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MINNEAPOLIS (AP) — The Minnesota Court of Appeals is affirming the conviction and sentence of a man found guilty of ordering the kidnapping and killing of an Iowa teen. The appeals court ruled Monday that the Minnesota conviction of Juan Humberto Castillo-Alvarez does not violate his right to be free from double jeopardy. Prosecutors said Castillo-Alvarez ordered the kidnapping and murder of 15-year-old Gregory "Sky" Erickson in 1997 over a drug debt.
MINNEAPOLIS (AP) — A Republican ally led by former GOP Sen. Norm Coleman of Minnesota is launching TV attack ads against Democrat Rick Nolan on Medicare and mining in the 8th District. The American Action Network began a $570,000 campaign against Nolan on Monday. That includes $430,000 for an ad about Medicare in the Twin Cities and $80,000 for an ad about the proposed PolyMet mine in the Duluth TV market. Nolan is challenging Republican Rep. Chip Cravaack in northeastern Minnesota.
WINTHROP, Minn. (AP) — A 13-year-old Winthrop boy has died of injuries suffered when he was struck by a semi while riding his bike. The Minnesota State Patrol says Jacob Weber was one of several children riding bikes on Highway 15 Saturday and crossed in front of a semi. Weber was critically injured and flown to Hennepin County Medical Center in Minneapolis. The State Patrol says Weber died on Sunday. The Free Press reports the 23-year-old driver of the truck was not injured. Copyright 2012 The Associated Press.
NEW YORK (AP) — Cancer is now the leading killer of Hispanics in the U.S. — the latest sign it's beginning to displace heart disease as the nation's top cause of death. The rest of the country may not be far behind, "probably in the next 10 years," said Rebecca Siegel of the American Cancer Society. She is the lead author of a study reporting the new findings. That may be a conservative estimate. Government health statisticians think cancer could overtake heart disease as the top U.S. killer as early as this year, or at least in the next two or three.
EAST BETHEL, Minn. (AP) — Anoka County sheriff's officials have arrested the driver of an SUV in a crash that killed two people on a motorcycle. Investigators say there are indications the 42-year-old female driver was intoxicated when the SUV and motorcycle collided in East Bethel Sunday about 8 p.m. A 48-year-old man from St. Francis and a 46-year-old woman from Big Lake were killed. The Minnesota State Patrol is reconstructing the accident. Copyright 2012 The Associated Press.
ROBBINSDALE, Minn. (AP) — The Hennepin County Medical Examiner's office says the woman found dead along with a man at a Robbinsdale home is a homicide victim. Authorities Monday identified the woman as 27-year-old Jennifer Michelle Smith, who died of multiple gunshot wounds. The medical examiner declined to identify the man found dead with Smith as well as the manner of death. Robbinsdale police say a gun was recovered at the scene Friday. Chief Steve Smith says the woman's preschool-age son found the bodies and went to a neighbor's house.
TRAVERSE CITY, Mich. (AP) — A study of 18 canals, ditches and other waterways that could link the Great Lakes and Mississippi River watersheds found none were likely pathways to the lakes for Asian carp, federal officials said Friday. The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers assessed the sites as part of a broader search for ways to stop the flood of invasive species between the two giant drainage basins. Of particular concern are bighead and silver carp — ravenous Asian fish scientists say could out-compete native species for food.
MINNEAPOLIS (AP) — Investigators found no evidence of child pornography on computers taken from the home of a Minnesota football coach accused of having nude videos of his children on his cellphone, authorities said Friday. Minnesota State, Mankato coach Todd Hoffner was charged with two child pornography counts after three videos of his children were found on his work-issued cellphone when he took it to the university for service. His attorney and wife have publicly rejected the charges as ridiculous, saying the videos simply captured the family's children being silly.
MINNEAPOLIS (AP) — The campaign group trying to defeat the gay marriage constitutional amendment is getting ready to air its first TV commercial. Minnesotans United for All Families announced via Twitter Friday that its first ad would air in the next week. The group was not releasing further details Friday, but a Federal Communications Commission filing showed a $255,000 buy for a 30-second spot to air on six Twin Cities TV stations from Sept. 17-23.
Just a quarter of eighth and 12th grade students in the United States have solid writing skills, even when allowed to use spell-check and other computer word processing tools, according to results of a national exam released Friday. Twenty-four percent of students at each grade level were able to write essays that were well developed, organized and had proper language and grammar. Three percent scored as advanced. The remainder showed just partial mastery of these skills.