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MINNEAPOLIS -- A federal appeals court on Tuesday upheld the death sentence of a convicted rapist for the 2003 kidnapping and killing of a University of North Dakota student in a case that led Minnesota and North Dakota to toughen their sex-offender laws. The 8th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals concluded that Alfonso Rodriguez Jr., of Crookston, got a fair trial and rejected his bid to overturn his death sentence.
It's time to roll out several summer reading books, including Lisa Gardner's "The Neighbor" (Bantam, $25). South Boston has always fascinated me, ever since movies like "Good Will Hunting" and "Mystic River." Gardner ("The Killing Hour)" sets her new novel in the world of the "Southie." A housewife, Sandra Jones, from South Boston turns up missing, leaving behind only a four-year-old daughter and her husband, Jason, who seems determined to destroy evidence of his wife's existence. Detective Sgt. D.D.
A juvenile osprey displaced from its nest by a lightning-caused fire near Biwabik last week was in "guarded" condition today at a wildlife rehabilitation center near Garrison, Minn. "He came in really thin," said Dr. Katie Baratto, a veterinarian at the Wild and Free Rehabilitation Program in Garrison. "We're hoping to get him fattened up as much as we can so he's releasable." Mark Fredin of Aurora, a conservation officer with the Minnesota Department of Natural Resources, found the young osprey on the ground Wednesday morning.
Hastings residents will have to wait a little while longer to find out what the new Highway 61 bridge will look like. At a public meeting Wednesday afternoon at City Hall, transportation officials announced they have two bridge options still in the running. The new bridge will either be the cable-supported design or the arch design. On Tuesday, Minnesota Department of Transportation officials eliminated the twin box girder bridge design from consideration . MnDOT will now put out a request for proposal for both bridge types and see what it receives back from contractors. MnDOT officials m
Responding to nine separate fires in one day would be a feat in and of itself, but battling nine fires simultaneously is another thing altogether. That was the situation Hastings and Miesville firefighters faced Wednesday afternoon in Ravenna Township. A property owner near the intersection of 203rd Street and Quentin Avenue had been legally burning some scrap wood on Monday, May 18, and thought the fire was out. On Wednesday, the high winds the Hastings area experienced kicked up some ash and embers that were still smoldering from the fire two days before.
NEW LONDON -- As people started checking in early Friday morning at Sibley State Park for a weekend of camping, the office staff there received an urgent email about the emerald ash borer that will affect all visitors at every state park. The notice gave firm instructions for park personnel to question overnight visitors about whether they had firewood with them. Campers will be asked to voluntarily give up unapproved wood and exchange it for certified bundles of wood that's for sale at the parks. If they don't, they could risk confiscation and a citation by a conservation officer. The oth
The Wednesday morning fire at the Ravenna Town Hall is being investigated as an arson by the Hastings Fire Department, Dakota County Sheriff's Office and the State Fire Marshal's Office. According to Hastings Assistant Fire Chief and Fire Marshal John Townsend, after eliminating other possible ignition factors, it was determined the fire was set intentionally. Anyone with information regarding the origin of the fire is encouraged to call the state's arson tip line at 1-800-723-2020. The arson tip line offers rewards of up to $2,500 for information leading to the arrest of arson suspects.
ON THE ST. LOUIS RIVER, DULUTH -- The dark shape of three human forms loomed in the blackness at Boy Scout Landing shortly after 4 a.m. Saturday. The temperature was 41.
A wag of my acquaintance once said that word processors are ruining the art of biography. He explained that it's so easy to type on them (no carriage return, no worries of hyphenation, etc.), that "if Moses had one, there'd be 17 commandments rather than 10." In some ways it's true. Back in the 18th century, Dr. Samuel Johnson wrote wonderfully perceptive and readable biographies of writers like Richard Savage in about 50 modern-day pages. But even before the advent of the word processor the modern taste for detail led to biographers piling more and more detail into their work.
Any who has ever dug into a fish dinner at Afton, Minnesota's Catfish Saloon, or licked an ice cream cone from the town's storied ice cream parlor will most certainly want to pick up a copy of "Death Row" ($17.99), by Hal Barnes, available in bookstores and through Lulu.com. And if you've never sampled the culinary delights of the beautiful little town pick one up anyway because it's a crackling good mystery, chockfull of international intrigue and contemporary concerns. Barnes, a Twin Cities business writer, lives in Afton and his infectious enthusiasm for the neighborhood shows.