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STILLWATER, Minn. -- A man accused of holding a group of people hostage last year during a deadly night at Woodbury's Red Roof Inn will spend at least 24 years in prison under a plea agreement reached Thursday. Demetrius Santreell Ballinger, 26, pleaded guilty in Washington County District Court to five counts, including criminal sexual conduct and attempted murder.
SANDSTONE, Minn. -- Authorities ordered a Sandstone day care center closed Wednesday after a 2-year-old from the center was found wandering along Minnesota Highway 23 and sheriff's deputies saw possible signs that the day care provider was intoxicated. The incident began about 3:30 p.m. when the Pine County Sheriff's Office received 911 calls reporting that a passerby found the girl walking on the highway. Responding deputies found the girl in the arms of a woman who had seen the girl walking on the highway. The woman saw at least one vehicle swerve around the child.
The Experimental Aircraft Association says it has grudgingly agreed to pay almost a half-million dollars to have air traffic controllers at the E-A-A Air-Venture show in Oshkosh. It used to be that the group never had to pay anything extra for federal controllers - but that was before the federal budget sequester took effect in March. The Federal Aviation Administration says it must cut 384-million-dollars from its budget for the current fiscal year - and charging for controllers is one way to do that.
A Mosinee man is due in court this afternoon for allegedly providing the heroin that a driver had in his system when he was killed in a traffic crash. 22-year-old Kyle Kennedy has been arrested on possible charges of delivering heroin, obstructing an officer, and bail jumping. Authorities said Michael Dixon of Rothschild had heroin in his system when he got into a crash March 23rd on a bridge in Wausau. Dixon died in the mishap, and his four-year-old son was critically injured. Police captain Bryan Hilts said the investigation is continuing, and more charges are possible against Kennedy.
As the result of an intense political debate, voters around Wausau are learning today that their new state representative was raped as a child. Democrat Mandy Wright revealed her ordeal on the Assembly floor last night, just before majority Republicans approved a bill that requires abortion candidates to get ultrasounds. The bill allows exemptions in cases of rape, incest, or when a mother's life is threatened. To get the exemptions, victims would have to file complaints with police - something Wright said women should not have to do.
A 16-year-old River Falls teenager was injured Thursday, June 13, after the car he was driving struck a tree on County Highway FF. Jonathan R. Meyer was driving a 1997 Ford Aspire on County Highway FF, west of 1015th St. in the town of River Falls at approximately 11:17 p.m., when he failed to negotiate a curve and struck a tree, according to the Pierce County Sheriff's Department. Meyer was taken to an area hospital by River Falls Ambulance with undetermined injuries, said Deputy Tara Wentlandt. River Falls Police, Ambulance and Fire assisted on scene.
Jerry Kelly of Madison is tied for 16th place after the first day of the U-S Open golf tournament near Philadelphia. Kelly shot an even-par 70 in his first round yesterday - four strokes behind Luke Donald, who was at four-under after 13 holes. Almost half the field did not complete their first rounds due to a three-and-a-half-hour rain delay in the morning. Both Kelly and Steve Stricker of Madison got their rounds in. Stricker is tied for 35th after shooting a one-over-par 71. He had trouble in the middle of his round, but he rallied at the end with two birdies in his final three holes.
Sun Prairie won its second straight Division-One state high school spring baseball title last night, with a 5-to-4 victory over Stevens Point in eight innings near Appleton. Conner Funnell drove in the winning run with a two-out double in the top-of-the-eighth. Brett Yoder, who scored the game-winner, pitched the final six innings to get the win. In Division-Two, Lodi won the championship with a 5-to-2 win over Green Bay Notre Dame. Lodi came from behind with four runs in the fifth, highlighted by a two-run double from Donnie Manke.
Milwaukee Brewers' reliever John Axford has made a solid comeback over the last month. The right-hander has 15 scoreless appearances going into the opener of a three-game series tonight at Cincinnati. Axford has thrown 13-and-a-third innings during that stretch. His E-R-A has almost plunged in half, from 9-point-20 to 4-point-82. Axford started the season as Milwaukee's closer. But he lost the job after giving up four homers in his first six games, while racking up two losses. He's been up-and-down since then, but Brewers' manager Ron Roenicke never stopped using him in set-up roles.