April 19 news

BOSTON - Officials say one of two suspects in the Boston Marathon bombing is dead and a massive manhunt is underway for another. The manhunt is being focused in the Boston suburb of Watertown, MA. Officials say the two suspects shot and killed an MIT police officer at the college late Thursday night. They say the suspects then stole a car at gunpoint and did later release the car's owner unharmed.

Officials say soon after there was a shootout with police and the two suspects. The suspects threw explosives from their car as police followed, and during the exchange one of the suspects was critically injured and later died. Officials say this second suspect is being described as a "terrorist" who "came here to kill people."

The FBI is on the scene with thousands of officers in Watertown. The FBI said it is working with local authorities to determine what happened. During the shootout an officer was injured and is in the hospital reportedly in critical condition.

HERON LAKE - On April 4, Heron Lake BioEnergy terminated a January deal to sell its ethanol plant to Guardian Energy and reached an April 12 agreement with AgStar Financial Services to extend forbearance on $48 million in debt, according to U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission filings. HLBE CEO Bob Ferguson said Thursday that company leaders had met with bankers again April 17 and will conduct a shareholders meeting at 1 p.m. on Tuesday, April 23, at the Heron Lake Community Center to determine what the company will do next. A Star Tribune report Tuesday stated that HLBE's natural gas line installed in 2011 as part of a switch from coal contributed to the breakdown in negotiations.

DICKENSON COUNTY, Iowa -The identities of two people from Spencer, Iowa killed in a crash Wednesday night in the 1800 block of 310th Avenue in Dickinson County have been released. The Dickinson County Sheriff’s Office reports that Marie Petersen, 71, of Spencer, and her passenger, Duane Petersen, 72, died from injuries after their car collided with a semi tractor-trailer. According to the report, Marie Petersen was driving a 2005 Ford Focus southbound on 310th Avenue, when she lost control of the vehicle on icy roads, crossed the center line and collided with a 2009 Peterbilt Semi driven by Kevin Graven, 55, of Rippey, Iowa. Graven was not injured. The crash remains under investigation.

WORTHINGTON — Minnesota West Community and Technical College's Richard Shrubb is in the running to become the new president of Johnson County Community College of Kansas. Shrubb joins Edward Raspiller, president of Blinn College’s Brazos County campuses in Texas, and Joseph Sopcich, executive vice president/chief financial officer of JCCC, as finalists for the college, which is located in Overland Park, Kan.

Shrubb said he has been watching the college for some time, and described it as a large and prestigious college with 44,000 students. The other two candidates have already interviewed, and Shrubb will head to Kansas next week. Shrubb’s visit will include a tour, meetings with students, the search committee, staff and the board of trustees.

WORTHINGTON — The Worthington Concert Association will offer four concerts during its 2013-2014 season. Included are the Abrams Brothers, bluegrass, country and folk-rock band; Aureole Trio, flute viola and harp trio; Charlie Albright, pianist who is a Julliard School of Music graduate; and John Davidson, singer, entertainer, banjoist, host of “The New Hollywood Squares” and Broadway performer. In addition to these concerts, members may attend reciprocity concerts in Slayton, Windom and Sheldon, Iowa. The concert association’s membership drive will begin the end of April. For more information, contact Shirley, 376-6748, Judy, 376-6069, or Brenda, 376-4862.

MILFORD, Iowa - A Milford, Iowa business is expanding. Arnold Motor Supply is building a new 7,200 square foot auto parts store near the Highway 71/86 junction on the north side of Milford. Plans call for the store, which is currently located in downtown Milford, to relocate to the new facility by the end of October. Store officials say they’ve outgrown their present location and that the expansion will allow them to grow the retail side of the business and help better meet demands of customers. Five employees work out of the Milford facility. Officials with the company say there are no immediate plans to add to that number, but there could be a possibility in the future if business dictates it.

ST. PAUL - Minnesota is asking the Federal Emergency Management Agency to assess damage from heavy snow and freezing rain in several counties in the southwestern part of the state. Minnesota's top emergency official, Kris Eide, made the request Wednesday. The request includes damage assessments in Cottonwood, Jackson, Murray, Nobles and Rock counties to see if they qualify for the public assistance program. If approved by FEMA, the program would help state and local governments and non-profits repair or replace storm-damaged facilities.

Disaster recovery experts from Minnesota's Homeland Security and emergency management met with local officials and determined an assessment is needed to see if storm cleanup costs meet the federal funding threshold. The preliminary damage assessment is the first step in determining if Governor Mark Dayton will request a presidential disaster declaration.

MINNESOTA - Oral arguments in Amy Senser’s appeal case originally scheduled to take place next Wednesday have been postponed due to the hospitalization of a prosecuting attorney. Lee Barry, the appellate attorney for the Hennepin County Attorney’s Office, is undergoing treatment for a heart condition and should be released from the hospital soon.

Barry prosecuted Senser last May when she was convicted of criminal vehicular homicide for the hit-and-run death of 38-year-old Anousone Phanthavong. The appeal hearing was rescheduled for May 1.
Senser’s attorney Eric Nelson is arguing prosecutors failed to prove Senser knew she’d hit a person, a necessary element in a hit-and-run conviction. Nelson also claimed faulty rulings by the judge prevented Senser from getting a fair trial. In response, prosecutors said not only is there proof of a crime, but they say Senser also attempted to cover it up.

Senser, 46, is currently serving a nearly three and a half year sentence at the Shakopee women’s prison. She’s due to leave on supervised release on Oct. 20, 2014.

BLOOMINGTON - Mall of America officials will go to the city of Bloomington next week to present their plan for the second phase of a major expansion. The new $225 million structure on the north side of the mega mall near Ikea will include a 347-room luxury hotel, a three-floor retail expansion, a “dining terrace” to replace the mall’s third-floor food court and an underground parking ramp. If all goes well with financing and city approval, officials hope to break ground in September or October and open in the summer of 2015.

It’s still too early to know what retailers will fill the space, but the mall says they’re close to securing a deal with a luxury hotel brand. The construction is sure to cause headaches for drivers traveling to or near the mall - road closures, delays and detours can be expected for the next two years.

NASHVILLE, Tenn. - An FBI agent's affidavit says a Pilot Flying J employee told authorities that Cleveland Browns owner Jimmy Haslam knew about rebate fraud at the truck stop chain his family owns.
The 120-page document was filed Thursday in federal court in Knoxville, where Pilot is based. It identifies the employee only as a confidential source.

Haslam issued a statement saying the foundation of the company is integrity and pledged to cooperate with the investigation.

The company headquarters was raided Monday by FBI and IRS agents. Pilot Flying J is a private company mostly owned by Haslam, his brother Tennessee Gov. Bill Haslam and other family members.
It is the nation's No. 1 retailer of diesel fuel, and its customer rebate program with trucking firms is at the center of the investigation.

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