Archives for September 2017

Two Others Facing Charges In Kidnap and Rape MN Teen

A Minnesota teenager was held captive for 29 days, repeatedly raped, locked in a closet and bound by zip ties before she escaped and swam across a lake to safety. Charges filed Thursday allege 32-year-old Thomas Barker kidnapped the 15-year-old Aug. 8 by tricking her into thinking he needed help. Twenty-year-old Steven Powers and 31-year-old Joshua Holby also face charges. The girl escaped Tuesday.

Tomah VA Violations

A new report released by the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs’ inspector general says staff at the Tomah VA Medical Center failed to report a dentist who used improperly sterilized equipment, potentially exposing hundreds of patients to infection. The Tomah VA asked nearly 600 veterans to be screened for possible infections after learning of the violations in November.

Drug Overdose Deaths Skyrocket in Minnesota

Minnesota’s total number of drug overdose deaths continued to climb in 2016, with heroin taking an increasing toll in the Twin Cities and methamphetamine deaths on the rise in Greater Minnesota.
Drug overdose deaths among Minnesota residents increased 9.2 percent from 2015 to 2016, extending an alarming trend. The number of drug overdose deaths in 2016 is nearly six times higher than it was in 2000. Preliminary data collected from Minnesota death certificates show 637 people died from a drug overdose in 2016 compared to 583 deaths in 2015.

Six Hurt In Crash Involving Air Force Reserve Bus

Six people aboard an Air Force Reserve bus were hurt when a semitrailer collided with the bus on Interstate 94 near Monticello on Thursday. The bus was on its way to a training site near Fargo when the semi apparently rear-ended it. One person suffered serious injuries after rolling over and hitting two other vehicles.
The State Patrol says most of the injuries don’t appear to be life-threatening.

Kelly Lake Woman After Hiking Mishap

A Kelly Lake woman had to be rescued after getting lost on a nature walk near Hibbing on Thursday. 47-year old Rose Looker said she got separated from her partner who didn’t have a phone on him. She called 911 and was rescued a couple of hours later. She said the pair had been walking on the back of a mining property. Firefighters staged the rescue in Kelly Lake with an ATV, rescue trailer, brush rig, and medic unit. She was not injured in the incident.

Bemidji City Leaders Standing By City Manager Despite ‘Mean’ Comments

Bemidji Mayor Rita Albrecht and the City Council are throwing their support behind City Manager Nate Mathews despite him making some unpleasant comments about the city and some of its residents. In an internal email, Visit Bemidji Destination Services Specialist Cindy Habedank asked Mathews to write up a submission for Minnesota Monthly magazine and their Best Town Search. Mathews refused, saying that “when I think of Bemidji in my mind right now I think of mean and manipulative people, not MN Nice.” He added that he thought it was ‘hilarious’ to promote Bemidji as a community exhibiting ‘Minnesota nice in any way shape or form.’ He has since apologized for those comments.

Missing Deer River Girls Found Safe

A pair of teenage girls from Deer River who were reported missing Tuesday were found safe and sound on Wednesday afternoon. The Itasca County Sheriff’s Office had been looking for 12-year old Domaneeck Evelyn Allen and her older sister, 14-year old Zoey Asanniece Allen. They were last seen at their Deer River home around 5:30 Tuesday afternoon, and allegedly left a note saying they were running away. Police did not say yesterday where the girls were found.

FCC Extends Broadband Comment Period at Sen. Franken’s Request

Sen. Al Franken said Wednesday that the FCC has agreed to his request to give people in Minnesota and across the country additional time to comment on whether slower-speed mobile broadband can serve as a substitute for—rather than a complement to—higher-speed fixed broadband.  Sen. Franken said the FCC decision to extend the comment period, which now ends on October 6, 2017, comes after he and 11 of his colleagues pushed the commission to allow more time for Americans to weigh in. 

Alexandria Kidnapping Victim Knew Her Captor, Police Say

Police say a teenager who had been missing was abducted, physically and sexually assaulted and held against her will for 29 days. The 15-year-old had been tied up and threatened with weapons. Alexandria police say she escaped Tuesday, swam through a lake and was found running in a field in Grant County. She has minor injuries. Three men have been arrested and charges are pending. She had been missing since Aug. 8. Police say she knew one of her captors and left her Alexandria home with him after he said he needed help. Instead, he took her to his home, tied her up with zip ties and began assaulting her.

Blackduck Man Arrested For Allegedly Kidnapping Girlfriend

One man is behind bars, accused of kidnapping his girlfriend. Police say 31-year old Joshua Smith of Blackduck was arrested after police conducted a search on a home in Hornet Township. Police say they found the woman walking away from the home when they arrived. She had been allegedly abducted Friday in International Falls.