- Associated Press - Tuesday, March 3, 2015
Interstate 94 reopens in central Minnesota after fatal crash

MINNEAPOLIS (AP) - Authorities say one person is dead after a multivehicle crash on Interstate 94 in central Minnesota as a winter storm made roads slippery.

The Minnesota State Patrol says the 44-year-old driver of an SUV was killed after a semi struck several vehicles, which then struck other cars.

The interstate was closed in both directions after the Tuesday morning crash just west of Hasty. The freeway has since reopened.

Snow turned the morning commute in the Twin Cities into a slippery mess too. The State Patrol reported 150 crashes and nearly 30 vehicles that slid off roads or spun out by midafternoon.

A state trooper’s squad car was struck and badly damaged on I-494 near Concord in South St. Paul, Minnesota, while that trooper was investigating a crash.


Minnesota college system reaches deal on overhaul

ST. PAUL, Minn. (AP) - Administrators and faculty at the Minnesota State Colleges and Universities have soothed months of acrimony with an agreement over how to handle an overhaul for the system’s 31 institutions.

Students and faculty will have a stronger voice in the rollout of Charting the Future, a plan that has faced sharp criticism since its formal introduction more than a year ago, two faculty unions and the system announced Tuesday. The agreement repairs a rift that jeopardized extra state funding for MnSCU.

Chancellor Steven Rosenstone has said the revamp will make the system more efficient and better align it with business needs. Critics argued it will turn MnSCU’s 54 campuses into homogenized degree factories for Minnesota industry.

Faculty pulled out of reform discussions in the fall, saying they embraced the plan’s values but were being ignored.

That worried students because they interact with faculty much more than administrators, said Kari Cooper, state chair of the Minnesota State University Student Association.


5 St. Paul adults charged in multistate sex trafficking ring

ST. PAUL, Minn. (AP) - Prosecutors on Tuesday charged five St. Paul residents in what authorities allege was a multistate sex-trafficking ring whose victims included minors.

The two men and three women each face seven counts for allegedly trafficking multiple victims, including a 16- and a 17-year-old, in 2013 and 2014, the Star Tribune (https://strib.mn/1GOSv33) reported.

According to the criminal complaints filed in Ramsey County court, the suspects posted ads for sex on Backpage.com in Minnesota, Wisconsin, Iowa, Ohio, Kentucky, Illinois and Georgia.

“This was a well-organized sex trafficking operation, funded entirely by men paying for sex with vulnerable girls and young women in our community,” County Attorney John Choi said in a statement.

Charged are Suwan Cross, 19; Thomas William Evans, 25; Yolanda Foster, 28; Doris Keller, 38; and Ishmael Williams, 19.


Fast-moving storm dumps snow in parts of Upper Midwest

MINNEAPOLIS (AP) - A fast-moving storm dumped several inches of snow across the Upper Midwest on Tuesday, making travel treacherous in some areas and leading to at least several traffic-related fatalities.

The storm dropped up to 6.5 inches of snow in western Minnesota, while far eastern South Dakota got 3 inches. But blizzard warnings for Minnesota and South Dakota were lifted.

Meteorologist Jim Taggart with the National Weather Service in Chanhassen, Minnesota, said the state has seen about half its usual snowfall this season. But the quick-hitting storm could be winter’s last blast for the region, said Minnesota Public Radio meteorologist Paul Huttner. Forecasts call for high temperatures above freezing this weekend and into next week.





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