- Associated Press - Saturday, February 15, 2014
Oshie latest success story from tiny Minn. town

WARROAD, Minn. (AP) - As T.J. Oshie was leading the U.S. men’s team to a dramatic 3-2 shootout win over Russia in Sochi on Saturday, his tiny Minnesota hometown was celebrating the Olympic success of yet another of its hockey players and wondering if he’d be the latest to medal.

Warroad, a town of fewer than 2,000 people that’s 6 miles south of the Canadian border, has the Midas touch: No U.S. men’s team has ever won a gold medal without having a Warroad player on its roster.

“I think it’s pretty amazing that we’re such a small town and we get such big opportunities,” said Sarah Casperson, 16, a sophomore at Warroad High School. “People here are so talented.”

Oshie, a 27-year-old forward on the St. Louis Blues, is one of two Warroad hockey players at the Olympics. The other is Gigi Marvin, a defenseman on the U.S. women’s team. She was Oshie’s high school classmate and the prom queen to his prom king in 2005, according to the Belleville (Ill.) News-Democrat.

The tiny town is filled with tributes to Oshie and Martin. Store windows are plastered with posters wishing the Olympians good luck, and huge U.S. flags hang everywhere.


Pivotal parole decision in teen girl’s death

MINNEAPOLIS (AP) - Tony Roman Nose was two months shy of his 18th birthday when prosecutors say he raped and killed a teenage girl, stabbing her 29 times with a screwdriver. He was convicted in 2001 and received a mandatory sentence of life in prison without release, and the victim’s family believed he’d never be free to hurt anyone else.

But that changed last year when a Washington County judge decided to retroactively apply a U.S. Supreme Court ruling that struck down mandatory life without parole for juveniles. The judge resentenced Roman Nose to life with the possibility of release, giving him a chance for freedom in 17 years. The state Supreme Court is reviewing the case, and its decision could affect seven other men in state custody for life with no parole for murders they were convicted of committing when they were teens.

“There are certain people … that for whatever reason they are broken and can’t be fixed. I believe he’s one of those,” Jim Stuedemann said of Roman Nose, who was convicted of killing Stuedemann’s daughter, Jolene. “Just the possibility that he can (seek parole) is unnerving. … Now my other surviving daughter has to worry about him getting out and coming after her, my wife doesn’t feel safe. … It keeps opening up all these wounds again.”

In 2012, the U.S. Supreme Court ruled that mandatory life without parole for juveniles was cruel and unusual punishment, and therefore unconstitutional. The court didn’t rule out such sentences for teens altogether - only the mandatory aspect. A judge could still issue a no-parole sentence for a teenager, but must take into account “the mitigating qualities of youth,” such as a failure to understand the ramifications of their actions.

The U.S. Supreme Court didn’t say whether its decision was retroactive, leaving the 28 states with mandatory no-parole life sentences to grapple with the issue. About 2,100 people nationwide are currently serving such sentences for crimes committed when they were juveniles.


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