MINNESOTA MOSQUE BOMBING
2 Illinois men get 14, 16 years in Minnesota mosque bombing
ST. PAUL, Minn. (AP) — Two Illinois men who helped bomb a Minnesota mosque in 2017 have received prison sentences far below the 35-year mandatory minimum they faced, after victims and prosecutors asked for leniency. Thirty-three-year-old Michael McWhorter was sentenced Tuesday to just under 16 years in prison and 26-year-old Joe Morris got about 14 years. Both tested in the 2020 trial against Emily Claire Hari, the leader of a small Illinois militia group and the mastermind of the mosque bombing. Hari was convicted in late 2020 and sentenced last year to 53 years in prison for the attack on Dar Al-Farooq Islamic Center in Bloomington.
ATTORNEY GENERAL FOOD MRS
Minnesota AG asks court to oversee nonprofit after fraud
ST. PAUL, Minn. (AP) – A Minnesota court will supervise the dissolution of a nonprofit meals program that’s under federal investigation for allegedly defrauding the government of millions of dollars. Attorney General Keith Ellison asked the court to oversee the finances and operations of Feeding Our Future, which allegedly stole millions of dollars in federal funds. The offices of Feeding Our Future and some of its contractors were raided by the FBI in January. The group allegedly defrauded at least $197 million meant for purchasing and providing free meals to needy children from the US Department of Agriculture in 2021 alone.
POLICE SHOOTING MACHETE
Austin police officer won’t be charged in fatal shooting
ROCHESTER, Minn. (AP) — An Austin police officer who shot a man after a 24-hour standoff with law enforcement in December will not face charges. Officer Zachary Gast shot 38-year-old Kokou Christopher Fiafonou on Christmas Eve following an incident that started the day before when Fiafonou was reported to be walking in traffic while wielding a machete. Fiafonou retreated to his apartment where he held police at bay for 24 hours. Fiafonou eventually left the residence and confronted officers with a knife. Gast fired seven rounds after Fiafonou ignored commands to drop the knife, stop or get on the ground. Olmsted County Attorney Mark Ostrem, whose office reviewed the case, said Tuesday the evidence collected doesn’t support criminal charges against Gast or any of the other officers involved in the shooting.
GEORGE FLOYD-OTHER OFFICERS
Plea deal rejected by 3 ex-officers in George Floyd’s death
MINNEAPOLIS (AP) — Prosecutors have revealed that they offered plea deals to three former Minneapolis police officers charged with aiding and abetting the murder of George Floyd, but say the defendants rejected them. Judge Peter Cahill held a Monday evening hearing mostly to consider whether he has the authority to allow live video coverage of the upcoming trial set for former Officers Tou Thao, Thomas Lane and J. Alexander Kueng. Lead prosecutor Matthew Frank did not disclose details of the plea offers in open court. But he says they were identical and were made in March after a jury convicted the three in a separate trial in February on federal civil rights charges stemming from Floyd’s death.
AP BKW LSU AUGUSTUS STATUE
LSU basketball star Seimone Augustus to get statue at school
BATON ROUGE, La. (AP) — LSU’s most decorated female student-athlete will become the first in school history to get her own statue. LSU announced Monday that women’s basketball legend Seimone Augustus’ statue will stand outside the Pete Maravich Assembly Center and join the likenesses of Pete Maravich, Bob Pettit and Shaquille O’Neal as former Tiger greats honored in such a way. Athletic Director Scott Woodward says the recognition is befitting for a student-athlete whose talents, accomplishments and impact will stand the test of time. Already cast, LSU says the statue will be unveiled in the coming months.
Spring storm packing blizzard conditions for northern plains
BISMARCK, ND (AP) — A significant spring storm headed for the northern Plains is packing blizzard conditions with significant snow accumulation and drifting, according to the National Weather Service. Meteorologists posted a blizzard warning for a large section of western North Dakota and smaller areas of western South Dakota and eastern Montana beginning Tuesday through Thursday evening. The weather service predicts travel may become difficult to impossible in some places. A winter storm watch was issued for eastern North Dakota, northern South Dakota and northwestern Minnesota. Forecasters were expecting a foot to 2 feet of snow in some of the affected areas with lesser amounts elsewhere.
MPS students begin to make up for time lost during strike
MINNEAPOLIS (AP) — Students are returning to the classroom in Minneapolis Public Schools following spring break and will now begin making up for instruction time lost because of the teachers strike. Starting Monday, students will be in school 42 minutes longer. That will make up five days of the 15 days of learning lost when teachers and support professionals went on strike March 8 idling some 29,000 students and about 4,500 educators and staff in one of Minnesota’s largest school districts. The additional 10 days will be added to the end of the school year, extending it until June 24.
PELICAN RAPID SHOOTING
Man accused of shooting in Pelican Rapids remains at large
PELICAN RAPIDS, Minn. (AP) — Police say a man suspected in a shooting over the weekend in northwestern Minnesota remains at large. The Otter Tail County Sheriff’s Office says the shooting happened Sunday afternoon in Pelican Rapids. The suspect, 36-year-old Phoutthasa Prathane, was seen leaving the area in a 2011 Toyota Tundra pickup. He is considered armed and dangerous. The victim is listed in stable condition,
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