Minn. roundup: Pawlenty says he won't run against Smith for U.S. Senate; Looking for contraband, Stillwater prison unit was in lockdown

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Pawlenty says he won't run against Smith for U.S. Senate

ST. PAUL — Former Republican Minnesota Gov. Tim Pawlenty will not run for the U.S. Senate in November.

Pawlenty, who has been courted by numerous donors and influential Republicans to run for the seat formerly held by Al Franken, made his announcement Tuesday on the Fox Business Network.

"I am very interested in public service and service for the common good," Pawlenty said on air. "There are a lot of different ways to do that, but I'll tell you today that running for the United States Senate in 2018 won't be part of those plans."

After Franken resigned amid allegations from multiple women of inappropriate sexual conduct, Gov. Mark Dayton appointed his lieutenant governor, Tina Smith to fill the vacancy.

Smith, a Democrat, has announced she'll run in November to serve out the remainder of Franken's term.

On the Republican side, state Sen. Karin Housley of St. Marys Point has announced she'll run in November.

Housley reacted to Pawlenty's announcement with a call for support from potential Pawlenty supporters.

In a tweet, Housley said, in part, "this announcement opens the door for many of his supporters who were awaiting to hear his decision, to get on board and join Team Housley for United States Senate."

Rochester man jailed after teenager killed in shooting after vehicle crash

ROCHESTER, Minn. --- A 25-year-old Rochester man is being held in jail after he shot and killed a teenager after the two were in a vehicle crash over the weekend in the southern Minnesota city.

Alexander William Weiss is being held on probable cause for second degree after he shot Muhammed Rahim, 17, also of Rochester, in the chest, police said. Weiss told police it was in self-defense.

However, a 17-year-old passenger in Rahim's vehicle said after the two had a roadside confrontation, Weiss pulled a gun and Rahim dared him to shoot.

He then shot Rahim, who was taken to Saint Marys Hospital without a pulse, said police, and was determined to have died.

Police said the handgun was recovered from Weiss, who had a "permit to carry' under Minnesota law. Weiss was the only occupant in his vehicle.

Also in Rahim's vehicle were two teenage girls, ages 16 and 18.

Police are looking for additional witnesses to the incident, including the driver and possibly other passengers in a newer red SUV that was driving by at the time of the shooting.

Police said the case, which they said didn't appear to be a road rage incident, remains active as investigators continue to review the facts and circumstances surrounding the shooting, including claims of self-defense.

Two Hastings high school students credited with saving man's life

HASTINGS, Minn.—Two Hastings High School students are being credited with helping save the life of a man who collapsed Friday morning while clearing snow from his driveway.

Sydney Radke and Addie Buck discovered the unresponsive middle-aged man in Hastings about 8:25 a.m., when the air temperature was about 8 degrees below zero. They began CPR.

Police officers Dan Tollefson and Craig Nowlan arrived and administered one cardiac shock with an automated external defibrillator just as an ambulance was arriving. The man was put into the ambulance, where other life-saving measures took place.

Before being taken from the scene, the man had regained a palpable pulse, said Mike Schutt, fire chief and emergency management services director. The man is recovering at a local hospital, he said.

Police Chief Bryan Schafer said the plan is to give special recognition to the two students and two officers at an upcoming city council meeting

Looking for contraband, Stillwater prison unit was in lockdown

STILLWATER, Minn.—A weeklong lockdown in a unit of the Minnesota Correctional Facility-Stillwater ended Saturday.

The B-West unit of the prison was placed on routine lockdown on Jan. 6 to allow guards to search for contraband, said Sarah Fitzgerald, a spokeswoman for the Minnesota Department of Corrections. Fitzgerald said she could not discuss what was found during the search because it is security information.

The Stillwater prison was placed in lockdown for several days in August after a fight broke out among inmates in the A-West housing unit. The prison's B-East unit was placed in lockdown Dec. 15-19 for a routine contraband search, Fitzgerald said.

Built in 1914, the prison, which is in Bayport, is the state's largest close-security institution for adult male felons. It also has a minimum-security unit outside the main perimeter. It houses 1,614 inmates.