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HIBBING -- Three Hibbing Community College football players and a former teammate appeared in St. Louis County District Court Monday accused of taking part in the gang rape of an 18-year-old Iron Range high school student on the college campus. Daily Whitten, 19, of Darlington, S.C., Talon Deante Jackson, 20, and Terrance Dominque Laverity, 20, both of Miami, are each charged with two counts of first-degree criminal sexual conduct. Former teammate Andrew Jonathan Williams, 20, of Milwaukee, is charged with two counts of second-degree criminal sexual conduct.
DULUTH -- Three of four Minnesota state auditor candidates said they would not use the office as a political stepping stone, but the incumbent is leaving open that possibility. State Auditor Pat Anderson said she would not rule out running for another office, such as governor, but is focused on winning Nov. 7. "I'm running for re-election and that's my intention," she said Saturday. The issue arose during a debate among auditor candidates Republican Anderson, DFLer Rebecca Otto, Independence Party candidate Lucy Gerold and Dave Berger of the Green Party.
Minnesota's first industrial copper mine appears headed to reality over the next 24 months with the potential of hundreds of jobs and millions of dollars in economic growth for the Iron Range. The mine also has the potential to send acidic runoff into waterways for decades -- even centuries -- to come. PolyMet Co.
DULUTH -- Gov. Tim Pawlenty paid a quick visit to Duluth Sunday afternoon to blast Attorney General Mike Hatch's public safety record. "He has failed miserably" in protecting Minnesotans from crime, Pawlenty said of his Democratic gubernatorial opponent. At the news conference, Pawlenty's campaign released numbers it says shows a 36 percent reduction in Hatch's crime-fighting budget and staffing requests to the Legislature from fiscal year 2000 to the present. "Much of that was before the recession and state budget crunch," the Republican governor said.
ST. PAUL -- Northeastern Minnesota would be the big winner if the state House returns to Democratic-Farmer-Labor control in the Nov. 7 election. But other rural lawmakers also would be in line for promotion. Few want to predict what the House will look like after the election, but it is hard to talk to Democratic lawmakers and not see their enthusiasm. And it is not just candidates; volunteers also are turning out in big numbers, Rep. Al Juhnke, DFL-Willmar, said.
ST. PAUL -- Northern Minnesota legislators would return to power they enjoyed before 1999 if the state House falls under Democratic-Farmer-Labor control in the Nov. 7 election. "In the glory days, we had senior people on most committees," Rep. Mary Murphy, DFL-Hermantown, said. While she and other Northland lawmakers would like to see their party take over, they are hesitant to predict it. "Honestly, I try not to think about it," said Rep. Tony Sertich, DFL-Chisholm, among the Democrats' key leaders.
ST. PAUL -- Sex offenders who don't live by the rules may find their mug on a Minnesota Web site, allowing the public to help police catch them. "Finally, sex offenders are being held accountable," Linda Walker said Wednesday as the new site was announced. Walker is mother of Dru Sjodin, killed in 2003 after convicted sex offender Alfonso Rodriquez Jr. kidnapped her from a Grand Forks, N.D., mall parking lot. She has become a strong supporter of programs established to catch sex offenders. She helped Gov. Tim Pawlenty and law enforcement officials announce the new Web site.
Driving deer is a good technique for deer hunters, but it is also can be pretty dangerous according to the Minnesota Department of Natural Resources and they are urging hunters to plan ahead to ensure safety. The DNR gave some examples of deer drive mishaps during last year's gun-deer hunt. A St. Francis man was wounded at Tamarac National Wildlife Refuge while retrieving a deer shot by his daughter. A group of nine hunters was making a drive nearby when a deer stood up and started running toward the man and his daughter. One of the hunters opened fire.
MINNEAPOLIS -- Mike Hatch showed up at the union hall pig roast wearing a business suit and purple tie. The state attorney general and DFL candidate for governor didn't appear dressed appropriately for the blue-collar event, but tradesmen of the International Brotherhood of Electrical Workers embraced him as one of their own. "Hey, Mike," they shouted as Hatch exited his Buick Century and started chatting with union members. That Hatch received an enthusiastic welcome from a labor union is not unexpected, as his gubernatorial campaign is backed by those groups heavily.
ELK RIVER, Minn. -- It may have been blustery outside, but it was calm inside restaurants Tim Pawlenty visited a few days ago. A man wearing a cowboy hat said: "You have a tough job." Then, Pawlenty tried to talk to a very shy girl who wanted nothing of the conversation. "You don't know who the governor is -- just some strange, big guy," the Republican governor said in a comforting tone. While he was talking to some workers on break, a Mike Hatch commercial attacking Pawlenty's public safety record played a couple of feet away.