- Associated Press - Thursday, April 17, 2014
Minnesota State team to return under Hoffner

MANKATO, Minn. (AP) - Minnesota State football players ended their boycott of spring practice and said Thursday they will play for coach Todd Hoffner, who was reinstated after being exonerated of having child pornography on his cellphone.

The players had refused to practice Wednesday as a show of support for interim coach Aaron Keen, who took over after Hoffner was arrested in 2012 because images of his naked children were found on a university-issued cellphone. A judge later said he had been wrongly accused and the images were an innocent video of his children playing after a bath.

“As a team, we are ready to get back to playing football,” junior defensive back Sam Thompson and sophomore wide receiver Kyle Riggott said in a statement after the players and coaching staff held a nearly two-hour closed-door meeting Thursday.

The players had said on Wednesday they felt shut out of the process of Hoffner returning.

“We received the answers we were looking for, feel fit to practice and welcome Coach Hoffner as we head toward the end of spring drills,” the players said after the team meeting. They will return to practice Friday.

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More than 65 arrested in Minnesota heroin sweep

MINNEAPOLIS (AP) - More than 65 people suspected of selling heroin have been arrested and about 2.5 kilograms of the drug are off the streets as part of a coordinated crackdown to rid Minnesota of the substance that has caused an alarming increase in deaths in recent years, authorities said Thursday.

U.S. Attorney for Minnesota Andy Luger said the arrests “struck at the heart” of international drug cartels that have been doing business in the state and will have a significant impact on the heroin trade in Minnesota, making communities safer. He said more arrests are expected.

“Make no mistake about it. Heroin is deadly, and we will not tolerate it in Minnesota,” Luger said as he announced the arrests.

Jack Riley, special agent in charge of the Drug Enforcement Administration’s Midwest office, added: “We’ve punched organized crime right in the face.”

Earlier this year, preliminary numbers from the Minnesota Department of Health showed there were 290 heroin-related deaths in the state in the last 15 years. Ninety-eight people died last year alone.

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Man charged in Minnesota deputy shooting

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