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MINNEAPOLIS — A former youth pastor in Cottage Grove, Minn., is heading to prison for sending sexually explicit images of children to others on social media sites, authorities say. William Leonard Helker, 47, of Pine City, was sentenced in federal court in Minneapolis this past week to 12K years in prison on one count of distribution of child pornography, according to a statement released by the U.S. attorney’s Minnesota office.
PALISADE, Minn. —A man was seriously injured when he was hit by a boat propeller and the driver was booked into jail after a boating incident Thursday night on Starry Lake northeast of Brainerd.
BEMIDJI -- A Code Red Alert was issued Friday morning and the Bemidji Police Department is asking for help from the public in locating 25-year-old Keanu Joseph Major, who has escaped from custody. He was last seen in the northwest part of Bemidji in leg shackles and a waist belt with restraints and an orange jumpsuit, according to a release posted to the Bemidji Police Department’s Facebook page. Major is described as a Native American male, 5'10, 195 pounds with black hair and facial hair and hazel eyes. Major has a tattoo on his neck that says "Victoria."
THIEF RIVER FALLS, Minn. -- A northwest Minnesota deputy sheriff and investigator charged with domestic violence last week has been placed on paid administrative leave. Blaize Zimmerman with the Pennington County sheriff’s department was charged July 17 with misdemeanor domestic assault. The charges stem from an arrest at 1:45 p.m. July 14 in Thief River Falls, according to court filings. He was released released on a $2,000 bond.
LITTLE FALLS—A 2-year-old child found running down the middle of the road prompted an investigation leading to license revocation for a Little Falls home day care.
ST. PAUL -- Fines will increase Aug. 1 in Minnesota for drivers who fail to stop for a school bus with activated lights and the crossing arm fully extended. The fine will jump to $500 from $300. In the past six years, law enforcement across the state wrote nearly 9,000 stop arm violation citations, the Minnesota Department of Public Safety said. During the annual School Bus Stop Arm Survey earlier this year, 3,659 bus drivers across the state reported 703 stop arm violations in just one day.
A 33-year-old Pequot Lakes man is accused of choking and assaulting a female victim and threatening to kill himself with a gun. Aaron William Sheffield had his first appearance Friday in Crow Wing County District Court in Brainerd where he was charged with two felonies of domestic assault by strangulation and endangering a child in a situation that could cause harm or death; gross misdemeanor of interrupting an emergency call; and three misdemeanor domestic assault counts.
MENAHGA, Minn. — A 66-year-old Menahga man has died and another was flown from the scene with serious injuries following a two-vehicle crash Friday morning, July 21. The crash happened approximately 1 mile north of Menahga on U.S. Highway 71. The Minnesota State Patrol said Randall Lee Hinz died in the crash.
DULUTH — Duluth Mayor Emily Larson had been on the job for just over six months when the storm hit. On July 21, 2016, she was on vacation with her family, camping in Michigan, when she received word of the storm that brought 100 mph wind gusts to parts of the city and caused widespread devastation across the region. Thousands of Northland residents lost power for days. Larson said it took no more than a 45-second meeting for her family to agree that the trip should be cut short.
ALEXANDRIA, Minn. -- An Alexandria woman who died Saturday after falling from the back of a slow-moving pickup near Lake Andrew has been identified as 61-year-old Marilyn Weedman, according to the Douglas County Sheriff’s office. Her husband, Kevin Weedman, was driving the pickup, Sheriff Troy Wolberson said. Alcohol was not a factor and no charges are expected. The sheriff's office received a call at 3:36 p.m. Saturday, July 15, reporting a woman had fallen from a pickup truck south of Alexandria. The woman had a head injury and the caller stated that CPR was in progress.