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ROSEVILLE, Minn. — For many Japanese Americans, the trauma of World War II internment camps lingered long after their release. In her newest novel, "On Liberty's Wings: A Post-WWII Novel," Afton, Minn., author Diane Dettmann chronicles Yasu Nakahara's journey to rebuild her life after her family's release from a camp in California. By 1948, Yasu has moved to Minneapolis. Although the 22-year-old newlywed found her calling as a teacher, Yasu still struggles with post-war prejudice and residual flashbacks to prison camps surrounded by barbed wire.
WOODBURY, Minn. — Woodbury Mayor Mary Giuliani Stephens said she hopes to quell what she sees as bickering and disrespect at the Minnesota Capitol. Giuliani Stephens, who announced her run for governor Wednesday, Nov. 29, a day after she registered her campaign with the state. She joined nearly a dozen other Republicans already in the race for governor. Applause flooded a room packed with red and white campaign signs as Giuliani Stephens decried the "disfunction" in the state government.
SOUTH ST. PAUL, Minn. — A lawyer representing Sen. Dan Schoen in his final days in the Minnesota legislature called swirling sexual harassment allegations "suspect" and said Schoen's accusers were "misrepresenting" their interactions. Attorney Paul Rogosheske refuted the accusations at a Nov. 22 news conference at his South St. Paul office following the announcement of Schoen's Dec. 15 resignation. Schoen did not attend the conference.
EAGAN, Minn.—In her bids for the U.S. House, Eagan resident Paula Overby sought to offer an option to voters who connected with neither Republican nor Democratic candidates. Frustrated by the largely two-party political system, Overby again ran for the seat in 2016 as an Independent candidate. She gained 8 percent of the vote against Democrat Angie Craig and Jason Lewis, the Republican victor in that election, a feat she said was "huge" for a third-party candidate.
STILLWATER, Minn. — Washington County authorities believe four additional children were victims of a former bus attendant accused in February of molesting six children. Harvey Theodore Kneifl, 70, of Woodbury now faces a total of 10 felony charges of second-degree criminal sexual conduct for allegedly groping at least 10 children over their clothes as they rode the school bus. Each victim was 5 or younger at the time of the alleged incidents, according to newly filed charges Monday, Sept. 25. Police arrested Kneifl Feb. 8, and he posted bail two weeks later.
WOODBURY, Minn.—Five men were arrested in Woodbury during an undercover operation targeting people who solicit children for sex Wednesday, Sept. 13. Charges related to sexual solicitation of minors were filed against: Kyle Bracken, 40, of Minneapolis; Mark Priorier, 47, of Colfax, Wis.; Kao Chang, 40, of St. Paul; Mark Kislowski, 48, of Ballston Lake, N.Y.; and Gary Infante, 34, of Andover. During the investigation, communications with the men offered explicit confirmation that each planned to engage in sex acts with a minor and arranged a meeting location.
WOODBURY, Minn.—A former East Ridge High School principal in Woodbury will serve 240 hours of community service and pay South Washington County Schools $7,500 for misusing district funds. Aaron Harper, 42, of Cottage Grove, was sentenced in Washington County District Court Thursday, Aug. 24, for one felony theft by swindle charge after pleading guilty in May. Two other felony theft charges were dismissed in the plea.
WOODBURY, Minn.—The brother of a man acquitted of kidnapping and murdering 5-year-old Corrine Erstad from Inver Grove Heights more than 25 years ago was sentenced Monday, July 31, to 18 months in prison and 15 years of probation following conviction for sex crimes involving a minor in his care. Jerry Guevara Jr. was convicted in Washington County District Court with two counts of felony third-degree criminal-sexual conduct for fathering two children with a girl he had authority over.
RED WING, Minn. — A bill that would accelerate the construction of a federal nuclear repository at a former nuclear testing site in Nevada experienced its first victory after passing a U.S. House Energy and Commerce subcommittee last weekend. The partner bill in the U.S. Senate, however, excluded funding for the project's completion. If it became law, the bill would authorize interim storage of nuclear waste and prompt the state of Nevada to approve Yucca Mountain as a permanent repository.
WOODBURY, Minn.—A Woodbury woman accused of subjecting a Chinese woman she hired as a nanny to slave-like conditions has pleaded guilty in federal court to furthering forced labor. Lili Huang admitted to withholding the 58-year-old woman's passport, along with a litany of abusive tactics including beatings, starving the woman and threatening her with a knife. Woodbury police arrested Huang last year after a woman who was found wandering and crying told officers Huang thwarted her efforts to escape the abuse by traveling back home to China.