Mary Divine / St. Paul Pioneer Press
The state Occupational Safety and Health Administration has alleged a serious safety violation and levied a $25,000 fine against the Minnesota Department of Corrections in connection with the death of a Stillwater prison guard last summer. Corrections officer Joseph Gomm was killed on July 18 by an inmate wielding a prison-issued hammer and two improvised knives in a workshop at the Minnesota Correctional Facility-Stillwater, which is located in Bayport, officials said.
WOODBURY, Minn. — A former Woodbury school bus driver accused of molesting 10 young children cut his wife’s neck Wednesday night, Jan. 30, and watched her bleed to death before slicing his own neck, according to murder charges filed Friday. Officers discovered the body of Julie A. Kneifl, 72, Thursday morning when they went to the couple’s home in the St. Therese of Woodbury senior housing complex to check on the whereabouts of Harvey T. Kneifl, 72, who had failed to appear in Washington County District Court in Stillwater.
STILLWATER, Minn. — Authorities say an inmate assaulted a corrections officer Wednesday morning, Jan. 9, at the Stillwater prison. The Minnesota Department of Corrections says the sergeant was assaulted in the prison’s B-East living unit. The sergeant was evaluated at a hospital and released, said Sarah Fitzgerald, a spokeswoman for the department. The prison was placed on lockdown as a result of the assault. Fitzgerald said corrections officers “responded quickly and professionally and contained the incident.”
GRANT, Minn. - Warren MacKenzie could have charged astronomical prices for his pottery, but he believed people should be able to use and enjoy his pieces every day. “He said, ‘Nobody uses the $600 tea pot,’” said potter Karen Brong. “But if the pot is $75, then they use it, and that’s what it’s for. It’s not just to sit on a shelf and gather dust. He felt very strongly about that — right until the end.” MacKenzie died Monday of natural causes at his house in Grant, just west of Stillwater. He was 94.
BLOOMINGTON, Minn. — Rob and Laura Sobiech were on stage in front of thousands of people at the Mall of America last week when they got the news that a movie about their son Zach will be made next year. Actor and director Justin Balboni, director of the “My Last Days” documentary that featured Zach Sobiech, announced from the stage that Warner Bros. had given him the green light to produce and direct a movie in 2019 based on Laura Sobiech’s book, “Fly A Little Higher: How God Answered a Mom’s Small Prayer in a Big Way.”
PINE COUNTY, Minn. — Lee Peltier wasn’t dressed for nasty weather last month when he went deer hunting east of Hinckley, Minn. Wearing camouflage pants, a red sweatshirt, a blaze-orange vest and an orange stocking hat, Peltier planned to be in the Nemadji State Forest for just a short time on Saturday, Nov. 3. It was shortly before lunchtime when he and three friends went out to hunt. Peltier and John Warner, one of the owners of the cabin where they were staying, headed toward a nearby pond.
ST. PAUL — After years of wondering what became of his long-ago love, Fields Arthur now knows. “I’m feeling a little sad,” said Arthur, 89, of Lakeside, Calif., after learning that Aline “Tena” MacDonald Gerke died in 1996. “I kind of expected it, but I didn’t like it," he said. "I was disappointed, anyway.”
OAKDALE, Minn.—Prosecutors say the owner of an Oakdale tobacco shop in the Twin Cities suburb evaded paying $918,000 in sales tax. Hatem Amin Younis, 47, was charged Thursday, Oct. 18, in Washington County District Court with 43 tax-related crimes. Younis, who lives in Afton, is the owner of Super Smokedale Tobacco, which also has retail locations in Anoka, Minneapolis and Big Lake, Minn.
ST. PAUL — After 67 years, Fields Arthur realizes it's a long shot. In 1951, Arthur was serving in the U.S. Air Force in Osceola, Wis., taking a nine-month course in radio mechanics. On Saturday nights, he and fellow airmen would head to downtown Stillwater for dances. One night Arthur, then 22, met a telephone operator named Tina Anderson. She was 19 and lived in Stillwater. A few months later, Arthur was shipped almost overnight to Korea and lost touch with Anderson. Now, at the age of 89, Arthur wants to find out what happened to her.
WYOMING, Minn.—When Wyoming, Minn., police officers responded to a 911 call on Tuesday, Oct. 9, of a mother in labor, they found the front door locked. Officer Matt Paavola kicked in the door and discovered that Nichole Mickelson, 38, had just given birth to a baby girl. Mickelson, who is a nurse, was performing CPR on the baby, named Anna, who wasn't breathing. However, Mickelson was pregnant with twin girls, and the second baby was on the way.