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AROUND MINNESOTA: Bath salts used as drug ... City recalls profane DVD ... Man arrested after khat found ... more

Officials say bath salts abused MINNEAPOLIS -- Poison control officials said abuse of bath salts is the latest drug problem in Minnesota. The bath salts often contain mephedrone, a synthetic stimulant that some said can be as powerful as methamph...

Officials say bath salts abused

MINNEAPOLIS -- Poison control officials said abuse of bath salts is the latest drug problem in Minnesota. The bath salts often contain mephedrone, a synthetic stimulant that some said can be as powerful as methamphetamine. Kirk Hughes from the Minnesota Poison Control System said his organization is seeing "fairly high incidence" of adverse effects of the powder by recreational users. The bath salts are often sold under names such as Ivory Wave, White Lightning and Red Dove and often come in a clear capsule containing white powder that is smoked, snorted, ingested or injected. Hughes said they've recently seen seven cases of bath salt abuse. He said the salts can cause hallucinations, vomiting, rapid heart rates and cardiac problems.

City recalls DVD with profanity

ST. CLOUD -- St. Cloud is recalling a DVD it gave to residents after discovering the disc contained profanity.

The city created the video "Do St. Cloud," showing highlights from the community, for the International Awards for Livable Communities


The last 15 seconds of the 12-minute video have audio from what appears to be a police interview with a suspect. The audio includes profanity. It is heard after the video is done and the credits have run.

City Administrator Mike Williams said the city reuses tapes and the tape containing the audio was in the "clean" pile. He said the fact the audio showed up on the video was an "honest mistake."

The 40 DVDs were given to residents who participated in the video.

Man arrested after khat found

BUFFALO -- A Mankato man faces charges after a package containing the illegal substance khat showed up at a central Minnesota post office.

Wright County deputies were called Saturday to the Buffalo Post Office on a report of a suspicious package. It turned out to contain khat, a dried plant commonly used in East Africa and parts of the Arabian peninsula that can give users a high when chewed.

The khat weighed more than 10 pounds and had an estimated street value of $4,000.

An investigation led to the arrest of a 50-year-old man. He faces possible charges of possession of a controlled substance.


Three charged in theft from DNR

ST. PAUL -- Three men are charged in the theft of 20 mounted animal heads, power tools, computers and other items from the Minnesota Department of Natural Resources.

Timothy Heidenreich is charged with third-degree burglary. Terry Cotton and Shane Rylander, both of St. Paul, are charged with possession of stolen property.

The complaints said Heidenreich was arrested Jan. 10 for allegedly stealing a tomato and giving a false name to police. While in jail, Heidenreich made a call to Cotton and told him about "stuff" in a van parked near Cotton's home. Police went to the home and recovered many of the items stolen from the DNR.

That included a "Wall of Shame" poachers' display.

Heidenreich is in custody on other charges. Cotton and Rylander make their first court appearance March 7.

City gets funds for more buyouts

MOORHEAD -- Moorhead is getting more money to buy out homes in flood-prone areas.


The Minnesota Department of Natural Resources is releasing another $1 million to Moorhead to use for flood buyouts. That follows a $2 million grant announced earlier this month, meaning the city will have a total of $3 million to spend on buyouts in February.

City Manager Michael Redlinger said the money should make possible the acquisition of 16 to 18 homes. Those homes would be assessed and made free of hazardous materials before a spring flood arrives.

This latest round of buyouts brings to about 104 the total acquired in Moorhead since the flood of 2009.

Judge won't halt light-rail project

ST. PAUL -- A federal judge said planners of the light-rail corridor slated to connect St. Paul and Minneapolis failed to properly gauge how it would affect nearby businesses but he refused a request to halt its construction.

Judge Donovan Frank ruled Thursday that the interest of the public outweighs potential harm to plaintiffs by the Central Corridor light-rail project. But Frank said The Metropolitan Council must supplement an environmental-impact report to better reflect how construction of the $1 billion, 11-mile line mostly along University Avenue will affect business profits.

Many of the plaintiffs hail from St. Paul's historic Rondo neighborhood, which has a long history of black businesses and residents being displaced by large public projects. An attorney for the group said even though Frank declined to halt construction, he hopes the ruling will result in changes that benefit his clients.

Sept. 11 memorial plan moves ahead


MARSHALL -- Plans are moving forward for a memorial in downtown Marshall honoring heroes of the Sept. 11 terrorist attacks.

The City Council has approved proposals for precast concrete planters, pavers and other supply items for the memorial.

The council approved about $108,000 in purchases, including tax and shipping costs. Marshall public works director Glenn Olson said those are considered supply costs and are not part of a contractor's bid.

The memorial would be funded 60 percent through private donations, 40 percent through the city.

Officials want to have the memorial completed in time for the anniversary of the Sept. 11 attacks. The memorial park would include memorials honoring both emergency responders and military personnel.

Man in Somalia probe goes to jail

MINNEAPOLIS (AP) -- A Minnesota man who lied to FBI agents investigating the travels of young men who may have joined a terror group in Somalia has reported to federal prison to serve his sentence.

Twenty-seven-year-old Abdow Munye Abdow is at the low security prison in Sandstone. He was sentenced in July to four months in prison and four months' home confinement. His attorney, Earl Gray, had asked that he serve the home confinement first because his wife was expecting.


Documents made public Thursday show Abdow reported to authorities Jan. 3.

Abdow is the first person sentenced in the government's investigation into the men who left Minnesota to possibly fight with al-Shabab.

Abdow pleaded guilty to obstruction of justice after lying about a cross-country trip he took with four men, including one on a terror watch list.

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