Minnesota News Briefs: Senser lawyer wants guilty verdict thrown outMinnesota News
-- The lawyer for Amy Senser will argue next week that her guilty verdicts be thrown out or that she be granted a new trial.
MINNEAPOLIS - The lawyer for Amy Senser will argue next week that her guilty verdicts be thrown out or that she be granted a new trial.
A hearing on defense attorney Eric Nelson's motion is scheduled for May 31st in Hennepin County (2:30pm). Senser was convicted on two counts of criminal vehicular homicide in the August hit-and-run death of 38-year-old Ansoune Phanthavong. Nelson claims there was a potential error in the jury instructions. It was learned after the trial that the jurors gave the judge a note saying they convicted Senser because they believed she knew she struck a vehicle, not a person. Sentencing is set for July 9th.
A big announcement is today (WED) from Minneapolis tourism officials. There’s no word on what event it will be, other than it will be held in 2014 and it will have “significant economic impact” on the Twin Cities area and its suburbs. Among speculation getting the most attention: the 33rd annual U.S. Girls’ Junior Volleyball Championships, scheduled in summer of 2014.
Washington County authorities have found the missing man from the city of Grant with Alzheimer's disease. Sixty-seven-year-old Donald Sullivan was located this (Wed) morning with family members in Columbia Heights. A telephone tip led investigators to Sullivan following an extended nighttime search.
The U.S. Forest Service has lifted campfire restrictions in the Boundary Waters Canoe Area Wilderness of northeastern Minnesota. Most of the Superior National Forest has received continued precipitation so campfires will be allowed any time of day in all areas of the BWCAW. Visitors should use designated fire rings when available and make sure all fires are extinguished before leaving.
The city of New Ulm is moving forward with plans to construct a permanent flood levy along the Minnesota River. City council members say all the landowners are ready to sign off on easements so the city can acquire property on the south end of town. Cost of the easements is nearly $169,000, while the total levy project is estimated at more than two-million. A date for receiving bids will be set once the last homeowner agrees to grant easement rights to the city.
Maplewood-based 3M will not be required to do an environmental review of a plan to import hazardous waste from other states to burn at its Cottage Grove incinerator. Local residents were concerned about the lead and other pollution and petitioned the Minnesota Pollution Control Agency for the review, but their request has been rejected. 3M wants to import the waste because it no longer produces enough of its own to operate the incinerator efficiently.
The Better Business Bureau of Minnesota is sounding the alert on rental property scams. Spokesman Dan Hendrickson says swindlers are posing as landlords or rental agents - and using Craigslist and other websites to hook you. He says they are taking legitimate pictures of properties and creating new ads - but they don't own anything and are trying to steal your money or identity. Hendrickson recommends being wary of rental property deals that sound too good to be true - and don't wire money at the request of any prospective "landlord."
There's a departure ceremony this evening for more than 120 soldiers from the 257th Military Police Company of the Minnesota National Guard. The Monticello-based company leaves for training May 28th before heading to Afghanistan for a year. Captain Troy Hyland says their main focus will be to train, coach and mentor the Afghan National Army The ceremony will be held at 7 p.m. in the Monticello High School auditorium.
U.S. Senator Al Franken (DFL-Minneapolis) has introduced a bill that would allow seniors to purchase cheaper medications from Canadian pharmacies. Franken says nearly every senior he meets with in Minnesota tells him how difficult it is to afford their prescription drugs. Franken wrote the legislation with Senator John McCain (R-Ariz.) and it was attached as an amendment to another bill that is expected to pass this week. When Governor Dayton was a U.S. senator, he donated his salary to help Minnesotans buy lower-priced prescription drugs from Canada.
Fifth District Congressman Keith Ellison (DFL-Minneapolis) is hosting a job and career fair today (Wed 10am-2pm) in south Minneapolis. More than three dozen Minnesota employers with job openings will be at the Powderhorn Park Recreation Center. There are also a number of schools, colleges and other organizations. Ellison says many Minnesotans are still looking for work and African-American unemployment in Minneapolis is at record levels. Job seekers are encouraged to bring multiple copies of their resume and be ready to meet with employers looking to hire. The job fair is free and open to the public.
A big announcement is set for today from Minneapolis tourism officials. There’s no word on what event it will be, other than it will be held in 2014 and it will have “significant economic impact” on the Twin Cities area and its suburbs. Among the speculation getting the most attention: the 33rd annual U.S. Girls’ Junior Volleyball Championships, scheduled in summer of 2014.
