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Minnesota roundup: Deputy hospitalized after squad hits cow; Dayton heads to prostate surgery

KANABEC COUNTY, Minn.—A sheriff's deputy for Kanabec County in east central Minnesota was taken to the hospital after he hit a cow with his squad car Monday night, Feb. 27.

Deputy Daniel Steven, 30, was looking for a cow reported on the road.

As Steven was on patrol, the cow ran out of the ditch and was hit.

Airbags deployed in the squad car. Steven was taken to a hospital, but is expected to recover.

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Chisago County man charged with killing neighbor

LINDSTROM, MiNN.—A Chisago County man is facing murder charges after he allegedly shot his neighbor in a dispute over lake access. However, the suspect told authorities he acted in self-defense.

According to the charges reported by the Post Review of Cambridge, 42-year-old Carl Patrick Anderson fatally shot Donn Allan Johnson, 62, on Wednesday in the 11600 block of Lindo Trail in North Chisago Lake Township.

The two Lindstrom men clashed shortly after 12:30 p.m.

According to the charges, Anderson told police that he had given several people permission to fish at his mother's property on Sunrise Lake. While stopping at an area bait shop, an employee told Anderson that Johnson had called, complaining about anglers' vehicles being parked on his property.

Anderson drove to the lake and, on Lindo Trail, encountered Johnson, who was driving a four-wheel ATV. Anderson told police that Johnson was agitated and approached him as he was seated in his pickup truck. Anderson said Johnson then accused him of stealing a ladder and made a threatening statement, leading him to shoot Johnson once in the chest.

Johnson was pronounced dead at the scene.

Police found a handgun in Anderson's truck and a spent shell casing near it on the ground. No weapon was found on or near Johnson's body.

Anderson was charged Friday with one count of second-degree murder, which carries a maximum sentence of 40 years in prison.

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Minneapolis man charged with fatal DWI crash

MINNEAPOLIS-- A 28-year-old Minneapolis man is facing charges after he allegedly drove his speeding car into another vehicle last week on a residential street, fatally injuring the driver, a 55-year-old Minneapolis woman. Authorities believe he was intoxicated.

Regis Latodd Welsh was charged Tuesday with one count of criminal vehicular homicide. The charge alleges that Welsh was driving negligently while under the influence at the time of the Friday evening collision in North Minneapolis.

At about 6:30 p.m., Lisa Esping was in the intersection of 29th and Newton Avenues North when Welsh crashed into her vehicle. A witness said Welsh was speeding. Esping's vehicle was hit so hard it went airborne and crashed into a tree, according to the office of Hennepin County Attorney Mike Freeman.

Welsh fled the scene on foot but later returned and was arrested by police. He smelled of alcohol and his speech was slurred, authorities said.

On Tuesday, he was still being treated at Hennepin County Medical Center. Results of a blood-alcohol test were pending.

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Report: University of Minnesota racial graduation rate gap is large

MINNEAPOLIS—The University of Minnesota has one of the nation's largest graduation gaps between white and black students, according to a report published Wednesday by the Education Trust.

Fifty-five percent of African-Americans who enrolled at the Twin Cities campus between 2006 and 2008 graduated within six years, the Washington, D.C., education advocacy group said. That compares with 79 percent of white students.

The 23.8 percentage-point gap was the 12th-largest among the 676 public and private four-year institutions reviewed. The national average for an institution was 13.5 percentage points.

Among the 20 schools highlighted for their large completion gaps, the U's black students performed relatively well. They entered college with the highest ACT scores and produced the highest raw graduation rates of the 20 schools.

The U also enrolled the smallest percentage of black students of the 20 schools, at 5.1 percent.

The U's domestic freshman classes largely mirror the racial makeup of the state's graduating high school seniors.

Earlier this school year, officials reported an encouraging sign for graduation rates: 93.6 percent of freshmen of color and 93.2 percent of white freshmen returned for a second year at the state's flagship university.

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Electric plant change signed

ST. PAUL—Minnesota Gov. Mark Dayton signed into law a measure allowing Xcel Energy to convert a coal-fired power plant to natural gas.

In signing the bill on Tuesday, Feb. 28, Dayton said that the Becker conversion will save jobs in the central Minnesota community.

"This is a really important day for Becker, Minn. ... and really for the entire state," Dayton said.

Xcel Minnesota President Chris Clark said that the natural gas conversion is connected to the addition of renewable fuel-generated electricity, reducing the company's fossil fuel use.

Clark said that about 310 people work at the current coal plants, while up to 160 will work once the plant is converted to gas in a year or two. Other jobs will be available in the renewable electricity operation, he added.

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Deputy hospitalized after squad hits cow

KANABEC COUNTY, Minn.—A sheriff's deputy for Kanabec County in east central Minnesota was taken to the hospital after he hit a cow with his squad car.

Deputy Daniel Steven, 30, was looking for a cow reported on the road.

As Steven was on patrol, the cow ran out of the ditch and was hit.

Airbags deployed in the squad car. Steven was taken to a hospital, but is expected to recover.

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Two arrested in Pope County sex sting

Two men have been arrested after the Pope County Sheriff's Office said they responded to an online ad and solicited sex from what they thought was a 14-year-old.

James Michael Latzke, 35, of Stearns County, was arrested Feb. 20 after he drove to Pope County and attempted to meet the 14-year-old for sex, the sheriff's office said in a news release Tuesday, Feb. 28. Before driving to Pope County, Latzke described sexual conduct and solicited sex from the minor, but was instead communicating with a sheriff's deputy.

Tyler David Rosenfeldt, 33, of Clay County also responded to the ad, the sheriff's office said. While communicating with an undercover sheriff's deputy, he described sex, sent sexual photos and solicited sex, the news release said.

The Pope County Sheriff's Office, with the assistance of the Clay County Sheriff's Office, executed a search warrant at Rosenfeldt's residence, resulting in his arrest on Feb. 23.

Latzke has made an initial court appearance and was released with conditions.

Rosenfeldt has appeared in Clay County Court and was being held on $15,000 bail.

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