- Associated Press - Wednesday, January 7, 2015
Bundle up! Minnesotans deal with extreme cold snap

MINNEAPOLIS (AP) - Hardy Minnesota residents were bundling up Wednesday to deal with a January cold snap.

After a mild December, winter returned in full force this week as arctic air settled over the state. The National Weather Service reports the Grand Marais airport recorded a wind chill reading of 54 degrees below zero.

Minnesota saw closed schools, people hauling out parkas and mittens, and frostbite cases in what is typically the coldest time of the year.

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SCHOOL CLOSINGS

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Grand jury declines to indict police in St. Paul man’s death

ST. PAUL, Minn. (AP) - A Ramsey County grand jury has found St. Paul police were justified in using deadly force when they shot and killed a carjacking suspect in a shootout last summer.

The Ramsey County Attorney’s office said the grand jury on Wednesday declined to indict the officers involved.

Authorities say 20-year-old Yee Vang of St. Paul shot at officers on Aug. 3 in the Frogtown neighborhood after he got out of an SUV he had taken at gunpoint with its two occupants still inside.

Vang, who had crashed his own vehicle into a fence, commandeered the SUV after stealing a man’s bike but struggling to ride it.

Police say the officers fired on Vang after he shot at them. He died on the way to Regions Hospital.

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MNsure gets extra $34M from feds for upgrades

ST. PAUL, Minn. (AP) - Minnesota’s health insurance exchange is getting some extra cash from the federal government.

MNsure CEO Scott Leitz says they’ll use an additional $34 million to make website improvements and smooth the transfer of data to insurance companies. MNsure has now received almost $190 million from the federal government.

The insurance exchange announced the grant increase at a board meeting Wednesday. Nine other state-based exchanges have received a similar grant increase.

A smoother rollout in year two has helped MNsure sign up more Minnesotans during open enrollment compared to last year. But backend problems like issues sending enrollment data to insurance companies have persisted.

Leitz says the extra money will help MNsure fix that problem and others faster.

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Former Woodbury principal accused of inappropriate purchases

WOODBURY, Minn. (AP) - The former principal of a Minnesota high school is accused of using a district credit card for inappropriate purchases.

Aaron Harper resigned as principal of East Ridge High School in Woodbury on Nov. 6 following an investigation into complaints to the South Washington County School District. Woodbury police confirmed several days later that it was investigating alleged misconduct by Harper.

Documents obtained Tuesday by the Star Tribune (https://strib.mn/1xRce1vhttps://strib.mn/1xRce1v ) say Harper used district funds to purchase iPads, gift cards, a membership to Sam’s Club and other items. The documents list more than a dozen complaints against the former principal, including nearly $8,000 spent on knife sets that weren’t requested for the Family and Consumer Sciences Department.

Messages seeking comment from Harper and his attorney were not returned to the newspaper Tuesday.

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