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Press Conference Releases New Information About Saturday's Mass Stabbing At Crossroads Mall

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09/18/2016 - 2:00 AM

A press conference revealed the identity of the off duty officer who shot and killed the suspect who attacked shoppers at the Crossroads Mall Saturday night.

St. Cloud Mayor Dave Kleis announced Sunday that Jason Falconer, a part time police officer for the Avon Police Department, was shopping at Crossroads Mall at the time of the attack. The surveillance footage was not shown to the press, but Mayor Kleis described what he watched of the footage from a Macy’s security camera.

Kleis says Officer Falconer walked into the department store and identified himself to the suspect. The suspect then waved a knife and lunged at Falconer, quickly closing the 20-foot gap between them. Falconer raised his gun and shot the suspect. Knife still in hand, the suspect got up and continued to approach the officer and was shot again. The suspect tried to get up two more times before being fatally shot.

Kleis and Chief of Police Blair Anderson credit Falconer with preventing additional injuries and loss of life. After Kleis stepped down from the podium, Chief Anderson announced the time between the first 911 call and when the suspect was eliminated was approximately five minutes.

A ninth victim checked themself into Long Prairie Hospital. The victims’ identities have not been released. On Sunday morning three victims were still in the hospital with non-life threatening injuries.

The identity of the suspect has not yet been released but authorities believe there is no longer a threat to the public as they continue their investigation. The Crossroads Mall will continue to be closed for the rest of Sunday but it is expected to re-open Monday.

Mayor Dave Kleis Speaks at Press Conference Outside the St. Cloud Mall

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09/18/2016 - 1:00 AM

After the stabbing at the St. Cloud Crossroads Mall Saturday night, Mayor Dave Kleis and Chief of Police Blair Anderson spoke at a press conference.

Kleis says he sends out his thoughts and prayers to the victims of the stabbing. There were eight victims taken to the St. Cloud Hospital's Emergency Room. Seven have been released but one remains in the hospital with non-life threatening injuries.

Chief Anderson then spoke at a press conference. He says there was only one assailant who came into the mall after 8 p.m. He reportedly made praises to Allah and one worker at the mall says victims were asked if they were Muslim before they were attacked. The suspect was later shot and killed by an off duty police officer from another law enforcement agency. Authorities believe the suspect was working alone.

Anderson said the victims were injured in many locations throughout the mall from common areas to retail locations. A large number of shoppers and store employees were kept inside the mall's food court area for several hours after the incident so police could gather witness information and other details.

Kleis and Anderson also thanked the law enforcement agencies who came from the surrounding communities along with the rapid response from both firefighters and emergency responders.

The Crossroads Mall in St. Cloud will be closed until further notice as the investigation continues.

Blue Lights Will Illuminate I-35 West Bridge In Minneapolis For 11 Days To Honor Jacob Wetterling

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09/14/2016 - 2:50 AM

The Interstate 35 West Bridge in Minneapolis will be glowing blue in honor of Jacob Wetterling beginning Thursday.

Minn. Gov. Mark Dayton directed the Department of Transportation to light up the bridge for 11 days until Sunday, Sept. 25, which is the night of Jacob’s memorial service.

Jacob wore the number 11 on jerseys in sports. The Wetterling family and the Jacob Wetterling Resource Center ask people to remember Jacob by this number and "#11forJacob." The hashtag represents traits and values to honor the boy.

The bridge can be lit with nearly any color because of a computerized lighting system. The color blue represents child abuse prevention.

Jacob Wetterling was 11-years-old when he was abducted near his home in St. Joseph in 1989. Danny Heinrich admitted to the kidnapping, assault and murder of the boy in court Tuesday, Sept. 6. Jacob’s remains were discovered in a central Minnesota field nearly two weeks ago and confirmed by the Ramsey County Medical Examiner’s Office.

Central Minnesota Sexual Assault Center Is Offering Volunteer Positions On Weekends And Evenings

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09/14/2016 - 12:50 PM

The Central Minnesota Sexual Assault Center is seeking people willing to volunteer on crisis phone lines, at medical facilities and law enforcement centers in the area.

The center says there are openings for volunteer advocates who are looking for a rewarding experience.

It’s the volunteer’s duty to provide information and guidance to sexual assault victims, but before someone is qualified for this position they must go through 40 hours of training.

