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those close to prince worried about his use of painkillers for years

days after prince's death from a fatal dose of fentanyl, his longtime friend and closest associate told police that he didn't know the musician was addicted to painkillers until a week before he died.but records made public this week after authorities closed the death investigation without criminal charges showed that several others close to the megastar worried about his use of painkillers for years, well before he had hip replacement surgery in 2010 and a brush with death in moline, ill., a week before his accidental overdose.federal, state and county law enforcement officers spent almost two years interviewing prince's associates, employees, family members and medical personnel while trying to trace the source of the fentanyl that killed him. they got nowhere. pieced together, however, their legwork reveals a superstar who thought his privacy would protect him but, in the end, kept help at bay.kirk johnson, prince's security and property manager, told law enforcement officers that he only learned that prince was addicted to opioids shortly before he died on april 21, 2016.josh welton, who played in prince's band and was his recording engineer, let detectives know that doing drugs wasn't "part of our core values.""we didn't like the drug ­environment. it's nothing that we were around," welton said. "that was something he prohibited." carver county prince, center, entered the clinic of dr. michael schulenberg's clinic on april 20, 2016. kirk john...





ramp closures begin monday for motorists on i-394, i-94

and so it begins.the quip that minnesota has just two seasons — winter and road construction — will take on more than a touch of reality starting monday when the minnesota department of transportation (mndot) closes some well-traveled freeway ramps.• the ramp: from eastbound interstate 394 to westbound i-94 and the ramp from northbound lyndale avenue s. to westbound i-94 will close at 12:01 a.m. monday. all are expected to be closed for about two months.the detours : from eastbound i-394 to westbound i-94, take northbound hwy. 100 before the i394/i-94 junction to eastbound hwy. 55, to northbound lyndale avenue, then to the westbound i-94 entrance ramp. access from eastbound i-394 to eastbound i-94 will remain open.from northbound lyndale to westbound i-94, continue north on lyndale and take the westbound i-94 entrance ramp just north of 7th street. access from lyndale to westbound i-394 will remain open.• pedestrian bridge: the irene hixon whitney bridge over i-94 between the minneapolis sculpture garden and loring park, will close monday, too, for about two months. pedestrians and bicyclists can cross lyndale at the oak grove street/vineland place intersection.• north on i-35: periodic lane closures and traffic shifts will affect both directions of i-35 between hwy. 8 and hwy. 97 starting monday for about a week, mndot said. all lanes will be open during peak travel times — between 5 and 8 a.m. on southbound i-35 and between 3 and 6 p.m. on northbound i-35.driver...





wcco bleeps dayton's retort on live radio to gop critics of his tax plan

gov. mark dayton won’t be given a good neighbor award from wcco radio for his live on-air word choice when he responded to gop criticism of his tax plan.the democratic governor spiced up the debate over his tax plan on friday during an interview with chad hartman, who pointed out that republicans are saying his revisions would raise taxes on most minnesotans.“it’s just bull — , or as teddy roosevelt used to say, bull feathers,” the governor said.a wcco staffer with quick reflexes was able to bleep out that last half of the vulgarity before it reached the listeners’ ears.





late-night fire strikes post office in downtown minneapolis

a small fire broke out late saturday in a downtown minneapolis post office, sending firefighters busting through the front door in search of the flames, authorities said sunday.the fire at the loring station post office, zip code 55403, was reported to the fire department about 11 p.m. saturday, said assistant chief bryan tyner.“nobody was in there when we got there,” tyner said.he said neither the smoke, the flames nor the water used to douse them in a back room caused much harm to the facility, and “none of the mail was damaged.”however, firefighters had to break down the public entrance in order to get inside the building on n. 12th street near the westbound entrance out of downtown onto interstate 394, tyner added.a message was left with a u.s. postal service official seeking information about whether the station will be open for business monday. paul walsh, star tribune a small fire broke out late saturday, april 21, 2018, in a downtown minneapolis post office. at this preliminary stage, tyner said, there is “nothing that i am aware of” about the fire that is suspicious in origin.





