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

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Minnesota State team to return under Hoffner

MANKATO, Minn. (AP) - Football players at Minnesota State, Mankato say they are ready to practice under reinstated coach Todd Hoffner.

The Mavericks football program held a news conference Thursday, the day after players refused to practice when Hoffner returned to the school.

In a statement, junior defensive back Sam Thompson and sophomore wide receiver Kyle Riggott say the team is "ready to get back to playing football." The players say they wanted their voice heard about their support for interim coach Aaron Keen and for a "more robust communication channel" about the coaching situation.

Hoffner said in a statement he does not take the players' actions personally.

Hoffner returned to campus for the first time Wednesday since an arbitrator ruled he was fired unfairly last year in the wake of a child porn investigation that ultimately cleared him.

The team is scheduled to practice Friday afternoon.


Man charged in Minnesota deputy shooting

ADA, Minn. (AP) - Bond is set at $1.5 million for a 19-year-old man accused of shooting a sheriff's deputy in northwestern Minnesota.

Steven Henderson, formerly of Fertile, is charged with attempted murder. KFGO-AM reports Henderson made his first court appearance Thursday.

Court documents say Henderson fired as many as 10 rounds from a .45-caliber pistol as Norman County Deputy Nathan Warner arrested Henderson's 18-year-old brother on a warrant during a traffic stop Tuesday near Perley.

William Henderson told investigators he was in the squad car's back seat when he heard shots and saw the deputy go down.

Warner was hit twice but was wearing a bullet-resistant vest and managed to return about the same number of shots. Steven Henderson fled in the pickup but was later arrested. He remains in jail.


Protesters demonstrate at Rice U of Minn. speech

MINNEAPOLIS (AP) - Protesters showed up at the University of Minnesota to demonstrate against a speech by former Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice.

About 100 protesters gathered outside Northrop Auditorium Thursday as Rice prepared to speak to a packed house. The Star Tribune reports some carried signs with slogans such as "War criminals off campus."

Rice was invited to talk about the civil rights movement as part of the Distinguished Carlson Lecture Series, sponsored by the Humphrey School of Public Affairs.

But her appearance triggered a debate about free speech after a student group started a campaign to get her speaking invitation revoked. Students for a Democratic Society and several faculty members objected to Rice's involvement in the wartime policies of President George W. Bush.

A university spokesman says there were no arrests.


Couple accused of welfare fraud back in Minnesota

MINNEAPOLIS (AP) - A Minnesota couple accused of collecting welfare while living on a yacht now claim they have no money.

Sixty-two-year-old Colin Chisholm the Third and his 54-year-old wife, Andrea, made their first appearance in Hennepin County Thursday.

Prosecutors sought to increase bail for the couple to $300,000 each. But a defense attorney says neither Chisholm will be able to afford bail and will remain in jail.

The Star Tribune reports the couple agreed to waive extradition if they leave Minnesota and to turn over their passports.

The Chisholms were charged in March with making $167,420 in fraudulent medical and food-stamp claims in Florida and Minnesota. The couple was deported from the Bahamas on March 31 and arrested when they landed near Fort Lauderdale, Florida.

Another bail hearing will be held Friday.


Man alleges excessive force by Roseville police

ROSEVILLE, Minn. (AP) - A Minneapolis man is suing Roseville police saying officers used excessive force during his arrest even though he was complying with their orders.

Victor Hernandez-Rivera of Minneapolis wants at least $500,000 in damages and says he was slammed to the ground, handcuffed and shocked with a stun gun even though he wasn't resisting arrest.

Hernandez-Rivera was a passenger in a car that was stopped for speeding last May on Highway 36 in Roseville. The driver of the car fled on foot.

The St. Paul Pioneer Press says Hernandez-Rivera was later charged with obstruction and fleeing, charges that were later dismissed. Roseville police say they take such allegations seriously and have opened an internal affairs investigation.


'Project Exile' heroin sweep arrests more than 65

MINNEAPOLIS (AP) - Federal authorities say they've arrested more than 65 suspected sellers of heroin in Minnesota as part of a crackdown on a drug that's become epidemic in the state.

The arrests, dubbed Project Exile, were made in several metro counties plus Olmsted and St. Louis counties.

Minnesota health officials earlier this year said nearly 300 people have died in heroin-related deaths in the past 15 years. But they also reported a big jump recently, with one-third of the deaths last year alone.


Duluth police believe body is missing woman's

DULUTH, Minn. (AP) - Duluth police believe a body found this week is likely that of a 74-year-old woman who had been missing since last summer.

A passer-by found the body Tuesday in the Lincoln Park neighborhood long a fence and brush line.

Police believe the body is that of Dale Elizabeth Gerard. Family members say Gerard was last seen getting off a bus on July 20th, 2013.

WDIO-TV reports police say it may take several days to confirm the identity. And it may take the St. Louis County medical examiner's office several weeks to determine the cause and manner of death.

The St. Louis County Rescue Squad, family members and volunteers conducted several searches for Gerard in the area last summer but found no clues.


Woman sentenced for bomb threats

MINNEAPOLIS (AP) - A federal judge has sentenced a woman to 5 ½ years in prison for mailing letters threatening to bomb seven post offices in the Twin Cities.

U.S. District Judge Susan Nelson on Thursday sentenced 43-year-old Christina Reineke on one count of mailing threatening communications.

Reineke pleaded guilty in November. In her plea agreement, she admitted sending the letters.

In 2010, Reineke was sentenced to 4 1/2 years in prison for threatening to bomb post offices in southern Minnesota.


Ex-investment adviser admits to fraud scheme

MINNEAPOLIS (AP) - A 47-year-old investment adviser from northeastern Minnesota has pleaded guilty in federal court to defrauding 13 investors of nearly $6 million.

Michael Drilling of Grand Marais pleaded guilty Thursday to one count of securities fraud.

In his plea agreement, Drilling admitted to creating a scheme to defraud his investment advisory clients. Prosecutors say through his company, Financial Advisory Partners LLC, Drilling defrauded several of his clients by stealing over $5.6 million of their investment funds.

Defense attorney Allan Caplan says Drilling, formerly of Prior Lake, spent the money on himself and lost it in investments and at casinos.

Assistant U.S. Attorney Timothy Rank tells the Star Tribune some of Drilling's victims lost their life savings.

A sentencing date has not been set.

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