A former Minneapolis police officer who fatally shot an unarmed woman who called 911 to report a possible sexual assault behind her home in 2017 has been released from prison on parole. The state Department of Corrections says 36-year-old Mohamed Noor was released Monday morning and placed u…
Wildlife managers say Minnesota’s gray wolf population is resilient and robust, and they've released a draft updated plan to keep it that way. The Department of Natural Resources on Thursday laid out a blueprint for the next 10 years to strengthen conservation and minimize conflicts between …
NASA wants its moon dust and cockroaches back. The space agency has asked Boston-based RR Auction to halt the sale of moon dust collected during the 1969 Apollo 11 mission that had subsequently been fed to cockroaches during an experiment to determine if the lunar material contained any sort…
The U.S. Forest Service has issued a draft environmental assessment to lay the foundation for a proposed 20-year moratorium on copper-nickel mining upstream from the Boundary Waters Canoe Area Wilderness. Formally, the proposal would “withdraw” about 352 square miles within the Rainy River w…
Federal prosecutors are asking a judge to give former Minneapolis Officer Derek Chauvin a 25-year sentence for violating the rights of George Floyd, as well as the rights of a 14-year-old Black boy who was restrained in an unrelated case. Chauvin pleaded guilty in December to violating Floyd…
The Minnesota Supreme Court has ruled the mayor of Minneapolis hasn’t met a legal duty to hire more police officers or demonstrate why he hasn’t done so. Chief Justice Lorie Gildea said in Monday's ruling that Mayor Jacob Frey has a “clear legal duty” under the city’s charter to staff the de…
A judge has rescheduled the state trial for two former Minneapolis police officers in George Floyd’s killing to Oct. 24 to resolve dueling requests for a new trial date. The state had sought to start as soon as this summer while a defense lawyer asked to delay it to next spring. Tou Thao and…
American Dairy Queen Corp. has lost a federal lawsuit accusing a Massachusetts company of trademark infringement for attaching the name “Blizzard” to its bottled water. The Star Tribune reports that U.S. District Judge Susan Richard Nelson in St. Paul, Minnesota, issued a written decision earlier this month. She said Bloomington-based Dairy Queen failed to show prove W.B. Mason Co. committed any infringement. W.B. Mason Co.'s attorneys argued that the company attached “Blizzard” to its bottled water in 2010 and Dairy Queen failed to show even one instance of confusion after 188 million sales.
A deluge of rain in parts of central Minnesota has flooded streets and closed roads. Weather observers say more than 4 inches of rain fell overnight Thursday into Friday in St. Cloud where storm drains were unable to keep up with the downpour. The Morrison County Sheriff’s Office reported U.S. Highway 10 near Randall was completely flooded across both the northbound and southbound lanes. The Minnesota Department of Transportation and the Minnesota State Patrol said Friday that Highway 10 between Highway 115 in Randall and Morrison County Road 117 in Cushing are closed due to flooding.
Wildlife managers say Minnesota’s gray wolf population is resilient and robust, and they've released a draft updated plan to keep it that way. The Department of Natural Resources on Thursday laid out a blueprint for the next 10 years to strengthen conservation and minimize conflicts between people and predators. It calls for maintaining a statewide population of 2,200 to 3,000 wolves. That’s in line with recent estimates of about 2,700 and around where it’s been since the late 1990s. The plan does not take a position on whether Minnesota should resume wolf hunting if they're removed from federal protection.
NASA wants its moon dust and cockroaches back. The space agency has asked Boston-based RR Auction to halt the sale of moon dust collected during the 1969 Apollo 11 mission that had subsequently been fed to cockroaches during an experiment to determine if the lunar material contained any sort of pathogen that posed a threat to terrestrial life. NASA said in a letter to the auctioneer that it still belongs to the federal government. RR said Thursday that the material from the experiment was expected to sell for at least $400,000, but has been pulled from the auction block.
The U.S. Forest Service has issued a draft environmental assessment to lay the foundation for a proposed 20-year moratorium on copper-nickel mining upstream from the Boundary Waters Canoe Area Wilderness. Formally, the proposal would “withdraw” about 352 square miles within the Rainy River watershed in the Superior National Forest around Ely from new mineral leasing for 20 years. The plan threatens to doom the proposed Twin Metals mine near Birch Lake, which drains into a river that flows into the Boundary Waters. But it would not affect a separate project, the proposed PolyMet mine, which lies in a different watershed.
