SECRETARY OF STATE-NGUYEN
GOP's Nguyen drops secretary of state run
ST. PAUL, Minn. (AP) - Republican Dennis Nguyen (win) has ended his run for Minnesota secretary of state.
A post on Nguyen's Facebook page Monday cited commitments to two investment firms he chairs, as well as his desire to spend time with his four young children.
Nguyen's withdrawal comes just a few days after his campaign manager, Sen. Branden Peterson of Andover, confirmed to the alternative news weekly City Pages that Nguyen had visited strip clubs.
Peterson declined to address the topic Monday when asked by The Associated Press.
Democrat Mark Ritchie is not seeking a third term as secretary of state.
Teen missing after party dies
MADISON, Minn. (AP) - School officials say the teenager who died after he went missing following a party at a farm in Lac qui Parle (lak-kwah-PAR'-uhl) County was a well-liked, standout football player.
Dawson-Boyd Superintendent Brad Madsen says 18-year-old Michael Anyasike planned to attend St. John's University in the fall. Madsen says Anyasike was respectful to adults and always had a smile on his face.
Sheriff's deputies responded to an underage drinking party early Sunday at a farm near Madison. When deputies arrived, some of those at the party fled. Later Sunday, authorities searched the area after the teen was reported missing. He was found and taken to Madison Hospital where he was pronounced dead.
The Star Tribune reports counselors from other communities have joined those on staff at the high school Monday.
Homicide defendant's competency at issue
WAUSAU, Wis. (AP) - Attorneys are meeting to determine whether a Wisconsin man is mentally competent to stand trial on charges of fatally shooting and dismembering a Minnesota man.
Kou Thao has been examined three times by doctors from the Wisconsin Department of Health and Human Services at the request of defense attorneys. Marathon County Circuit Judge Mike Moran says there likely won't be a fourth exam because state law limits the amount of time the court can spend assessing a defendant's competency.
The Daily Herald Media says attorneys have not indicated why doctors have been unable to come to a conclusion about Thao's competency. Lawyers are meeting Monday to discuss the issue.
The 26-year-old Thao is accused of shooting and dismembering 58-year-old Tong Pao Hang and taking the body parts to Milwaukee last spring.
Shooting victim identified as former professor
PICKWICK, Minn. (AP) - A former Winona State University professor shot in his home in Winona County has died at a La Crosse, Wis., hospital.
Winona County Sheriff Dave Brand says 72-year-old Mickey Ellenbecker was apparently shot in the back of the head at his rural Pickwick home Saturday. The sheriff says one person has been detained in the shooting.
Brand says he knew Ellenbecker because the victim had worked as a probation officer in the 1970s. He says Ellenbecker lived in Winona before moving to Pickwick where he raised horses. Ellenbecker died Sunday at Gundersen Health System.
SYNTHETIC DRUG OVERDOSES
Texas man pleads guilty in synthetic drug deaths
FARGO, N.D. (AP) - A Texas man accused of distributing chemicals that ultimately resulted in the synthetic drug deaths of two teens in the Grand Forks, N.D., area has pleaded guilty.
Charles Carlton, of Katy, Texas, pleaded guilty Monday to three counts, including conspiracy to distribute controlled substances resulting in serious bodily injury and death. He faces life in prison.
Authorities say the chemicals sold by Carlton's company, Motion Resources LLC, were manufactured into hallucinogens and wound up in the hands of 18-year-old Christian Bjerk, of Grand Forks, and 17-year-old Elijah Stai, of Park Rapids, Minn. They died within a week of each other in June 2012.
The plea agreement calls for Carlton to forfeit $385,000 in drug proceeds.
Defense attorney Alexander Reichert declined comment after Monday's hearing.
Sentencing is scheduled for May 27.
MINNESOTA LEGISLATOR-NBA TWEET
Minnesota lawmaker apologizes for NBA tweet
ST. PAUL, Minn. (AP) - A Minnesota lawmaker is apologizing for his tweet about the NBA that was seen by some as racist.
Rep. Pat Garofalo, suggested in a tweet Sunday night that pro basketball players have criminal tendencies.
Garofalo's tweet said most NBA teams could fold and "nobody would notice a difference w /possible exception of increase in streetcrime."
Garofalo initially stuck by his words and said they were misinterpreted as racist. But late Monday morning, he put out a statement of apology.
Garofalo says the NBA has many examples of players and owners who are good role models.
Bill seeking more wolf study heads to committee
ST. PAUL, Minn. (AP) - Opponents of Minnesota's wolf hunt will take their case to state lawmakers this week.
The Senate Environment and Energy Committee takes up a bill Tuesday that would require the Department of Natural Resources to conduct an annual wolf census. The DNR would also have to sample public opinion on hunting wolves.
Wolf baiting would be banned within 10 miles of tribal lands and the DNR would have to produce a map that shows where wolves are a threat to livestock.
Howling for Wolves spokesman Maureen Hackett says the DNR needs to collect more data on wolf deaths and how the hunting season affects the overall population. Hackett says the hunt should be suspended until then.
GREAT LAKES-GRASS CARP
Study: Grass carp pose dangers for Great Lakes
TRAVERSE CITY, Mich. (AP) - A newly released scientific paper raises fresh concerns about the potential for grass carp to invade the Great Lakes and do significant damage.
The fight to prevent Asian carp from reaching the lakes has focused mostly on bighead and silver carp, which could unravel food chains because they gobble huge amounts of plankton.
Grass carp also come from Asia. They're used in many states to control aquatic weeds. But scientists say they wouldn't be good for the Great Lakes because they would eat plants needed for fish habitat.
The paper by researchers at the University of Notre Dame and other institutions says evidence shows grass carp could survive in all five Great Lakes. They say it appears some of the prolific fish are evading efforts to keep them from reproducing.
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