Minn. officials highlights mental illness in jails
ST. PAUL, Minn. (AP) - Law enforcement officials say Minnesota's local jails are overburdened by inmates suffering from mental illness who aren't getting the kind of treatment they need.
The state Senate's Judiciary Committee held a hearing Tuesday on mental health issues facing both the state Corrections Department and county jails. Hennepin County Sheriff Rich Stanek estimated that 25 to 30 percent of inmates in Hennepin County jails at any given time suffer some kind of mental illness, and that many of those are untreated cases.
Stanek says that often leaves jail workers forced to provide treatment despite not being qualified.
State Sen. Barb Goodwin of Columbia Heights says Minnesota is one of many U.S. states that "dropped the ball" in providing consistent mental health care for the indigent.
XCEL ENERGY-MONTICELLO PLANT
NRC: Monticello power plant can increase output
MINNEAPOLIS (AP) - Xcel Energy Inc. has won federal regulators' approval to boost output at its Monticello nuclear power plant.
The Minneapolis-based utility said Tuesday the Nuclear Regulatory Commission has approved its application to increase the plant's output, from 600 megawatts to 671 megawatts.
Xcel Energy says in the next month, operators will begin slowly increasing power at the plant, located about 40 miles northwest of Minneapolis.
The St. Cloud Times report the company also is waiting for an NRC decision next spring that would allow it more flexibility before the plant starts producing a full 671 megawatts.
The Monticello plant currently generates about 10 percent of the electricity Xcel Energy provides customers in its Upper Midwest service territory.
FATAL BAR FIGHT
Minn. man sentenced for fight that led to death
STILLWATER, Minn. (AP) - A Minnesota man has been sentenced to more than six years in prison for a bar fight that led to a man's death.
Twenty-three-year-old Eric Richard II was taken into custody after being sentenced Tuesday in Washington County.
Richard pleaded guilty in September to a reduced charge of first-degree assault. Richard was initially charged with manslaughter and second-degree murder without intent in the death of Adam McCloud of Bayport. The two had argued at Smalley's Caribbean bar in Stillwater in September 2012.
The Star Tribune reports the defense asked for probation for Richard. But prosecutor Karin McCarthy said Richard's attack caused a traumatic brain injury that led to McCloud's death a few days later at Regions Hospital in St. Paul.
Richard apologized in court to McCloud's family and friends.
Child submerged in Minn. pond out of hospital
MINNEAPOLIS (AP) - One of three children who survived being submerged in a frigid Minnesota highway holding pond for up to 45 minutes is out of the hospital.
The attorney for the mother of 5-year-old Amani Coleman-Guerrido says the boy is at home recovering after being released from HCMC Monday.
Rick Petry (PEE'-tree) also tells KARE-TV that the two other children who remain hospitalized, 1-year-old Aliyana Rennie and 6-year-old sister Zarihana Rennie, are progressing well.
Five-year-old Zenavia Rennie and 7-year-old Alarious Coleman-Guerrido died after the car they were in landed in the pond in St. Louis Park on Nov. 21.
Marion Guerrido, the mother of three of the children, was driving when the car left the ramp and plunged into the pond. She was able to escape the car but the five children were trapped inside.
CHURCH VOLUNTEER SLAIN
Teen pleads guilty for his role in Willmar slaying
WILLMAR, Minn. (AP) - A 16-year-old has pleaded guilty to unintentional second-degree murder for his role in the killing of a 79-year-old Willmar grandmother.
Lila Warwick was slain during a robbery at her home July 29.
Under Tuesday's plea agreement, the 16-year-old lookout will get an extended juvenile sentence that will run until he turns 21, and a stayed 15-year adult sentence in case he violates the conditions of his juvenile sentence. Sentencing is set for Jan. 27.
Nineteen-year-old Brok Junkermeier and 18-year-old Robert Warwick, both of Willmar, have been indicted on first-degree murder charges in the case. Warwick allegedly masterminded the crime, suspecting his grandmother had more than $40,000 in a safe. Junkermeier allegedly stabbed and strangled her after making her write him a check.
Both face prison sentences of life without parole.
Some nativity figurines returned to Minn. church
ST. JOSEPH, Minn. (AP) - Some Christmas figurines have been returned to a central Minnesota church as mysteriously as they disappeared from its nativity display.
The Rev. Jerome Tupa of the Church of St. Joseph, in St. Joseph, says figures of Mary, Joseph and three sheep were stolen late last Thursday or early Friday, and a shepherd was stolen on Thanksgiving Day.
Sandy Scholz, the church's business manager, tells the St. Cloud Times that Mary, Joseph and the shepherd were returned sometime early Tuesday. But she says some animal figurines were still missing.
The pastor said the 3-foot plaster figurines had a value beyond money for many parishioners because they've been with the church for several decades.
The parish still had the baby Jesus because it's not placed in the nativity scene until Christmas.
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