MINNESOTA NEWS ROUNDUP: Today is the one-year anniversary of the Accent Signage shootings in Minneapolis
MINNEAPOLIS -- Today marks the one year anniversary of the worst work place shooting in Minnesota history. 27-year-old Andrew Engeldinger went on a shooting spree after being fired from Accent Signage in Minneapolis, killing six people before turning the gun on himself. Company officials released a statement this week asking for privacy as they remember a day of tragedy. Minneapolis will fly flags at half staff, and the Bryn Mawr neighborhood will hold a candlelight vigil.
Congress only has a few days remaining to pass a measure that continues funding the federal government after September 30th Congressman Tim Walz says the Senate is expected to pass legislation Saturday and send it to the House. But he says House leaders insist on loading it with other bills the Senate will not accept, including one that defunds the Affordable Care Act. He adds that Speaker John Boehner is not including House Democrats in budget discussions. Walz says there's a 50-50 chance there will be a government shutdown on October 1st
Winona fire officials say they now know where a fire started that destroyed three historic buildings and damaged several others in the downtown area earlier this month. What investigators don't know is exactly *how* it started. Assistant Fire Chief Jim Multhaup says they are 100-percent sure the fire originated between the ceiling and roof of the Winona Islamic Center. He says while there was speculation the fire was electrical in nature -- no final ruling on the cause was made following an extensive investigation this week. Multhaup says they don't believe the fire was intentionally set. Now that the investigation is closed, property owners can now move forward with insurance claims.
The trial for a St. Paul man accused of killing his wife may be handed to the jury on Tuesday. Jeffrey Trevino faces two counts of second-degree murder in Kira Steger's death. Steger was last seen alive in February and her body was recovered in May from the Mississippi River. Prosecutors contend that Trevino killed Steger in a jealous rage after finding out she was having an affair with a co-worker and her desire to end the marriage. It's unclear how many witnesses, if any, the defense will call. Trevino has until Monday to decide if he will take the stand.
Military and overseas voters can now apply for absentee ballots on-line at mnvotes-dot-org. Minnesota Secretary of State Mark Ritchie says it's certainly easier than a servicemember trying to find a printer, then printing the form, signing it and mailing it back to the U-S. Again, military and overseas voters who want to apply for an absentee ballot online should go to mnvotes-dot-org.
Fired political operative Michael Brodkorb has settled his wrongful-termination lawsuit against the Minnesota Senate for 30-thousand dollars -- much less than the half million dollars he was asking. The Star-Tribune reports Brodkorb says it's about putting the matter behind him and getting his life back. He was fired in late 2011 after then Majority Leader Amy Koch admitted they were having an affair. Brodkorb in his lawsuit alleged he was treated differently than female staffers who had affairs with male lawmakers. The Minnesota Senate has spent over 300 thousand dollars defending itself in the case. The latest invoice for legal services, about 90 thousand dollars, was approved the same day the legislature held its special session earlier this month.
A St. Paul woman is facing murder charges in connection with her husband's death. Heather Horst and Aaron Allen were indicted by a grand jury Thursday on premeditated first degree murder charges. 25-year-old Brandon Horst was found shot in the head inside his home on August 5th. Four days after Horst's death, prosecutors say Allen's fiancee' told police that Heather convinced Allen to kill her spouse by claiming he was abusive, and to make it look like a break-in. Heather Horst apparently provided the gun used in the crime, and police discovered potentially incriminating text messages between Heather Horst and Allen exchanged in the moments before the shooting. Police say Horst had a 400-thousand-dollar military life insurance policy and an 80-thousand-dollar policy from the federal government, and his wife was the sole beneficiary for both.
Another high-profile performance for the Fergus Falls High School marching band. Superintendent Jerry Ness says they've been invited to take part in tonight's (Fri7pm) homecoming festivities at the U of M. The Fergus Falls marching band also performed at President Obama's second inaugural parade last January in Washington, D-C. Band director Scott Kummrow says they plan to retire their white uniforms soon, which have logged more than 27-thousand miles.