Federal prosecutors are asking a judge to give former Minneapolis Officer Derek Chauvin a 25-year sentence for violating the rights of George Floyd, as well as the rights of a 14-year-old Black boy who was restrained in an unrelated case. Chauvin pleaded guilty in December to violating Floyd's rights when he knelt on the Black man's neck during a May 2020 arrest. U.S. District Judge Paul Magnuson has already accepted a plea agreement, which calls for a sentence ranging from 20 to 25 years. Prosecutors say Chauvin should face the high end because of the serious nature of the crime and other reasons. Chauvin was convicted on state charges of murder and manslaughter and is serving a 22 1/2-year sentence.
A Black man from Mississippi is appealing his conviction on charges stemming from a traffic stop in North Carolina in 2020 during which a white National Park Service officer took him to the ground for not putting his hands behind his back while being frisked. Marvin Minor, who faced multiple charges, was sentenced to four months in prison by a magistrate after he was convicted on March 29 in U.S. District Court. The appeal was filed on June 6, shortly before Minor’s sentence was to end. The appeal makes multiple references to the fact that the traffic stop involving Minor occurred two months after George Floyd was murdered by a white Minneapolis police officer.
A former staffer for the Minnesota board that licenses police officers is suing the agency, alleging she was the victim of racial discrimination. Starr Suggs spent 28 years with the Peace Officers Standards and Training Board. She told KSTP-TV the last straw came in February as a crowd gathered outside to protest the police killing of Amir Locke. The protest remained peaceful. But Suggs, the only Black employee, said she was disturbed by the reaction of her white colleagues. Her experience that day is now one of several incidents detailed in a lawsuit she filed against the POST Board last month.
A suburban Minneapolis city has agreed to pay $3.2 million to the family of Daunte Wright, a Black man who was fatally shot by a police officer who said she confused her gun for her Taser. Attorneys for Wright's family said Tuesday the tentative settlement also includes changes in police policies and training involving traffic stops like the one that resulted in Wright’s death. Brooklyn Center Officer Kimberly Potter, who is white, shot Wright after the 20-year-old was stopped for expired registration tags in April 2021. The former officer was subsequently convicted of first- and second-degree manslaughter and was sentenced to two years in prison.
One person is dead and another hospitalized after a tree fell on a camper during severe storms in central Minnesota. Among the storm damage calls the Douglas County Sheriff's Office received late Monday night was one from Elmwood Resort on Lake Mary near Alexandria about 11:400 p.m. The caller reported cries for help coming from the camper on which the tree had fallen. Law enforcement officials arrived and found a man and woman trapped inside the camper. Alexandria firefighters help extract the victims. The man, 72-year-old Mark Edward Bunney, was pronounced dead at the scene. The injured woman, 66-year-old Debra Lynn Bunney, was taken to Alomere Health hospital in Alexandria. Officials say the couple lived in Miami, Arizona.
The Minnesota Supreme Court has ruled the mayor of Minneapolis hasn’t met a legal duty to hire more police officers or demonstrate why he hasn’t done so. Chief Justice Lorie Gildea said in Monday's ruling that Mayor Jacob Frey has a “clear legal duty” under the city’s charter to staff the department with at least 731 sworn officers, a number based on the population of Minneapolis. Interim City Attorney Peter Ginder says the city has about 300 fewer officers than it did before George Floyd was killed by police in May 2020. Ginder calls it “an unprecedented loss of personnel that is not easily corrected,” but noted that the city has provided funding for additional recruit classes and hiring bonuses.
A judge has rescheduled the state trial for two former Minneapolis police officers in George Floyd’s killing to Oct. 24 to resolve dueling requests for a new trial date. The state had sought to start as soon as this summer while a defense lawyer asked to delay it to next spring. Tou Thao and J. Alexander Kueng are charged with aiding and abetting murder and manslaughter in the 2020 killing of Floyd. Judge Peter Cahill earlier this month postponed their trial until January, saying it would improve prospects for a fair trial. He settled on October during a hearing Tuesday.
Minnesota prosecutors and a defense attorney for one of two former Minneapolis police officers who still face a state trial in George Floyd’s killing have made dueling requests for a new trial date. Tou Thao and J. Alexander Kueng are charged with aiding and abetting both murder and manslaughter. Their trial was supposed to start earlier this month, but Judge Peter Cahill postponed it until January. Now, the state is requesting a speedy trial on behalf of Floyd’s family. Under Minnesota law, that means the trial could start in mid-August. But Kueng’s defense attorney is seeking a delay until April. Cahill will hold a hearing on the issue Tuesday morning. Thao and Kueng already were convicted of federal counts of violating Floyd's rights.
