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Judge Grants 24 Hour Hold Extension on Shooting Suspect

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12/03/2012 - 3:45 AM

The Stearns County Attorney’s Office requested a 24-hour extension of the hold on shooting suspect Ryan Michael Larson. He's facing murder charges in the death of Cold Spring police officer Tom Decker.

Judge Vicki Landwehr approved the extension of Larson’s detention at a hearing Monday. Larson is being held in the Stearns County Jail in connection with the November 29 murder of Cold Spring Police Officer Tom Decker.

The investigation is ongoing.

Authorities have three days to arraign and charge suspects in Minnesota. A specific reason for the 24-hour extension hold was not disclosed.

Highway 10 Lane Closures

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12/03/2012 - 10:30 AM

Drivers traveling on Highway 10 near Big Lake will experience delays beginning Monday because the road will be reduced to a single lane at Highway 25.

MnDot says the lane closures will start at 8 a.m. every day until Monday, December 17.

All lanes will open up again by 4 a.m. the next morning in time for the commuter rush. The closures are need so crews can work on underground utilities in the area.

St. Cloud Man Dies After Being Hit By A Taxi

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12/03/2012 - 10:00 AM

A 33-year-old St. Cloud man died in the St. Cloud Hospital early Sunday afternoon after being hit by a Taxi Cab in downtown St. Cloud.

The accident happened between the Press Bar and Le St.-Germain Hotel just before 2 a.m. Sunday. According to the police report, Timothy Arthur Martin crossed the street outside of the cross walk and was hit by a Tuxedo Taxi Cab driven by 22-year-old Dylan Joseph Gnoinsky of St. Cloud. When Martin was hit he fell backward and hit his head on the road, which caused significant head trauma.

St. Cloud Police Officers and Gold Cross paramedics treated Martin at the scene before taking him to the St. Cloud Hospital where he later was pronounced dead.

Police say Gnoinsky is not facing any criminal charges at this time.

Cold Spring Officer Killed

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11/30/2012 - 8:30 AM

A police officer has been shot and killed while conducting a routine check on a resident in central Minnesota.

31-year-old Tom Decker of Cold Spring was killed around 11 p.m. near Winner’s Bar in Cold Spring as Decker and his partner were conducting a welfare check at a nearby apartment. Law enforcement agencies from across the region along with the Minnesota State Patrol launched a search for the suspect.

Within an hour, Stearns County SWAT team investigators took 34-year-old Ryan Michael Larson of Cold Spring into custody. Larson is being held in the Stearns County Jail on murder charges. Officer Decker spent more than 10 years in law enforcement in Mille Lacs, Meeker and Stearns counties and had worked as an officer with the Cold Spring Police Department since March 2006.

The last Stearns County officer killed in the line of duty was St. Joseph officer Brian Klinefelter, who was shot in 1996 while attempting to arrest three robbery suspects.

Suspect Ryan Michael LarsonThe shooting is being investigated by the Minnesota Bureau of Criminal Apprehension and the Stearns County Sheriff’s Office with assistance from the Cold Spring Police Department, the Minnesota State Patrol, the St. Cloud Police and several other agencies.


Suspect Ryan Michael Larson

UPDATE: Cold Spring Police Officer Cause of Death and Memorial Funds Established

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11/30/2012 - 5:00 AM

The Ramsey County Medical Examiner’s Office Friday afternoon completed a preliminary autopsy on Cold Spring Police Officer Tom Decker, who was shot and killed late Thursday evening. The preliminary autopsy showed Officer Decker died of homicide caused by multiple gunshot wounds.

The Minnesota Bureau of Criminal Apprehension and Stearns County Sheriff’s Office investigation into the shooting is active and ongoing, including interviews  being conducted and several guns have been located after an extensive search. Officers continue to interview potential witnesses and those involved with the incident. Officers are also continuing to search for additional evidence including any guns or weapons that may be related to this incident.

31 year-old police officer Tom Decker was shot and killed around 11 p.m. Thursday near Winner’s Bar on Main Street in Cold Spring. He was conducting a welfare check at a nearby apartment. Officer Decker died at the scene.

Several funds have been set up for those who are interested in helping Officer Decker’s family.

