MINNESOTA NEWS ROUNDUP: Trevino guilty of murdering his wife
ST. PAUL -- Jeffery Trevino has been convicted of killing his wife and dumping her body in the Mississippi River. The jury delivered the guilty verdict after eight days of testimony and 17 hours of deliberation. Kira Steger disappeared after a date night with Trevino in February, and he was arrested and charged with murder long before her body was discovered in May. Prosecutors say Trevino killed his wife in a jealous rage over an affair she was having with a coworker, and that Steger wished to end the marriage. He was found guilty on one count of second degree murder, which means a maximum term of 20 years in prison, but acquitted on a charge of second degree murder with intent. Trevino will be sentenced on November 25, when the judge will also rule whether any aggravating factors may merit a longer sentence than guidelines call for.
A public memorial service has been scheduled for the 20-year-old University of Minnesota student who was found dead in a ditch near Lonsdale, more than a week after she disappeared. Police say Anarae Schunk was last seen with an ex-boyfriend, Shavelle Chavez-Nelson, on the same day he is accused of shooting a man to death outside a Burnsville bar. Chavez-Nelson's girlfriend Ashley Conrade is charged with aiding an offender after police say she hid him for three days before his arrest. No charges have been filed in Anarae's murder. The memorial service will be held at 2 p.m. Sunday at the Burnsville Performing Arts Center. Donations to the Anarae Schunk Fund to help the family with funeral costs can be made at any U.S. Bank branch.
State Management and Budget Commissioner Jim Schowalter says if the federal government shutdown lasts only a few days, the effect on Minnesota's economy will be minimal. But Schowalter warns if the shutdown continues, there could well be an impact on the state and U-S economy. He says they don't have a precise estimate, but certainly the federal government is a significant portion of the G-D-P, both for Minnesota and especially in other states.
Nurses at the Mayo Clinic Health System-Mankato are voting today (Thurs) on a new labor contract. Minnesota Nurses Association negotiators reached a tentative settlement with hospital management. R-N Chad Weiler says staffing levels were an issue and under the new contract "we're closer to patients being safe in their hospital." Nurses bargained with management for 14 sessions over the past five months. Mayo-Mankato employs more than 470 registered nurses.
The man accused of slapping a Minnesota toddler on a Delta Air Lines flight early this year pled guilty in federal court yesterday afternoon. Joe Hundley agreed to a plea deal that could mean up to six months in federal prison, instead of a one-year term he would have faced if he had gone to trial and lost. Hundley told the judge that alcohol may have been a factor in the incident, but the fact that his son was about to die likely played a bigger role, and he has been in both AA and grief counseling since the February incident. Hundley was arrested after hitting a 19-month-old baby and using a racial slur to describe the crying child. Hundley lost his job as an executive for an aviation company after the charges were filed. He will be sentenced in January.
An Iowa state Senator has resigned, after the Senate Ethics Committee received an independent investigators's report outlining improper payments Senator Kent Sorenson apparently received from Michele Bachmann's political action committee prior to the Iowa caucuses in 2012. The Senate Republican Leader called for Sorenson's resignation. The report details money Sorenson apparently received from Bachmann-controlled PACs was filtered through two separate consulting firms. It also states that Sorenson lied about where the money came from, which is a possible felony under Iowa election law. Sorenson served as the Iowa campaign chairman of Bachman's presidential campaign until a dramatic defection to the U.S. Rep. Ron Paul's campaign just days before the January 2012 caucuses.
A south-central Minnesota school district was locked down yesterday (Wed) for the second day in a row -- and today (Thu) Superintendent Dr. Dennis Goodwin says a police presence will be maintained at the secondary school in New Richland after a threat was found written on the wall of a bathroom. Police thoroughly searched the building, determined there was no danger, and Goodwin says the lockdown was lifted after just over two hours. The superintendent also says, "swift action is being taken to identify the culprit and take disciplinary measures." Tuesday's lockdown came as police searched the area near the school for a wanted felon.
A southeast Minnesota woman is facing additional charges in a case that accuses Pamela Fahy of Hokah of having sex with a 13-year-old boy in Winona County. The former elementary school paraprofessional and foster parent was charged with third-degree criminal sexual conduct in September after admitting that she had sex with her boyfriend's son. The investigation was opened after police say the father arrived home early and saw Fahy run out of his son's bedroom naked from the waist down. The boy also admitted to investigators that he and Fahy had been having sex for months, at several locations in Winona and Wabasha counties. Shortly after charges were filed, Fahy resigned from the La Crescent-Hokah school district, and two foster children were removed from her home. She will be back in court on the new charges October 30.
The Foley School District has posted a health update on its website regarding cases of viral meningitis among students. Superintendent Darrin Strosahl said three students have been affected. He noted there is a difference between viral and bacterial meningitis, which is far more serious. Viral meningitis is usually less severe and normally clears up without specific treatments. Common symptoms include high fever, severe headache, a stiff neck, sensitivity to bright light, sleepiness, nausea and lack of appetite. The symptoms usually last 7-10 days and people with normal immune systems usually recover completely. Strosahl said district officials have been in contact with the state health department and are following correct procedures.