florida seeks extradition of minnesota grandma accused of killing two

investigators are seeking to extradite to florida the minnesota grandmother accused of killing her husband and then a florida woman whose identity she tried to assume, police said saturday.police in the south texas resort town in which lois ann riess was captured late thursday said she was arraigned early saturday in municipal court and is being held without bond in the cameron county jail to await a court hearing over her pending extradition to florida.the dodge county sheriff’s office in southern minnesota said friday that investigators from minnesota and florida traveled to texas to process a vehicle stolen from the florida victim. authorities from both states planned to interview riess about the two homicides.saturday’s announcement signaled for the first time where riess is likely to first face charges.south padre island police also reported recovering two pistols late friday from riess’ motel room. riess, 56, has been in custody since her arrest thursday night in south padre island, just north of mexico. she had been on the run since allegedly killing her husband, david riess, in their blooming prairie, minn., home last month. she is also accused of killing pamela hutchinson this month before stealing her driver’s license, credit cards and car.u.s. marshals arrested riess at a restaurant following a tip from a restaurant worker.





late-night highway crash near northern minnesota resort kills 2, injures 2 others

a single-vehicle crash near a northern minnesota resort killed two people and injured two others, authorities in becker county said.the wreck occurred about 1:50 a.m. friday along county hwy. 35, just west of ice cracking lodge, the sheriff's office said.philip edward warren, 56, of mahnomen, minn., and lorraine lynn warren, 55, of ponsford, minn., were pronounced dead at the scene, the sheriff's office added.hospitalized were 44-year-old cynthia ann jones, of mahnomen, and 32-year-old robert james warren, of ponsford. authorities have yet to disclose the severity of their injuries.the sheriff's office did not disclose which of the four was driving or what led to the vehicle leaving the road.





id'd: motorcyclist who hit car that pulled into his path in south metro and died

a motorist pulled her car into the path of a motorcycle in the south metro over the weekend, and the collision tossed the rider to his death, authorities said.the crash occurred about 4:40 p.m. saturday at an exit ramp for hwy. 52 in hampton, according to the state patrol.the dead motorcyclist was identified as 47-year-old william d. slattery, of mound, the patrol said. slattery did not have on a helmet, the patrol added.the car's driver 19-year-old caitlin m. christen, of faribault, minn., escaped injury. she had on her seat belt at the time, the patrol said.according to the patrol:the car came to a stop at the bottom of the exit ramp to hwy. 50. her view obstructed by another vehicle, the driver crept forward and attempted to cross the highway, and that's when the motorcyclist hit the car broadside.the rider was thrown from his motorcycle and killed. no information has been released on whether the car's driver was injured.





forum 'privileged' to host franken's first public appearance since he resigned

al franken has chosen a conference in europe whose sponsor is “excited and privileged” to offer the venue for his first public appearance since the u.s. senator from minnesota was forced to resign amid sexual harassment allegations.franken is a keynote speaker for the 2018 privacy xchange forum scheduled for may 1 in lisbon, portugal, more than 4,000 miles from the twin cities. the conference brings together some of the leading experts on cybersecurity in the world.adam levin, founder of cyberscout, the arizona-based identity protection company putting on the forum, said in a statement that “we face global threats and challenges we’ve never seen before. the issues of privacy, cyber security, and election security require strong leadership. al franken has been a long time firebrand on these issues before and since his resignation from the u.s. senate.”levin went on to say that “senator franken is a crucial voice on the topics of privacy and cybersecurity, and cyberscout is both excited and privileged to have him speak at the privacy xchange forum 2018.”in a news release issued by cyberscout, franken is quoted as saying, “recent scandals like the cambridge analytica breach and the russian interference in our 2016 election were shocking — but not surprising if you’ve been paying attention to tech companies’ failure to protect users, and the u.s. government’s failure to hold them accountable.”cyberscout did not disclose how much it was paying for franken...





