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ST. CLOUD, Minn. — Scott Staska, a former high school principal in Barnesville who was a finalist for superintendent of Moorhead Area Public Schools, has pleaded guilty to indecent exposure charges in Stearns County District Court. On Friday, Dec. 28, Staska, 57, pleaded guilty as part of a plea deal to four misdemeanor counts of indecent exposure. Fifteen other counts are to be dismissed. Staska will be sentenced Jan. 31. Under the plea deal, he is to serve 80 hours of community service and possibly face fines of up to $300 per count.
ST. PAUL — The suspect in a fatal shooting in Hibbing on Christmas was apprehended by police Friday night, Dec. 28. According to the Minnesota Department of Public Safety, Jerome Spann, 29, was booked into the Ramsey County Adult Detention Center on suspicion of murder and other possible charges. Spann was sought in the shooting incident that left one person dead and another injured in Hibbing on Tuesday, Dec. 25. Spann fled the scene and was believed to have been traveling to St. Paul, where he has relatives.
FERGUS FALLS, Minn. — Authorities are investigating an incident involving a suspicious letter sent to the U.S. Federal Courthouse here. According to a posting on the Fergus Falls Police Department Facebook page: Around 9:20 a.m. on Thursday, Dec. 27, the U.S. Marshal's Service contacted Fergus Falls police regarding a suspicious letter sent to the federal courthouse.
ELY, Minn. - A Cloquet man last seen with a Cloquet woman Friday, Dec. 21, was found dead Wednesday in the water on White Iron Lake, which is southeast of Ely. The St. Louis County Sheriff’s Office reported that the body of Kenneth Wildenaur, 60, was found by members of the St. Louis County Rescue Squad about 2 p.m. Wednesday. The two were last seen together Friday at Tank's Bar and Restaurant in Babbitt. Their last known location, based on cell phone records, was just southeast of Ely on Saturday afternoon.
PERHAM, Minn. -- A woman and two girls were flown for medical treatment after a car-train collision in northwest Minnesota. According to the Otter Tail County Sheriff’s Office, the accident happened in the afternoon of Friday, Dec. 21, near Perham in Otter Tail County. The sheriff’s office said there were four people in the car, but had not released the names of the victims or their conditions.
It's a merry Christmas for travelers as gas prices have dropped to their lowest levels of the year in the region. And it'll be a happy new year thanks to prices continuing their three-month slide and dropping to below $2 in many places, according to Gene LaDoucer, North Dakota spokesman for AAA.
PINE RIVER, Minn. - Our Lady of Lourdes Catholic Church in Pine River is prepared to welcome a stolen Jesus statue back to the parish with no questions asked. Barbara Demm, maintenance worker at the central Minnesota church, noticed the statue was missing from the garden shortly after Thanksgiving, though she said a parishioner had noticed it was missing just before Thanksgiving.
DULUTH — The three protesters who prevented a downtown Duluth bank from opening one morning earlier this year were found guilty of trespassing by a judicial referee on Thursday. The three men were fined $135 each for the petty misdemeanor convictions. But in his ruling, Judicial Referee John Schulte seemed to agree in spirit with the men’s actions. “They should keep up the fight,” Schulte wrote in his memorandum filed in District Court in Duluth. “There is a long tradition in this world of honorable and appropriate civil disobedience. This case is a perfect example.”
DULUTH — The city of Duluth soon could require people to be at least 21 in order to purchase tobacco or e-cigarette products. Duluth city councilors Em Westerlund and Zack Filipovich say they plan to bring forward a proposed ordinance along those lines on Jan. 14 for a first reading. If they do, the ordinance could go to a vote as soon as Jan. 28. If the ordinance passes, Duluth will join 21 other cities and counties in Minnesota already have adopted similar age restrictions.
SARTELL, Minn. — A woman and her unborn child were killed in a two-vehicle crash Monday, Dec. 17, near Sartell when a semi driver failed to stop at a stop sign. The accident was reported at 7:48 a.m. about 5 miles north of St. Cloud. According to the Stearns County Sheriff’s Office, Corey William Planck, 46, of Star City, Indiana, was driving a 2000 Kenworth semi northeast on County Road 133 when it failed to stop at a four-way stop sign and collided with a 2017 Subaru Forester, driven by a 30-year-old woman who was going southeast on County Road 4.