>>Walz Supports Push for BCA Facility in Mankato

(Mankato, MN) — Governor Tim Walz says he will support funding for a new Bureau of Criminal Apprehension (BCA) facility in Mankato as part of this year’s bonding bill. Walz spoke with local law enforcement leaders and elected officials during a stop in Mankato Thursday. Supporters say the new B-C-A facility would make it easier for evidence from southern Minnesota agencies to be processed and analyzed, speeding up criminal investigations and prosecutions. The 44-thousand square-foot facility will cost nearly 50 million dollars.


>>Suspect in U of M Shooting Threat Arrested in Chippewa County

(Watson, MN) — A 41-year-old man is in custody after he allegedly made a threat to shoot multiple people on the campus of the University of Minnesota. Joseph Rongstad surrendered to Chippewa County law enforcement after a standoff at a home in Watson Thursday. A SWAT team in an armored vehicle used a ram to pop out windows and break down a door of the home in Watson before Rongstad surrendered. Rongstad is accused of making threats on social media Wednesday night into Thursday morning to shoot students on the U of M campus, saying “kids will die for real.” Charges are pending but he’s being held for probable cause of making violent threats.


>>Fatal St. Paul House Fire Cause Likely is an Unattended Candle

(St. Paul, MN) — The St. Paul Fire Department says an unattended candle is the likely cause of the January 3rd house fire that killed four children and injured three family members. An official report is expected to be released Saturday morning during a news conference. Officials says four children, five-year-old twins, a four-year-old and one-year-old, died from injuries suffered in the fire. Two children are hospitalized with improving conditions, and the 28-year-old mother remains in critical condition. A GoFundMe page set up by the father has raised more than 460 thousand dollars.


>>Snow and Bitter Cold Arrives in Minnesota This Weekend

(Chanhassen, MN) — There’s a winter storm warning through tomorrow (Sat) morning across southern Minnesota, and then comes the first brutal cold of the season. The National Weather Service says there could be four or more inches of snow across southern Minnesota — possibly as much as eight inches in southeast Minnesota’s Goodhue County, and three to five in the metro with heavier amounts into Wisconsin, but less to the west around Hutchinson, Olivia and Redwood Falls. Then temperatures will plummet: Lows 9- to 15-below zero by Saturday night, continued cold Sunday and by Monday, M-L-K Day, highs only 3-below to 9-below.


>>SUV and Snowplow Collide on Icy Highway 169 in St. Louis County

(Tower, MN) — Authorities in St. Louis County are investigating a crash between an S-U-V and a snowplow Thursday afternoon near Tower. The Minnesota State Patrol says a vehicle driven by Joan Smerage of Winona lost control on icy Highway 169, started spinning and struck the plow truck head-on. Smerage was taken to a hospital in Virginia with non-life threatening injuries. The snowplow operator wasn’t hurt.


>>Passenger Killed in 2 Vehicle Crash in Brown County

(Hanska, MN) — A south central Minnesota woman is dead after a two-vehicle crash Thursday afternoon south of New Ulm. The Brown County Sheriff’s Office says S-U-Vs driven by 76-year-old Dean Steffensmeier of Hanska and 72-year-old Steven Howard of Mankato collided at a rural intersection. Deputies say Steffensmeier was airlifted to the Mayo Clinic in Rochester and his passenger – 75-year-old Donna Steffensmeier – died at the scene. Howard was treated and released. The report says no alcohol or drug use is suspected.


>>Pedestrian Struck, Seriously Injured by Vehicle in Kanabec County

(Mora, MN) — A pedestrian is hospitalized in critical condition after being struck by a vehicle in east central Minnesota’s Kanabec (kuh-NAY’-bick) County. The State Patrol says 24-year-old Wally Murray of Bruno was crossing Highway 65 in Mora Wednesday evening when he was hit by an S-U-V. Troopers say Murray was taken to North Memorial Hospital with life-threatening injuries. The report says the roadway was wet at the time.


>>Feds Investigating Swans Killed in Western Minnesota’s Stevens County

(Stevens County, MN) — The U-S Fish and Wildlife Service is asking for help with an investigation into the deaths of more than a dozen swans in western Minnesota. Officials say the swans were killed between December 16th and 17th in Stevens County. Swans are protected under the federal Migratory Bird Treaty Act. Investigators say they rely on tips from the public to help solve these cases, and anyone with information is being asked to contact the Fish and Wildlife Service.


>>WalletHub Ranks Minnesota 7th Most Expensive State for Smokers

(Undated) – A report by personal finance website WalletHub ranks Minnesota as the seventh-most expensive state to be a smoker. “The Real Cost of Smoking by State” breaks down the potential monetary losses brought on by smoking and exposure to secondhand smoke. Officials say total cost per year per smoker in Minnesota averages $95,149, with a lifetime total average cost of more than 4.5 million dollars. The report says Minnesota smokers lose around $671,000 of their income, with an out-of-pocket cost near $195, 000. New York ranks the most expensive state, with Mississippi ranking the cheapest.



Share this: