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Minnesota roundup: State patrol releases video of drunk semi driver; Fisherman with camera finds missing paddleboarder; 2 more state news stories

A frame from a Minnesota State Patrol dash-cam video released Dec. 21 shows a semi-truck driver stopped near Little Falls, Minnesota.

LITTLE FALLS, Minn.—Dash-cam video released Wednesday, Dec. 21, by the Minnesota Department of Public Safety shows shocking video of just how dangerous a drunk driver can be to motorists.

According to the agency, the driver of the semi-truck was driving along Highway 10 in Morrison County, near Little Falls, Minn.

The dash-cam video shows the driver of the semi swerving off the road, nearly knocking out multiple road signs in the process.

The driver of the semi was so intoxicated he fell to the ground when attempting to exit the semi.

After multiple tries, the state trooper was able to get the man to stand up and walk to the police car.

Upon completion of multiple field sobriety tests, it was discovered that the driver of the semi had a blood alcohol content of .28 percent and was convicted of third-degree DWI.

The final seconds of the dash-cam video show the state trooper holding two bottles of vodka, both of which were confiscated from inside the semi.

The MnDPS did not specify the date of this incident.

Ice fisherman with camera finds missing paddleboarder in lake

WACONIA, Minn.—An ice fisherman using an underwater camera Tuesday led to the recovery of the body of a man who went missing Nov. 26 while paddleboarding on Lake Waconia.

Lt. Patrick Barry of the Carver County Sheriff's Office said the body of Andrew John Stifter, 35, of Waconia, was recovered about 4:30 p.m. Tuesday.

Barry said the ice fisherman using an underwater camera spotted the body and alerted police. The Carver County sheriff's dive team then recovered the body from under the ice.

"It's sad, but I think it certainly helps the family and starts the healing process," Barry said.

According to a GoFundMe page, Stifter was married and had two young children. His wife is expecting their third child in early May.

Stifter had gone to Lake Waconia to photograph wildlife from his paddleboard on Nov. 26 when he went missing. Sheriff's deputies found Stifter's paddleboard upright and anchored offshore, with a personal flotation device tethered to the front of the board.

Barry said the cause of Stifter's death is still under investigation, but no foul play is suspected.

Deputy ruled justified in shooting of Iron Range man

VIRGINA, Minn. — Last month's officer-involved shooting of an Iron Range man following a vehicle pursuit has been ruled justified.

St. Louis County Sheriff's Office Deputy Tim Officer fired a single shot at 27-year-old Aaron Lee Boshey of Tower on Nov. 22. Law enforcement had attempted to arrest Boshey for an outstanding warrant when he fled from a Virginia gas station, according to documents.

The 13-mile chase continued to a wooded area west of Eveleth, where Boshey fled into the woods and was shot by Officer, a 19-year veteran of the sheriff's office.

Boshey was struck by a single bullet to his left hand and buttocks, according to a report from the St. Louis County Attorney's Office. Boshey, who authorities said was carrying a handgun and wearing a bullet-resistant vest, suffered minor injuries.

The incident was investigated by the Minnesota Bureau of Criminal Apprehension. St. Louis County Attorney Mark Rubin and retired prosecutor Vern Swanum conducted a review of the incident, announcing Wednesday that Officer's actions were "reasonable and justified."

Boshey has been charged with four felonies in State District Court in Virginia.

Former principal who died of exposure likely taking nature photos

OAK PARK HEIGHTS, Minn.—The former Lake Elmo principal whose body was found outside this weekend in Oak Park Heights was likely taking photographs when he froze to death, officials said.

Nature photography was a hobby of 77-year-old Thomas LeCloux and he often took photographs of the area countryside, according to Cindy Ray, communications specialist for Presbyterian Homes & Services.

LeCloux left the Boutwells Landing sometime on Sunday. Staff went to check on him about 11 p.m. Sunday but didn't find him in his apartment. His body was found two hours later about a half-mile away. The temperature at the time was about 0 degrees.

Until Tuesday, there was no official explanation about why an elderly man in good health would wander into the zero-degree cold with no hat or gloves. But Ray said that LeCloux was found with his camera. His Facebook page is full of nature photographs, and she said it was likely that LeCloux walked outside earlier Sunday in hopes of getting a photo in the deserted area nearby.

"That's why he didn't have gloves on," Ray said.

LeCloux was the principal of Oak-Land Junior High School in Lake Elmo and retired in 2005.

"We are saddened by his death, but I hope he died while doing what he loved," Ray said.