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This Hour: Latest Minnesota news, sports, business and entertainment

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Charges expected Friday in Minnesota cop killing

ST. PAUL, Minn. (AP) - Police say they are searching for no other suspects in the fatal shooting of a Minnesota police officer.

Brian George Fitch Senior was captured Wednesday night after a manhunt. Police say Fitch was shot and seriously wounded during a shootout with authorities. He was wanted following the fatal shooting of Mendota Heights officer Scott Patrick during a traffic stop in West St. Paul.

Police say they expect the Dakota County attorney to charge Fitch Friday in Patrick's death. They also say they still don't know what led to the traffic stop, and say they may never know.

The Associated Press found court records showing Fitch was wanted because he had left a drug treatment program and faced up to 30 years in prison if convicted on a pending drug charge.


APNewsBreak: Cop shooting suspect faced 30 years

MINNEAPOLIS (AP) - Court records show a man suspected of killing a Mendota Heights police officer was wanted because he had left a drug treatment program and faced up to 30 years in prison if convicted on a pending drug charge.

Brian George Fitch Senior was captured Wednesday night after a manhunt following the fatal shooting of Mendota Heights officer Scott Patrick during a traffic stop in West St. Paul.

Case records examined by The Associated Press show Fitch was charged in Dakota County last year with possessing 47.4 grams of methamphetamine. Documents show prosecutors wanted 30 years in the case.

One condition of Fitch's release from jail was entering a drug treatment program. The warrant was issued June 6th after he left.


Audit: Rochester VA 'felt pressure' to hide delays

MINNEAPOLIS (AP) - An internal audit has found that staff at the Veterans Affairs outpatient clinic in Rochester "felt pressure to manipulate" appointment data to hide delays in medical care.

The audit by the VA's Veterans Health Administration was ordered earlier this year by former VA Secretary Eric Shinseki (shin-SEHK'-ee). The report released this week follows up on an audit of 900 Veterans Affairs' facilities throughout the U.S.

U.S. Representative Tim Walz, a member of the House Veterans' Affairs Committee, represents Rochester. Walz says the audit information is "troubling, but not shocking," given "the pressure to hit unrealistic wait-time goals."

Minneapolis VA officials tell the Star Tribune they'll have to wait until the VA Office of the Inspector General completes its review to find out what happened in the Rochester clinic.


Feds extend Minnesota's education law waiver

ST. PAUL, Minn. (AP) - Minnesota has won another year's break from having to abide by proficiency goals and sanctions under the federal No Child Left Behind law.

The U.S. Department of Education renewed waivers Thursday for Minnesota and four other states that have implemented alternative achievement and improvement plans in place of a one-size-fits-all federal standard.

Minnesota first received a waiver in 2012 but needed to apply for renewal this year. The new waiver is good through the coming school year.

To get it, Minnesota had to put forward a plan showing it had ways to measure student progress, reach achievement benchmarks, reward high-performing schools and intervene in those where children struggle the most.

Minnesota's approach also includes a system to better spot risk factors that could harm graduation rates.


Medical pot backers hope to speed task force work

ST. PAUL, Minn. (AP) - Potential users of medical marijuana say they hope to counter police concerns about the drug as they work together on a task force overseeing Minnesota's developing program.

When the Legislature approved medical marijuana this year, it also created a 23-member panel that includes law enforcement officials, patient advocates, lawmakers and substance abuse officials. The task force's job is to study the new law's impact, and it held its first meeting Thursday.

Sarah Wellington, a 40-year-old St. Paul woman with multiple sclerosis who sits on the panel, says she worries that law enforcement's concern about the program will delay when patients can start getting the medicine.

The state aims to launch in July 2015 but can trigger up to a year of delays.


Minnesota GOP lawmaker disputes residency claim

ST. PAUL, Minn. (AP) - Republican Rep. Bob Barrett has provided the state Supreme Court with copies of his driver's license and other evidence he says proves he lives in his central Minnesota district.

Barrett's attorneys filed a sharply worded response Thursday to an election case that aims to throw the incumbent off the ballot. A voter connected to the Democratic Party has alleged that Barrett actually lives in a home elsewhere and a rental property hasn't given him the required residency.

The two-term legislator's filing includes affidavits from his landlord and neighbors attesting to his presence in Lindstrom. Barrett says he and his wife are trying to sell a home in nearby Shafer but need to make improvements to it first.

The residency case has implications for the party battle for Minnesota House control.


Minnesota man accused of assaulting captive woman

WINONA, Minn. (AP) - A southeastern Minnesota man is jailed on suspicion he held a woman captive for more than two days and assaulted her.

Winona County Chief Deputy Ron Ganrude says the 35-year-old man was arrested at a Stockton home Wednesday.

Ganrude says the 29-year-old woman escaped from the home early Wednesday and called authorities from an emergency room where she was being treated for an eye injury and abrasions.

The woman said she was held in the home starting Sunday evening and was unable to get out of bed because of her injuries.

While she was held, the suspect allegedly forced her to hold a handgun with one round in it to her head and pull the trigger. The gun did not go off.

KAGE-AM reports prosecutors are reviewing the case.


Minnesota man gets 4 years in nephew's crash death

MINNEAPOLIS (AP) - An Eden Prairie man has been sentenced to four years in prison for a drunken driving crash that killed his nephew last August.

Forty-eight-year-old Randoll Guy Sloan was sentenced Thursday in Hennepin County court on a single count of criminal vehicular homicide. Sloan also was fined $6,000.

Prosecutor Deborah Russell sought prison time for Sloan. Russell argued that Sloan had not shown accountability because until his scheduled trial date, the defense tried to prove the victim, 23-year-old Kyle Boline, was driving the speeding Corvette on August 1st.

Sloan's attorney argued Sloan claimed to have no memory of that night, so they hired an expert to determine who was driving. The defense requested a year in jail and probation.

Sloan pleaded in May on the day his trial was to begin.

Copyright 2014 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

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