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MINNESOTA NEWS ROUNDUP: Supreme Court denies Amy Senser's appeal petition

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news Ellsworth, 54011

Ellsworth Wisconsin 126 S. Chestnut St. 54011

MINNEAPOLIS -- The Minnesota Supreme Court will not take up the appeal of Amy Senser's criminal vehicular homicide conviction in the death of a man on an I-94 off ramp in Minneapolis two years ago. The wife of former Viking Joe Senser will remain at the women's prison in Shakopee until at least October 2014, when she is scheduled for supervised release. She is serving a three-and-a-half year prison term in the death of 38-year-old Anousone Phanthavong. State Supreme Court Chief Justice Lorie Gildea yesterday released a one-sentence order yesterday (Tue) saying that the petition for further review of Senser's case is denied.

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The man suspected of killing his ex-girlfriend and her new boyfriend in Granite Falls more than two weeks ago has finally been caught. Police say family members convinced Andrew Dikken to turn himself in, and he did so at the Renville County Sheriff's Office in Olivia yesterday (Tue) afternoon. Dikken was wanted in the September 2 shooting deaths of 26-year-old Kara Monson of Granite Falls and 28-year-old Christopher Panitzke of Redwood Falls.

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 A Minneapolis home exploded yesterday (Tue) afternoon and left behind extensive damage and killed a family pet, but nobody was hurt. The assistant fire chief says flames were billowing from the front of the house when they arrived, and the front porch had already collapsed. Firefighters entered the home from the back, but were soon pulled out because the fire was so intense. They were able to complete an initial search before they were evacuated and determine that no one was inside. The cause of the fire is under investigation.

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A report detailing concerns of many southeast Minnesotans over the possible impacts of what would be one of the largest frac sand mining operations in the state has been compiled. Minnesota Sands is proposing at least 11 mines in Fillmore, Houston and Winona counties, and Johanna Rupprecht (ROOP'-wrecked) says the Land Stewardship Project will present the report today (Wed) to the Environmental Quality Board, which is in charge of carrying out the Environmental Impact Statement that's required before any permits are issued. Governor Dayton has said he supports a ban on frac sand mining and processing in southeastern Minnesota, and is willing to try to pass such a ban through the legislature.

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It sounds almost unhealthy, but a new study shows that fecal transplants -- in which the stool of a healthy patient is directly transplanted into the colon of another patient to replenish the normal bacteria -- is a good way to treat a debilitating and sometimes deadly infection of the colon called Clostridium difficile, or C-diff Gastroenterologist Doctor John DiBaise  says the treatment has proven very effective. In a two-year study, patients with two or more episodes of recurring C-diff were treated with a fecal transplant at Mayo Clinic. Eighty-seven percent of those patients experienced relief within one week, there were no serious side effects related to the treatment, and 97 percent of the patients saw improvement of complete resolution of their diarrhea. 

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A former Duluth youth basketball coach is being tried on child sex charges, and yesterday (Tue) one of three young girls Wendell Greene is accused of molesting took the stand. The girl, whose case will be heard at a separate trial, told jurors that Greene was her basketball coach when he initiated sexual intercourse with her when she was 14 and they had sex multiple times after that initial encounter. The current case accuses Greene of having sexual contact with eight-and-ten-year-old sisters in 2012. Closing arguments are this (Wed) morning and the judge told jurors to expect deliberations to begin this (Wed) afternoon -- and to be ready for the possibility that they may be sequestered overnight.

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A Duluth head-shop owner charged with illegally selling synthetic drugs is being tried this week in a case that was moved to Minneapolis because of the store's recognition and reputation in Duluth. In opening statements, Assistant U.S. Attorney Surya Saxena told the jury that last Place on Earth owner Jim Carlson, his girlfriend and his son knew they were selling synthetic drugs illegally. Their lawyer argues the three defendants had no idea that some of what they were selling was banned, and called the trial an ambush by federal prosecutors. Testimony is expected to begin today (Wed). The trial will last about three weeks. Carlson is charged with 55 offenses, including distributing controlled substances and violating product labeling laws, and his girlfriend and son are each charged with four crimes.

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 A 35-year-old man riding an adult tricycle was stopped by St. Paul police Monday night after a similar bike was reported stolen from an autistic man in West St. Paul. It wasn't the bike they were looking for, but a search of the man's backback turned up $8 million dollars in checks and photocopied checks from Xcel Energy. Just two hours earlier police say a backpack was stolen from a car inside a garage at a home in St. Paul, including a laptop and company documents as well as those checks. The theft victim is an XCel Energy employee. The tricycle rider was arrested on suspicion of burglary, identity theft and theft. The autistic man's missing bicycle was found in a St. Paul alley after an anonymous tip was called in to police.

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 The largest employer in International Falls and in Koochiching County, the Boise paper plant, has been sold to Packaging Corporation of America, but that won't change planned layoffs that will slash 265 jobs. The company announced in May that they will permanently eliminate one-third of the jobs at the plant by next month because of a drop in product demand. Packaging Corporation of America has agreed to pay nearly $2 billion. The transaction is expected to close by the end of the year.

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