Northern Minnesota sheriff’s deputy placed on leave after being accused of ‘shooting up’ cabin
By Becky Jacobs Today at 12:22 a.m.
ROSEAU, Minn.–A Roseau County deputy sheriff has been accused of “shooting up” a hunting cabin and burning the gun.
Joshua McGurran Olson of Roseau was charged in district court with first-degree damage to property, a felony, and falsely reporting crime, a misdemeanor.
The Minnesota Bureau of Criminal Apprehension began investigating the 34-year-old on March 2 after a man reported his hunting cabin in rural Roseau County had been damaged when someone fired numerous .223 caliber rounds into it, according to a complaint.
The cabin owner told law enforcement he suspected Olson did it because they previously had a disagreement about “Olson’s hunting party trespassing on his property” last fall.
Olson was questioned and “eventually admitted shooting up” the man’s cabin and destroying the firearm by placing it in an outdoor woodstove, according to the complaint. He turned over charred fragments and the barrel of the gun to law enforcement.
The cost to repair the cabin is $2,960, and the firearm replacement cost is between $600 and $800.
Olson also made a false claim to Roseau law enforcement that one of his personal firearms, a Winchester Rifle with a Swarovski Scope, had been stolen from his home, but he later recanted the claim and said he found the rifle, according to the complaint.
Olson faces a maximum sentence of five years in prison and a $10,000 fine on the felony and 90 days in jail and a $1,000 fine on the misdemeanor. He has been placed on administrative leave, according to Roseau County Sheriff Steve Gust.
Marshall County Attorney Donald Aandal said he is handling the prosecution of the case to prevent a conflict of interest.
Olson’s first court appearance is 11 a.m. June 9 in Thief River Falls.
Thanks To Venezuelan Socialism, A Burger Costs $170
Matt Vespa Matt Vespa |Posted: May 23, 2016 1:40 PM
How bad is inflation in Venezuela? The country’s disastrous dalliance with lefty-economic theories has not only led to hospitals lacking basic medical supplies, like soap, food, and electricity, but burgers that now cost $170.
Need a place to stay in Venezuela (though I don’t know why you would visit in the first place)? No problem—it’ll only cost you $6,900 a night (via AFP):
If a visitor to Venezuela is unfortunate enough to pay for anything with a foreign credit card, the eye-watering cost might suggest they were in a city pricier than Tokyo or Zurich.
A hamburger sold for 1,700 Venezuelan bolivares is $170, or a 69,000-bolivar hotel room is $6,900 a night, based on the official rate of 10 bolivares for $1.
But of course no merchant is pricing at the official rate imposed under currency controls. It’s the black market rate of 1,000 bolivares per dollar that’s applied.
But for Venezuelans paid in hyperinflation-hit bolivares, and living in an economy relying on mostly imported goods or raw materials, conditions are unthinkably expensive.
Even for the middle class, most of it sliding into poverty, hamburgers and hotels are out-of-reach excesses.
“Everybody is knocked low,” Michael Leal, a 34-year-old manager of an eyewear store in Caracas, told AFP. “We can’t breathe.”
– Shuttered stores –
In Chacao, a middle-class neighborhood in the capital, office workers lined up outside a nut store to buy the cheapest lunch they could afford. Nearby restaurants were all but empty.
Superficially it looked like the center of any other major Latin American city: skyscrapers, dense traffic, pedestrians in short sleeves bustling along the sidewalks.
But look closely and you can see the economic malaise. Many stores, particularly those that sold electronics, were shuttered.
“It’s horrible now,” said Marta Gonzalez, the 69-year-old manager of a corner beauty products store.
The Agence French-Presse added that for most middle class families, a simple trip to the movie theater is now a luxury item that’s not affordable, as some are trying to live on $35/month.
Because Governor Goofy cannot think of enough ways to uselessly piss away our tax dollars other than reward cop hating musicians.
Minnesota Gov. Declares Official ‘Beyoncé Day’ Monday
May. 24, 2016 12:41pm Kaitlyn Schallhorn
The queen officially has her day.
In a move securing him as the most flawless governor among all those in the Beyhive, Minnesota Gov. Mark Dayton (D) officially decreed Monday, May 23, as “Beyoncé Day” in the Gopher State.
“Beyoncé has influenced many Minnesota girls and women with the powerful, positive messages in her music, and her impact and success has been widely-recognized,” a press release from Dayton’s office stated.
Minnesota Lt. Gov. Tina Smith (D) also signed the proclamation.
The declaration of “Beyoncé Day” came as the award-winning performer continued her Formation World Tour in Minneapolis Monday night. Her show drew thousands of fans to TCF Bank Stadium, despite stormy weather and a temporary evacuation due to lightening.
Top TSA Official Removed Amid Scrutiny Over Extremely Long Lines at Airports
May. 23, 2016 8:35pm Associated Press
WASHINGTON (AP) — A House committee said Monday that the head of security operations at the Transportation Security Administration has been replaced.
