Minnesota News Briefs: Man sentenced to life after killing girlfriendMinnesota News
-- A Silver Lake man has been sentenced to life in prison after a jury found him guilty of killing his girlfriend.
GLENCOE, Minn. - A Silver Lake man has been sentenced to life in prison after a jury found him guilty of killing his girlfriend.
Forty-four-year-old David Muniz Bustos was convicted of four charges including first-degree murder while committing domestic abuse and second-degree intentional murder. Bustos was convicted of stabbing 40-year-old Dominga Limon of Glencoe following an argument at her home last February. She died in the hospital two days later.
American Iron & Metal is expected to close on the sale of the Verso Paper Mill in Sartell today. The paper mill closed following an explosion and fire last May which killed one person and left hundreds without a job. Sartell City Administrator Patti Gartland says American Iron officials told the city the plan is to demolish and salvage the site, then re-sell it. Gartland says once the deal to buy the mill from Verso Corporation is finalized, salvage and demolition will begin almost immediately.
Two Minnesota women have been extradited to Wisconsin to face murder charges that date back to 2007. Prosecutors say 34-year-old Kandi Siveny and 38-year-old Rosie Campbell are accused in the death of Lara Plamann, who was found shot to death in a shed at Siveny's mother's home. Plamann was the partner of Diana Siveny, who is also charged in her murder. The criminal complaint says Campbell recently confessed to watching Kandi Siveny kill her mother's lover, because Diana Siveny thought Plamann was cheating on her.
A Lino Lakes woman is hospitalized in St. Cloud after police say she struck a car last night (Thurs) while crossing a city street. Officers say 50-year-old Brenda Glaeser was walking outside the crosswalk, weaving between passing vehicles when she hit the front right side of a car. Glaeser was taken to St. Cloud Hospital with serious injuries but is expected to survive. Witnesses told police Glaeser and another pedestrian were outside the crosswalk and difficult to see. The St. Cloud woman driving the car she struck was not impaired.
A gun, a knife and a keg of beer sent a Winona man to jail. Winona Police say 31-year-old Lucas Polus confronted a group of people at a party with a gun in one hand and a knife in the other. When he left, the homeowner discovered a half-barrel of beer was missing. Police searched Polus' garage and found a knife and gun that matched the description given by the partiers - and the beer keg bearing the city permit tag identifying it as the one taken from the party. Polus is charged with second-degree assault and terroristic threats, both felonies.
A career criminal from St. Cloud has been sentenced to 17 years in federal prison for being a felon in possession of a firearm. Twenty-five-year-old Shawn Roering pleaded guilty to possessing a semi-automatic rifle and attempting to sell it in August 2011. Police say the sawed-off rifle was less than 12 inches long, had its serial number scratched off and was stolen. Roering has several felony convictions and is prohibited under federal law from possessing firearms or ammunition.
DFLers are highlighting Governor Mark Dayton's budget proposal which includes $30-million for the Minnesota Investment Fund. It provides grant money for local governments to distribute as loans to help existing businesses expand and new companies to open up shop. DFL Senator Vicki Jensen of Owatonna says it's an element businesses are looking at when considering relocation. The program focuses on industrial, manufacturing, and technology-related industries. Eligible projects must meet minimum criteria for private investment, number of jobs created or retained, and wages paid.
Congress has adjourned for the week, with lawmakers already headed home to their districts, hours before President Obama is expected to order the much-dreaded "sequestration" cuts. The across-the-board, ten-percent budget cuts would roll out in waves over the next few months, and could impact things like education, mental health services, small business loans, and many others. DFL U.S. Congressman Rick Nolan of Duluth says Congress failed it's constituents when passing the sequestration bill the first time, and by adjourning before the end of the week they've failed their voters again. While still blaming the President, some Republicans are starting to argue that finding ways to trim waste, consolidate programs, and increase efficiency in existing government programs cuts would be better than allowing the deficit to grow.
This week's state economic forecast, which shows an improving budget picture for Minnesota, has the leader of the state workers union calling for the state to step up and put a permanent end to a decade-long budget roller coaster. Executive director of AFSCME Council 5 Eliot Seide says Governor Mark Dayton's proposed budget has the support of the union because it would do that. Dayton's proposal includes broadening the sales tax, while increasing the state income tax on the wealthiest two percent. At the same time, Siede says increased funding would be focused on what really impacts Minnesotans, everything from help with property taxes to strengthening schools.
A new report from the state Department of Employment and Economic Development suggests demand for workers is on the rise. Assistant labor market analyst Oriane Casale says companies are looking to hire. Minnesota employers reported 58,860 job vacancies, up 18 percent from the year before. Casale says this is the highest number of vacancies since 2005 during a fourth quarter. Casale says there were 2.6 unemployed people for each job vacancy in the fourth quarter compared with 3.2 one year ago. Fifty-two percent of vacancies offer health insurance, and the median wage for all jobs was just over 13 dollars an hour.
The University of Minnesota is making progress, but President Eric Kaler says "we must and we will do more." In his State of the University address Thursday, Kaler said he plans to give graduate programs a boost, open office hours to hear student concerns and put a new focus on employee satisfaction. Kaler said bold ideas are needed to fix higher education, and the university will have to make some tough decisions about what programs to keep and what to walk away from.