motorcyclist hits car that pulled into his path in south metro and is killed

a motorist pulled her car into the path of a motorcycle in the south metro over the weekend, and the collision tossed the rider to his death, authorities said.the crash occurred about 4:40 p.m. saturday at an exit ramp for hwy. 52 in hampton, according to the state patrol.the dead motorcyclist was a 47-year-old man from mound, the patrol said. the car’s driver is a 19-year-old woman from faribault, minn. their identities are scheduled to be released sunday.according to the patrol:the car came to a stop at the bottom of the exit ramp to hwy. 50. her view obstructed by another vehicle, the driver crept forward and attempted to cross the highway, and that’s when the motorcyclist hit the car broadside.the rider was thrown from his motorcycle and killed. no information has been released on whether the car’s driver was injured.





franken to make first public appearance since forced resignation

al franken has chosen a conference in europe for his first public appearance since the u.s. senator from minnesota was forced to resign amid sexual harassment allegations.franken is a keynote speaker for the 2018 privacy xchange forum scheduled for may 1 in lisbon, portugal, more than 4,000 miles from the twin cities. the conference brings together some of the leading experts on cybersecurity in the world."franken became a leading voice for greater consumer protection in the u.s.," the conference agenda reads. "he will reflect on how weaknesses in american privacy and competition rules facilitated one of the greatest threats american democracy has ever faced."in a news release issued by cyberscout, the arizona-based identity protection company putting on the forum, franken is quoted as saying, "recent scandals like the cambridge analytica breach and the russian interference in our 2016 election were shocking — but not surprising if you've been paying attention to tech companies' failure to protect users, and the u.s. government's failure to hold them accountable."cyberscout did not disclose how much it was paying for franken to speak. the onetime television and movie actor and author of politically oriented books was charging anywhere from $50,000 to $100,000 as recently as 2014, when he was on the roster of all american speakers, a booking agency.franken left office in early january as women continued coming forward to say he inappropriately touched them sexually....





strong majority of minnesotans support stricter gun control

a majority of minnesotans support stricter gun laws in the united states, including wide backing for a ban on military-style rifles and for raising the age for gun purchases from 18 to 21, a new star tribune minnesota poll has found.an overwhelming 9 out of 10 minnesota voters also favor mandatory criminal background checks on all gun sales, the poll shows, including those sold privately and at gun shows. and minnesotans in every part of the state oppose the arming of schoolteachers, which some political leaders, including president donald trump, have suggested.beyond the consensus on those issues, however, the poll identified deep political and demographic divisions.support for tightening gun laws was strongest among women — 65 percent, compared to 46 percent among men — and among residents of hennepin and ramsey counties. seventy-four percent of them endorsed stricter laws, as did 51 percent of those who live in the other metro suburbs. across the rest of the state, fewer than half agreed.america’s long-running debate over guns has had renewed urgency since 17 people died in a feb. 14 shooting at a florida high school, setting off protests and nationwide demands for change.thousands of students across the country walked out of school again on friday to protest gun violence, urging congress and state legislatures to act. the walkouts also marked the passage of 19 years since the deaths of 13 people in a shooting at colorado’s columbine high school.the issue is partic...





jim hagedorn, dan feehan endorsed in first district

jim hagedorn won the republican endorsement for the first congressional district u.s. house seat on saturday, but state sen. carla nelson of rochester, his only rival, won't end her campaign.on the dfl side, political newcomer dan feehan won the endorsement. after he received 54 percent of votes on the first ballot — he needed 60 percent — his three top opponents made a motion that he be endorsed by acclamation.former state rep. vicki jensen of owatonna, joe sullivan of mankato and rich wright of rochester township conceded at the convention in le sueur, minn., and said that they will support feehan.a fifth dfl candidate, johnny akzam of kasson, had said that he would continue his campaign without the endorsement, but he has not campaigned widely and does not have a high profile.hagedorn and nelson will square off in the aug. 14 primary. the winner will compete with feehan to succeed u.s. rep. tim walz, a democrat who is running for governor. walz eked out a re-election win in 2016, when the district gave president donald trump a victory over hillary clinton, 53 to 38 percent.trump's trade policies, particularly his threatened tariffs against china, are a key issue in the heavily agricultural first district. china has said it would retaliate with tariffs on pork, corn and soybeans. trisha collopy, provided by feehan campaign dfl first district candidate dan feehan. the seat is on target lists of both national parties and is considered to be a tossup.hag...





