Nick Ferraro / St. Paul Pioneer Press
WEST ST. PAUL, Minn.—Frances Nelson, who was West St. Paul's oldest resident, died Saturday — on her 106th birthday. Nelson was recognized publicly by the city council every year since her 100th birthday, with a "Frances Nelson Day" in West St. Paul. She was also a fixture in the city's annual spring parade, riding on a fire truck as a distinguished guest of the fire department. She became a friend to many city officials and city staff members over the years, city council member Ed Iago said Monday.
APPLE VALLEY, Minn.—A convicted sex offender is being investigated in connection with the sexual assault of a student nearly 40 years ago when he worked for Apple Valley schools — and police say there may be more victims. Charles Alan Schroeder, 68, was arrested by Apple Valley police Dec. 22 after a man came forward and alleged that Schroeder sexually assaulted him in 1979 or 1980. The arrest followed a search of Schroeder's Minneapolis home.
SIOUX FALLS, S.D.—An autopsy revealed that heart disease killed the 18-year-old college student from Burnsville who died while on a plane trip home from San Diego during his Christmas break. Griffin Gutwa died Dec. 22 of hypertrophic cardiomyopathy with myocardial fibrosis, Dr. Kenneth Snell, director of the Minnehaha County Coroner's Office in Sioux Falls, S.D., said on Thursday.
HASTINGS, Minn.—The last remaining industrial building in downtown Hastings could soon be turned into a riverside hotel and banquet facility. A 67-room hotel, 22 apartments, restaurant and retail space are planned for the former H.D. Hudson Manufacturing Co. building. The estimated $25 million project would bring the first modern-day hotel to the city's historic downtown, which has undergone a redevelopment resurgence in recent years.
ST. PAUL — Tanya Shafer smokes, but prefers to take it outside. Shafer, who lives at Colleen Loney Manor, a public-housing apartment complex in West St. Paul, said she often smells secondhand cigarette smoke coming from other units. "I don't like it," she said, shortly after sucking down a Pyramid Light 100 one afternoon last week. "That's why I always go outside."
INVER GROVE HEIGHTS, Minn. — As a first-time business owner, Dan Punjani has a lot of worries. In June, the 29-year-old opened a Super Day gas station at an Inver Grove Heights location where another gas station had shut down. "It's a lot harder than I thought it would be, honestly, but I take it day by day," Punjani said. "There's a lot to think about." So when an Inver Grove Heights police officer approached him last month with a voluntary program to prevent credit card skimming at his pumps, he gladly accepted the offer—and signed up on the spot.
ROSEMOUNT, Minn.—The Dakota County sheriff's office will stop collecting DNA samples without a warrant from defendants charged with certain violent crimes under a deal reached with a Rosemount man who sued over the legality of the practice. The American Civil Liberties Union of Minnesota filed suit in April against Dakota County Sheriff Tim Leslie on behalf of 68-year-old John David Emerson, who faced a second-degree charge of assault with a dangerous weapon following an alleged road rage incident in October 2015 in Hastings.
ST. PAUL — A state highway that stretches from Minnetonka to Inver Grove Heights has an identity crisis. It's Minnesota 62 from Interstate 494 in Minnetonka to just west of Fort Snelling, when it becomes Minnesota 55. Across the Minnesota River in Mendota Heights, its name changes yet again: to Minnesota 110, which ends at Interstate 494 in Inver Grove Heights.
APPLE VALLEY, Minn.—The remodeled rambler at 1051 Ramsdell Drive in Apple Valley is on the market for $279,900 and includes a new roof, siding, granite countertops, new carpet and refinished hardwood floors. It also comes with a tragic history. Around Dec. 26, 2014, previous owner and amateur filmmaker David Crowley shot and killed his wife, Komel, and their 5-year-old daughter, Raniya, before turning the gun on himself. They were found Jan. 17, when a neighbor who decided to check on them peered through a living room window and saw the bodies on the floor.
ROSEMOUNT, Minn. — To highlight the need for motorists to obey the state's stop arm law, the Minnesota Department of Public Safety on Monday released a video of an 11-year-old Rosemount girl who was nearly struck by a pickup truck after getting off her school bus. The incident happened last December as the girl passed in front of the bus to walk home. The bus driver's "quick actions alerted the girl to the passing vehicle, helping the Rosemount sixth-grader avoid injury or possible death," the department of public safety said in a news release.