After three straight years of declines, motorcycle fatalities are on the rise in Minnesota this year - and the season is still young. State motorcycle safety specialist Bill Shaffer says at least 12 riders have died this season - five more than at this time last year. He says half of the single-vehicle crashes involved excessive speed and alcohol is suspected in at least two of the fatalities. Shaffer urges motorcyclists to slow down, stay alert and avoid alcohol.
Washington County authorities are asking for the public's help locating a missing man with Alzheimer's disease. Sixty-seven-year-old Donald Sullivan was last seen late Tuesday night walking in the area of Highway-96 in the city of Grant. Sullivan is six-foot tall, weighs about 200-pounds and was wearing a blue and white plaid shirt and blue jeans. Anyone with information on Sullivan should call the Washington County Sheriff's Office.
A manhunt is over and a suspect accused of kidnapping his former girlfriend has been located by authorities in Anoka County. Thirty-nine-year-old Dennis Aasen of Mounds View had been on the run since last week. Aasen allegedly kidnapped 30-year-old Jenna Lee Forslin from her home in Pope County. She was later found wounded but safe. There's no word yet on where Aasen is being held.
A crash off Interstate-694 north of the Twin Cities has resulted in the death of a Spooner, Wisconsin man. The State Patrol reports 59-year old Bradford Evans died when his vehicle went off the road in Shoreview and down an embankment, hitting a tree. Another vehicle was involved and the crash snarled traffic for several hours on Tuesday.
About 3,500 unionized medical workers at eight Twin Cities hospitals finish voting today on a new contract with results to be announced tonight. Negotiators hammered out a tentative agreement one week ago, after union members overwhelmingly authorized their leaders to call a two- to five-day strike. The disagreement was over wages and benefits. The union represents nursing assistants, ER technicians, maintenance and food service workers at the following hospitals: Bethesda, St. Paul Children's, Minneapolis Children's, North Memorial, Fairview Riverside, Fairview Southdale, Methodist and Saint John's.
A fund has been set up at Wells Fargo Bank to help defray medical expenses for a four-year-old St. Paul boy critically injured in a hit-and-run Saturday afternoon. Tyrell Baymon suffered internal injuries and broken bones. Twenty-five-year old Ernest Jonas was charged with two counts of criminal vehicular operation. Prosecutors say Jonas was repeatedly racing his motorcycle down the street when he hit Tyrell as his mother was walking him to her vehicle so they could go to his birthday party.
It appears that a fatal train-pedestrian collision Tuesday in the Twin Cities suburb of Plymouth was a suicide. Police say it was "not accidental" and "not criminal." A white male was struck and killed by a Canadian Pacific train. The person's name has not been released.
The State Patrol has identified the woman who died in an accident Monday off Highway-65 on the Iron Range. Seventy-two-year old Carol Blomberg of Nashwauk was the passenger in a pickup truck driven by her husband Clement. Investigators say the 78-year old lost control of the truck and crashed into a tree. Clement Blomberg was taken to the hospital in critical condition. Both of them were wearing seatbelts.
Heading into some potentially wet weather this mid-week, a portion of northwestern Minnesota remains dry and at risk of wildfires. The DNR reports several counties with a high fire danger rating including Polk, Beltrami, Red Lake, Clearwater, Mahnomen, plus parts of Hubbard and Cass counties. Earlier in the week, firefighters tamped down a few fires across the upper half of the state, with the largest in Wilkin County. The entire state with the exception of southeastern Minnesota is due to receive rain today.
Forecasters say, starting tonight, a huge swath of Minnesota could be in for flash flooding. The National Weather Service predicts rain, and lots of it, potentially soaking much of central and southern Minnesota. The way the storm is setting up now, rain totals could exceed two-inches by tomorrow around Redwood Falls and St. Cloud, since the system is expected to stall out over the state after it arrives.
May is Older Americans Month and this year's focus is on getting more people who are 50 and older to become organ donors. Howard Koh from the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services says 114,000 people are currently on waiting lists, "hoping for an organ and a chance to regain a normal life." Doctor Koh says people who are 50 and older account for 60-percent of needed transplants -- but only 32-percent of the total donors. Minnesota has five organ and tissue transplant centers -- located around the Twin Cities and Rochester.
Here are the winning numbers from the Minnesota State Lottery for Tuesday, May 22nd, 2012. The Daily Three: 1-3-0. Northstar Cash: 9-13-17-21-29.