AROUND MINNESOTA: Stabbing for curiosity? ... Search for lost pup ... Warrant for LaDuke ... moreA Wisconsin man is accused of stabbing a Minnesota man on Christmas because he wanted “to see what it felt like.” Nicholas Leigh Tretter, 29, River Falls, Wis. was charged this week with second-degree assault. The Star Tribune said he was jailed in lieu of $50,000 bail.
By: Associated Press/Forum Communications, Grand Forks Herald
Stabbing allegedly done for curiosity
MINNEAPOLIS — A Wisconsin man is accused of stabbing a Minnesota man on Christmas because he wanted “to see what it felt like.”
Nicholas Leigh Tretter, 29, River Falls, Wis. was charged this week with second-degree assault. The Star Tribune said he was jailed in lieu of $50,000 bail.
A Hennepin County court official said no attorney was listed for Tretter ahead of a scheduled court appearance this week.
Prosecutors said Tretter followed the man off a Minneapolis bus last Friday. As the man walked away, Tretter allegedly ran up and stabbed him from behind, continuing to stab him as he collapsed.
The victim had a 4-to-6-inch cut on his neck as well as stab wounds to his back and left side.
Volunteers look for family’s lost pup
MADISON, Wis. — A group of Wisconsin volunteers is obsessed with finding a Minnesota family’s puppy that has been missing for more than a week after a car crash.
Kate and Jeremy Wenzel, Zimmerman, Minn., were on their way to the Milwaukee area for Christmas last week. They lost control of their car and rolled down an embankment three times.
They haven’t seen Owen, their 15-month-old puppy, since.
Local volunteer Angela Bubolz heard about the lost dog and decided she had to do something, even though she’d never met the Wenzels. She hopes someone picked it up and is taking care of it, and just hasn’t turned it in to a shelter.
She and other volunteers said they won’t stop searching and passing out fliers.
The Wenzels are recovering from minor injuries back in Minnesota.
Warrant issued for Indian activist
WADENA, Minn. — Authorities in Wadena County this week issued a warrant for two-time vice presidential candidate and American Indian activist Winona LaDuke in relation to a traffic stop.
According to Wadena County Sheriff’s Department Chief Deputy Bill Cross, LaDuke was pulled over Nov. 21 and was cited for not having a current insurance card in her vehicle.
“She failed to make a court appearance or pay her fine,” Cross said, leading a judge to issue a bench warrant for her arrest.
The charge is a misdemeanor, and after adding a warrant fee, she owed $325 bail to Wadena County, if she chose to plead guilty.
“I tried to pay it over the phone,” LaDuke said in a phone interview. “They told me I had to pay it in person.”
LaDuke, 50, said she had a current insurance card, but it wasn’t in the vehicle. She said this week she planned to pay the fine at the Becker County Courthouse in Detroit Lakes, Minn., to clear up the warrant.
LaDuke is busy rebuilding her home in Ponsford, Minn., which burned down in late 2008.
LaDuke campaigned twice as Ralph Nader’s running mate for the White House in 1996 and 2000. She is a Harvard-educated economist and the founding director of the White Earth Land Recovery Project.
Cottage Grove man dies in crash
ST. PAUL PARK, Minn —A Cottage Grove, Minn., man was killed this week in a single-car rollover crash on Highway 61 in St. Paul Park, Minn.
Larry S. Malcolm, 67, was unresponsive when police arrived and pronounced dead at the
The Minnesota State Patrol reported Malcolm’s car was traveling north when it went off the road into a ditch and then rolled two times, coming to rest on the roof, according to the report.
Malcolm’s daughter Elise Shamberger, Cottage Grove, said investigators suspect a medical condition might have caused the crash.
She described him as a giving man who did a lot of volunteer work.
He had been a volunteer leader and sponsor for Alcoholics Anonymous for 22 years.
“He turned his life around,” she said. “He wanted to help other people so they wouldn’t have to go through all that he went through.”
Malcolm was retired from working at the 3M Cottage Grove plant, where he was a machinist for 25 years, Shamberger said. He’d lived in Cottage Grove since 1969, and he raised four children there.
“My dad just had a huge heart and just loved to help people,” she said.
Minnesota backs high-speed rail
ST. PAUL — Minnesota transportation officials are going on the record in support of a high-speed rail line between the Twin Cities and Chicago.