“Kelly Hoggan has been removed from his position as head of security at TSA,” the House Committee on Oversight and Government Reform posted on Twitter.
Meanwhile, The Associated Press obtained a memo sent from TSA Administrator Peter Neffenger that does not mention Hoggan but names an acting replacement.
“Darby LaJoye will serve as the Acting Assistant Administrator of the Office of Security Operations,” Neffenger wrote in the memo addressed to TSA senior leaders. “Darby LaJoye is an experienced Federal Security Director with successful leadership tours at two of the nation’s largest airports, Los Angeles International Airport in California and John F. Kennedy International Airport in New York.”
The oversight committee said Hoggan received more than $90,000 in bonuses over a period from late 2013 to late 2014.
About a year later, a report from the Homeland Security Inspector General’s office revealed that agency employees failed to find explosives, weapons and other dangerous items in more than 95 percent of covert tests at multiple U.S. airports.
That report and allegations of other mismanagement within TSA have drawn congressional scrutiny and promoted multiple hearings on Capitol Hill.
Hoggan’s ouster also comes amid growing concerns of massive security lines at airports this summer. The long lines have been blamed in part on more travelers during the busy summer travel season and a shortage of screening officers manning checkpoints.
Neffenger has also attributed some security line woes to fewer people than anticipated applying for the government’s PreCheck program, which allows passengers to move through security faster after submitting to a background check.
In recent weeks there have been reports of thousands of people missing flights because of the lengthy wait times. Problems have been reported in Chicago and Neffenger last week was in the city meeting with local officials to discuss the problems.
In his memo Wednesday, Neffenger said, “At Chicago O’Hare International Airport, a new leadership team is now overseeing screening operations.”
He said that and other adjustments, including the LaJoye appointment, “will enable more focused leadership and screening operations at critical airports in the national transportation system.”
The TSA did not say where Hoggan has been reassigned.
Dying Vietnam vet asks for final meeting with beloved horses outside hospital
Published May 23, 2016 FoxNews.com
Gonzalez, of Premont, Texas, who was shot and paralyzed during the war, was wheeled outside the front doors of Audie Murphy Veterans Hospital in San Antonio where he was greeted by the horses he had raised for decades, mySA.com reported.
Gonzalez, who was one of the hospital’s first patients when it opened in 1974, had asked his family to see his horses one last time. The family passed along the request to hospital staff who gladly obliged. Ringo and Sugar then made the 150-mile trip to the hospital to see him.
“Horses are his life,” his wife, Rosario Gonzalez, told KABB. “We’ve been training and raising horses for 30, 40 years.”
The South Texas Veterans Health Care System posted a photo of the meeting on its Facebook page on Sunday, calling Gonzalez a great American and identifying him as one of the first patients at the hospital.
“A heartfelt Thank you, to all at Audie L. Murphy V A Hospital,” Rosario Gonzalez posted in response. “A special thank you to the spinal cord staff, all of you became a part of our family.
“The care you have been giving my husband and to me goes above and beyond,” she wrote. “You are our angels God Bless you all.”
Gonzalez reportedly learned that his kidneys and liver were failing when he recently visited the hospital for a back wound.
“He never let his injuries slow him down. He loved horses, he loved cattle, he loved ranching and farming. He was proud to serve his country,” Rosario Gonzalez told ABC affiliate KSAT.
Gonzalez’s May 21 visit with the horses came 46 years to the day after he was wounded in Vietnam. His wife told local media stations that her husband was one of the only licensed, handicapped horse trainers in Texas.
“When the horse came up to him he actually opened his eyes. They came up to him and I think they were actually kissing him,” Gonzalez told News4SA.com.
Forest Service quashes Burntside Lake evacuation rumors
By John Myers Today at 2:44 p.m.
Crews and aircraft continued to battle the Foss Lake wildfire west of Ely today and also attended to a separate, small fire on an undeveloped island on Burntside Lake.
Superior National Forest officials have said the 1,000-acre Foss Lake fire — the biggest wildfire in Minnesota so far this year — is more than 30 percent contained and has not grown much since Friday, but that high winds in recent days have caused some flare-ups.
The separate fire on an island on nearby Burntside Lake, a popular lake with many structures along its shores, apparently caused some concerns and a rumor that the lake was being evacuated.
Forest officials took the unusual step of issuing a news release this afternoon to quash the rumors, saying the island fire was quickly doused and that no evacuations have occurred and no structures were threatened.
Two U.S. Forest Service initial attack crews, a Forest Service Beaver aircraft and Morse/Fall Lake Volunteer Fire Department firefighters responded to the fire on a small island near the Little Long Lake portage on the east arm of Burntside Lake.
Aircraft have been sent to other areas since the island fire was slowed although firefighters remain on scene, working to ensure the fire is contained.
