Minnesota News Briefs: First-degree murder charges pending in Montevideo murder caseMinnesota News
-- Chippewa County authorities want a grand jury to consider first-degree murder charges against a man accused of stabbing a co-worker to death in Montevideo in January.
MONTEVIDEO, Minn. - Chippewa County authorities want a grand jury to consider first-degree murder charges against a man accused of stabbing a co-worker to death in Montevideo in January.
County Attorney Dave Gilbertson has filed the motion against 24-year-old Darek Nelson, who was arrested outside the Pizza Ranch after allegedly stabbing 18-year-old Vinessa Lozano several times. He told officers he was angry with Lozano because he felt she had rejected his romantic advances. Court records say Nelson was still stabbing Lozano when Montevideo police officers arrived, and he surrendered immediately. Gilbertson is asking the judge to convene the grand jury May 15th.
A lightning strike early this morning triggered a house fire in Rogers. Everyone in the home did make it out safely. The lighting strike caused extensive damage to the roof and lesser damage to the second floor of the home. The homeowner reports hearing a loud bang before the fire broke out.
Congresswoman Michele Bachmann (R-Stillwater) is expected to endorse Mitt Romney at a campaign event this afternoon (Thurs) in Virginia. The Minnesota congresswoman hinted last week that she would soon back her former rival and Republican presidential frontrunner. Bachmann says she's been trying to build support for Romney. The day Rick Santorum dropped out of the race Bachmann said "now is the time for all Republicans to unite." She often criticized Romney on the campaign trail for not being conservative enough. Bachmann ended her campaign following a poor finish in the Iowa caucuses.
Minnesota's North Shore Scenic Drive made Yahoo! Travel's Ten Great all-American Road Trips list. Old Highway 61 stretches 154 miles from Duluth to Grand Portage. Yahoo says North Shore Drive paves a scenic path through the rugged Minnesota wilderness, bordering boreal forests, the jagged Sawtooth Montains and a sweeping Lake Superior shoreline. The route also provides easy access to eight state parks, the Superior National Forest and the Gunflint Trail.
Empty pill bottles are on their way to homes in the Twin Cities this weekend -- in a drill to test the delivery of medicine in the event of a terror attack. The Postal Service and the Minnesota Department of Health say it's the country's first full-scale test for postal workers to distribute medicine in case of an anthrax outbreak or other medical emergency. The drill will take place Sunday in parts of Minneapolis, St. Paul, Golden Valley, Crystal and Robbinsdale.
We hear a lot about what politicians say about Minnesota's business climate -- but what do the nation's CEO's think? According to Chief Executive Magazine, Minnesota ranks as the 36th-best state to do business, dropping seven rungs down the ladder from this time last year. The ratings are based on workforce quality and living environment which Minnesota did well on -- and taxation and regulations which our state did poorly in. Meanwhile, North Dakota shot up to 15th in the nation and Wisconsin moved into 20th place. Texas was first -- California was last.
A man wanted for second-degree murder in Duluth is being held in the Benton County jail in central Minnesota. St.Cloud police arrested 41-year-old Joshua Littlewolf Wednesday morning during an assault investigation. Littlewolf is accused in the stabbing death of 28-year-old Joshua Defoe-Olson last Friday in Duluth. Thirty-seven-year-old Nakota Benjamin has been arraigned on second-degree murder charges for his role in Olson's killing. A third suspect who was arrested for aiding and abetting was released from custody but is still considered a person of interest in the case.
A Clearwater County boy who was critically injured in a boating accident continues to mend. Eight-year old Isaiah Risland lost his two younger brothers when their sailboat sank on Clearwater Lake nearly a month ago. His CaringBridge web page says Isaiah enjoyed the warm sun outside on Wednesday, riding a three-wheeler and making jokes to nurses in his new room at Gilette Children's Hospital in St. Paul. Isaiah, who was on a ventilator just two weeks ago, has also regained more movement in in toes and fingers.
A close call for three men kayaking on the Red Lake River near Crookston. They had be rescued last night (Wed) after getting lost in the dark and stranded on the river bank without proper survival equipment or clothing. One man capsized his kayak and had beginning stages of hypothermia. Firefighters located them about two miles west of Crookston and all were treated at the scene and released.
Some areas of southeastern Minnesota received around three inches of rain from last (Wed) night's heavy downpours. Large hail and 70 mile-per-hour winds were reported in Wabasha and Goodhue counties The National Weather Service is still waiting for official rainfall reports from the area. There was flash flooding near Lake City with water over county roads and mudslides on Highway 61. Severe storms were moving across western Minnesota this (Thurs) morning with one-inch hail reported in Douglas County.
Its not yet clear how many of Medtronic's eight-thousand Minnesota employees will lose their jobs in the coming days. The Fridley-based medical device maker has announced 220 workers in its nationwide Cardiac Rhythm Disease Management division will receive severance, as restructuring continues. Spokesman Steve Cragle says the decision reflects an adjustment in staffing based on customer requests and market circumstances.
April was a good month for economic growth in Minnesota. Regional economist Ernie Goss reports solid results in agriculture, exports and medical device manufacturing. He says Minnesota's employment picture is brighter but there's still room for improvement. Goss says the state is seeing some job growth but just not quite as strong as you would normally see coming out of this fairly deep recession. Goss says Minnesota's tourism industry may take a hit this summer, noting that many people are planning so-called "stay-cations" -- trips that are closer to home and that save on gas.
The topic of bullying took center stage this week at Apollo High School in St. Cloud. It was the latest stop for members of the Governor's Task Force on Bullying Prevention. They are traveling the state holding listening sessions with students, parents and teachers. Doctor Walter Roberts Junior, co-chair of the task force, says children often provide the keys for unlocking the best strategies to fight bullying. Roberts says the rise of cyberbullying -- through sites like Facebook and Twitter -- have made bullying harder to spot, contain and stop.
Crews are working west of Ely to clear debris blocking roads, trails and portages in the Superior National Forest. Heavy snow last month downed many trees and limbs in the area. Forest spokeswoman Kris Reichenbach says they're opening the main roads first. She says they hope to have all the forest roads, trails, Boundary Waters portages and access points free of blockage for Minnesota's fishing opener May 12th. Forest managers re-opened several areas in the BWCA Wednesday that were affected by last year's Pagami Creek wildfire.
The man arrested at the scene of a fatal stabbing in Minneapolis now faces two counts of second-degree murder. Prosecutors say 38-year old Abdirahim Jama of Minneapolis had blood over all over his clothing when police arrived to find 27-year old Abdurahman Warfa stabbed in the shoulder. Witnesses say there were four men in the apartment at the time and all were drinking. Jama told police "he attacked me and I stabbed him."
Somali immigrants who have already been granted Temporary Protected Status by the government now have another year-and-a-half to establish a life in the United States. U.S. Senator Amy Klobuchar (DFL-Plymouth) praises the decision to extend the protection by the Department of Homeland Security, noting "Minnesota is home to the largest population of Somali immigrants in America." Somalia has suffered for more than 20 years from war, terrorism, drought and famine -- but now, in a new development, plans are being made to create a constitutional government by this August.