Tom Decker Memorial Fund
State Bank of Cold Spring
PO Box 415 Cold Spring, MN 56320

Tom Decker Memorial Fund
1st National Bank of Cold Spring
PO Box 416 Cold Spring, MN 56320

Tom Decker Memorial Fund
Central Minnesota Credit Union
202 Red River Avenue So. Cold Spring, MN 56320

Tom Decker Memorial Fund
℅ Wells Fargo
All locations

Funeral arrangements for Officer Decker are pending.

Decker spent more than 10 years in law enforcement and had worked as an officer with the Cold Spring Police Department since March 2006, the Central Minnesota town in which he grew up. He is the father of four children.

The Minnesota Bureau of Criminal Apprehension and the Stearns County Sheriff’s Office are conducting the investigation with assistance from the Cold Spring Police Department, Minnesota State Patrol, St. Cloud Police Department and several other agencies.

Driver Flees Scene During Traffic Stop

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11/30/2012 - 12:30 PM

On Friday morning, St. Cloud Police conducted a traffic stop in the 400 block of St. Germain Street East for a minor traffic violation.

According to the police report, during the stop the driver, 43-year-old Sean Michael Omalley, fled the scene on foot. Since the incident was near St. Katherine Drexel School, and it was unknown why Omalley fled, the school was placed into containment for a short period of time.

The suspect was later located near 7th Avenue and Highway 23 and was taken into custody.

Omalley will be charged with several misdemeanor offenses.

SCSU Student Election And Homecoming Question Results

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11/30/2012 - 10:45 AM

The SCSU Student Elections are done and the results are in. Students were asked on their year’s ballot whether or not SCSU should reinstate Homecoming into a “Celebrate! SCSU weekend”. This question did pass with 75% of the vote in favor of the return of Homecoming.

However, Thursday night at the Student Government meeting another announcement was made, Student Government President Jarrod Wiggins announced he would be resigning. His last day as Student Government President is Thursday, December 13th.

College of Liberal Arts Senators:
Ben Pauley
Matthew O'Neill


Herberger School of Business:
Oliver Tempel
Lucas Golliet

School of Public Affairs:
Stephanie Crandall
Adam Booth

College of Science and Engineering:
InYoung Choi
Devon Bowker

School of Education:
Mohamed Soumah
Grant Brakob

School of Health and Human Services:
Emmanuel Oppong


Little Falls Shooting Update

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11/29/2012 - 9:45 AM

LITTLE FALLS, Minn. (AP) A Little Falls man charged with murdering two teenagers who apparently broke into his home on Thanksgiving Day had a job that involved overseeing technical security issues for U.S. embassies.

Byron Smith was a security engineer for the U.S. Department of State. He retired six years ago.

Retired State Department political officer William Davnie tells Minnesota Public Radio News that security engineers oversee construction and repair work for U.S. embassy buildings and consulates. They do not patrol grounds like security officers, but instead focus on technical issues such as building layout and alarms.

Authorities say a car linked to two teens shot and killed during an alleged home burglary on Thanksgiving Day contained prescription drugs stolen from another house nearby. Morrison County Sheriff Michel Wetzel says a red Mitsubishi Eclipse was searched after the deaths of Nicholas Brady and Haile Kifer.

The teen cousins were killed in the home of Byron Smith, who is charged with murder. Wetzel says the night before the shootings, a homeowner just south of the city of Little Falls reported a suspicious car parked near the end of his driveway. Deputies had contact with Brady, who said he and Kifer had been in the car when it ran out of gas.

Authorities later received a report that a home in that area had been burglarized.

Mixed Report Revealed For The Mississippi River Watershed In St. Cloud

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11/29/2012 - 9:45 AM

BRAINERD, Minn. (AP) - The Minnesota Pollution Control Agency is giving a mixed report on the Mississippi River watershed in the St. Cloud area.

The Mississippi River-St. Cloud watershed includes all or parts of seven counties. More than 70 river and stream sites and 69 lakes were sampled for the report. The Mississippi itself there will be covered in a separate report.

Researchers found 15 stream segments impaired because of weak communities of fish and other aquatic life, while elevated nutrients and bacteria are common concerns throughout the watershed.

The report recommends reducing runoff in farm areas, protecting remaining forested areas, controlling storm runoff, adding buffer strips along shorelines and stream banks, and reducing phosphorus levels.

This report is one of about 80 the MPCA is developing for all of Minnesota's major watersheds.

