>>Man who threatened to shoot people at U-of-M Twin Cities located, in standoff with police at Watson home

(Watson, MN) — An “all-clear” at the U-of-M Twin Cities, after the man who threatened to shoot people on campus today (Thurs) was located by law enforcement, holed up inside his home in Watson, about 150 miles west of the Twin Cities. One of 41-year-old Joseph Rongstad’s neighbors, watching remotely on his security cameras, says it appears a SWAT truck outside the house is trying to shoot gas canisters in, while Rongstad shoots out his windows at law enforcement. Rongstad has posted multiple times on Facebook that a bomb is in the house and shared a picture of a SWAT vehicle outside his window. The U of M Campus was cleared early this afternoon to go back to normal operations.

>>Two officers slightly injured when unknown powder being tested at Willmar law enforcement center ignites

(Willmar, MN) — Two officers at the Kandiyohi County Law Enforcement Center in Willmar were treated at the hospital and released after a unknown powder they were testing — suspected to be a controlled substance — ignited early this morning (Thurs). Officials say there was no threat against law enforcement. The Willmar Fire Department reportedly dispatched crews, but the situation was under control by the time they arrived. The incident remains under investigation.

>>Walz visits Blue Earth provider, touting broadband access

(Blue Earth, MN) — Governor Tim Walz visited BevComm, a broadband provider in Blue Earth today (THURS) to highlight the state’s progress in expanding broadband access. Walz says every business and home in Minnesota will have broadband because it’s essential — “whether it’s your kids doing homework, or whether it’s a veteran trying to do telemedicine…, or whether it’s businesses that now, you can choose to do a global business and live in a great community like Blue Earth, [and] have high-quality schools, low crime rates, affordable housing.” In December 2022, Walz announced $100 million for 61 broadband expansion projects and another $67 million for 30 more projects in June 2023. The Minnesota Department of Employment and Economic Development will award another $50 million in broadband grants next month.

>>Bodycam shows suspect conversation with police at gun range, two months before he ambushed officers in Fargo

(Fargo, ND) — Body camera footage shows police interaction with Mohamad Barakat at a gun range near Casselton, North Dakota, about two months before he ambushed police on a Fargo street, killing Officer Jake Wallin and wounding two other officers and a civilian. At the gun range, an officer questioned Barakat about his use of the explosive compound “Tannerite,” after a call from someone who thought they heard a cannon. Barakat said federal law prohibited him from transporting the mixed explosive compound, but asked if it was okay if he dissolved it in water. The officer said, “Yeah, I mean, if you want to dump ’em out, that’s totally fine.” “Tannerite” was recovered from Barakat’s car after he ambushed officers. In 2016, he turned over four guns to the sheriff’s department for its annual auction, saying he felt pressured by co-workers to buy them and wanted to see something good happen from his misguided purchases.

>>Hibbing Felon Indicted for Drug Trafficking, Firearms Violations

(St. Paul, MN) — A Hibbing man, 53-year-old Phillip Davis, has been indicted on felony charges for alleged drug trafficking and firearms violations. The charges include possession with intent to distribute fentanyl, meth, and cocaine. Davis, with multiple prior felonies in Illinois, is prohibited from possessing firearms or ammunition. A detention hearing is set for January 16th in Duluth.

>>Bemidji Man Charged with Sexual Assault on Red Lake Reservation

(St. Paul, MN) — A Bemidji man has been charged with sexual assault of a vulnerable person on the Red Lake Reservation. The indictment alleges 25-year-old Brent Sigana Jr. engaged in a sexual act with a victim who was physically incapable of communicating their unwillingness. Investigators believe there could be other victims, and ask anyone with information to contact the FBI’s Tip Line at 1-800-FBI or tips.fbi.gov.

>>Cross Country Skier Breaks Through Ice

(Spicer MN-) A cross-country skier went through the ice on Elkhorn Lake south of Spicer. The Kandiyohi County Sheriff’s Department says 73-year-old John Woodhall of Spicer was skiing on the east side of the lake Wednesday afternoon when he broke through the ice about 15 to 20 feet from shore. An Atwater Ambulance crew member saw it and rushed to the aid of Woodhall. No word on whether he was injured. The sheriff’s office reminds residents that ice conditions are unreliable and unpredictable on area lakes.

>>Volunteers at Fargodome halfway to goal of packing 10M meals for starving children

(Fargo, ND) — Over five million meals are now packed for starving children around the world, as volunteers at this morning’s (Thurs) shift at the Fargodome reached the halfway mark toward their goal of 10 million meals by next Monday. It’s spearheaded by Twin Cities-based Feed My Starving Children, and C-E-O Mark Crea (CRAY-uh) says, “It’s gonna make the difference for so many children around the world. It’s gonna save lives like nothing we’ve seen.” To learn more, donate or volunteer, visit Fargopack.org.





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