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MINNESOTA NEWS ROUNDUP: Minneapolis man pleads guilty to cockfighting charges

MINNEAPOLIS -- A Minneapolis man will be serving community service and two years probation after pleading guilty to cockfighting charges.  In January, police searched the home of Cheng Lor on allegations of drug dealing.  Police say they found a number of chickens and roosters, both live and dead, and items believed to be used in a cockfight.  Lor's attorney said he had sold chickens in the past to be used for fighting, but denies running his own ring.


Hennepin County authorities continue to investigate after a teenage boy drowned in Lake Nokomis in South Minneapolis.  The identity of the victim still has not been released but authorities say he was a South High School football player swimming after practice.  The 15-year-old was trying to swim to a raft yesterday when he went under the water and never resurfaced.  Crews recovered his body about an hour later, 15-feet under the water.  


A search warrant has been issued for the arrest of a teenager who is being sought by Rochester police in connection with last week's shooting near the north Perkins restaurant. Investigators say 17- year- old Aries Candler shot a man during a drug-related robbery. Candler and 18-year-old Elijah Golden allegedly contacted the victim and two others to buy some marijuana. While the five were in a car, Candler pulled out a gun.  All five got out of the vehicle and began fighting in the street and moments later, a shot rang out and the victim was hit in the chin.  A fragment of the bullet also struck his chest.  The other two men drove him to St. Mary's and police were notified.  Candler and Golden took off in a car that pulled up during the confrontation. Golden was later apprehended and charged last week.


A Fargo man accused of setting fire to his ex-wife's apartment deck is now the subject of a child pornography investigation in Moorhead.  Thirty-one-year-old Aaron Rogers is charged with arson, terrorizing and criminal trespass in Fargo.  A Clay County search warrant affidavit says after Rogers was arrested in Moorhead, police investigating the arson discovered what appeared to be 19 images of child porn on Rogers' cell phone.  Police also seized a computer, tablet and video recorder from Rogers' car at the Moorhead impound lot.  Rogers remains in the Cass County jail in Fargo. Additional charges have not yet been filed.


New upgrades have been added to TCF Bank Stadium, leading up the start of the Minnesota Vikings season.  University of Minnesota associate athletic director Scott Ellison says the upgrades include new bleachers in the West Plaza, heated turf and new goal posts.  The renovations cost around two-point-five-million dollars.  The Vikings will be calling the outdoor venue home until their new stadium is finished being built.  The Vikings have today off and will open up preseason play tomorrow night(fri) against the Oakland Raiders.


The financial fallout from Target's massive data breach continues to dog the mega-retailer.  Target says that for the quarter ending August 2nd, it racked up another 148-million dollars in costs related to the breach.  The losses are being partially offset by a 38-million dollar check from Target's insurance company.  From late November through early December of last year, data from about 40-million credit and debit cards was stolen from Target shoppers.


State officials unveiled a new website in Duluth yesterday (Wed) to provide resources and information for parents, youth, educators and others who might encounter synthetic drugs.  It's called Know-the-Dangers-dot-com ( and Duluth Representative Erik Simonson says it gives people a "really good tool" to understand what officials are trying to combat.  A tougher state law against synthetic drugs takes effect this month, prompted by a long legal battle involving a well-known Duluth headshop, The Last Place on Earth.


This is a good time for rural residents and businesses to fill their propane tanks for the upcoming heating season.  Prices spiked more than 30 percent last winter due to the cold snap and a national shortage.  Roger Leider of the Minnesota Propane Association says they've been encouraging summer-fill opportunities and adds people should consider doing propane "pre-buys" with their propane contractor or marketer.  Leider says entering into a program or agreement now lets the propane marketer know what is going to be used.  Propane prices currently range from a dollar-50 to two-dollars per gallon. 


MN-DOT in response to citizen interest is extending the public comment period until August 22nd on a plan for passenger rail service between Rochester and the Twin Cities.  The agency is preparing an environmental impact statement.  Backers propose a line that could handle trains at higher speeds than the route along the Mississippi River that federal officials approved for Twin Cities-to-Chicago rail service.  


Nurses at Sanford Worthington Medical Center have approved a new three-year contract after a five-month campaign.  Bargaining unit co-chair Nancy Ihrke says community support was essential in securing the contract.  She says Worthington area residents showed they value nurses by displaying "We Support Our Nurses" signs at their homes and businesses.