AROUND THE REGION: Deputy won't be charged ... Rybak action penalized ... Minnesotans civically engaged ... moreA Le Sueur County, Minn., sheriff’s deputy won’t be charged in the July shooting death of an unarmed man in Kasota, Minn., a grand jury decided. The grand jury deliberated for about two hours Friday night after hearing testimony in the death of Tyler Heilman, 24, who was wearing only swimming trunks when Deputy Todd Waldron shot him twice in the chest during a July 20 arrest attempt.
By: Associated Press, Grand Forks Herald
Deputy won’t be charged
A Le Sueur County, Minn., sheriff’s deputy won’t be charged in the July shooting death of an unarmed man in Kasota, Minn., a grand jury decided.
The grand jury deliberated for about two hours Friday night after hearing testimony in the death of Tyler Heilman, 24, who was wearing only swimming trunks when Deputy Todd Waldron shot him twice in the chest during a July 20 arrest attempt.
Waldron was not in uniform, and Heilman’s friends said he never identified himself as a deputy when he pulled over Heilman, who had been swimming at an apartment complex and allegedly speeding and driving erratically on the way home. The incident happened in Kasota, which is about 60 miles southwest of Minneapolis.
The grand jury had been asked to consider charges of second-degree intentional murder and second-degree unintentional murder against Waldron.
Assistant Anoka County Attorney Andrew Johnson, who handled the case, said some details about what happened have yet to emerge. He said some witnesses to the shootings gave accounts that differed from Heilman’s friends. Johnson told the Free Press of Mankato that he may release more details on what happened later.
Heilman’s family has said they are considering filing civil charges against Waldron.
Rybak actions penalized
Fresh out of the gubernatorial campaign gate, Minneapolis Mayor R.T. Rybak was punished Friday for using mayoral campaign funds for what state regulators said were activities that furthered the Democrat’s 2010 bid for governor.
A gubernatorial campaign fund for Rybak — who filed paperwork Thursday to move ahead with a 2010 run — must reimburse his mayoral campaign for $26,500 in expenses and account for other costs. No fines were issued.
A statement issued by Rybak’s mayoral campaign said he believes he was “honest and forthcoming” about his consideration of a run for governor.
“Although we disagree with the basis, we will accept the board’s finding and take action to account for these expenses and reimburse the mayor’s campaign for them,” the statement read.
The ruling was in response to a Republican Party complaint against Rybak. The GOP accused him of covertly running for both offices at once and using his mayoral campaign fund improperly. Rybak was elected to a third term as mayor last week.
Republican Party Chairman Tony Sutton said he hasn’t ruled out asking local regulators to investigate Rybak’s compliance with municipal standards or filing another complaint with the state.
In its ruling, the Minnesota campaign finance board said a survey Rybak commissioned this spring appeared aimed more at a gubernatorial bid than his re-election campaign. The ruling said portions of the survey “have little relevance to running for office in Minneapolis, but would be of great interest to a candidate designing a strategy for governor.”
Minnesotans civically engaged
A national index that combines voter participation with other factors shows Minnesotans are more civically engaged than residents of any other state.
The Center for Democracy and Citizenship at Augsburg College in Minneapolis released the results from America’s Civic Health Index this past week.
The index was compiled based on a survey of 1,518 people contacted by phone and online about volunteering, neighborhood participation, charitable giving and other civic activities.
Besides ranking first in voter turnout from 2004-2008, Minnesota did well in several other categories, including the share of residents who donate to charity and volunteering.
The index is a project of the National Conference on Citizenship, a more than 60-year-old nonprofit group dedicated to promoting the nation’s civic life.
Salazar will speak today in N.D.
U.S. Secretary of the Interior Ken Salazar will be in North Dakota today to give a speech at the Great Plains Energy Expo and Showcase.
Other speakers for the third annual event include North Dakota Sen. Byron Dorgan, Montana Gov. Brian Schweitzer, oilman Harold Hamm and Matt Rogers of the U.S Energy Department.
The expo is being held today and Tuesday at the Bismarck Civic Center. Salazar’s speech is set for 1:30 p.m. today.
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