May 5 news

ARNOLD’S PARK, Iowa - Citing circumstances beyond his control, the Mayor of Arnolds Park resigned Friday afternoon, effective immediately. Meeting in special session late Friday, the city council voted unanimously to accept the resignation of Mike Mitchell and started to look at options for a successor. City Administrator Ron Walker says the council is intending to appoint someone to fill the position.

Walker says the council intends to make the appointment at its regular meeting May 14th. Prior to that, council members are being asked to bring names of residents interested in the position to a committee consisting of Mayor Pro-Tem John Adams Sr and councilman Jim Jensen.

PIPESTONE - An investor group out of Sioux Falls, S.D. has purchased the former Super 8 property at 605 Eighth Ave. SE in Pipestone. Scherhab Hospitality, LLC, purchased the property for an undisclosed amount from mortgagee, KleinBank, Young America, Minn. The property had reverted to the bank when Super 8 owners Mushtaq and Muneeza Malik, husband and wife, defaulted on the loan earlier this year.

The auction and sale occurred at 9 a.m. Monday, April 21, and shortly after, trucks from a pest control company were parked outside the property. Bedbugs had been an issue at the 40-room hotel.

Dustin Haber, Scherhab’s managing member, said a restoration crew will fully clean the hotel and interviews will be conducted for a general manager. The goal, he said, is to have things up and running by mid May.

GEORGE, Iowa - The Lyon County Sheriff's Office investigated a single motor vehicle accident at 6:22 a.m. Saturday at East Minnesota Avenue and South Virginia Street in George, Iowa. An investigation showed that a southbound vehicle crossed the northbound lane and struck a fire hydrant located at the corner of the intersection. The vehicle then left the scene. Deputies located the vehicle at a nearby residence and identified the driver as Boyer Nason, age 23, of George.

He was arrested for operating while intoxicated, a serious misdemeanor and also issued citations for no driver's license, failure to maintain control, and striking fixtures upon a highway, all simple misdemeanors. Nason was booked in to the Lyon County Jail.

No injuries were reported in the accident. The vehicle sustained an estimated $6,000 in damages and the fire hydrant, owned by the City of George sustained an estimated $5,000 in damages.

SIOUX CENTER, Iowa — A Minnesota man was arrested on drug charges on Wednesday, April 30th after a traffic stop near Sioux Center. The Sioux County Sheriff’s Office reports that about 11 AM, they arrested 34-year-old Damon Murphy of Minneapolis, and charged him with possession of marijuana and drug paraphernalia. The arrest stemmed from a traffic stop initiated by a sheriff’s deputy, two miles south of Sioux Center on Highway 75. Upon further investigation the deputy located marijuana and drug paraphernalia with the use of the Sheriff’s Office Canine Unit. The Sheriff’s Office was assisted by the Iowa State Patrol.

MINNESOTA - Friends and colleagues are still mourning the sudden death of former U.S. Rep. Jim Oberstar of Minnesota, who died in his sleep on Friday at his home in Maryland at the age of 79.

For many Minnesotans, Oberstar’s influence can be felt every time we drive on a highway or over a bridge, ride a commuter train, or pedal along on a bike trail. He was, first and foremost, a champion of transportation in all its forms.

Oberstar represented Minnesota’s 8th Congressional District for 36 years, from 1974-2010, and during that time he became adept at steering millions of federal dollars toward public infrastructure projects in his district and throughout Minnesota. He became an expert on transportation policy over the years, and his influence only grew as he spent more time on the House Transportation Committee. He was elected chairman of the committee in 2007.

MINNESOTA - DFLers have chosen their candidate to run for the 6th Congressional District seat currently held by Michele Bachmann. Delegates meeting Saturday endorsed Joe Perske, who is currently the mayor of Sartell.

Bachmann, a Republican, is not seeking re-election to a fifth term.

Perske won the endorsement with 62 percent of the delegates’ votes on the fourth round of balloting.

He was competing against two other candidates — Jim Read of Avon, a political science professor at the College of St. Benedict and St. John’s University; and Judy Adams of Circle Pines, an environmental activist. All three had said earlier they would abide by the DFL endorsement.

The Republican Party endorsed former legislator Tom Emmer in the 6th District at their convention a few weeks ago. But the other two GOP challengers, former state Rep. Phil Krinkie and Anoka County Board Chairwoman Rhonda Sivarajah, have said they will run against him in the August primary.

WASECA – In Waseca, Police Capt. Kris Markeson said that he believes John David LaDue would have carried out his murderous plot, just because of the amount of preparation and thought he put into it. He would kill his mother, father and sister and then create a diversion to keep first responders busy while he went to Waseca Junior/Senior High School to wreak havoc.

There, the 17-year-old planned to set off pressure-cooker bombs full of nails and metal ball bearings in the cafeteria. Students who weren’t maimed or killed would be gunned down in the halls, he told police.

After his arrest Tuesday, the high school junior said he intended to kill “as many students as he could,” before he was killed by the SWAT team, according to charging documents filed in Waseca County District Court.

LaDue was charged Thursday with four counts of attempted first-degree murder, two counts of first-degree damage to property and six counts of possession of a bomb by someone under 18. Police found seven firearms and at least six completed bombs in his bedroom and in the storage unit where he was arrested.

Police on Friday said they have no further information to share on the investigation and declined to comment on how LaDue was able to obtain so many guns and bomb-making materials.

LaDue had planned and practiced for 10 months, refining the chemicals in his bombs to try to find a more lethal combination. He set off “practice bombs” on the playground at Hartley Elementary School, Faith United Methodist Church, Oak Park and high school softball fields. Some of those bombs were found in March, raising concerns.

The criminal complaint said LaDue told police that he originally planned the attack for April 20, the anniversary of the Columbine High School massacre that killed 13 people in Littleton, Colo., in 1999.

That was thwarted because that day was Easter Sunday and there was no school.

Markeson said police believe the attack would have happened “within the next few weeks” if it hadn’t been for an alert 911 caller who grew suspicious after she saw a tall, white male wearing a backpack open a storage unit, go inside and close the door.

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