florida seeks extradition of minnesota grandma accused of killing two

investigators are seeking to extradite to florida the minnesota grandmother accused of killing her husband and then a florida woman whose identity she tried to assume, police said saturday.police in the south texas resort town in which lois ann riess was captured late thursday said she was arraigned early saturday in municipal court and is being held without bond in the cameron county jail to await a court hearing over her pending extradition to florida.the dodge county sheriff's office in southern minnesota said friday that investigators from minnesota and florida traveled to texas to process a vehicle stolen from the florida victim. authorities from both states planned to interview riess about the two homicides.saturday's announcement signaled for the first time where riess is likely to first face charges.south padre island police also reported recovering two pistols late friday from riess' motel room. riess, 56, has been in custody since her arrest thursday night in south padre island, just north of mexico. she had been on the run since allegedly killing her husband, david riess, in their blooming prairie, minn., home last month. she is also accused of killing pamela hutchinson this month before stealing her driver's license, credit cards and car.u.s. marshals arrested riess at a restaurant following a tip from a restaurant worker.





motorcyclist killed in dakota county crash

a motorcycle rider was killed saturday in a crash with a sedan on county road 50 near hampton in southern dakota county, the state patrol reported.the crash occurred about 4:45 p.m. when the driver of an oldsmobile alero stopped at the bottom of an exit ramp on southbound hwy. 52 and pulled forward in an attempt to cross county road 50. the alero's driver had an obstructed view as he pulled onto the county road, according to the state patrol report. the motorcyclist, riding a harley davidson westbound on county road 50, broadsided the sedan and was thrown from his cycle, the patrol reported.no names of the drivers or further details have been released. road conditions were dry at the time, the patrol said.the dakota county sheriff's office is investigating.staff report





minnetonka group brings the gold(ens) home

nine golden retrievers completed a trek of more than 5,000 miles this weekend, from turkey to minnesota, in hopes of finding a new home.volunteers with retrieve a golden of the midwest (ragom) rescued the retrievers, which had been abandoned and living on the streets of istanbul, and held a meet-and-greet saturday with the dogs and their foster families.although it was ragom’s sixth rescue from turkey, board member marti jones said this group of goldens was extra special: each was named after a gold-winning u.s. olympic athlete.“we thought it was absolutely appropriate to honor those olympic champions with a golden namesake,” jones said.golden puppies are seen as novelties in turkey, but when they grow up they’re often abandoned and left to fend for themselves, she said. ragom rescues goldens from turkey twice a year, jones said.the rescue group, which has more than 450 volunteers, rescues golden retrievers and mixed breeds and finds homes for them. it has cared for nearly 9,000 goldens in its 32 years, officials say.an 11-member transportation team picked up the dogs saturday from chicago. the adoptees were to receive baths once they arrived at ragom’s headquarters in minnetonka and then will participate in a meet-and-greet with the foster families, which will care for them until they are adopted by people who pass an extensive application process. applicants are reviewed by a team of ragom volunteers and agree to a home visit before being matched with a dog.“it ...





chronic deficits dog minneapolis, st. paul schools

the ongoing ritual of springtime budget cuts is bringing a new round of frustration and anxiety to parents in the minneapolis and st. paul school districts.under pressure from parents, minneapolis school board members recently restored $6.4 million in cuts to middle schools and high schools — and sent district administrators scrambling to find budget fixes elsewhere.in st. paul, parents at the popular capitol hill gifted and talented magnet are enraged over district plans to cut that school’s budget while also reducing its enrollment — despite a healthy waiting list.after years of back-to-back budget cuts, the two urban school systems are nearing the end of another painful fiscal year, with minneapolis facing a $33 million budget shortfall and st. paul a $17 million gap.both are preparing to ask voters this fall for more money to escape chronic deficits. they say the state and federal governments haven’t done enough. they are supported in that argument by the association of metropolitan school districts, which says its members are looking at a combined gap of more than $100 million for the 2018-19 school year.but a star tribune review of audited financial statements for minneapolis and st. paul shows that the two main sources of school funding, state and federal aid and local property tax revenue, have risen steadily over the past five years, while enrollment in both districts has been flat or declined. even after the budget-balancing moves of recent years, district s...





