Deanna Weniger / St. Paul Pioneer Press
MAPLEWOOD, Minn. — Some people will do anything to avoid traffic. The Minnesota State Patrol posted a photo on social media Friday of a skeleton dressed in a purple Aéropostale hoodie sitting in the passenger seat of a vehicle. “We’ve heard of having skeletons in your closet. But skeletons in your passenger seat?” the post read. The driver wanted to use a MnPASS lane, reserved for buses, motorcycles and carpoolers. Single drivers must purchase a device to be kept in their cars that deletes a fee from a prepaid account every time the lane is used.
FARMINGTON, Minn. — The Farmington High School robotics team was recognized Tuesday, May 7, by the first lady for building a customized wheelchair for a Burnsville boy. The team and the boy’s family were invited to be part of the first anniversary of Melania Trump’s “Be Best” initiative, which supports programs that better the lives of children. “This is truly what it means to be best,” she said.
FARMINGTON, Minn. — Farmington High School’s Rogue Robotics team is on a roll. The media buzz from the team’s Project Cillian — they built a modified wheelchair for a Farmington boy with a disability — grew so loud it reached the White House. Earlier this week, coach Spencer Elvebak got a call from aides organizing first lady Melania Trump’s “Be Best” event, asking if he could come to Washington on Tuesday, May 7, to be recognized for the project. Elvebak was floored. “The kids are all ecstatic about it,” he said.
MINNEAPOLIS — A former Twin Cities man accused of faking his death in order to collect $2 million in life insurance pleaded guilty Friday, May 3, in federal court in Minneapolis, according to the U.S. attorney’s office. Igor Vorotinov, 54, formerly of Maple Grove, was convicted of one count of mail fraud by U.S. District Judge Patrick Schiltz. His sentencing is set for July 29. Vorotinov took out an insurance policy with Mutual of Omaha in 2010 and named his ex-wife, Irina Vorotinov, as his primary beneficiary.
ST. PAUL - Asian women, especially Hmong, are at higher risk of mercury contamination than any other ethnic groups in the Twin Cities, according to a study released Tuesday, April 23. The Minnesota Family Environmental Exposure Tracking project measured mercury, lead and cadmium in nearly 400 Twin Cities women and their babies and found that Hmong women had the highest levels of mercury among all participants due to the use of skin-lightening products and fish consumption.
BLOOMINGTON, Minn. - The Minneapolis man arrested for throwing a 5-year-old boy over a Mall of America balcony Friday told police he had come to the mall on Thursday intending to kill an adult, but that it did not “work out,” according to the complaint. He returned Friday and chose the boy instead.
ST. PAUL --The grand opening of Allianz Field on Saturday, April 13, was sensory overload. There were fireworks and helicopters, drumbeats and horns, singing and chanting. The corridors encircling the field smelled like beer, cheese curds and smoke bombs. Mingling with the crowd of over 19,000 were security officers, building inspectors, fire marshals and police officers making sure that the new Major League Soccer stadium in St. Paul’s Midway neighborhood went off without a hitch. Inside the stadium, Minnesota United played New York City FC to a 3-3 tie.
BLOOMINGTON, Minn. — The five-year-old boy thrown about 40 feet from a Mall of America balcony Friday, April 12, is still alive and fighting for his life, Bloomington Police Chief Jeff Potts said at a press conference at noon Saturday. “I know there’s been some reports and some concerns about whether or not he is still alive,” Potts said. “He is still receiving care. We just want to acknowledge that this is a horrific situation. The family and this child are in our thoughts and prayers.”
ST. PAUL — A former KSTP-TV employee was found not guilty Friday of making threats of violence following his workplace termination. Rusty Gene Arntson, 37, of Brooklyn Center was acquitted of the felony charge following a jury trial in Ramsey County District Court.
ROGERS, Minn. -- The FBI is looking into a threat against U.S. Rep. Ilhan Omar of Minnesota that was scrawled on a gas station restroom stall in Rogers and posted on social media. “We are aware of that piece of graffiti at the convenience store and are looking into it with some of our law enforcement partners,” said Kevin Smith, public affairs officer for the FBI Minneapolis Division. The FBI is involved because Omar, one of two Muslim women elected to Congress in November, is a federal officeholder.