But the statewide rail plan released Thursday didn’t try to straighten out the knotty politics of picking a route through southeastern Minnesota.
The plan does recommend that both Minneapolis and St. Paul have stops on the line, which is expected to cost more than $1 billion.
The state Legislature ordered up the plan last year, well before an infusion of $8 billion in federal stimulus money was earmarked for rail lines nationwide.
Gov. Tim Pawlenty endorsed the Twin Cities-Chicago route last spring.
The rail plan for the state also describes passenger rail service to St. Cloud, Moorhead and Mankato, Minn., and Eau Claire, Wis.
Father sues baby bed firm in death
PORTLAND, Ore. — An Oregon man whose 5-month-old son died last summer has filed a $5 million lawsuit against the maker of hammock-like baby beds.
Jonathan Kuzma of suburban Gresham contends in the lawsuit filed this week in Multnomah County Circuit Court that the bed made by Amby Baby USA of Minneapolis was defective and dangerous and led to the suffocation death of his son Matteo in August.
The death of the Oregon infant and a 4-month-old in Georgia led to the Dec. 8 recall of about 24,000 Amby Baby Motion Beds.
The Consumer Product Safety Commission said the side-to-side shifting or tilting of the hammock could cause an infant to roll and become trapped or wedged against the hammock’s fabric or mattress pad, posing a suffocation risk to babies.
Amby could not be reached for comment this week.
Winona athletes have high GPAs
WINONA, Minn. — The student athletes at Winona State University have been hitting the books.
The university reports that during the fall semester the student-athletes had a higher grade point average than the student body as a whole.
The university said 29 students had maintained a 4.0 GPA, and the student-athletes as a whole reported a GPA of 3.12, more than a tenth-point higher than the nonathlete population.
The women’s teams led the way, with the volleyball team posting a GPA of 3.41. Four other women’s teams rounded out the top five academic achievers.
The basketball team had the highest GPA among the men’s teams at 3.18, but that was only good enough to tie the women’s softball team for ninth in the overall team list.
Director of Student Athlete Services Mike Turgeon calls the academic showing incredibly rewarding.
Make-A-Wish asks frequent-flier gifts
MINNEAPOLIS — The Minnesota Make-A-Wish Foundation is asking residents to donate their frequent-flier miles.
The foundation grants wishes to children who have life-threatening medical conditions. It said more than two-thirds of the wishes involve travel — for example, to Hawaii, to see snow or to watch the Olympics.
Most major airlines have programs that allow their frequent-flier members to donate unused miles to charity. The foundation said such contributions have allowed it to save millions of dollars each year.
Tom McKinney is executive director of the foundation’s Minnesota chapter. He said contributing air miles is one of the most direct ways to help make a difference in the life of a child with a life-threatening condition.
On the Net:
Make-A-Wish Foundation: www.wish.org/
Minnesota to sell mineral leases
ST. PAUL — The state of Minnesota is preparing to auction off leases for metallic minerals exploration and mining rights.
The sale takes place Jan. 12, at the Department of Natural Resources headquarters in St. Paul. Bids are due at the DNR’s Lands and Minerals Division office by 4:30 p.m. Jan. 11.
The areas being offered for the lease sale cover portions of Aitkin, Benton, Carlton, Itasca, Morrison, Pine and St. Louis counties.
The DNR said the lands have been offered in previous metallic minerals lease sales. But the agency sees better potential now, based on the interest shown by industry, new geologic data, and new exploration techniques.
On the Net:
Minnesota DNR: www.mndnr.gov
Court lets radio station sale stand
ST. PAUL — The Minnesota Court of Appeals has let stand the sale by St. Olaf College of its radio station to Minnesota Public Radio.
The appeals court said this week that a lower court did not abuse its discretion when it ruled against a group of WCAL listeners. The group, SaveWCAL, opposed the 2004 sale of the classical music station to MPR, which turned it into an alternative rock station known as The Current.
SaveWCAL had argued that donors had contributed millions of dollars to support WCAL. And it contended the act of making these donations created a charitable trust that St. Olaf and MPR could not breach, so the sale should be declared void.
But the lower court concluded that WCAL was not a charitable trust, but rather an asset of St. Olaf, and that SaveWCAL had waited too long to try to overturn the sale.
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