>>Ex police chief of Mille Lacs Band sentenced to over 28 years for child sexual abuse
**MEDIA REFERENCE – 2ND LINE**
(Little Falls, MN) — A former police chief of the Mille Lacs Band has been sentenced to more than 28 years in prison for sexually assaulting a child beginning about 2009 when she was six or seven and continuing for six years. The Star Tribune reports in 2021 the victim recorded a phone call when now-75-year-old Russell Bankey of Garrison admitted to the abuse and apologized. When she asked why, he said “I guess I was lonesome.” His attorney asked the judge for probation, arguing Bankey is remorseful, has the support of his family, and experienced “horrific abuse” as a child. In a separate case, Bankey is accused of assaulting another child on more than one occasion in 1991.
>>Man Charged with Murdering IA Officer to be Extradited from MN to IA
(Sleepy Eye, MN) — The man charged with the murder of Algona, Iowa Police Officer, 33-year-old Kevin Cram, signed a waiver today to be extradited to Iowa from Sleepy Eye in southern Minnesota, where he remains in custody. 43-year-old Kyle Ricke of Algona is charged with murdering Cram Wednesday night after Cram attempted to arrest Ricke on an active warrant.
>>Boy arrested after posting threatening video of himself outside Edina High School
(Minneapolis, MN) — A 17-year-old boy was arrested this morning (Fri) in Minneapolis, after authorities say he posted a video of himself displaying a gun outside Edina High School and threatening someone. Police say the teen is not a current or former student at Edina High School. Charges are pending. That school and adjoining Valley View Middle School went to virtual instruction today, authorities say out of an abundance of caution.
>>Hormel union rejects latest contract offer
(Austin, MN) — United Food and Commercial Workers Local 663 says its members have overwhelmingly voted against Hormel Foods’ latest contract proposal. The union says “Hormel’s record profits are… not shared fairly with the rest of us…. We demand that Hormel does better and comes to the table for a fair agreement quickly.” Hormel officials say they’re disappointed, “given the significant contract package offered,” but remain optimistic to reach agreement. The company says both sides have agreed to extend their current contract through October 8th.
>>Authorities I-D woman’s body in 23-year-old death investigation
(New Brighton, MN) — Investigators New Brighton in the north metro have a significant break in a 23-year-old cold case, identifying through genetic genealogy and D-N-A the remains of a woman found in Long Lake Regional Park in 2000. In September of that year, two teenagers on a walk in a wooded and marshy area discovered a body, now identified as that of Gail Marlene Johnson, age 40 at the time of her death, last known residence in Minneapolis. Investigators believe the body had been there up to two months and the medical examiner could not determine cause of death. Investigators say Johnson drove a black or gray 1989 Ford Mustang, had been a sex worker, and was known to spend time along Lake Street in Minneapolis. Anyone with information should contact the New Brighton Police Department.
>>West Fargo Police Ask Public for Help Finding Runaway Teen
(West Fargo, N.D.) — West Fargo Police are asking for the public’s help in finding a runaway teen. 13-year-old Sophie Fontaine left her home Wednesday and was last seen in West Fargo around 12 p.m. and authorities think she’s heading to the Grand Forks area. Fontaine is 5-foot-1, 105 pounds, with red hair and blue eyes. Anyone with information is asked to call the West Fargo Police Department.
>>Salvation Army “Coats for Kids” drive under way in Twin Cities
(Various) — The Salvation Army’s annual “Coats for Kids” campaign is under way through the end of September, and you can drop off new or lightly-used coats at the Roseville headquarters or any of seven service centers in the Twin Cities or at any Livea Weight Control Center. Salvation Army Spokesman Dan Furry says, “We’ve had a very hot summer but we know winter is going to come. We’re Minnesotans, so we know that winter is coming, and winter can be harsh.” Officials say providing a warm coat will give parents in struggling families one less thing to worry about for their kids. If you want to make a monetary donation, visit givecoats.org. Furry says 25 dollars can provide a high-quality coat to a local kid in need — although any amount is helpful.
>>Hennepin County Sheriff’s Office gears up with “Focus on Fentanyl”
(Minneapolis, MN) — “Focus on Fentanyl” is a new initiative created by the Hennepin County Sheriff’s Office in an effort to stop opioid overdoses and deaths. Investigator, Major Rick Palaia (puh-LIE-uh) says, “We’ve seized 50 times more fentanyl in 2022 than we did in 2021 and 2020 and this year we’ve already seized enough fentanyl to potentially kill every person in Hennepin County.” Palaia says the initiative will be around for “as long as there are overdose deaths that are fentanyl-related.”
>>State Education Department has its first inspector general
(Roseville, MN) — The Minnesota Department of Education (MDE) announced today (FRI) the agency’s first Inspector General, Patrick Wolfgram. As inspector general, Wolfgram is tasked with protecting the state from fraud, waste, and abuse through the agency’s programs, grants, and operations. State Education Commissioner Willie Jet says, “The Office of Inspector General gives MDE the authority for the proper oversight that is critical to ensure all our programs are administered with integrity for the students and people of Minnesota.” Wolfgram is a licensed peace officer, coming from his previous role as senior investigator at the Minnesota State Lottery. The state Education Department has been under fire from Republicans who say it didn’t adequate oversee state programs resulting in the massive Feeding our Future fraud scandal.