MINNESOTA NEWS ROUNDUP: Teen admits to shooting Dad in head
MONTGOMERY, Minn. -- Bail is set at two-million dollars for a Montgomery teenager charged with his father's murder in Le Suer County in southeastern Minnesota. Investigators say 18-year-old Jonas Nelson admitted to shooting his father, 47-year-old Richard Nelson, in the head with a rifle from a gun cabinet in the house Monday night. According to the criminal complaint, Nelson first told investigators that he was upstairs in his bedroom when he heard a noise that sounded like a bullet going through a window around 10:30 p.m. He says he found his father downstairs dead, called 911 and reported that his father had been shot. About four hours into his interrogation Nelson changed his story and admitted to shooting his dad. He faces 40 years in prison if convicted.
The Fond du Lac Tribal Police Department is asking for the public's help in finding a missing man Twenty-three year old Michial Annamitta Jr. was staying at a residence in Sawyer in northeastern Minnesota and was last seen November 23rd when he was at the Sawyer Store. Authorities say it is unusual for him not to make contact with family and they are concerned for his welfare. Annamitta has a history of mental health problems and is known to abuse alcohol He is described as a Native American male, 5 feet 9 inches tall, about 150 pounds with black hair, brown eyes and wears glasses. Any information on his whereabouts should be directed to the Fond du Lac Tribal Police.
North Dakota Senator Heidi Heitkamp is urging the Federal Railroad Administration to release inspection information on the track where the Casselton derailment occurred last week just west of Fargo. In a letter to the FRA, Heitkamp asked how frequently the track was inspected near the Casselton switch point. She also wants to know what future actions will be taken to make sure adequate inspections are conducted on that track.
One final day of wind chill advisories before the Minnesota weather takes a warmer turn for the weekend. Forescasters with the National Weather Service in Chanhassen says that, in a line nearly straight down the middle of the state, counties on the eastern side will be under the advisory until 11 a.m. Clear overnight skies have dropped temps into the teens and even some 20's below zero once again, with wind chills of down to 35 below. On the west side of Minnesota temperatures are a bit warmer but the wind speeds have picked up, so it still feels like 25 to 35 below. Meteorologists say southeast Minnesota is in for some accumulating snowfall tomorrow (Fri) night into Saturday. Two to five inches is possible.
A subsidiary of Minnesota-based UnitedHealth, which was tapped to fix problems with the federal health care exchange in November, is now being called in to address problems with Minnesota's website. The Star Tribune reports 15 staffers from Optum arrived this morning (Wed) at MNsure for a two-day assessment. Initial work is reportedly being done at no cost to the state. Friday is the deadline for consumers to make payment on health insurance policies for coverage retroactive to the first of the year.
Anti-smoking groups are praising a new Yale University study that shows eight-million lives have been saved since the 1964 Surgeon General's report on the dangers of smoking. Bob Moffitt of the American Lung Association in Minnesota says the smoking rate has fallen from 42 to 18 percent over the last 50 years. He says less than half the number of adults are smoking today than in 1964 -- "an enormous accomplishment and it's almost unparalleled in public health to be able to save that many people from illness, disease and death." But Moffitt adds while significant gains have been made, tobacco smoke is still the number-one cause of preventable injury and death in the U-S.
The number of new businesses registering with the state in 2013 -- over 58-thousand -- is the third-highest annual total on record. Secretary of State Mark Ritchie says it's part of an ongoing increase over the last five years. He says each year more Minnesotans are making the dive "into the deep waters of entrepeneurship, creating jobs for themselves and creating new businesses that will employ people far into the future." Ritchie says businesses filings have steadily increased in Minnesota, even during the worst of the recession.