MINNESOTA NEWS ROUNDUP: Winter storm warning for parts of Minnesota
CHANHASSEN, Minn. -- A winter storm warning is in place for much of northern and central Minnesota, with snow beginning to develop that is expected to become heavy by tomorrow (Tue) morning. Forecasters with the National Weather Service in Chanhassen expect the snow storm to move slowly eastward throughout the day tomorrow (Tue) and reach southern and eastern Minnesota by early to mid afternoon. Six to 12 inches of accumulation is expected in central and western Minnesota, and four to eight in the south central and east central regions. Southeast Minnesota will likely see one to three inches. The heaviest snowfall is expect from Redwood Falls to St. Cloud and Mora.
A two car crash on Highway 169 in St. Peter on Sunday afternoon killed two adults and a child, and left another adult and two more children injured. The Minnesota State Patrol says a car driven by 36-year-old Lindi Paul of St. Peter crossed the center line and collided head on with a pickup, and Paul and her 5-year-old daughter Emma were killed. The driver of the truck, 65-year-old Michael Oboyle of Marion, South Dakota was also killed. His wife and an 8-year-old grandchild were treated for non-life-threatening injuries. A 4-year-old granddaughter was seriously hurt and is being treated at the Mayo Clinic in Rochester. The crash is still being investigated.
We will likely learn later this morning (mon) whether or not Congressman Collin Peterson is going to run for re-election. Peterson has a news conference scheduled for 10:00 this morning in Moorhead to discuss that and other issues. He has represented Minnesota's sprawling seventh district since 1990 and among other things, has been instrumental in writing our nation's farm policy. Peterson has served as both chair and ranking member of the House Agriculture Committee.
A Stearns County Sheriff's Deputy and a hospital staffer are recovering from injuries they received during a scuffle with an out of control wanted man. Investigators say deputies and officers with the St Cloud Police Department found 26-year-old Shawn Iees of Sauk Rapids walking in St Cloud. Iees had 3 outstanding warrants for his arrest. When officers from both departments tried to talk to him Iees ran, but was quickly caught. Police say he continued to fight, even after he was tazered. Iees was taken by police to the hospital to be looked over, and he tried to run away again. During the second struggle both the deputy and a hospital staff member were injured. In addition to the previous warrants Iees is now charged with assaulting an Officer and a Medical caregiver.
Firefighters remained on the scene late into the night at the former Staver Foundry in Virginia. Virginia fire officials say firefighters from 12 departments helped battle the fire, and a cause has not yet been determined. The Duluth News Tribune reports that the foundry closed in bankruptcy in December 2006 but had been a staple of Virginia's economy for a century. Over the years the foundry produced steam locomotive parts and machinery for railroads, the mining industry, and paper mills.
The principal of Detroit Lakes High School resigned last July after he admited to watching pornography on a school-issued device. District officials turned over those records to the Detroit Lakes police to determine whether charges should be filed against Steve Morben, but police declined to pursue the case. The information obtained by the Forum newspaper of Fargo-Moorhead also includes copies of emails and instant messages that show Morben pursued an unprofessional relationship with a subordinate. Detroit Lakes Superintendent Doug Froke told The Forum that the relationship between Morben and the district employee was apparent to coworkers. Morben told the newspaper that his searches for pornography on his school-issued iPad were made at three out-of-town educational conferences, and the the text messages, instant messages and emails sent to "a co-worker" were uncovered only after he resigned.
The city of Dilworth has named Roswell, New Mexico Police Sergeant Ty Sharpe as its new police chief. Sharpe is a former Minneapolis police officer, who also worked in federal law enforcement. Mayor Chad Olson says Sharpe brings innovative ideas to the city that are appealing and that he's a good fit. Officer Brad Browning had been serving as interim chief since Josh Ebert resigned in September after complaints and a no confidence vote from officers.
Stalemated Minnesota House and Senate negotiators continue this week trying to reach agreement on a minimum wage increase. Governor Dayton says 9-50 an hour should be the minimum wage and it should be indexed for inflation so that it doesn't lose buying power over the years. Leaders say there aren't enough D-F-L votes in the Senate to link the minimum wage to inflation, and most Republicans oppose a minimum wage increase altogether. Governor Dayton predicts D-F-L lawmakers won't agree until the last minute in the session, which could be mid-May.
Governor Dayton has told lawmakers he wants a taxi cut bill on his desk by Wednesday (3/19) or shortly after, but it's not looking like he'll get his wish. The House has passed a bill that would ease taxes on the middle class and repeal three business-to-business sales taxes -- but the DFL-controlled Senate is just starting to assemble its bill today (Mon) and wrangling with those same issues. The governor says if for some reason the legislature fails to get the bill to him by March 19th or just a day or two thereafter, Minnesotans will lose 57 million dollars in immediate tax savings." Dayton acknowledges Minnesotans could file amended tax returns later, but says that would be confusing -- and lawmakers should just pass a tax cut bill well in advance of the April 15th tax filing deadline.
Charges are expected today against a relative of the six-year-old Bemidji girl who died after being exposed to the frigid cold last month. Twenty-two-year-old Rachel Downer was arrested Friday on suspicion of 2nd degree manslaughter and felony neglect of a child in connection with her young cousin Mercedes Mayfield's death. Officials responded to a medical call on the morning of February 27th and discovered Mayfield dead in an apartment entrance after having been out in the cold. The temperature on the morning Mayfield was found was around 25 below zero, with a wind chill of 40 below. Mayfield's official cause of death was ruled hypothermia by the Ramsey County Medical Examiner.
A Sauk Rapids man is facing a list of charges after he fought with police, deputies and St. Cloud Hospital staff on Saturday. St. Cloud police spotted Shawn Lees Saturday afternoon and attempted to arrest him on three outstanding warrants. After a chase, city police and Stearns County Sheriff's deputies tackled the 26-year-old and tried to use a Taser to subdue him. Once at the hospital, he fought again with a deputy and staff members as he tried to escape before being taken to the Stearns County Jail.
The Island Station smokestack is now history after standing for over 90 years on the St. Paul riverfront. It came down in an implosion yesterday morning to clear the way for new development along the Mississippi River. The power plant had been vacant for more than four decades. St. Paul River Walk of Scottsdale, Arizona purchased the land last year for just over four-million-dollars, but redevelopment plans have not been announced.
Senator Al Franken is scheduled to join students for lunch at Meadow Lake Elementary School in New Hope today and to announce a new bill he's proposing. He says the bill basically makes sure that every kid gets a good, healthy school lunch everyday. The Minnesota House passed legislation just last week to spend three-and-a-half million dollars to ensure all students in the state can afford school lunch. Franken says his legislation would allow Minnesota and other states to use the millions they spend to provide lunches on other educational needs.
We are halfway through Minnesota FoodShare's annual March food drive. Spokeswoman Suzanne Shatila says the goal of the March Campaign is to take in enough food and money to supply some 300 pantries across the state with what they need for six full months. She says with about 49 percent of food shelves reporting first week totals this week, the numbers are already up from a year ago at this time. Last year's March Campaign raised more than $8 million and almost 4 million pounds of food.