MINNESOTA ROUNDUP: Man hit by train, dies ... Missing teen found safe ... Nursing home abuse case ... more
Man struck by train, dies A 67-year-old Perham man died when his pickup truck was struck by a train on a private drive, which was not marked by signs or signals. The Otter Tail County Sheriff Lt. Mike Boen said the man's identity will not be rele...
Man struck by train, dies
A 67-year-old Perham man died when his pickup truck was struck by a train on a private drive, which was not marked by signs or signals.
The Otter Tail County Sheriff Lt. Mike Boen said the man's identity will not be released until his family is notified.
The crash happened about 6 a.m. Friday outside Perham in western Minnesota.
Perham Police Officer Nick Stromme was one of the first to the scene. He said the man didn't see the train as he drove to pick up a friend.
That friend, Joshua Walczesky, said the victim was a good man who will be missed.
Missing teen found safe
Searchers in northeastern Minnesota have found a missing teenager who wandered away from a group home.
St. Louis County authorities said the 19-year-old apparently walked away from the group home in the Saginaw area and wandered into nearby woods after becoming upset with group home staff.
Rescue squad members found him in the woods a short time later Thursday. He had been missing for about four hours and was OK.
Nursing home abuse case
The attorney for one of the young women charged with abusing nursing home residents in Albert Lea is questioning whether her statements to police were legally obtained.
Larry Maus was in court Friday in Albert Lea with his client, Brianna Broitzman, 19.
Police allege that over several months in 2008, Broitzman and co-defendant Ashton Larson sexually and psychologically abused a number of patients at the Good Samaritan Society of Albert Lea while they worked there.
Maus argued that investigators should have formally advised Broitzman of her Miranda rights during interviews at the law enforcement center.
Detective Deb Flatness testified she tried to communicate to the women that the interviews, which were done before their arrest, were voluntary.
Audit faults IT oversight
A new audit finds that a state office created four years ago to monitor expensive state information technology projects isn't doing all it could.
The legislative auditor's report said the Office of Enterprise Technology should be tracking information technology and telecommunications projects more closely and develop better ways to manage project costs.
The audit said state agencies are spending more than $270 million on 137 information technology projects, ranging from an online unemployment insurance application portal to an integrated tax system.
But no project has a cost management plan.
State Chief Information Office Gopal Khanna said he agrees with most of the audit but his five-person office doesn't have enough resources and faces further budget cuts in the coming year.
<Man charged with stalking
A Faribault man is charged with felony stalking and false imprisonment for allegedly trying to lure four girls into his car in Edina.
Police said Alex Wolters, 21, approached four different girls in separate incidents April 14.
He asked them to get into his car and show him the way to an elementary school.
All of the girls refused. The girls were ages 9, 10, 11 and 12.
Wolters told police he got lost and asked for directions, but he never asked any girls to get into his car.
Police said Wolters had a partial roll of duct tape, a paintball gun and three condoms.
Wolters is expected to turn himself in Wednesday. A home phone number for him could not be found, and he could not be reached for comment.
Judge decides sheriff pay
A Steele County District judge will decide the salary of the Waseca County sheriff after he took the Waseca County Board to court.
At issue is the setting of Sheriff Tim Dann's 2007 and 2008 salary. His attorney said the sheriff should be making more than the state average, but instead he's making much less.
Dann's attorney Tim Kraus of Waseca said Waseca County commissioners picked arbitrary numbers for Dann's salary in 2007 and 2008 instead of using the process called for by law.
The county set his 2007 salary at about $79,000 and his 2008 salary at about $81,000. Last year, Dann requested an increase to bring his 2008 salary to $95,000.
Dann has been sheriff for 10 years and has 25 years experience in law enforcement. He plans to retire at the end of 2010.