MINNEAPOLIS - Interstate 35W will be closed for the weekend in south Minneapolis.
I-35W between Interstate 94 and Crosstown Highway 62 is scheduled to remain closed from 10:00 p.m. Friday through 5:00 a.m. Monday.
The Minnesota Department of Transportation says the closure is part of the Crosstown reconstruction project and is needed for water main work across 35W. Crews will also be placing bridge segments at the eastern junction of 35W and Highway 62.
The work had been scheduled for last weekend but was postponed due to rain.
St. Paul man convicted of strangling ex-girlfriend
MINNEAPOLIS - A jury has convicted a St. Paul man of strangling his ex-girlfriend to death and setting her car on fire to cover up the evidence.
Zachery Otis Matthews was convicted of two counts of first-degree murder, second-degree murder and interference with a dead body.
Authorities allege that Matthews strangled 19-year-old Kristine Catheryn Larson of St. Paul Park with a shoelace in front of their 2-year-old son. They say he killed her in a fit of rage last Dec. 19 because she was a half-hour late in picking him up to go get Christmas gifts for their boy.
19 arrested in southern Minn. immigration sweep
BLOOMINGTON - Immigration authorities say they arrested 19 fugitive aliens and other immigration violators in southern Minnesota during a three-day sweep this week.
Immigration and Customs Enforcement says the arrests included 10 in Madelia, five in St. James, two in Windom and one each in Butterfield and Lewisville.
The agency says six of those arrested were fugitive aliens, meaning people who had failed to appear for immigration hearings or had fled after being ordered to leave the country. It says four of the 13 others had been deported previously.
The agency also says five of the 19 arrested had previous criminal convictions in addition to their immigration violations, while a sixth man has assault charges pending.
Police ID homicide victims in St. Paul
ST. PAUL - St. Paul authorities are identifying the victims of a double homicide on the city's East Side last week.
The St. Paul Police Department says on Friday they are 32-year-old Roberto Manriquez and 29-year-old Tomas Reyes Mojica. Both men are from St. Paul.
The motive for the killings remains unclear and authorities are not releasing the cause of death. The men died between Oct. 17-19.
Body found during dredging in St. Paul
ST. PAUL - St. Paul police are identifying the body discovered two weeks ago inside a vehicle during dredging in the Mississippi River near Harriet Island in St. Paul
It is 60-year-old Kathleen M. Spangenberg of St. Paul. Her body was found Oct. 10.
Homicide detectives are investigating the case, but it's not believed that foul play is involved, said police spokesman Peter Panos.
He said her badly decomposed body was found in her submerged car. She was identified through DNA, as well as personal papers and a license plate.
Poll shows Bachmann, Tinklenberg even in 6th
ST. PAUL - A new poll says Republican Michele Bachmann and Democrat Elwyn Tinklenberg are running about even in Minnesota's 6th District.
The poll was done between Tuesday and Thursday, after Bachmann drew criticism and media attention for saying Barack Obama "may have anti-American views" on MSNBC's "Hardball" last week.
It was sponsored by Minnesota Public Radio News and the University of Minnesota's Humphrey Institute.
The poll of 430 likely voters shows Tinklenberg with 45 percent and Bachmann with 43 percent, putting them within the poll's margin of error of 4.7 percentage points.
Independence Party candidate Bob Anderson had 5 percent support.
The poll finds that Bachmann's comments made almost 40 percent of voters less likely to support her and 8 percent more likely.
Judge throws out I-35W replacement bridge lawsuit
ST. PAUL - A judge has thrown out a lawsuit challenging how Minnesota transportation officials awarded the contract for the recently opened Interstate 35W replacement bridge in Minneapolis.
Ramsey County District Judge Edward Cleary ruled there was "substantial evidence" supporting the Minnesota Department of Transportation's decision to award the contract to Flatiron Construction Corp.
Two construction executives had argued MnDOT used a flawed selection process.
MnDOT project manager Jon Chiglo said the ruling validated the process that was used to pick Flatiron.
Last year, the judge rejected the executives' attempt to stop construction of the new bridge. In his latest ruling, Cleary denied the executives' argument that Flatiron should give up "profits" from the bridge.
Meanwhile, Chiglo said Flatiron and its partner, Manson Construction Co., have been paid a $25 million bonus for finishing the bridge early and on budget.
The bonus included $18 million for finishing the bridge more than 90 days ahead of a Dec. 24 deadline, and another $7 million because the contractor agreed not to make claims for unforeseen costs.
Cromwell man dies in wood-chipper accident
CROMWELL - Authorities have released the name of a 43-year-old man killed in a wood-chipper accident in northeastern Minnesota.
The Carlton County sheriff's office identifies the victim as Eugene Dale Richards of Cromwell.
Richards was working with a wood-chipper when he was accidentally caught in the moving parts of the machine Wednesday.
Cop cleared in fatal shooting in cemetery
HASTINGS - A Dakota County grand jury says a Hastings police officer was legally justified in shooting to death an intoxicated man armed with a sword in a cemetery.
Dakota County Attorney James Backstrom made the announcement Friday in the shooting of Brandon Lee Rodriguez of Hastings on July 10 by Sgt. James Galland.
Backstrom says the grand jury considered evidence that a witness called police to report that a 19-year-old woman was being assault by Rodriguez.
When officers arrived, they spoke with the woman and Rodriguez' mother. They said Rodriguez had fled into a nearby cemetery, and that he had a sword.
Four officers ran into the cemetery and found Rodriguez holding the sword. He repeatedly yelled that he would kill them.
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