- Associated Press - Thursday, January 30, 2014
Minot State names new head football coach

MINOT, N.D. (AP) - A former college football coach who was cleared in a child pornography investigation in Minnesota is the new head coach at Minot State.

Todd Hoffner leaves Minnesota State-Mankato to become the 19th head coach for the Beavers.

“It was important for me to get closer to my roots,” Hoffner said in a news release, adding that his family is just 90 miles away. “And I wanted to stay at the scholarship level that we are at.”

He did not return calls to The Associated Press seeking comment.

His wife, Melodee Hoffner, told the Star Tribune that her husband has applied for dozens of football coaching jobs, but even old colleagues wouldn’t invite him to work at football camps last summer.

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Snowstorm causes Twin Cities commuter headachers

MINNEAPOLIS (AP) - A winter storm has caused dozens of crashes that led to traffic snarls in the Twin Cities.

The storm hit during the morning rush hour Thursday.

The Star Tribune (https://strib.mn/1bDu6g2https://strib.mn/1bDu6g2 ) reports the State Patrol closed southbound Interstate 35 from Wyoming, Minn., to Highway 8 about 8:45 a.m. to clear spinouts and crashes in the area. The freeway reopened about 10:30 a.m.

In the Twin Cities, troopers were called to 67 crashes - seven with injuries - and another 160 spinouts or vehicles going off the road between 5 and 10:30 a.m.

The National Weather Service reports more than a half-foot of snow fell in Minneapolis by early afternoon.

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GOP’s Ortman to honor endorsement in Senate race

ST. PAUL, Minn. (AP) - Republican U.S. Senate candidate Julianne Ortman says she will drop her bid to run against Democratic Sen. Al Franken if she doesn’t get the GOP endorsement.

Ortman says Thursday that the party’s U.S. Senate candidate will have to rely on the GOP leaders and activists who bestow the party’s endorsement at its state convention in May. She says the sooner the party can unite behind one candidate the better chance it will have to unseat Franken.

Businessman Mike McFadden has already said he’s likely to run in the August GOP party even if he doesn’t get the endorsement. Another Republican candidate, state Rep. Jim Abeler, also left open the possibility of a primary run. St. Louis County Commissioner Chris Dahlberg has also said he will honor the endorsement.

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Bobby Vee braves Alzheimer’s to record once more

ST. JOSEPH, Minn. (AP) - Bobby Vee still has the infectious smile, bright eyes and boyish good looks of his 1960s pop idol days, when he scored such hits as “Take Good Care of My Baby,” ”Rubber Ball” and “The Night Has a Thousand Eyes.”

Alzheimer’s disease forced Vee to stop performing in 2011, but the 70-year-old Vee - who helped a young Bob Dylan get his start - is now releasing what may be the capstone to his career.

“The Adobe Sessions” is a loose jam session recorded with his family. It features some of Vee’s favorite songs from Townes Van Zandt, Gordon Lightfoot and Ricky Nelson.

“There’s some songs I liked,” Vee told The Associated Press on a recent sunny winter day while at Rockhouse Productions, his and his sons’ recording studio in Minnesota. “I wanted to do some more music.”

The album is set for release on Feb. 3, the 55th anniversary of the plane crash that killed rock ‘n’ roll pioneers Buddy Holly, Ritchie Valens and J.P. “The Big Bopper” Richardson. The tragedy also launched Vee’s career. That night, as a 15-year-old named Robert Velline from Fargo, N.D., he stepped on stage at the Moorhead National Guard Armory to take Holly’s place.

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