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MINNESOTA NEWS: 'Inert powders' in devices ... Coach charged in peeping ... Teacher guilty of assault ... more

'Inert powders' in devices

Investigators in Princeton said Thursday that three suspicious packages contained only "inert powders" and tested negative for hazardous materials.

The discovery of the devices Wednesday prompted schools to close and explosives experts to comb the town of 4,500 with bomb-sniffing dogs. They gave the all-clear Wednesday afternoon and students returned to class Thursday morning.

Police Chief Brian Payne said each package contained some sort of bottle that was heavily wrapped with tape with wires running into it. He said someone went to a lot of trouble to make it look authentic.

Police also said five chemical bombs were found on roads around town. No injuries or property damage were reported.

Coach charged in peeping

Winona Senior High School's former gymnastics coach has been charged with peeping in the window of his ex-girlfriend's house.

Steven Huntenbur, 24, faces two misdemeanor counts of interfering with privacy for looking in the window at partially dressed women. One of the counts alleges Huntenburg was taking pictures with a camera recovered at the scene.

Huntenburg resigned his position at the high school after his arrest last week. And he's no longer assistant women's gymnastics coach for Winona State University.

Teacher guilty of assault

A former Sleepy Eye teacher has pleaded guilty to felony sexual assault involving a 16-year-old student.

Calvin Collum reached a plea deal with prosecutors in Brown County. He agreed to enter the guilty plea to one count of third-degree criminal sexual conduct.

Police began investigating Collum's relationship with the girl after some teachers and classmates noticed the two were spending a lot of time together.

The Sleepy Eye School District voted in March not to renew Collum's contract as an English teacher.

Sentencing is scheduled Nov. 10.

Court won't hear appeal

The state Supreme Court won't hear the appeal of Dominic Jones' sexual assault conviction.

The court declined Thursday to take case, allowing the appellate ruling to stand for the former University of Minnesota football star.

The Court of Appeals earlier rejected arguments from Jones' attorney, Earl Gray, who said the victim's previous sexual acts with three other players should have been admitted at Jones' trial in Hennepin County District Court.

The trial judge barred testimony about the woman's previous sex acts with the other men because a rape shield law protects victims from having to reveal their sexual history. The other men weren't charged.

Man shot at car wash ID'd

The Hennepin County medical examiner has identified the man who was shot and killed at a car wash in northeast Minneapolis.

Gerald Dwayne Brookins. 42. Golden Valley, was shot this week at the Lowry-Marshall car wash. He went across the street to a bar, staggered into the entry way, collapsed and died a short time later. The car wash owner is working with police to try to identify the shooter.

Arrests in pawnshop death

Richfield police said they've arrested two men for a fatal shooting during a pawnshop robbery.

Officers arrested the pair this week after receiving a tip from the public. Police said the robbers shot and killed a customer, Malcolm Cowens, 33, and wounded an employee at Avi's Pawn and Jewelry store.

Woman guilty in death

A Willmar woman has pleaded guilty to causing the death of a baby and injuring his mother July 5 while they were camping at a Renville County park.

Nicolle Prechel backed over their tent, killing 3-month-old Whyatt Sander and injuring his mother, Sheena Hinshaw, 21.

Prechel entered the pleas as part of an agreement with prosecutors. She pleaded guilty to criminal vehicular homicide for Whyatt's death and to causing bodily harm while under the influence for the injuries to his mother.