Minnesota State News Briefs: Popular New Prague prep coach dies of heart attackjMinnesota News
-- A moment of silence is planned today at all sporting events at New Prague Area Schools, in honor of a popular teacher and coach.
NEW PRAGUE, Minn. -- A moment of silence is planned today at all sporting events at New Prague Area Schools, in honor of a popular teacher and coach.
Fifty-four-year-old Matt Shetka died Sunday of an apparent heart attack while shoveling snow at his home. Shetka was a veteran teacher in the district and his teams were some of the best in the state. New Prague has won nine state titles in the its history and five were under Shetka's leadership. He coached girls' gymnastics, golf and girls' volleyball.
A Saint James man charged with the deaths of two women in an August 2011 car crash has been sentenced to just over four years in prison. Twenty-four-year-old Mark Chalin told the judge Monday that he would trade his life for those of his victims "in a heartbeat." The head-on collision killed his girlfriend, 23-year-old Amber Menezes of Mankato, and the other driver, 35-year-old Jonna Martin of Lakefield. Witnesses said Chalin was driving recklessly with Menezes on his lap when he veered into Martin's lane and smashed into her vehicle. A tearful Chalin unsuccessfully begged the judge for leniency before he handed down the 50-month prison sentence.
An autopsy is being done on a missing hunter found dead in the woods of Crow Wing County. Forty-nine-year-old Timothy Young of Breezy Point was reported missing on Sunday. After an extensive search, Young was found near the Pine River in Mission Township from an apparent gunshot wound. It's still unclear at this time who fired the fatal shot.
Minnesota gets high marks in the 2012 America's Health Rankings Report Card. United Health Foundation ranks Minnesota fifth overall this year - up one spot from number-six in 2011. The state's strengths include the lowest death rate in the nation from cardio-vascular disease, low incidence of sedentary lifestyle and diabetes, and a high rate of graduation from high school. Minnesota's greatest challenges are a high incidence of infectious disease, low per capita public health funding and a high amount of binge drinking. Vermont was the healthiest state for the sixth straight year while Mississippi and Lousiana are the least healthy ones.
Thousands of Minnesotans continue to shovel significant snow for the first time of the season. Experts recommend warming up and stretching before tackling the driveway or sidewalk. They say it's also important to minimize lifting, and bend your legs and squat down to lift snow. Experts say it's also a good idea not work to the point of exhaustion and take breaks if necessary. In recent days, several people have come into the state's emergency departments with chest and back pain.
A former accountant charged with stealing more than $670,000 from the Archdiocese of St. Paul and Minneapolis now also faces charges of filing fradulent tax returns. Fifty-year-old Scott Domeier of Cottage Grove allegedly evaded more than 48-thousand dollars in taxes from 2006 through 2011. Domeier was the archdiocese's director of accounting services from 1995 to January of 2012. He was placed on leave after the archdiocese discovered he had misused the diocese's credit card issued to him.
Duluth is doing better than other regional centers in Minnesota and St. Cloud is doing slightly worse in the latest employment outlook survey by Manpower. The organization's Anne Edmunds says 17-percent of Duluth employers surveyed say they plan to increase staff levels in the first quarter of next year. Edmunds says they believe it's a result of necessary construction repair work due to the early summer flooding. Fifteen-percent of employers surveyed in Rochester say they plan to add staff, but that number is less in St. Cloud, at 12-percent.
Minnesota's budget deficit got a little help from revenue totals just released. The state Management and Budget Office reports general fund receipts exceeded one-point-three-billion-dollars last month -- nine-point-nine-million more than expected. The money is mostly made up of individual and sales taxes. Lawmakers will be dealing with a $1.1-billion-dollar deficit in their next legislative session which begins in less than a month.
Some Democrats at the Minnesota Capitol are thinking about a larger-than-usual bonding bill for public works projects -- while Republicans are eyeing it as possible bargaining leverage. The latest budget forecast would allow a big bonding bill for 2013 -- one-point-three billion dollars. Governor Dayton says there are "certainly plenty of requests" with "a lot of good projects." But Democrats need GOP help to pass a bonding bill, and Republicans have hinted they might not provide the votes until they know Democrats' intentions on tax increases.