By Associated Press - Tuesday, September 15, 2015
Sheriff’s deputy charged with stalking Minnesota woman

HASTINGS, Minn. (AP) - A Hennepin County sheriff’s deputy is accused of continuing to send messages to an Apple Valley woman who broke up with him.

Thirty-one-year-old Brian Rhett Johnson of Blaine is charged in Dakota County with stalking, a gross misdemeanor.

Johnson had met the woman on an online dating website. According to the charges, Johnson messaged the woman more than 50 times three days after she ended their relationship. Each time she blocked him, Johnson allegedly created a new account under a different version of his name.

According to the complaint, Johnson told the woman during their relationship that he was a police officer and owns two guns.

A spokeswoman for the Hennepin County sheriff’s office tells the Star Tribune ( ) Johnson’s been placed on paid administrative leave. His attorney declined comment.


Coleman’s son eyes state Senate seat for 2016

ST. PAUL, Minn. (AP) - Former U.S. Sen. Norm Coleman’s son is looking to get a start in politics.

Jake Coleman announced on Tuesday a bid for a state Senate seat representing southwestern Twin Cities’ outer suburbs as a Republican. GOP Sen. Julianne Ortman announced this year she won’t run for a fifth term in the seat.

Coleman is a 29-year-old who lives in Chanhassen. He’s worked for Rep. Erik Paulsen for the last four years.

His father has stayed involved in Minnesota politics after serving in the U.S. Senate from 2003 to 2009.

The younger Coleman is the second Republican candidate to announce a bid for the party’s nomination in the district. Former local Republican party chair Scott Jensen is also in the running. Coleman says he’ll abide by the endorsement.


Mary Pawlenty decides against run for Congress in Minnesota

ST. PAUL, Minn. (AP) - Mary Pawlenty has ruled out a run for what will be an open congressional seat in Minnesota.

The former judge and wife of ex-Gov. Tim Pawlenty announced her decision Tuesday after more than a week of deliberation. She had received encouragement to run for the seat being vacated by Republican Rep. John Kline after seven terms.

Pawlenty said in a statement that her work as a mediator is best for her at this phase of life. She is the second big name to opt out this week, with former Senate candidate Mike McFadden also saying he wouldn’t run.

The 2nd Congressional District covers territory south of the Twin Cities and is considered competitive.

Two Democrats and one Republican have declared their candidacies with many more considering campaigns.


Fund in honor of teen who wrote “Clouds” raises $1 million

MINNEAPOLIS (AP) - A fund created in honor of the Minnesota teen who wrote the song “Clouds” before he died of cancer in 2013 has recently reached the $1 million mark.

The Zach Sobiech Osteosarcoma Research Fund hit the milestone after a Kansas family whose daughter died from the disease made an $8,900 gift last week.

Zach Sobiech was the Stillwater high school student whose video “Clouds” became an Internet sensation before he died at 18. Sobiech said he wanted to raise $1 million to help others with the rare form of bone cancer.

Proceeds from the song’s sales go to the fund, which is administered by the Children’s Cancer Research Fund.

The St. Paul Pioneer Press reports ( ) the Sobiechs will continue to work to raise money to stop the disease.

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