Minnesota roundup: More than $100 million in federal funding available for road projects; Minnesota good place to retire
ST. PAUL—More than $100 million in federal money is available for nearly 30 road and bridge projects across Minnesota.
Gov. Mark Dayton on Monday, April 3, signed a bill authorizing the expenditure after key lawmakers last year said a legislative panel could not make the decision without votes of the full House and Senate. The bill passed with unanimous support in both chambers.
"I am pleased that the Legislature has authorized this funding, which is ready to put people to work to improve our road and bridge infrastructure across our state," Dayton said.
Medical examiner confirms it was St. Cloud State student's body in Mississippi River
ST. CLOUD, Minn.—The Ramsey County Medical Examiner's Office confirmed Monday what investigators had suspected, the body found Friday in the Mississippi River is missing St. Cloud State University student Jesse Aaron Dady.
Dady, 21, had been missing for nearly a week when a private underwater recovery company searching the river identified a spot where Stearns County divers later found him. Divers recovered Dady at about 6:20 p.m. Friday in 15-17 feet of water, several hundred feet south of the Veterans Bridge towards the west side of the river.
Investigators believe Dady walked onto a railroad bridge north of Veterans Bridge alone at about 1:30 a.m. March 25 and likely fell from the bridge into the river.
No information has been released about autopsy findings, but police don't suspect foul play.
California dean picked to lead Crookston university
CROOKSTON, Minn. — The University of Minnesota-Crookston has a new chancellor.
Mary Holz-Clause has been selected to lead the school by University of Minnesota President Eric Kaler, according to a UMC news release. Holz-Clause will assume her post June 30, pending approval by the university system's board of regents.
Kaler described Holz-Clause as an "entrepreneurial and accomplished leader."
She is the current dean of the college of agriculture at California State Polytechnic University Pomona and has a long background in agricultural studies. Beyond her work in academia, the release stated, Holz-Clause is an owner and operator of a feedlot in central Iowa.
The university system's board of regents will likely discuss final approval of Holz-Clause's appointment at its May 12 meeting.
As chancellor, she would function as the chief executive of the university and would answer to Kaler. The chancellorship is currently filled on an interim basis by Barbara Keinath, the university's vice chancellor for academic affairs, after Fred E. Wood retired.
Grand Rapids boy shot by father still in critical condition
GRAND RAPIDS, Minn.—An 8-year-old Grand Rapids boy who was shot in the head last week by his father, who then shot and killed himself, remained in critical condition Monday, according to the Grand Rapids Police Department investigator assigned to the case.
Wyatt Krauss initially was airlifted to a Duluth hospital following what has been described as an attempted murder-suicide last Thursday in a home on the 1300 block of Fourth Avenue Southeast in Grand Rapids.
David Krauss, 29, was found deceased in the home, but the boy was moving and had labored breathing.
"I talked with the family this morning and he's still in critical condition, but not out of the woods yet," said Sgt. Bob Stein of the Grand Rapids Police Department. "There have been some slight improvements."
The boy's grandmother discovered the scene and called 911. Wyatt Krauss is no longer listed in the patient registry at either Duluth hospital, and Stein did not know where the boy had been transferred.
Dental students may practice with supervision
ST. PAUL—Dental students may practice under supervision of a licensed Minnesota dentist under a bill Gov. Mark Dayton signed Monday, April 3.
The student also must be working under instruction of a licensed dentist, licensed dental therapist, licensed dental hygienist or licensed dental assistant. The bill unanimously passed the House and Senate.
Law limits car forfeiture after drunk driving
ST. PAUL—Minnesotans will have a chance to keep their vehicle after someone else is convicted of drunk driving in it.
Gov. Mark Dayton signed a bill into law Monday, April 3, protecting an innocent vehicle owner when someone else uses it without permission or knowledge. Existing law allowed the vehicle to be forfeited even if the owner was not the driver.
"This reform reflects the important balance between public safety and the rights of innocent vehicle owners," Dayton said, adding the new law provides fairness.
Rep. Marion O'Neill, R-Maple Lake, said she brought the bill because the government taking vehicles hurt others who needed transportation.
"For spouses or family members who did not know their vehicle would be used unlawfully, it is problematic for the state to confiscate it from them," O'Neill said. "This new law will give Minnesota citizens their right to a day in court to plead their case before a judge to have their property returned to them."
She said that at times the seized vehicle could be the only available one for a family.
Minnesotans forfeited 6,722 vehicles in 2015.
Minnesota good place to retire
ST. PAUL—A finance website says Minnesota is a good place to retire.
Bankrate.com reports the state is the fifth-best state to retire, coming a year after AARP picked Minnesota as the best state.
Gov. Mark Dayton's office said the Monday, April 3, announcement was one of a series of honors for the state.
"This report offers yet another national accolade for the world-class quality of life that people of all ages enjoy here in Minnesota," Dayton said.
USA Today says Minnesota is the second-best run state, US News and World Report reports it is the third-best state overall, CNBC ranked it among the best for business and the Annie E. Casey Foundation says it is the best state for kids.
Man, 51, arrested in undercover operation involving sex with 14-year-old
BEMIDJI, Minn.—A Blackduck man was charged with a felony Friday after allegedly arranging to meet and have sex with an undercover officer he believed was a minor.
According to a criminal complaint, Bradley Ray Brands, 51, responded to an ad posted by law enforcement officials posing as a 14-year-old who was looking for sex. The undercover officer told Brands they were 14, and Brands started a conversation that was "sexual in nature."
Brands then arranged to meet the undercover persona in Bemidji on March 29, the complaint said. Law enforcement met Brands and arrested him.
He is scheduled to appear in court on Monday, April 24.