>>Cracking Down on Copper Wire Thefts

(St. Paul, MN) — Governor Tim Walz joined St. Paul Mayor Melvin Carter this morning to urge legislators to address the copper wire theft crisis in St. Paul and across the state.  Walz commends St. Paul’s efforts to disrupt the market for stolen copper wire, drawing parallels to previous efforts to combat catalytic converter theft. He says lawmakers are currently crafting legislation to clarify,  “You show up with a bunch of copper wire you stole, you’re going to have a hell of a time selling it, and should you buy it, there will be serious penalties.” Walz also notes the problem is time-consuming and costly, citing the current number of 100 lights out in Como Park. With each light costing $2,000 a piece to fix, that’s a $200,000 repair.

>>Stabbing Victim Found in Watonwan County Sheriff’s Office Lobby, Suspect Arrested

(St. James, MN) —  A man is hospitalized, and a suspect is under arrest after a stabbing late Tuesday night in St. James in southern Minnesota.  Police say the 30-year-old victim was found bleeding profusely in the lobby of the Watonwan County Sheriff’s Office.   They say the victim provided a description of the suspect before he was taken to the hospital.  Officers searched two homes in St. James and arrested a 23-year-old man on suspicion of second-degree assault.   The victim was airlifted to a Rochester hospital, but his current condition was not released.

>>Anoka Home to State’s First “Social District”

(Anoka, MN) —  The state’s first “social district” will open for a full five-month season on May 1st in downtown Anoka.  Community development director Doug Borglund says the 30-day pilot program went well last fall.  He says they’ve identified a boundary and placed signage based on the law that basically allows people to carry an adult beverage within the public realm, whether a sidewalk or park, based on the area you’ve identified.  Borglund says you must carry drinks in a designated cup in the social district.  City officials will report back to the Minnesota Legislature next year about the experience.

>>Crystal Woman Charged with 10 Felony Counts of Animal Abuse After Officials Pull 124 Cats from Her Home

(Crystal, MN) — A Crystal woman faces ten felony counts of animal abuse after police and humane officials pulled 124 cats from her home. After previous illegal dumping of animal waste and suspicious activity, Crystal police and animal control officer served a search warrant on February 27th at 47-year-old Shawna Duffy’s home. Officials recovered 96 cats from the home, saying the entire house was covered in a “mud-like substance” determined to be dried cat feces and vomit, and the air was thick with the smell of cat urine. More cats were found and rescued on additional trips to the home in March. Animal Humane Society members determined nearly 70% of the cats were underweight, malnourished, dehydrated, and under-socialized. Officials say the animal owners are getting help so they don’t start hoarding animals again once legal sanctions end.

>>Minnesota Wild Signs Goalie Fleury to 1-Year Contract Extension

(St. Paul, MN) —   Future Hockey Hall of Fame goaltender Marc-Andre Fleury (FLUR’-ee) will play one more season in Minnesota. The Wild signed the 39-year-old to a one-year contract extension worth 2.5 million dollars today (Wednesday). Fleury has the second most wins in N-H-L history and is one of only four goalies to appear in one thousand career games. The Wild play their final regular season game Thursday night at home against the Seattle Kraken.

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