- Associated Press - Monday, February 3, 2014
Former 2nd lady Joan Mondale dies at age 83

ST. PAUL, Minn. (AP) - Joan Mondale, who burnished a reputation as “Joan of Art” for her passionate advocacy for the arts while her husband was vice president and a U.S. ambassador, died Monday. She was 83.

Walter Mondale, sons Ted and William and other family members were by her side when she died, the family said in a statement released by their church. The family had announced Sunday that she had gone into hospice care, but declined to discuss her illness.

Joan was greatly loved by many. We will miss her dearly,” the former vice president said in a written statement.

An arts lover and an avid potter, Joan Mondale was given a grand platform to promote the arts when Walter, then a Democratic senator, was elected Jimmy Carter’s vice president in 1976.

Carter named her honorary chairwoman of the Federal Council on the Arts and Humanities, and in that role she frequently traveled to museums, theaters and artist studios on the administration’s behalf. She lobbied Congress and states to boost public arts programs and funding.


Man charged with killing Minn. good Samaritan

MINNEAPOLIS (AP) - A 20-year-old man who showed up at a Minneapolis homeowner’s door “frantic, paranoid” and pleading for help was charged Monday with fatally shooting the homeowner who was trying to assist him.

Devon Parker of Minneapolis was charged in Hennepin County with one count of second-degree intentional murder in the death of Thomas Sonnenberg, a 69-year-old retired technician who was killed with his own gun in his home shortly before noon Friday.

Sonnenberg let Parker into his house and called 911 after Parker knocked on the back door and claimed someone with a bat was chasing him, the Star Tribune (https://strib.mn/1ett2Qj) reported. According to the complaint, Sonnenberg’s wife, Elaine, was also home and told police that Parker appeared “frantic, paranoid and in some sort of distress.”

A police officer who came to the home got no answer but looked through a window and saw Thomas Sonnenberg’s body slumped over a kitchen chair. Officer Eric Lukes kicked and beat at the rear door until Elaine Sonnenberg called out, saying she could not unlock it.

The officer then saw Parker come up behind Elaine Sonnenberg and place his hands on her shoulders, the complaint says. The officer ordered Parker down to the floor at gunpoint, and Elaine Sonnenberg unlocked the door for the officer, who arrested Parker.


Minn. campaigns, parties stock up for 2014 clash

ST. PAUL, Minn. (AP) - It’s political fuel, and newly filed fundraising reports show money is already flowing fast into the tanks of Minnesota candidates, parties and outside groups to pay for manpower, mailings and TV commercials this campaign season.

Among governor hopefuls, incumbent Democrat Mark Dayton had the biggest haul and more socked away than his seven Republican challengers combined. Democratic party units were in a generally stronger position than their GOP counterparts. But a business-backed group typically aligned with Republican candidates showed considerable might, which could counter the reliable union group help that Democrats tend to benefit from.

The reports, made public Saturday, cover activity for all of 2013 and give the first glimpse at how state candidates and groups are doing in their dash for cash. The reports detail where money came from and where it went. Candidates running for the U.S. House and Senate faced their own reporting deadline, but they must report their finances more frequently.

Here are some takeaways:



Minn.’s Dayton to name new running mate Tuesday

ST. PAUL, Minn. (AP) - Minnesota Gov. Mark Dayton has picked his new running mate and will announce the decision on Tuesday.

Dayton’s campaign said the new political team would appear at a union hall near the Capitol. The Democrat seeking a second term is replacing Lt. Gov. Yvonne Prettner Solon on this year’s ticket after she said she would only serve one term.

The new person wouldn’t take office until 2015 if Dayton wins re-election.

Contenders were thought to include his chief of staff Tina Smith and former House Majority Leader Tony Sertich.

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