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UPDATE: Medical Examiner In Little Falls Murder Case Finds Teenagers Were Shot Total Of Nine Times

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04/24/2014 - 4:40 AM

UPDATE: Medical Examiner In Little Falls Murder Case Finds Teenagers Were Shot Total Of Nine Times

LITTLE FALLS, Minn. (AP) - A medical examiner testifying in the case of a Minnesota man who killed two teens when they broke into his home says they were shot a total of nine times, with some shots at close range.

Byron Smith's trial continued Thursday as prosecutors showed autopsy photos of 18-year-old Haile Kifer and 17-year-old Nick Brady. Smith faces first-degree premeditated murder charges. He says he shot the teens in self-defense.

Dr. Kelly Mills with the Ramsey County Medical Examiner's Office testified that Brady was shot three times, Kifer six times.

Mills also says Brady tested negative for drugs and alcohol. Kifer's toxicology tests showed the presence of a substance in cough medicine, as well as a marijuana metabolite that Mills says had no hallucinogenic effects.

UPDATE: Judge Denies Second Request For Mistrial In Little Falls Shooting Case

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04/23/2014 - 11:15 AM

UPDATE: Judge Denies Second Request For Mistrial In Little Falls Shooting Case

A Minnesota judge has denied another request for a mistrial in the case of a homeowner who killed two teens who entered his home.

Attorneys for 65-year-old Byron Smith asked for a mistrial Wednesday after about an hour of cross-examining a forensic scientist from the Bureau of Criminal Apprehension.

Smith is on trial for first-degree premeditated murder in the deaths of 18-year-old Haile Kifer and 17-year-old Nick Brady.

Defense attorney Adam Johnson said the defense had not seen the scientist's notes on forensic evidence, including how far away Smith was from Kifer when he fired.

Prosecutors said Smith's attorneys had plenty of time to examine BCA evidence.

Morrison County Judge Douglas Anderson denied the request, but took a break to give defense attorneys time to go over the scientist's notes.

Judge Denies Defense Request For Mistrial In Little Falls Homeowner Case

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04/22/2014 - 10:40 AM

LITTLE FALLS, Minn. (AP) - A judge has rejected a defense request for a mistrial in the case of a Minnesota homeowner who shot and killed two teenagers who broke into his home.

The St. Cloud Times reports defense attorney Steven Meshbesher made the request Tuesday at Byron Smith's trial.

Smith, of Little Falls, is charged with first-degree premeditated murder in the slayings of 17-year-old Nick Brady and 18-year-old Haile Kifer on Thanksgiving Day 2012.

Meshbesher told Judge Douglas Anderson that the judge's pretrial rulings about what jurors can't hear about the teens have severely restricted his case.

The defense also objected to the prosecutor's comment to a TV station that he would be willing to try the case in front of 12 board members of the National Rifle Association.

The judge denied the motions.

Little Falls Murder Trial Begins Monday With Opening Statements

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04/21/2014 - 12:00 PM

LITTLE FALLS, Minn. (AP) - Prosecutors say a Minnesota man who killed two teenagers after they broke into his house had been lying in wait in his basement with a book, some snacks and two guns.

Opening statements are underway in Little Falls for 65-year-old Byron Smith. He's charged with first-degree premeditated murder of 17-year-old Nick Brady and 18-year-old Haile Kifer.

Smith has claimed self-defense. Authorities say he went too far when he shot them repeatedly.

Assistant Washington County Attorney Brent Wartner described the sequence of the shootings. He says Brady was descending the basement stairs when Smith shot him in the chest, then the back and finally in the head after he had fallen.

Wartner says Smith then waited for Kifer to come downstairs and shot her too.

St. Cloud City Council Meeting To Be Held Tonight

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04/21/2014 - 10:10 AM

The St. Cloud City Council will be meeting Monday, April 21 at the City Council Chambers in downtown St. Cloud at 6:00 p.m.

A couple of items on the agenda will include the approval on an  for outdoor sales of liquor for a temporary event at Howie’s Sports Bar and Grille and introduce a resolution on a $15 million construction project to improve Seberger Neighborhood.

The Council meeting is open to the public with public hearings starting at 6:15 p.m.

Avon Brush Fire Believed To Be Cause Of Barn Fire

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04/17/2014 - 12:35 PM

A brush fire is believed to be the cause of a barn fire in Collegeville Township.

According to Stearns County Sheriff John Sanner, the fire in the 17000 block of County Road 9 was reported just after 8 p.m. Tuesday.

Avon Fire Department and Stearns County deputies say the fire was contained in the hay loft of 65-year-old Diana Holsinger’s barn, causing minimal damage. All animals in the barn had escaped.

No injuries were reported.

The fire still remains under investigation.

St. Cloud Snowfall Wednesday Leaves High Snow Totals

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04/17/2014 - 11:50 AM

The St. Cloud area received its heaviest snowfall of the season Wednesday, breaking daily snowfall records. 

St. Cloud State University Meteorology Professor Bob Weisman says the St. Cloud area received 8.5 inches of snow, 0.3 inches more than the snowfall on February 20 and 21. 

Weisman adds St. Cloud has received 75.5 inches of snow this season tying 1916-1917 for 5th place in historical records and only 3 inches short of last season's 78.5 inches.

The good news is that the storm is over and driving conditions are gradually improving. However, Weisman says there still maybe ice under the snow.


UPDATE: St. Cloud Could Receive 6-10 Inches of New Snow

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04/16/2014 - 10:10 AM

UPDATE: St. Cloud Could Receive 6-10 Inches of New Snow

Even more snow is expected in St. Cloud Wednesday than originally predicted.

St. Cloud State University Meteorology Professor Bob Weisman originally forecasted 2-5 inches of snow. However, due to the storm slowing down and shifting to the south, we are expecting between 6 and 10 inches of snow in the St. Cloud area.

