ST. PAUL (AP) -- The now infamous "Official Jackal" media credentials will be nothing more than a novelty because Gov. Jesse Ventura has reversed his decision to require reporters to wear the badges, he confirmed Thursday.
Speaking on WCCO-AM, Ventura said the passes were "drawing too much attention; typical of the media not paying attention to what's important to the public but what's important to them, I guess."
"I've got a budget to deal with and I don't need to be distracted because the media gets a little out of kilter over a practical joke on them," Ventura said.
Police recommend charges in university student's death
ST. PAUL (AP) -- University of Minnesota police have recommended that charges be filed in the death of a freshman who fell out of a lofted dorm-room bed, apparently after a night of drinking.
Jonathan Thielen, 19, died in Bailey Hall two weeks ago after falling from the bunk and hitting his head. Toxicology reports have not been released, but police believe alcohol was involved.
Capt. Steve Johnson said investigators found no indication of negligence or foul play in Thielen's death. "Our main focus has been to find out who furnished the alcohol," he said.
The City Attorney's office will review the police recommendation and decide whether to file charges, possibly by Friday.
Johnson declined to say who police believe should be charged.
Authorities rule man who plunged from Minneapolis skyscraper was a suicide
MINNEAPOLIS (AP) -- A man who plunged to his death Tuesday from the 51st floor of the IDS Center, the state's tallest building, committed suicide, the Hennepin County medical examiner's office confirmed Wednesday.
Authorities said Donnell Walker, 30, walked quickly into the offices of Hunter Keith Industries Inc., past an employee and into an empty office around 2:30 p.m. Tuesday.
He broke a window, dove out of it and fell through the Crystal Court, an indoor mall with a transparent ceiling housing a food court and retail shops below the IDS tower, police spokeswoman Cyndi Montgomery said. He landed by a fountain near a restaurant.
The medical examiner's office said an autopsy determined that Walker died from multiple injuries due to the fall.
Fire burns at Hoyt Lakes wood products plant
HOYT LAKES (AP) -- Fire broke out early Thursday at a wood products plant in this Iron Range city, dealing another blow to the community already hurt by major job layoffs.
Workers at the Partridge River plant escaped, and no injuries were reported, said Kathy Popp, who was answering phones at the Hoyt Lakes fire hall. Her husband, Daniel, is both the plant manager and a firefighter. He was at the scene along with five fire departments.
The blaze started at about 5 a.m. and was still burning four hours later. The cause was not immediately determined.
About 100 people work at the plant, located in an old school building.
Hoyt Lakes lost a major employer in January when the LTV Steel Co. taconite plant closed its doors, putting about 1,400 people out of work.
Striking Thief River Falls school bus drivers to vote on proposal
THIEF RIVER FALLS (AP) -- School bus drivers who have been on strike for nearly two months in this northwestern Minnesota community have a new contract proposal to consider.
Drivers were expected to vote Thursday on the proposal, which was reached Wednesday night. The meeting between drivers and the school board was the first time the sides had met in several weeks.
Drivers walked off the job Jan. 3, demanding more pay and health insurance. The union would not comment on specifics of the proposal until after the vote.
Since the strike began, parents have had to take their children to school. On Monday, many parents apparently kept their children home from school to show their frustration over the strike.
Brainerd Dispatch ©2013. All Rights Reserved.