Volunteer shifts are open on evenings and weekends. The next training session starts Monday, Oct. 3.

Signing up to volunteer can be done online at the Central Minnesota Sexual Assault Center website or by phone at 320-251-4357. 

A Body Was Found In Foley Near Lion's Park Monday, Police Are Investigating

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09/13/2016 - 1:00 AM

A body was found at a local park in Foley Monday.

The Foley Police Department says they got a call at 6 p.m. from a person who said they found something that appeared to be a body. Joined by the Benton County Sheriff’s Deputy, the officers went to an area near Lion’s Park where they found the body of an adult man.

It appeared the body was deceased for several days, and was taken to the Midwest Medical Examiner’s Office for an autopsy.

The identity of the victim has not yet been released. The Foley Police Department does not believe there is any danger to the public.

Local Silver Medalist Alise Post Was Welcomed Home From Rio Olympics With Parade Saturday

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09/12/2016 - 3:00 AM

ST. CLOUD, Minn. (AP) - Olympic silver medalist Alise Post has been honored with a homecoming parade in Minnesota.

Post won the silver medal in women's BMX cycling at the 2016 Summer Olympics in Rio de Janeiro. Her hometown of St. Cloud honored her with a parade Saturday.

The St. Cloud times reports Post told a gathering before the parade that it's "always such a good feeling to come home and have such good hometown support."

St. Cloud Mayor Dave Kleis (klys) introduced Post before the parade. Kleis called it "a great day and such a tremendous honor to have our local hero here."

Post graduated in 2009 from St. Cloud Tech. She competed in women's BMX in the 2012 London Olympics and is not ruling out competing at the Tokyo Olympics in 2020.

World Trade Center Artifacts Will Be Made Into A Monument In Rockville

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09/12/2016 - 3:00 AM

ROCKVILLE, Minn. (AP) - Nearly 1,000 pounds of twisted steel from the World Trade Center is now a part of a monument honoring veterans and first responders in a small central Minnesota city.

The Port Authority of New York and New Jersey has been distributing artifacts from the 9/11 attacks to communities and organizations across the country, as long as they are used in a public memorial.

KMSP-TV reports that after community funds were raised for more than a year in Rockville, the steel beam memorial was dedicated Sunday - the 15th anniversary of the terrorist attacks.

Rockville resident Denise McNeal says after 15 years, the memorial brings community members closer to what changed everyone forever.

One Man Hospitalized After Crashing Into An Oncoming Trailer North Of St Joseph Monday

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09/12/2016 - 2:30 AM

One man is in the hospital after crashing his car into a trailer pulled by another vehicle Monday afternoon.

The Stearns County Sheriff’s Office says 27-year-old William Dean Papapetru of Redlands, California, was driving north on 30th Avenue, north of St. Joseph, when he crossed the center line. Papapetru ran into a trailer pulled by 22-year-old Jake Uderman of Sartell.

The St. Stephen Fire Department was called to the scene to remove Papapetrue from his car. He was taken to the ER by Gold Cross Ambulance.

The Stearns County Sheriff’s Office is still investigating.

Do You Know How To Register to Vote? Stearns County Presents Voter Options For Nov. 8 Election

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09/12/2016 - 12:00 PM

Are you registered to vote? With November right around the corner Stearns County officials want to make sure everyone knows how to register for the 2016 general election.

Stearns County Auditor and Treasurer Randy Schrifels reminds people that pre-registration is open until Oct. 18. Voters who meet this deadline will have their names on a roster in their polling location. If your name is not on the roster you will have to provide proof of residency on Election Day.

Applications are available online or on paper. Online registration requires a driver’s license or social security number and an email address.

General Election Day takes place Nov. 8.

Any questions can be directed to the Stearns County Auditor-Treasurer's Office at 320-656-3920 or email

Damage Assessed After Tornado With Estimated 90 MPH Winds Damaged Buildings At Camp Ripley Last Week

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09/12/2016 - 11:50 AM

LITTLE FALLS, Minn. (AP) - Officials are assessing damage after a weak tornado stripped roofs and paneling off buildings at the Minnesota National Guard's Camp Ripley.

The tornado Wednesday night caused major damage to several buildings used for housing, training and maintenance.

