- Associated Press - Tuesday, May 27, 2014
St. Paul woman found guilty in husband’s death

ST. PAUL, Minn. (AP) - The widow of a slain Minnesota National Guardsman was convicted Tuesday of helping plan his killing last summer.

A Ramsey County jury convicted Heather Horst, 25, of aiding and abetting first-degree murder, aiding and abetting second-degree murder, conspiracy to commit first-degree murder and conspiracy to commit second-degree murder in the death of her husband, 26-year-old Staff Sgt. Brandon Horst, the Star Tribune reported (https://strib.mn/1ipuVwkhttps://strib.mn/1ipuVwk ).

Brandon Horst was shot once through his right eye while sleeping in his St. Paul home on Aug. 5.

Prosecutors said Heather Horst used claims of abuse to convince Aaron Allen, of South St. Paul, to shoot her husband. Allen has pleaded guilty to second-degree murder.

During closing arguments, assistant Ramsey County Attorney Karen Kugler told jurors that “her selfishness and her greed” led Heather Horst to manipulate Allen into carrying out the “cold-blood execution.” Horst was the sole beneficiary of her husband’s $488,000 life insurance policy, and she offered Allen $100,000 to kill her husband, Kugler said.

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Minnesota farmers make progress planting

ST. PAUL, Minn. (AP) - Good weather has allowed Minnesota farmers to make rapid progress planting crops, but crops are still behind average.

According to the U.S. Department of Agriculture, Minnesota farmers had a season high of five days suitable for fieldwork last week.

Eighty-one percent of Minnesota’s expected corn acreage has been planted. That’s a jump of 28 percentage points over last week, but 11 points behind the five-year average.

There were scattered reports of corn being replanted in western Minnesota.

Soybean planting was 49 percent complete, compared with an average 67 percent. Nearly half of the spring wheat crop was planted during the week.

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Ex-Journey frontman Steve Perry back on stage

ST. PAUL, Minn. (AP) - Former Journey lead singer Steve Perry may have a message for fans: Don’t stop believing - in a possible comeback.

Perry performed live for the first time in nearly two decades Sunday night at the Fitzgerald Theater in St. Paul.

The St. Paul Pioneer Press reports (https://bit.ly/1oq98fjhttps://bit.ly/1oq98fj ) that the 65-year-old singer teamed with alternative-rockers the Eels during their second encore. It included two Journey songs: “Lovin’, Touchin’, Squeezin’” and “Open Arms.”

Eels frontman Mark Everett told the crowd that Perry hasn’t performed the songs for two decades and “walked away from it” because “it didn’t feel right.”

The song, “Don’t Stop Believin’,” was among Journey’s biggest hits. Current lead singer Arnel Pineda joined the band in 2007, after being discovered by Journey guitarist Neal Schon in YouTube videos.

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Legal fight over Senate building takes new turn

ST. PAUL, Minn. (AP) - A legal fight threatening to postpone construction of a new building for Minnesota state senators took a new turn Tuesday, keeping the project in a holding pattern.

A former state lawmaker suing to block the building failed to meet a deadline for posting an $11 million surety bond. That bond would protect taxpayers from financial losses if ex-Rep. Jim Knoblach doesn’t prevail and delays mount. The Court of Appeals ruled last week that it would dismiss the case without such financial guarantee.

Knoblach’s attorney, Erick Kaardal, told The Associated Press that he will file a formal appeal with the state Supreme Court on Wednesday. Kaardal said he sent a letter to the courts last week advising judges of the refusal to post a bond.

“Charging Mr. Knoblach 10 percent cost of the building was an abuse of discretion and was unfair and that needs to be reversed,” Kaardal said.

Officials hope to break ground in July across from the Capitol. The building is projected to cost $90 million, with taxpayers covering all but $13 million.

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