Minnesota News Briefs: Fridley Man Charged With Manslaughter In Daughter's DrowningMinnesota News
-- A Fridley man is charged with manslaughter and child neglect in the drowning death of his 11-month-old daughter last fall.
ANOKA, Minn. - A Fridley man is charged with manslaughter and child neglect in the drowning death of his 11-month-old daughter last fall.
Prosecutors say 28-year-old Joe Martin put Maddie and her four-year-old sister in the bathtub and then left the bathroom and fell asleep on the living room couch. He was reportedly awakened by the sound of the older sister screaming that Maddie had fallen and wasn't moving. Maddie was hospitalized and taken off life support 11 days later. Martin is scheduled to make his first court appearance next Wednesday.
The State Patrol is investigating a motorcycle crash that left two people critically injured early this morning (Fri). It happened when a motorcycle traveling at a high rate of speed lost control and hit a power pole in the Minneapolis suburb of Robbinsdale. A 29-year-old man from St. Louis Park was driving and a 23-year-old woman from Crystal was a passenger. Both were transported to North Memorial Medical Center.
One person is dead after a two-vehicle head-on collision east of Crookston Wednesday night. Killed in the crash was 36-year-old Chad Oakes of rural Crookston. The 57-year-old driver of the other car and his 60-year-old passenger were taken to a local hospital with unknown injuries. No word on what caused the crash.
As the school season in Minnesota approaches, this year's outbreak of whooping cough is becoming a big concern. There have been nearly 2,400 cases of whooping cough - or Pertussis - in the state so far this year. That's the most reported since 1947, some 65 years ago. About half of the cases of whooping cough in Minnesota have been in the seven-county metro area. Nationally, the number of cases reported to the CDC is quickly approaching 20 thousand, with 10 related deaths.
Around 160 members of the North Dakota National Guard's 188th Engineer Company are returning home from a one-year deployment to Kuwait today. The soldiers are from 70 communities across North Dakota and Minnesota Lieutenant Dennis Hoffman of Grand Forks says you can feel the excitement and a lot of people are on the Internet saying how they can't wait to come back to their familes. The local troops spent the last week demobilizing at Fort Bliss, Texas.
The Four Daughters Vineyard and Winery in Spring Valley, Minnesota claimed top honors at the International Cold Climate Wine Competition at the U of M. Their 2011 La Crescent wine won the coveted Minnesota Governor's Cup trophy as the best gold-winning wine and the "Best of Show" award for the top white wine. The Shelburne Vineyard in Vermont won a "Best of Show" award for the best red wine and Danzinger Vineyards of Alma, Wisconsin was honored for the best specialty/fortified wine. This year's competition included more than 325 wines from commercial wineries in 12 states and Canada.
U.S. Secretary of the Interior Ken Salazar joined Governor Dayton this morning for a Mississippi River boat tour. The group toured the Mississippi River and Recreation area. His visit is part of a four-state tour meant to highlight the Obama Administration's initiative to enhance conservation efforts, encourage outdoor recreation opportunities and creating jobs.
When it comes to child care expenses, only New Yorkers pay more than Minnesotans. According to Child Care Aware of America, annual childcare costs average $13,000 dollars a year in Minnesota. The average household in the state dedicates more than 15 percent of their paychecks for daycare. According to the report's findings, more parents are turning to unlicensed child care centers that aren't required to meet health and safety or training standards.
The West Metro Drug Task Force says drug dependency is to blame for an increase of crimes committed by young adults. The west metro has seen at least 60 incidents where heroin addicts have been caught committing burglaries. Officials say of those arrested, many are between the ages of 18 and 25 -- and they pawn the stolen items to fuel their drug habits. Heroin that is coming to Minnesota from Mexico is among the most pure in the U.S. and relatively low in cost. Heroin-related deaths, emergency room visits and jail admissions are all on the rise across the state.
Governor Dayton and legislative leaders meet today to try to agree on a flood relief bill in time for a special session planned for next Friday. Dayton has proposed nearly a $200-million flood relief package. Some Republicans say that number is too big, given the state's persisting budget squeeze. The governor responds if Republican believes there's excess spending in the bill, by all means they should address that -- but cautions them against "eliminating disaster aid for Minnesotans who have had their lives devastated."
State DFL Party leaders say state Senate Republicans broke the law by using offices in the State Capitol as a staging area for campaign activity and they're calling for an investigation. Minnesota Democratic Party Chairman Ken Martin says recent media reports show pictures of young Senate staff members walking into a State Capitol office wearing campaign t-shirts and clearly getting ready to go out and door-knock. Senate Republican officials did not return phone calls. An earlier statement they issued says "at no time is any staffer allowed to conduct campaign activities while at the Capitol; however, staffers are allowed to use lunch hour and vacation time as they choose, including campaign activities away from the Capitol."
A statewide DWI enforcement campaign kicked off today (Fri) and runs through Labor Day September 3rd. Jean Ryan with the Office of Traffic Safety says 2011 statistics show a majority of drunken drivers in fatal crashes were severely impaired -- nearly 70 percent were two times or more over the legal limit. First-time offenders arrested for drunken driving at more than twice the legal limit will lose their license for one year. Ryan says the main reason for these large DWI enforcement campaigns is to save lives.
Governor Mark Dayton is calling for a "Day of Remembrance and Reconciliation in Minnesota" today to mark the 150th anniversary of the U.S./Dakota War of 1862. Dayton is repudiating comments by Minnesota's second governor, Alexander Ramsey, who said in September of 1862 -- quote --"The Sioux Indians of Minnesota must be exterminated or driven forever beyond the borders of the State." Dayton says he's "appalled by Governor Ramsey's words and by his encouragement of vigilante violence against innocent people" -- and Dayton says he knows that almost all Minnesotans living today would be just as revolted. Dayton is asking Minnesotans to "remember that dark past; to recognize its continuing harm in the present; and to resolve that we will not let it poison the future." Dayton has ordered all state flags fly at half-staff today to honor the American soldiers, Dakota people and settlers who lost their lives in the 1862 war.