Weisman says as of 11:30 a.m. snow is falling at about a half inch to an inch an hour and visibility is extremely low, making the evening commute difficult.

The snow is falling in St. Cloud and eastward, including Long Prairie, Little Falls, Mora, Foley, and Princeton.

Weisman also says the heaviest of the snowfall will begin around midday and end around 9:00 p.m. Wednesday which will slow down road crews and make driving conditions tough.

Stay tuned to KVSC for updates on the snowfall.

Little Falls Murder Trial Seats Six Jurors As Of Monday

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04/15/2014 - 9:40 AM

LITTLE FALLS, Minn. (AP) - Jury selection is underway in the trial of a central Minnesota man who claims self-defense when he fatally shot two teenagers in his home.

Six jurors were chosen Monday on the first day of the murder trial of 65-year-old Byron Smith of Little Falls. He faces two counts of premeditated first-degree murder for the 2012 killings of 17-year-old Nick Brady and 18-year-old Haile Kifer.

The St. Cloud Times reports 130 Morrison County residents received jury duty notices for the trial. Prospective jurors will fill out a questionnaire that asks them about their thoughts on gun control.

Smith claims he was defending himself when he shot the teens after they entered his home. But authorities say he went too far, shooting them multiple times after they were no longer a threat.

Snowfall To Return Early Wednesday Morning

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04/15/2014 - 11:00 AM

Winter may be over but the snow just keeps on coming.

St. Cloud State University Meteorology Professor Bob Weisman forecasts 2-5 inches of snow tomorrow with a high around 32-35 degrees.

Different forecast models vary when the storm will begin, but it is predicted to start between 1:00 a.m. – 7:00 a.m. tomorrow morning and continue until mid afternoon.

Weisman says warmer weather will begin Sunday or Monday with highs in the 60’s which will push the warm air over the top of the colder air producing a chance of rain. 

UPDATE: Highway 15 And 33rd Street South Interchange Project Delayed

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04/15/2014 - 11:00 AM

St. Cloud motorists should know Highway 15 will be intermittently reduced to a single lane in both directions during the evening and overnight hours at a later day than originally scheduled. 

The Minnesota Department of Transportation says construction is needed to begin work on the future site of the Highway 15 and 33rd Street South interchange.

According to MnDOT, new closure times will be announced as details become available.

MnDOT says the Highway 15 and 33rd Street South interchange is part of a larger project that when complete, will improve mobility and access between the city of St. Cloud, Highway 15 and I-94.

Funding for the project is being provided by in part by the State of Minnesota Transportation Economic Development.

Teenager Allegedly Assaulted And Robbed By Two Men In Sauk Rapids Sunday

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04/14/2014 - 2:40 AM

A teenager was allegedly punched and robbed Sunday night from two unidentified men while walking in the area of 6th Avenue and 7th Street north in Sauk Rapids.

Sauk Rapids Police Chief Perry Beise says two cars stopped beside the teenager and jumped out two African American men. One of them was described in his mid-20’s with hair braided in corn rows with blond flecks in it. He was also wearing black leather like pants and a black jacket.

Chief Beise said the man demanded the victim’s wallet and eventually punched him taking the money from the wallet and leaving the wallet at the scene.The only description given for the other man was that he had a hand gun.

Both men got back into their cars and left the scene. The cars were described as a 1990’s Red Ford Taurus and a 1990’s tan Pontiac Bonneville.

People with information on this incident are asked to contact the Sauk Rapids police at 320-258-5346.

SCSU To Make A Stance To End Domestic Violence This Week

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04/14/2014 - 12:50 PM

St. Cloud State University's Delta Sigma Phi fraternity and the Kappa Phi Omega sorority are challenging students to make a stance to end domestic violence this week with various events on campus.

Dakota Martin, member of Delta Sigma Phi describes this week’s three day challenge.

The Volley against Violence will begin Monday night at 8:00 Hallenbeck Hall, the Dance against Violence will be held in the Atwood Quarry at 8:00 p.m. Tuesday night, the Action against Violence will be in the Atwood Mall Wednesday, starting at 10:00 a.m. going until 5:00 p.m, and the Stop the Violence concert will begin at 7:30 p.m. Wednesday at Ritsche Auditorium.

Highway 10 Lane Closures To Begin This Wednesday

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04/14/2014 - 11:10 AM

Motorists on Highway 10 will experience lane closures in Sauk Rapids starting Wednesday.

The Minnesota Department of Transportation says that drivers may run into slow traffic because both directions of Highway 10 will decrease to one lane by Benton County Road 3/Golden Spike Road.

The project will begin Wednesday, and continue through Thursday. The closures will start at 9:00 a.m. and end at 3:00 p.m. on both days.

Road crews will be working on the County Road 3/Golden Spike Road Bridge covering Highway 10.

MnDOT says the work is part of a bigger project to improve mobility and safety. Four new roundabouts will be added between Golden Spike Road and Mayhew Lake road on Highway 10.

Ramps will also be fixed at the Highway 10/County Road 3 interchange.


Frostbitten UMD Student Recovering Well, Plans To Return To School Next Fall

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04/14/2014 - 10:30 AM

ST. CLOUD, Minn. (AP) - A University of Minnesota Duluth student who suffered severe frostbite after a night in subzero temperatures is now walking normally, handling everyday tasks, and planning to return to school next fall.

Nineteen-year-old Alyssa Lommel had parts of her hands and feet amputated after she was found unconscious in Duluth on Dec. 7.She says the amputations were difficult, but she's now confident with her new body.

Special tools help her put on makeup and feed herself. She can also text and use touch-screen computers.

She is living at her parents' home in St. Cloud and plans to return to the Duluth campus next fall.

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