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Around the state: Minneapolis mayor defends leaving town after Australian shot

August 26, 2017
Minneapolis Mayor Betsy Hodges
Minneapolis Mayor Betsy Hodges

Police investigate death of infant in Redwood Falls

REDWOOD FALLS — Police in southwestern Minnesota are investigating the death of an infant.

Redwood police and an ambulance crew were dispatched Tuesday on a 911 call about an unresponsive infant.

First responders tried to revive the infant, but the child was pronounced dead at a hospital.

Authorities are withholding the child’s name until family members are notified.

The Minnesota Bureau of Criminal Apprehension and the Redwood Falls Police Department are investigating.

Couple sought in Virginia shooting arrested in Minnesota

FERGUS FALLS — A North Carolina couple charged in a shooting in Virginia that left a woman seriously injured has been arrested in Minnesota.

Virginia State Police said in a news release that Sean Castorina and Penny Dawson were arrested Thursday morning at a gas station in Fergus Falls, Minnesota.

Castorina and Dawson are charged with malicious wounding, use of a firearm and car theft. They are awaiting extradition to Virginia.

Authorities are still looking for Harold Dean Simpson, 84, of Burlington, North Carolina. Simpson’s family reported him missing on Aug. 19.

Police in Virginia found Simpson’s car in Nelson County on Monday. Authorities later got a call about a shooting at a Nelson County home. The victim is being treated at the hospital for serious injuries.

Minneapolis mayor defends leaving town after Australian shot

MINNEAPOLIS — Minneapolis’ mayor is defending her decision to attend a campaign fundraiser in California days after an Australian woman was shot to death by a Minneapolis police officer responding to her 911 call.

Mayor Betsy Hodges confirmed Wednesday in a Facebook post that she flew to Los Angeles for a fundraising event with LA Mayor Eric Garcetti on July 19, four days after Justine Damond was killed.

Hodges says she was traveling for 27 hours and spent most of that time dealing with the shooting’s aftermath. She says she considered canceling the trip but decided her “physical presence in Minneapolis was not required for this brief period.”

Damond had called police to report a possible sexual assault behind her home. She was shot as she approached the responding squad car.

Invasive plant found in Hubbard County lake

MINNEAPOLIS — An invasive aquatic plant known as Eurasian watermilfoil has been found in northern Minnesota’s Hubbard County for the first time.

The state Department of Natural Resources confirmed the plant in Bad Axe Lake near Emmaville. Officials say it was found around the resort access to the lake and doesn’t appear to be widespread.

The plant can interfere with recreation by forming mats on the water surface, and it can displace native plants and alter aquatic ecosystems. It can be treated with herbicides but is difficult to eradicate.

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