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Minnesota felon among Carnegie Heroes

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MINNEAPOLIS (AP) — A Minnesota man imprisoned for drug dealing is among 22 Americans named Carnegie Heroes.

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Pierre Johnson says he's grateful the selection board was able to look beyond his criminal record and give him a chance. Johnson wins the award for his bravery in rescuing a 91-year-old woman from the second floor of her burning home in Brooklyn Park in May 2012. The following month, Johnson pleaded guilty to selling cocaine.

On Oct. 15, Johnson is expected to be released from the Willow River Correctional Facility, an intensive boot camp program.

The 35-year-old father will have a $5,000 prize and an educational scholarship to help get his life back on track. Johnson tells the Star Tribune that his unlikely selection for the prestigious award is a once-in-a-lifetime chance to straighten out for good.

Copyright 2013 The Associated Press.

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