Child care providers across Minnesota are upset they're not eligible for the state's COVID-19 “hero pay” program. Gov. Tim Walz signed the program into law in April. It enables front-line workers to apply for state-funded bonuses. The St. Paul Pioneer Press reports that about 6,450 child care providers who operate out of their homes will likely miss out on the $750 bonuses if they're sole proprietors rather than limited liability companies. Julie Fees runs an at-home day care in St. Paul. She says being ineligible is “really disappointing and infuriating."
A year after Juneteenth became a federal holiday in the U.S., people gathered this weekend at events filled with music, food and fireworks. Celebrations also included an emphasis on learning about the past and addressing racial disparities. President Joe Biden signed legislation last year making June 19 the nation’s 12th federal holiday. June 19, 1865, was the day that Union soldiers arrived in Galveston, Texas, to order freedom for the enslaved Black people in the state. It was two months after the Confederacy had surrendered in the Civil War and about 2 1/2 years after the Emancipation Proclamation ended slavery in the Southern states.
Two construction workers died after a trench collapsed on top of them in St. Paul Friday afternoon and one of their bodies was found roughly 12 hours later under 9 feet of dirt. St. Paul Deputy Fire Chief Roy Mokosso told the Minneapolis Star Tribune that a trench box that's designed to prevent cave-ins was sitting next to where three men were working on an underground pipe before the collapse but it wasn't being used. Mokosso said a third worker at the construction site tried to help the buried workers but quickly realized there was little he could do to help. The victims were not immediately identified by authorities.
Two former members of a University of Missouri fraternity have been indicted for a hazing incident that left another student blind and unable to walk or communicate after drinking a liter of vodka in October. The Columbia Missourian reports that a Boone County grand jury on Friday indicted former Phi Gamma Delta fraternity members Ryan Delanty and Thomas Shultz, both of St. Louis County, in the hazing of 19-year-old Daniel Santulli of Eden Prairie, Minnesota. Both are charged with felony hazing and misdemeanors of supplying liquor to a minor or intoxicated person. Shultz also faces a felony for tampering with physical evidence in a felony prosecution.
An animal rights group has filed a federal complaint against the national sanctuary for chimpanzees once used for federal experiments. The group says the sanctuary's care is poor. It cites a federal warning and Chimp Haven's own reports about an escape and about deaths caused by fights among chimpanzees. The sanctuary in north Louisiana said it acted immediately to change introduction procedures after a female was killed. It says that it has cared for more than 500 chimps since it opened in 2005, and five deaths were due to aggression. Experts say such deaths happen more frequently in the wild.
Authorities in St. Paul, Minnesota, have confirmed that two construction workers died when a trench collapsed as they were working. The St. Paul Fire Department said on Twitter Saturday that the bodies had been recovered, a day after the collapse. Names of the victims have not been released. The accident happened about 2:45 p.m. Friday in St. Paul’s Highland Park neighborhood. Deputy Fire Chief Roy Mokosso says another worker in the area called 911 and attempted a brief rescue, but authorities believe the workers died within minutes of the collapse.
Authorities are searching for two people who were working in a trench when it collapsed on them at a construction site in St. Paul. Firefighters painted a grim picture of the scene in the city’s Highland Park neighborhood, where the incident was reported about 2:45 p.m. Friday. St. Paul Deputy Fire Chief Roy Mokosso described the the work of rescuers as “a recovery operation." Another worker who was in the area called 911 after attempting a brief rescue.
A judge has handed down a mandatory life sentence to a man who stormed a medical clinic in Minnesota, fatally shot one person and wounded four others, saying the act was unfathomable. Gregory Ulrich opened fire Feb. 9, 2021, at the Allina Crossroads Clinic in Buffalo, a city of about 16,400 people, 40 miles northwest of Minneapolis. He was sentenced Friday. A jury earlier this month found Ulrich guilty of the 11 charges against him, including premeditated first-degree murder for killing Lindsay Overbay, a 37-year-old medical assistant. Four other clinic staffers survived but suffered serious injuries. Wright County District Judge Catherine McPherson said during sentencing that the attack was “simply unthinkable.”
It appears chances are dead for a special legislative session that could have brought billions of dollars in tax cuts and new spending in Minnesota. Democratic Gov. Tim Walz told reporters late Thursday that talks with Republican leaders had “reached an impasse,” leaving about $7.2 billion of an original $9.25 billion surplus unspent. About a week before the end of the regular session last month, Walz and top legislators announced an agreement to use $4 billion to cut taxes, $4 billion to increase spending and to save another $4 billion. Republican Senate Majority Leader Jeremy Miller blamed Democrats for the impasse, saying they wanted too much in spending.