Christmas Wine Tasting In Little Falls

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11/29/2012 - 9:15 AM

On Saturday, December 15, a wine tasting fundraiser will take place at Linden Hill in Little Falls. The event will be hosted by the Little Falls Sister City Committee, and the money raised will help to host 25 residents of Le Bourget, France, when they return in three years for a cultural exchange.

The event will feature live music and wine provided by Coborn’s Liquor, as well as a silent auction for those wanting to get gifts for Christmas. For an extra charge, people at the event can get a vintage portrait, and attendees can also receive a sleigh ride through the neighborhood.

Tickets for the event are $30 and are available in advance at Ambiance @ 53.  For more information on the event, email or call the Little Falls City Hall at 320-616-5500.

The event will begin at 7:00 p.m. and last until 10:00 p.m.

Fatal St. Cloud House Fire Ruled Accidental

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11/29/2012 - 11:15 AM

According to the St. Cloud Fire Department, a house fire that killed a St. Cloud man on Saturday, November 24th has officially been ruled as accidental in nature and the investigation is closed.

The fire happened at 520 8th Avenue South.

The fire had started in the kitchen and extended throughout the walls, ceilings, and roof of the home. On Thursday, November 27th an Electrical Engineer determined that two rear burners on the electric stovetop were in the on position and operating at the time of the fire.

A disabled smoke alarm was found on a shelf in the victim’s upstairs bedroom with the battery removed. Alcohol is believed to have been a contributing factor.

23-year-old Kyle Kopischke was found dead in the house on Saturday morning. The other renter, 22-year-old Kevin Matthew Murphy of St. Cloud was treated for his injuries the night of the incident.

Auditions For The Vagina Monologues Begin Next Week

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11/28/2012 - 1:00 AM

The Women’s Action and the Women’s Center will be holding auditions for the 2013 performance of The Vagina Monologues.

2013 marks the 15th Anniversary of the V-Day campaign and the 13th year of the performance at SCSU.

Auditions will be held on Monday, December 5 at 7:45 p.m., Thursday, December 6 at 5 p.m. and Sunday, December 9th at 3 p.m. 

All auditions will be held at the SCSU Women's Center.

SCSU Fall Enrollment Down From Last Year

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11/28/2012 - 12:30 PM

St. Cloud State University enrollment dropped 774 students from last year according to a Minnesota State Colleges and Universities report on Wednesday. The current student enrollment is 16,457.

Provost and Vice President for Academic Affairs at SCSU, Devinder Maholtra says economic hardships, decreased funding opportunities, and students wanting to stay closer to home are some believed reasons for the decrease.

Despite the overall four and a half percent drop in total enrollment, the university reports that enrollment among students of color increased from last year. Among new entering freshman, 19 percent were students of color. There are 112 new honor students enrolled. Non-traditional students, ages 30-34, increased 3 percent.

Maholtra says St. Cloud State’s future goal is increase market share and total base of potential students by reaching out to all markets including non-traditional students, military veterans, and transfer students.

Bobby Vee Art On Display Friday in St. Joseph

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11/28/2012 - 11:30 AM

Nationally successful singer and hometown star Bobby Vee has announced his first ever art exhibit. For the first time Vee is displaying his paintings at the Satellite Gallery in St. Joseph. Vee’s son Jeff Vee says his father has been painting as a hobby off and on for many years.

Vee’s paintings will be on display for three days starting on Friday Nov. 30 through Dec. 2. Prints of Vee’s artwork will be available for purchase at the exhibit. The proceeds from the prints will benefit the Bobby Vee Foundation for the Arts. The foundation is in support of central Minnesota arts and education. Vee says Bobby and his family have been supporting the arts for years and the foundation is a continuation of that.

Bobby Vee has enjoyed a 52 year career with over 35 chart making songs since the 1960s.

According to Jeff Vee, Bobby Vee will be releasing a new album with his family and friends called “The Adobe Sessions” very soon.

The gallery hours are 5-8 p.m. on Nov. 30, 10-5 p.m. on Dec. 1 and 12-4 p.m. on Dec. 2.

Registration Has Opened For 2013 Polar Plunge

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11/27/2012 - 12:40 PM

Registration for the 2013 St. Cloud Polar Plunge is now open. The polar plunge is presented by Minnesota law enforcement to benefit Special Olympics Minnesota. Participants will take the plunge into icy-cold Pleasant Lake in St. Cloud Feb. 16th.

People who want to participate have to register online at, and then check-in the day of the event. According to Special Olympics Minnesota, an average plunger raises almost 200 dollars.

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