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MINNESOTA NEWS ROUND-UP: Search continues in Colorado for missing Minnesotans

IDAHO SPRINGS, Col.  - The search continues today for a Minnesota father and son missing in Colorado.

Authorities say 51-year-old Damian McManus and 19-year-old Evan McManus from St. Louis Park, left to go hiking at Echo Lake about two hours west of Denver on Wednesday and never returned. Alpine Rescue Team spokesman Bill Barwick says searchers don't know whether the two were equipped for wintry conditions in the Rocky Mountains. Blowing snow hampered the search Monday but conditions have improved. Family and friends have set up a Facebook page to encourage support for the rescue mission. A fund has been set up at Citizens Independent Bank in St. Louis Park to provide support to the family.


Becker County's long-time Sheriff who resigned suddenly nearly two years ago, has pleaded not guilty to felony and misdemeanor charges related the sale of a boat. Tim Gordon is charged with felony theft by swindle, making a false claim, and misconduct of a public official. He's accused of selling the county a boat, motor and trailer that he owned and claiming the equipment was new. It was purchased with a state DNR grant. Gordon was Sheriff for 10 years and had been with the department nearly 34 years before stepping down.


The Minnesota House Ways and Means Committee heard testimony today (Tue) on a package of bills that make changes to Minnesota game and fish laws. DFL Representative David Dill of Crane Lake says the omnibus bill includes a proposed refund for lifetime license holders who purchased their permit after March 1, 2013 which equals the difference between current and new license fees.  The bill would also prohibit the use of thermal imaging equipment while hunting, and stop hunters from removing a fox from a den or trapping a fox within 300 feet of a den from April through August. The legislation would allow the sale of raffle tickets for a deer contest, and allow a property owner to scare, chase off, or harass Canada geese that are causing property damage - so long as they don't kill them.


Minnesotans who are wrongfully convicted of crimes and spend time in prison would be compensated by the state under the provision of a bill debated today in a House committee. DFL State Representative John Lesch says those wrongfully convicted would be paid $50,000 for each year they spent in prison, with an administrative law judge determining if other compensation is appropriate. Lesch says it would take more than a not-guilty verdict to trigger a payment and would require exoneration. In recent years, Michael Hansen served almost seven years in prison after he was convicted of murdering his infant daughter until the Minnesota Innocence Project reexamined the case. Koua Fong Lee was convicted of vehicular manslaughter in the deaths of a man and two children when his Toyota suddenly accelerated on a freeway ramp, but after more information came out about Toyota's acceleration problems Lee was exonerated.