- 5/24/13;Reminder that the Forest City CSD will have a one (1) hour early dismissal on Friday, May 24th.:
- 5/25/13, ANNOUNCEMENT; Family Fun ride has been rerouted: from Waldorf College, down J Street to Golf Course Road, to the Golf Course. At the Golf Course, families will enjoy the build-your-own Trail Mix station and compete in put-put golf then return for the pasta feed and games at Waldorf College. :
HEAD SHOP-INDICTMENT Duluth head shop owner indicted on federal charges MINNEAPOLIS (AP) – The owner of a Duluth head shop and three employees have been charged in a 54-count indictment that alleges they violated federal drug and regulatory laws. The indictment charging 55-year-old Jim Carlson and three others was unsealed Tuesday. Carlson, of Superior, Wis., is owner of Last Place on Earth in Duluth. The indictment says that from March 2010 through this September, Carlson and his employees conspired to obtain and sell items falsely labeled as incense, potpourri and bath salts. The U.S. Attorney’s Office says those items were actually synthetic drugs. The indictment alleges that despite false labeling, the items were meant for human consumption. Authorities say the drugs were ordered from California, Arizona, Wisconsin, Florida and Pennsylvania. Randy Tigue, an attorney for Carlson, said his client will plead innocent.
HOMEOWNER-FATAL SHOOTINGS Minn. man charged with killing 2 teens posts bail LITTLE FALLS, Minn. (AP) – A central Minnesota man charged with killing two teenage cousins who broke into his home on Thanksgiving is out of jail. Morrison County jail officials say 64-year-old Byron David Smith, of rural Little Falls, posted $50,000 cash as conditional bail on Tuesday morning. His bail was originally $2 million without conditions, or $1 million with conditions. Judge Douglas Anderson cut Smith’s bail sharply Monday despite a plea by prosecutor Todd Kosovich (KAH’-she-vitch) to double or even triple it. Kosovich said the shootings of 17-year-old Nick Brady and 18-year-old Halie Kifer were an ambush, not self-defense. But defense attorney Steve Meshbesher said Smith wants to stay in Little Falls and defend himself against the second-degree murder charges. Smith told investigators his home had been burglarized several times before the Thanksgiving break-in.
RIGHT-TO-DIE GROUP Right-to-die group wants Minn. charges dismissed MINNEAPOLIS (AP) – Members of a national right-to-die group are challenging a Minnesota assisted-suicide law. The group Final Exit Network and four of its members were indicted in May in the 2007 suicide of a Minnesota woman. The 17-count indictment alleges the defendants violated state law prohibiting people from assisting, advising or encouraging suicide. Defense attorneys say the statute is unconstitutional, and criminalizes free speech. They are asking a judge to dismiss the counts related to that assisted-suicide statute. In court documents filed ahead of a hearing Tuesday, prosecutors said the law is narrowly worded so advocates of suicide may freely speak their minds. They say those who “intentionally” assist, encourage or advise suicide are breaking the law. Dakota County District Court Judge Karen Asphaug took the arguments under advisement.
HORSE RESCUE-CHARGES SE Minn. man charged with 25 animal cruelty counts PRESTON, Minn. (AP) – A southeastern Minnesota man has been charged with 25 animal cruelty counts and one of improper disposal of carcasses after authorities seized 55 horses from his farm. A criminal complaint filed in Fillmore County Tuesday says investigators found numerous sick and starving horses on the farm of 80-year-old Wilbur Eugene Schmoll, and that five were so sick that veterinarians had to put them down. The complaint alleges Schmoll has a history of animal neglect and is either unable or unwilling to provide adequate care for his horses. Schmoll has not been arrested, but is due to appear in court Jan. 15. Schmoll does not have a listed phone number and could not be reached for comment. The prosecutor says he’s not been notified of Schmoll having a lawyer.
FRAC SAND-WABASHA Wabasha City Council backs frac sand project WABASHA, Minn. (AP) – A proposed rail shipping hub for frac sand got a boost when the Wabasha City Council rejected a request to study the environmental risks. Monday night’s vote could lead to hundreds of truck trips a day through the picturesque Mississippi River town in southeastern Minnesota. Calgary, Alberta-based Superior Sand Systems plans to build a storage and loading facility along the Canadian Pacific tracks, from which silica sand mined in Wisconsin would be shipped to North Dakota and Texas for use in the oil and gas extraction process called hydraulic fracturing. Dozens of residents and environmentalists sought the environmental review citing health, traffic and safety concerns. But the council voted 5-1 against it after Superior Sands said federal railroad law trumps the state law under which the citizens filed their petition.
MINNESOTA OFFICER KILLED-911 911 transcripts released in Decker case MINNEAPOLIS (AP) – Transcripts of 911 calls after the shooting of a Cold Spring police officer show a caller describing a “noisy black van” leaving the scene. The transcripts were released Tuesday, a day after authorities announced a $100,000 reward for information that helps solve the Nov. 29 slaying of Officer Tom Decker. The first caller says an ambulance and police are needed behind Winner’s Sports Bar. The operator asks the caller if she saw the shooting. The caller says no, then appears to call someone else to the phone who describes a van with a loud exhaust heading west on Main Street. The speaker says he or she doesn’t know if the van or its driver was involved in the shooting. The second 911 caller is told officers are on the way.
RYBAK-FUTURE Minneapolis mayor opens new political venture ST. PAUL, Minn. (AP) – Minneapolis Mayor R.T. Rybak is opening a new political venture as he considers whether to seek a fourth term atop Minnesota’s largest city. Rybak has registered a statewide political action committee after closing a separate account that was the vehicle for an unsuccessful run for governor two years ago. Rybak is listed as chairman of the new RYPAC that will allow him to engage financially in state campaigns. His defunct gubernatorial committee put in some seed money. He has a year left in on his third mayoral term but hasn’t said if he will run again. Rybak is also vice chairman of the Democratic National Committee. The mayor’s advisers have said they expect an announcement of his 2013 plans by month’s end. Rybak says he hasn’t made any plans about how to use the new political action committee.
PAYNESVILLE STUDENTS RELEASED Cause of Minn. school illness remains a mystery (Information in the following story is from: St. Cloud Times, http://www.sctimes.com ) PAYNESVILLE, Minn. (AP) – Officials say they have found no environmental cause for an illness outbreak that sickened more than two dozen students at Paynesville Area Secondary School. The school was declared safe after a hazardous materials team swept the building Tuesday. In a letter to parents and students, Paynesville Superintendent Bob Huot (HYEW’-eht) says the district plans to sanitize the building Wednesday and secondary students can stay home. Elementary students also will have the day off due to transportation routes and staffing. School will resume Thursday. Huot (HYEW’-eht) told the St. Cloud Times that seven students felt woozy during a choir concert Monday night and were taken to a hospital, but felt fine by Tuesday morning. Students started feeling sick again as classes resumed Tuesday, so the school sent students home.