MINNESOTA NEWS ROUNDUP: Two children dead, three serious after car lands in pond
ST. LOUIS PARK, Minn. -- A five-year-old girl and a 7-year-old boy are dead and three other children between the ages of six and one are in serious condition after the car they were in went into a pond in St. Louis Park yesterday. Twenty-three-year-old Marion Guerrido is the mother of three of the children and got out safely after driving into the pond. She began screaming for help as the children were underwater for 20 TO 45 minutes before each of them were rescued. Police don't know yet what caused Guerrido to drive into the pond at the exchange of highways 7 and 100 around 6 a.m. The water was eight to nine feet deep and described by police as "incredibly cold."
A 36-year-old former teacher at Wisconsin's Grantsburg High School is facing charges in Washington County after he was accused of having sex with students in his home. Matthew Koenen resigned from his job in Wisconsin after the school district learned of the allegations, which date to 2012. Court documents indicate Koenen allegedly had sex with one of the students at his home while his child took a nap in August 2012. If convicted of both charges of third-degree criminal sexual conduct, he faces up to 15 years in prison.
Fifty years ago today, President John F. Kennedy was assassinated in Dallas. Questions about the investigation persist, and former Governor Jesse Ventura in his book "They Killed Our President" takes issue with many of the conclusions of the official report by the Warren Commission. Ventura discounts the so-called "Magic Bullet" theory, says Lee Harvey Oswald couldn't have killed Kennedy, and says standard security procedures weren't followed for the Kennedy motorcade on that fateful day. Ventura concludes the Kennedy assassination was a conspiracy. The final stop on his book-signing tour is tonight (7pm) in Saint Cloud.
More bad news for Duluth commuters. MN-DOT says southbound I-35 between Lake Avenue in downtown Duluth and 21st Avenue West will remain closed for three to four weeks. Earlier this week a corroded piling was discovered during routine bridge maintenance, and District Engineer Duane Hill says more substantial repairs are required than they originally thought. Hill says they've awarded an emergency contract and work will be on an accelerated schedule that will include multiple shifts per day, seven days a week.
President Obama, at the recommendation of Senators Amy Klobuchar and Al Franken, has nominated Andrew Luger to be the next U-S Attorney for the District of Minnesota. Luger previously served as Assistant U-S Attorney and is an experienced litigator. He was commended for his work reviewing the Metro Gang Strike Force. If confirmed, Luger will succeed B. Todd Jones, who left to head the federal Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives.
Ten years ago today, college student Dru Sjodin of Pequot Lakes, Minnesota disappeared without a trace in Grand Forks, North Dakota. Sjodin was kidnapped by sex offender Alfonso Rodriguez, Junior as she left her job at Victoria's Secret. Sjodin's body was found in April of 2004 near Crookston, not far from where Rodriguez lived with his mother. Rodriguez was convicted in 2006 of kidnapping and killing Sjodin. He's on death row in Indiana as a lengthy appeals process continues.
Flu activity in Minnesota remains low. The weekly update from the State Health Department shows there were four confirmed flu-related hospitalizations and two probable outbreaks in Minnesota schools last week. The department continues to rate overall flu activity in the state as sporadic.
If you head out to Lake Mille Lacs to ice fish this winter, the DNR wants you to know the walleye slot limit will be the same as it was this summer. Fish population estimates this fall have led the DNR to leave the slot limit on Mille Lacs unchanged. It means you can only keep walleye between 18-and-20 inches, with one over 28 inches allowed. The possession limit is two. The fishing season runs through February 23rd and reopens May 10th. The DNR says the walleye regulation for the 2014 open water season will be announced in late winter following an evaluation of harvest data.
The Duluth Police Department is advising the public to be aware of a crime pattern that has developed over the last several weeks. Construction sites have seen break-ins to trailers and vehicles used to store tools and building materials. Structures that are under construction have also been broken into and materials taken. Contractors and homeowners are being reminded to take extra efforts to secure tools and other valuable materials that are left unattended at construction sites. Marking items and recording serial numbers would help law enforcement in recovering and returning items to victims of these crimes. The public is being urged to report any suspicious activity at construction sites by calling 911.
A Hennepin County man already charged with killing an 18-year-old woman is now facing additional murder and robbery charges in the death of a 24-year-old woman who recently moved to the Twin Cities from Georgia. 24-year-old Alberto Palmer was indicted by a grand jury on the new charges of first-degree murder in the death of Klaressa Cook. She and Brittany Clardy were found in the trunks of cars in impound lots in Anoka County and Minneapolis. Police believe the women died within weeks of each other earlier this year.
The organization Kids Fighting Hunger in Sauk Rapids is sending food to the Philippines following the super typhoon that displaced millions and killed thousands. Executive Director Pam Beard says they've waited until now to ship the meals because they wanted to make sure they had people in place there to distribute the food. Beard says they have a goal of packaging 100,000 meals at their Sauk Rapids warehouse by the end of this week.
Senator Amy Klobuchar and Congressman John Kline are among dignitaries on hand this morning (1030am) for an official dedication of the new Hastings Bridge that carries Highway 61 over the Mississippi River. The four-lane span is the longest free-standing tied-arch bridge in North America. More than 30 thousand vehicles use the bridge daily. Designers say it will have a hundred-year lifespan.