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AROUND MINNESOTA: Three jailed in drug ring ... Gov't. cites Petters' e-mail ... Gunshot killed guardsman ... more

Three jailed in drug ring A federal judge has sentenced three more people, including a Red Lake, Minn., man, in an investigation into crack cocaine on St. Croix Chippewa tribal lands in Wisconsin. U.S. District Judge James T. Moody sentenced Dian...

Three jailed in drug ring

A federal judge has sentenced three more people, including a Red Lake, Minn., man, in an investigation into crack cocaine on St. Croix Chippewa tribal lands in Wisconsin.

U.S. District Judge James T. Moody sentenced Diana Martin, 44, Webster, Wis., to nine years; Margrette Cobb, 28, Cumberland, Wis., to 13 years and four months; and Andrew Sonnenberg, 26, Red Lake, to 17 years and six months. Prosecutors said they each had a role in distributing drugs from January 2001 to September 2008.

Sonnenberg's attorney, Dennis Joseph Ryan, said he thinks his client's sentence was harsh but he couldn't dispute the government's case.

Eight others have been sentenced in the multi-agency investigation.


Gov't. cites Petters' e-mail

A preview of the government's case against businessman Tom Petters includes an e-mail he wrote to an associate expressing shame over his alleged Ponzi scheme.

Prosecutors cited the e-mail in documents filed this week in federal court in preparation for Petters' trial scheduled to begin Oct. 26.

The filing includes the e-mail Petters wrote to confidante Deanna Coleman two years before government agents raided his companies and home. It described his remorse and shame for things he had done wrong.

Petters is facing 20 federal counts for allegedly orchestrating a $3.5 billion Ponzi scheme against unknowing investors for more than a decade.

Petters' attorney, Jon Hopeman, declined to comment on the government's filing.

Gunshot killed Guardsman

Military officials said a Minnesota National Guard soldier who died in a noncombat incident in Iraq last week suffered a gunshot wound to the head.


Maj. Tad Hervas, 48, Coon Rapids, was with the 34th Infantry Division, known as the Red Bulls.

In a statement this week, the Guard provided few other details on the circumstances of Hervas' death.

It said the Army is still investigating. It said the investigation "will include forensics, weapons testing, and an analysis of circumstances prior to his death." And it said investigators will "determine a conclusion after all factors have been considered."

Capt. Paul Rickert, a spokesman for the 34th Infantry Division, said he has no further information, citing the ongoing investigation.

St. Paul man dies in crash

The Iowa State Patrol is investigating a fatal high-speed crash on Interstate 35 in Story County.

The Iowa State Patrol clocked a 1998 Ford Focus going 108 mph this week along Interstate 35 in Franklin County. The trooper attempted to make a traffic stop when the driver began driving erratically.

A Hamilton County sheriff's deputy deployed stop sticks at the 126 mile marker, disabling the vehicle's left front tire, but the driver kept on going into Story County. Troopers said he eventually crossed into oncoming lanes, where he collided head-on with a semitrailer truck.


The driver, who was killed in the crash, has been identified as Paul Korkowski, 47, St. Paul.

Missing man's body found

The remains of a man who had been missing since March have been found on an island in the Mississippi River near the Wisconsin town of Trenton.

Hunters came across the remains this week on an island south of Red Wing, Minn., in the backwaters of the Mississippi. The Pierce County (Wis.) Sheriff's Department said the body had become lodged in debris on the island.

Officers searched the body and found a Minnesota driver's license for Robert More, 53. Dental records confirmed his identity.

More was reported missing March 28 from his houseboat on the Mississippi near Trenton. Authorities believe he fell off and drowned.

The Pierce County medical examiner said there was no foul play.

Cities' homeless shelters fill


Homeless shelter operators in the Twin Cities said they're over capacity and fear the waiting lines for beds will only get longer as temperatures plunge.

Rebecca Lentz is a spokeswoman for Catholic Charities of St. Paul and Minneapolis. She said their shelters were full before the economy "went sour" -- now they're beyond full.

At Simpson United Methodist Church this week, 75 men waited for a chance at one of 16 open beds at one of the three private shelters in south Minneapolis.

At the Dorothy Day Center in St. Paul, 6,651 people sought shelter in September. That compares with 4,731 in September of 2005.

Lentz said shelter and social service providers plan to meet this week with community and civic leaders to talk about meeting the growing need for shelter.

LaHood visits Twin Cities

U.S Transportation Secretary Ray LaHood said the economic downturn won't last forever, and the country must find new ways to stimulate economic growth.

LaHood spoke Thursday before the Economic Club of Minnesota in Minneapolis.


Lahood said the U.S. needs to reform health care, transform energy policy and get a new outlook on transportation.

That, he said, should empower communities to prioritize investments in roads, bike paths, public transit, airports and other infrastructure.

LaHood said more than $625 million are available to modernize Minnesota's transportation infrastructure.

He's also visiting the Union Depot in St. Paul, where federal funds are helping turn the building into a transportation hub linking passenger rail, buses and light-rail trains.

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