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Around the state: Lawsuit re-filed against Fischbach over dual roles


Lawsuit re-filed against Fischbach over dual roles

ST. PAUL — Minnesota’s Republican Lt. Gov. and Sen. Michelle Fischbach is being sued again over her dual roles.

Fischbach automatically ascended to become lieutenant governor in January after Tina Smith was appointed to the U.S. Senate. But she has fought to maintain her Senate seat as Republicans protect a one-seat majority.

A judge dismissed an earlier lawsuit from one of Fischbach’s constituents, mostly because it was filed before legislative session began in February. The same constituent filed another legal challenge Tuesday in Ramsey County District Court.

Fischbach and Republicans say she can hold both jobs. Democrats argue it’s a clear constitutional violation.


Her removal from the heavily conservative district would trigger a special election to determine the Senate majority. Fischbach vows she’d run in that contest.

Police arrest 2 in death of 6-year-old boy

FERGUS FALLS — Police in Fergus Falls say two people are under arrest in the death of a 6-year-old boy.

Authorities say the boy was unconscious and not breathing when he was brought to a hospital Monday morning. Attempts to revive him at the hospital failed.

Police say there is a "clear indication" that the boy had been a victim of neglect and abuse. A sibling who was found to be living in the same home was taken into protective custody.

Authorities arrested a 40-year-old woman and a 44-year-old man, both from Fergus Falls. The two are in the Otter Tail County Jail awaiting charges.

The boy’s name has not been released. The Minnesota Bureau of Criminal Apprehension is also investigating.

Trump nominates state judge as US Attorney


MINNEAPOLIS — President Donald Trump has formally nominated a Minnesota judge to be the state’s next U.S. Attorney.

Erica MacDonald has been a judge in Dakota County since 2009. Before that, she was an assistant U.S. attorney in Minnesota for eight years, focusing on cases dealing with violent crimes, drugs, human trafficking and child pornography.

MacDonald’s nomination to the top federal prosecutor post must still be confirmed by the U.S. Senate.

If confirmed, MacDonald would replace Greg Brooker, who has been leading the office on an interim basis since former U.S. Attorney Andy Luger was ordered to resign last year, along with 45 other holdovers from the Obama administration.

A message left with MacDonald’s law clerk was not immediately returned Tuesday.

Authorities close case of Cold Spring officer’s 2012 killing

COLD SPRING — The criminal investigation into the 2012 killing of a Cold Spring police officer is being closed.

Officer Thomas Decker was shot and killed on Nov. 29, 2012, after he was called to check on someone.


Ryan Larson was arrested hours later, but was never charged.

Authorities later questioned Eric Thomes as a person of interest, but Thomes committed suicide. The shotgun linked to Decker’s death was found on property Thomes could access.

Stearns County Chief Deputy Sheriff Jon Lentz said that Thomes was the focus of the investigation, and it’s time to close the case.

Larson has sued Stearns County and others, alleging his rights were violated. His attorney says closing the case will help Larson’s civil claim, and is essentially an admission that Larson’s innocent.

— Associated Press

Man fatally trampled at Otter Tail County farm

HEWITT — Sheriff’s authorities say an 85-year-old man has died after he was trampled by a cow at a farm in Otter Tail County.

Officials say Delbert Horn, of rural Hewitt, was trying to tag a calf Sunday when he was trampled.


Emergency responders were unable to revive Horn.

Workers find mummified monkey in old department store

MINNEAPOLIS — Workers renovating the old Dayton’s department store in downtown Minneapolis have discovered a mystery: the mummified remains of a monkey.

Crews found the carcass last week in an air duct on the seventh floor of the century-old building.

Cailin Rogers is a spokeswoman for the Dayton’s Project, an office, retail and restaurant complex going into the building. She says developers don’t know where the monkey came from or how it ended up in the air duct.

A historic site called Old Minneapolis posted a photo of the monkey on its Facebook page and solicited answers.

Alan Freed is one of the site’s co-administrators. He says one likely answer came from someone who posted on the page saying a longtime Dayton’s employee told him a monkey escaped from an eighth-floor pet store into the air conditioning ductwork in the 1960s.

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