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Minnesota roundup: Arrest made in killing of 95-year-old Anoka man; Downtown Mpls. Macy's to close; 4 state news stories

ANOKA, Minn. — An arrest has been made in the death of a 95-year-old Anoka man found slain in his home on Monday.

Investigators announced Thursday morning the arrest of 27-year-old Isaiah Montrell Thomas of Anoka. He was being held in the Anoka County jail Thursday on suspicion of burglary and murder, but had not been charged.

Albert John Loehlein was found dead Monday morning by a relative dropping off groceries at his home in the 1200 block of South Fifth Avenue in Anoka. He was last seen alive Thanksgiving evening when his family dropped him off at his home.

According to investigators, someone apparently rummaged through the house. A man was seen in the driveway Saturday morning, according to the Anoka County sheriff's office. The description given was only of a man, unknown race, wearing "winter clothing."

Loehlein was a former employee of WCCO Radio. He tended to the station's transmitter in Coon Rapids.

No further details on the case, such as the manner of Loehlein's death, have been disclosed.

Downtown Minneapolis Macy's to close

MINNEAPOLIS—Twin Cities Business magazine reported on its website Thursday that the landmark Macy's store in downtown Minneapolis — the original Dayton's department store — will be closing.

The magazine, citing multiple anonymous sources, said the Cincinnati-based retail company informed the city of Minneapolis about the closure but wanted to delay an announcement pending a deal to redevelop the site.

The sources told the magazine that Macy's intends to publicly announce the closing after the holiday season, and planned to end operations in the first half of next year.

City and company officials did not comment on the report specifically for the magazine.

The store on Nicollet Mall was once the headquarters of Dayton Hudson Corp., and its presence on the site dates back to the early part of the past century. Dayton Hudson became what is now Target Corp.; the store became a Marshall Field's and later a Macy's.

Fargo man charged in fiery crash involving stolen car

EAST GRAND FORKS, Minn.-- Charges were filed Thursday in Polk County District Court against a man found at the scene of a fiery car crash near the Kennedy Bridge in East Grand Forks on Tuesday night.

Craig Andrew Vinton, 25, Fargo, faces three felony charges: possession of stolen property, bringing stolen goods into the state and possession of a controlled substance within a prohibited zone. He also was charged with driving while impaired, a misdemeanor.

Vinton was carrying no identification, refused to identify himself and was driving a stolen vehicle form Hillsboro, N.D., according to the East Grand Forks Police Department. Police say he attempted to walk away from the scene.

The Police Department received numerous tips and a call from Vinton's probation officer, all of which helped identify him, Hajicek said.

Law enforcement responded about 8:30 p.m. Tuesday to a car fire on the Minnesota side of the Kennedy Bridge. A red sedan was eastbound on U.S. Highway 2 and landed upside down in the south ditch after it slid against a Red River State Recreation Area fence.

Small town band to represent Minnesota at 75th Pearl Harbor event in Hawaii

KERKHOVEN, Minn. — At midnight Friday, 83 Kerkhoven-Murdock-Sunburg High School band members and their chaperones from central Minnesota will load onto buses and begin their trip to Hawaii for the 75th anniversary observance of the Japanese attack on Pearl Harbor.

The band will represent Minnesota at the official observance Dec. 7 on the USS Battleship Missouri Memorial. The Missouri was the site of the formal Japanese surrender which ended World War II.

The students will be part of a mass band that plays for the official observance. Their uniforms will be left at home. All members of the mass band will wear authentic Hawaiian shirts, khaki shorts and white shoes.

Band members and their community raised $250,000 to fly themselves and their instruments to Hawaii, where they will be from Saturday through the following Friday. Donations came in from around the state from veterans groups and foundations, as well as many individuals.

They will have a full day of rehearsal for the anniversary Tuesday and will participate in the 75th anniversary event Wednesday.

Deer disease in southeast Minnesota appears to be contained

ST. PAUL—No additional deer have tested positive for chronic wasting disease from samples collected this fall in southeastern Minnesota, according to the Minnesota Department of Natural Resources.

Nearly one-third of all deer harvested during southeastern Minnesota's first firearms deer season and the first three days of the second season were tested for CWD. Only two of the 2,866 deer tested returned positive results. Both were harvested about 1 mile apart west of Lanesboro.

"This was an extensive surveillance effort," said Dr. Lou Cornicelli, wildlife research manager for the DNR. "While we're disappointed we found two positive deer, we remain optimistic the infection is localized and not widespread throughout the southeast."

The DNR now is planning and implementing its CWD response plan, which will include a December public meeting announcing the response plan details and continued opportunities for hunters in the area to have their harvested deer tested.

CWD is a fatal brain disease to deer, elk and moose but is not known to affect human health. Prior to this discovery, the disease was only found in a single other wild deer harvested near Pine Island in 2010.

New plan developing for huge northwest Minnesota wildlife area

THIEF RIVER FALLS, Minn.—Minnesota residents can now provide input on a master plan to guide management of the Thief Lake Wildlife Management Area in northwestern Minnesota.

The Department of Natural Resources is updating the plan for the 55,000 acres of forests, brushlands, prairies and grasslands, wetlands and agricultural lands, which provide habitat for a wide variety of wildlife species. The plan was last updated in 1980.

Input to help guide the update can be given via an online questionnaire through Sunday, Dec. 18. A second opportunity for public input will be available next spring after a draft master plan is ready for review.

Thief Lake WMA, in Marshall County, spans the forest-prairie transition zone in northwestern Minnesota. At its core lies 7,100-acre Thief Lake, a large marsh that is an important production and staging area for waterfowl. The WMA is one of eight wildlife management areas currently classified as a major unit.

To participate in the questionnaire, visit https://www.surveymonkey.com/r/thieflake. For more information about Thief Lake WMA, visit www.mndnr.gov/wmas.

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