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Two in five U.S. citizens live where pollution levels are too dangerous to breathe. That's according to the annual American Lung Association State of the Air Report released last week. The good news is that the number of people exposed to these unhealthy particulates dropped from 166 million to 125 million based on three-year measurements covering 2012-14 and 2013-15.
VADNAIS HEIGHTS, Minn.—The family of a man killed by Ramsey County sheriff's deputies in Vadnais Heights earlier this week has identified him as Darren Jahnke, 47. "Our hearts are breaking right now," sister Jenny Vance said Wednesday night. All four deputies have been placed on standard administrative leave. They are Lisa Daly, a 25-year veteran; Doug Haider, an 11-year veteran; Sara Naglosky, 4 months and Andre Rongitsch, a 12-year veteran.
WELCH, Minn.—Adam Sandler is coming to Treasure Island Resort & Casino in Welch, Minn., this summer. The comedian's "Netflix Presents: Here Comes the Funny Tour" will arrive at the casino northwest of Red Wing on Wednesday, June 21. Sandler will be joined by fellow comedians David Spade, Nick Swardson and Rob Schneider. It's a rare appearance in Minnesota by the comedians. Tickets for the 8 p.m. show start at $99 and go on sale Friday at 10 a.m. For more information, visit ticketmaster.com.
BEMIDJI, Minn. — A middle school assistant principal in Bemidji pleaded not guilty Monday, April 17, to two felony counts of engaging in electronic communication relating to or describing sexual conduct with a child. Brandon Mark Bjerknes, 34, is accused of posing as a 13-year-old boy on social media in order to have sexual conversations with children, according to court documents.
The annual Cold Weather Rule protecting residential energy customers from having their primary heating source disconnected expires April 15. Xcel Energy is reminding customers who may have fallen behind on their bills to make arrangements to ensure their service is not interrupted.
Burnsville teacher accused of sexually explicit communication with student BURNSVILLE, MInn. — A Burnsville High School music teacher is accused of having sexually explicit electronic communication with a student over the past several weeks, police said. Erik Micheal Akervik, 29, of Burnsville, was arrested at the high school about 11:30 a.m. Monday and booked into Dakota County jail on suspicion of using the internet or a computer to distribute material that relates or describes sexual conduct with a child, jail records show.
Government oversight and transparency are vital to ensuring people's trust. My office oversees over $20 billion of taxpayer money spent yearly by local government in Minnesota. When we find compliance failures or financial improprieties, we must call them out. Due to the nature of the work, we are bound to ruffle feathers at times.
BATTLE LAKE, Minn.—Battle Lake police said Sunday that they doubt there was an abduction of a child on Friday. "As of Sunday morning, April 9, we still have had no reports of anyone missing. At this time we believe that whatever was witnessed may have been either misinterpreted or was a parent picking up their child," the police said in a Facebook post. "In this case the witnesses were very young and it is difficult to determine factual information," the post said.
ST. PAUL—A 21-year-old man has been charged with a misdemeanor in connection with a crash last year that killed a 20-year-old mother who was expecting her second child. Drew Tyler Fleming, 21, of North Hudson, Wis., was charged with one count of reckless driving in the Feb. 29, 2016, crash in Washington County that killed Megan Goeltz, 22, of Hudson, Wis. According to charges filed Friday in Washington County, Fleming "was distracted by his cell phone."
ST. PAUL—State Rep. John Lesch, a veteran lawmaker from St. Paul, is launching a bid for Minnesota attorney general. A longtime prosecutor for the city of St. Paul, Lesch was first elected to the Minnesota House in 2002. After an unofficial trip to Iraq in 2006, Lesch enlisted in the Minnesota National Guard in 2009, when he was in his late 30s.