“We think that little island fire was a campfire left from Saturday that got going again,” said Becca Manlove, a spokeswoman for the Superior National Forest. “There are a few crews still on the island mopping up. But no one was ever evacuated”
The Foss lake fire, about 10 miles west of Ely, has prompted the closure of a small part of the BWCAW northwest of Burntside lake.
Baltimore Police Officer Found Not Guilty in Freddie Gray Death
By MARIAM KHAN
May 23, 2016, 12:24 PM ET
PHOTO: Officer Edward Nero, one of six Baltimore city police officers charged in connection to the death of Freddie Gray, arrives at a courthouse at the beginning of his trial, May 12, 2016, in Baltimore Md.Jose Luis Magana/AP Photo
A judge found Baltimore police officer Edward Nero not guilty today on all four misdemeanor charges for his role in the events leading up to the death of 25-year-old Freddie Gray.
Nero, 30, had been charged with second-degree assault, reckless endangerment and two counts of misconduct in office, all stemming from his actions during the stop and arrest of Gray, who suffered a catastrophic spinal injury while in police custody. Gray died one week later, on April 19, 2015, and his death sparked days of violent protests in Baltimore. Because Nero opted for a bench trial, Baltimore Circuit Court Judge Barry Williams decided his fate rather than a jury.
The court determined that prosecutors had failed to prove its case, including that Nero detained and handcuffed Gray, based on the testimony of fellow Baltimore police officer Garrett Miller, who said he acted alone in handling Gray. Miller, who is also facing charges in Gray’s death and has pleaded not guilty, was granted immunity in Nero’s trial, so his testimony will not affect his own upcoming trial. Moreover, the court said that Nero had “probable cause” to touch Gray and that any contact between the two men was “not unlawful and unwarranted.”
The Baltimore Police Department said in a press release after the verdict that “although the criminal case against Officer Edward Nero has come to a close, the internal investigation has not. With that, Officer Nero’s status will remain unchanged. He will remain in an administrative capacity while this investigation continues. The internal investigation is being handled by other police departments. The internal investigation will not be completed until all of the criminal cases against the other five officers are completed because they will likely be witnesses in each case.”
Nero’s lawyer, Marc Zayon, responded to the verdict in a statement. “Nero, his wife and family are elated that this nightmare is finally over. The State’s Attorney for Baltimore City rushed to charge him, as well as the other five officers, completely disregarding the facts of the case and the applicable law,” he said.
During the case, prosecutors argued that Nero had no regard for Gray’s safety and was reckless by ignoring policing rules when he failed to place a seat belt on Gray, who was placed on his stomach in shackles in the back of a police transport vehicle. However, the court found it reasonable to believe that the driver of the police transport van is also responsible for belting in a passenger. That driver, Officer Caesar R. Goodson Jr., faces the most serious charges, including second-degree depraved-heart murder. Goodson has pleaded not guilty.
Williams grilled prosecutors during closing arguments last Thursday, questioning whether a crime was in fact committed by Nero.
“So, every time there’s an arrest without probable justification, it is a crime?” Williams asked.
“We believe that the search and arrest without justification are assault, your honor,” Deputy State’s Attorney Janice Bledsoe responded. “There’s no question about that.”
Legal experts say the tone of Williams’ pointed questions during closing arguments gave an indication it would be an uphill battle for prosecutors to win their case against Nero.
The verdict comes more than a year after Gray’s death, which became a symbol of the black community’s distrust of police and triggered days of rioting and angry backlash from community members.
Zayon said that his client’s actions were completely legal and protected by the law and that the state’s case against Nero is “nonsensical.”
“I can’t believe I even have to argue this,” he said. “The detention is OK, the cuffing is OK, the moving is OK,” he said. “Being detained is a horrible thing, being cuffed is a horrible thing … but the law allows it.”
Public officials, including Cummings, called for peace and respect for the rule of law after the verdict.
“Whatever may be Judge Barry Williams’ decision with respect to Officer Nero’s role in the death of Freddie Gray, that verdict will have as much legitimacy as our society and our justice system can provide,” Cummings said last week. “We will respect the decision.”
Police: Woman steals, crashes UND police car
By Forum News Service on May 22, 2016 at 8:07 p.m.
A UND patrol car that was stolen and crashed near Crookston. Submitted Photo
CROOKSTON, Minn. — A woman here was injured after allegedly stealing a University of North Dakota police cruiser in Grand Forks and crashing in a ditch near the University of Minnesota campus in Crookston.
UND police were originally called to the Hamline Square Apartments in Grand Forks the morning of Sunday, May 22.
Authorities say they received disturbance calls of an intoxicated female wandering the area.
The woman reportedly crashed the police cruiser in a ditch off Highway 2 near the University of Minnesota-Crookston campus.
She was taken to a hospital with injuries.
The woman has not been identified by authorities but UND police say she was not a student of the college.