- Associated Press - Tuesday, December 9, 2014
Autopsy: Waitress caught head in dumbwaiter

FOUNTAIN CITY, Wis. (AP) - An autopsy finds that a waitress died of severe head injuries after getting her head caught in a dumbwaiter at a Wisconsin restaurant last week, police said Tuesday.

Fountain City Police Chief Jason Mork released the autopsy results for 21-year-old Brooke Baures of Chetek, a senior and standout gymnast at Winona State University in Minnesota. Baures was working at a banquet on the second floor of WingDam Saloon and Grill when the accident happened Dec. 1.

Based on witness’ statements, police believe Baures was the only person who could have pressed the dumbwaiter’s control button on the second floor and concluded no crime was committed in her death.

The autopsy found “extensive destruction” of the brainstem and left side of the cerebellum and concluded she died of severe head trauma. Police believe her head was almost entirely inside the cab of the elevator when it descended.

Based on autopsy results, police said they believe Baures’ head “was located almost entirely inside the cab of the elevator canted slightly to her right as the cab descended. When the roof of the cab passed the sill of the second floor access, Brooke sustained fatal crushing injuries to her brainstem and cerebellum,” the report said. Anyone operating the dumbwaiter had only about five seconds before the interior of the cab disappeared below the sill, police said.


DNR closes northwest wolf zone; target exceeded

ST. PAUL, Minn. (AP) - The Department of Natural Resources is closing the late wolf season in northwestern Minnesota, where hunters and trappers have exceeded the season target.

Hunters and trappers in the northwest zone had registered 96 wolves killed by dark Tuesday evening, 14 more than the zone’s nonbinding target of 82. DNR wolf specialist Dan Stark says it’s not clear why there’s been a surge since late last week.

The DNR last Friday closed the northeast zone, where hunters and trappers registered 40 wolves, five over the zone’s target of 35. The small east-central zone remains open. One wolf has been registered there with a target of nine.

Late-season hunters and trappers have now registered 137 wolves statewide. Hunters killed 124 in Minnesota’s early hunting-only season.

The combined statewide harvest target was 250.


Mom: Man accused in teen’s death needs mental help

MINNEAPOLIS (AP) - A man accused of fatally hitting a Muslim teenager with his car last week in what’s being investigated as a possible hate crime had been diagnosed with schizophrenia, committed to a hospital and sometimes stopped taking his medications, according to court records and his family.

Ahmed H. Aden, 34, is charged with first-degree murder in the death of 15-year-old Abdisamad Sheikh-Hussein, whose legs were nearly severed when an SUV hit him Thursday in Kansas City, Missouri. Aden initially said he lost control of the vehicle but later said he thought the teen was someone who had threatened him, investigators said.

The FBI won’t disclose why it is investigating the crash as a possible hate crime, but the teen was Muslim and Aden’s vehicle had anti-Muslim statements written on a window. However, Aden’s mother, Hawo Abdullahi of Minneapolis, said her son also was Muslim and, like the victim, was Somali.

“How can my son do a hate crime when he’s not mentally thinking straight?” Abdullahi told The Associated Press through an interpreter Monday, the same day her son appeared in court.

She expressed condolences to Sheikh-Hussein’s family, saying she wished she could have helped her son.


Group objects to students sent to ‘purity’ event

MINNEAPOLIS (AP) - A humanist group is objecting to a public school in southwestern Minnesota sending students this fall to hear an abstinence talk that it says had religious aspects.

The American Humanist Association sent a letter Tuesday to Luverne Public Schools, saying students were sent during school hours on Sept. 30 to hear a presentation by Jason Evert of the Chastity Project.

The group contends students and parents were not informed about the event’s religious aspects beforehand because flyers about the event were nondescript.

However, Evert maintains he presented a non-religious version of his talk.

The humanist group wants assurances from school officials that they won’t endorse similar programs in the future.

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