearly 5,000 children in the state in the first year alone. Governor Dayton says Minnesota's future success depends upon giving every child the chance to succeed. The new state budget invests an additional $600 million in E-12 education, including $40 million for early learning scholarships and an additional $24 million to improve the quality and accessibility of childcare. It also spends $134 million to help all Minnesota school districts provide free all-day Kindergarten to every student beginning in September 2014.
A former Gilbert restaurant owner will serve seven years of probation, after he admitted to raping a woman. 51-year-old Toney Curtis of Mountain Iron, former owner of the Whistling Bird, plead guilty to third-degree criminal sexual conduct in May, after a woman told police she'd been sexually assaulted by him at an apartment in Mountain Iron, after a night of drinking. The victim also told officers he had disconnected the phone, and investigators say bruising in her inner arm was consistent with being held down. A four year prison sentence was stayed, so long as Curtis follows the rules of his probation. He will have to register as a predatory sex offender.
The roommate of a Minnesota native found dead in Colorado July 4, nearly five months after she disappeared, has been charged with murder. Leann "Annie" Meyer was last heard from in a phone call to a friend on February 23, and her family says 54-year-old Melissa Miller was the last person to see her. A Colorado newspaper is reporting that friends had earlier confronted Miller about Meyer's disappearance, and Wheat Ridge Police say the discovery of Meyer's body provided the last piece of evidence they needed to make the arrest. A memorial for Meyer will be held July 28 (11 a.m.) at a Denver golf course.
A short and strange police chase in Rochester Monday night ended when a K-9 officer brought the suspect down, and while officers can only speculate about why John Carr took off, they say the fact that he was caught shirtless and with his shorts on backward was unusual. The chase started when an officer noticed a suspicious vehicle, which looked empty, but when the patrol car drove past the driver quickly started the car and drove away. The officer followed the vehicle for several blocks before trying to pull it over. That's when investigators say Carr made a series of sharp turns, drove through a yard, and tried then to get away on foot. He was caught and charged with fleeing police and possible charges of driving without a license.
St. Louis County officials say a replica biplane came in too hard on the landing and crashed into Superior Bay in Duluth. Undersheriff Dave Phillips says the pilot was picked up right away and the plane was towed to shore. The plane suffered heavy damage. The Lark of Duluth is a replica of a float plane that flew into Duluth in 1913, and was the center of an aviation festival last weekend.
A Twin Cities man is jailed, accused of stealing toilet pipes from restaurant and store bathrooms. 32-year-old Mikael Carlson is accused of pilfering the pipes from the toilets in restrooms at three McDonald? locations in Eagan, and is also suspected of stealing commode components at Target, Dairy Queen, Gander Mountain and other stores and malls in the Twin Cities area. The pipes contain yellow brass, which can be sold for scrap for about $2.17 a pound. He was tracked down through surveillance video. Court documents show that Carlson admitted to stealing pipes not only from the Eagan restaurants, but other businesses in Dakota, Hennepin and Anoka counties.