No one was hurt. About 100 soldiers were in buildings that were damaged during the storm, which struck about 10:30 p.m. If the tornado had hit on the weekend, four times as many military personnel would have been at the camp for drills.

Camp Ripley spokesman, Staff Sgt. Anthony Housey, tells the St. Cloud Times many of the soldiers recently trained for a tornado, and that "Nobody panicked."

The National Weather Service says the EF-1 tornado packed winds of up to an estimated 90 mph.

Liquor License Approval And City Insurance Renewal Are On The City Council Meeting Agenda For Monday

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09/09/2016 - 2:10 AM

The St. Cloud City Council will meet Monday to discuss a liquor license for the Paramount Center, fire damages to the regional library, and the renewal of a city insurance program.

Among the topics on the agenda is the approval of a temporary on-sale intoxicating liquor license for the Paramount Center for the Arts. The license will be used for events held in October and November at the Gallery Saint Germain in downtown St. Cloud.

The council also plans to adopt a cleaning and repairs service bid for the St. Cloud Great River Regional Library. The library caught fire Aug. 17.

Lastly, the city’s property, casualty, automobile and workers’ compensation insurance program is in need of renewal. The council is scheduled to introduce and adopt a renewal plan for the period of Oct. 1-Sept. 30, 2017.

Meetings take place in the council chambers of City Hall at 6 p.m.

Tornado Damages Several Buildings At Camp Ripley And Training Center In Little Falls Wednesday

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09/09/2016 - 1:50 AM

LITTLE FALLS, Minn. (AP) - The National Weather Service says it was a weak tornado that damaged the Minnesota National Guard's Camp Ripley.

The storm caused major damage to several buildings used for housing, training and maintenance at the camp and training center in Little Falls. It ripped the roof off some barracks when the storm moved through Morrison County just after 10 p.m. Wednesday.

WJON reports a solar project that was to be dedicated this week was also heavily damaged.

No one was hurt. The weather service determined it was an EF-1 tornado that touched down.

A Parade In Downtown St. Cloud Saturday Will Celebrate The Return Of A Local Olympian

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09/08/2016 - 1:30 AM

A local Olympic medalist returns to St. Cloud and is welcomed back with a parade this Saturday.

Alise Post has returned from the 2016 Rio Olympics with a silver medal in hand. Originally ranked 8th in the Women’s Individual BMX cycling race, Post qualified for the semifinals where she raced against 16 other cyclist. Then, the top eight moved on to the final round. Post finished 2nd with a time of 34.43 seconds.

St. Cloud city officials announced that St. Germain Street will be closed off from 4th avenue to 10th avenue starting at 9:30 a.m. Saturday to celebrate Post’s return.

Key Elements Revealed That Helped Authorities Solve Jacob Wetterling Abduction Nearly 27 Years Later

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09/08/2016 - 10:10 AM

Several key elements helped authorities solve the decades-old abduction of Jacob Wetterling.

Jacob was 11 when he was abducted from a rural road near his home in central Minnesota on Oct. 22, 1989. On Tuesday, 53-year-old Danny Heinrich admitted he abducted, sexually assaulted and killed the boy, then buried his body.

Among the key factors, authorities took a fresh look at the case in 2014, as the 25-year-anniversary of Jacob's abduction approached. A new investigator began reviewing all of the evidence, and advanced technology was used to re-test old evidence.

The DNA on the sweatshirt of another assault victim matched Heinrich, setting many other things in motion, including a search of Heinrich's property.

Heinrich pleaded guilty Tuesday to one count of child pornography. He won't be charged with Jacob's murder, but he led officials to his remains and confessed as part of his plea deal.

UPDATE: Danny Heinrich Admits To Kidnapping And Assault Of Jacob Wetterling In 1989

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09/06/2016 - 1:30 AM

MINNEAPOLIS (AP) - A Minnesota man has confessed to kidnapping and killing 11-year-old Jacob Wetterling nearly 27 years ago.

Danny Heinrich made the admission Tuesday as he pleaded guilty to child pornography charges in federal court in Minneapolis.

Heinrich led authorities to Jacob's remains last week, according to a law enforcement official who spoke to The Associated Press on condition of anonymity because of the ongoing case.

He admitted abducting Jacob near the boy's home in the central Minnesota community of St. Joseph on Oct. 22, 1989.

Authorities named Heinrich as a person of interest last October when they announced the child pornography charges.

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