minnetonka group brings the gold(ens) home

nine golden retrievers completed a trek of more than 5,000 miles this weekend, from turkey to minnesota, in hopes of finding a new home.volunteers with retrieve a golden of the midwest (ragom) rescued the retrievers, which had been abandoned and living on the streets of istanbul, and held a meet-and-greet saturday with the dogs and their foster families.although it was ragom's sixth rescue from turkey, board member marti jones said this group of goldens was extra special: each was named after a gold-winning u.s. olympic athlete."we thought it was absolutely appropriate to honor those olympic champions with a golden namesake," jones said.golden puppies are seen as novelties in turkey, but when they grow up they're often abandoned and left to fend for themselves, she said. ragom rescues goldens from turkey twice a year, jones said.the rescue group, which has more than 450 volunteers, rescues golden retrievers and mixed breeds and finds homes for them. it has cared for nearly 9,000 goldens in its 32 years, officials say.an 11-member transportation team picked up the dogs saturday from chicago. the adoptees were to receive baths once they arrived at ragom's headquarters in minnetonka and then will participate in a meet-and-greet with the foster families, which will care for them until they are adopted by people who pass an extensive application process. applicants are reviewed by a team of ragom volunteers and agree to a home visit before being matched with a dog."it has a ...





unfinished requiem: enigmatic prince leaves mystery in death

he cherished his privacy. he always kept us from seeing what he didn’t want us to see, what he didn’t want us to know, what he didn’t want us to hear.we didn’t know the name of his deceased newborn son. or about his movie script for then-teen heartthrobs new kids on the block, or even the excruciating hip pain that forced him to surgery.we never knew how much he was hurting or how dependent he’d become on painkillers.we certainly didn’t have a clue — and maybe he didn’t either — that trying to ease the pain would bring his demise.prince’s abiding desire to shield himself from the outside world in life may also have played a part in his death, keeping those who knew and cared for him the most from getting him the help he needed.but, as with so much else with prince rogers nelson, we’ll never know. star tribune file prince’s death left many questions that may never have answers. we lack full closure about the 57-year-old minneapolis music icon’s death on april 21, 2016, from an accidental opioid overdose even though carver county, state and federal authorities ended their investigation thursday with no criminal charges.now we’re left with so many questions that may never have answers:how and where did he score that counterfeit fatal fentanyl? why didn’t one of his associates stay with the obviously ill prince on the night before he was found dead? could the people who knew about prince’s drug issues have done more to help him? wh...





florida seeks extradition of minnesota grandma accused of killing two

investigators are seeking to extradite to florida the minnesota grandmother accused of killing her husband and a florida woman in an effort to steal her identity, police said saturday.police in the south texas resort town in which lois ann riess was captured late thursday said she was arraigned early saturday in municipal court and is being held without bond in the cameron county jail to await a court hearing over her pending extradition to florida.the dodge county sheriff’s office said friday that investigators from minnesota and florida traveled to texas to process the stolen vehicle. authorities from both states planned to interview riess about the two homicides.saturday’s announcement signaled for the first time where riess is likely to face charges first.south padre island police also reported recovering two pistols late friday from riess’ motel room. riess, 56, has been in custody since her late-thursday arrest in south padre island, just north of mexico. she had been on the run since allegedly killing her husband, david riess, in their blooming prairie home last month. she is also accused of killing pamela hutchinson earlier this month before stealing her driver’s license, credit cards and car.u.s. marshals arrested riess at a south padre island restaurant at 8:25 p.m. thursday following a tip from a restaurant worker.





man killed when fleeing suspect slams into his car in st. paul

after a long day of work at a st. paul barbershop, lashay whittaker headed home to his wife and two children late friday.he didn't make it.a domestic assault suspect fleeing police in a van came barreling down an alley in the frogtown neighborhood, striking whittaker's sedan broadside with such force that it was sheared in half.the 41-year-old family man from mounds view didn't survive."it was a freak accident. wrong place at the wrong time," said his father-in-law, thomas echoles. "he was just a sweetheart."authorities say whittaker was an innocent victim in a grim drama that began blocks away with a machete-wielding suspect who allegedly threatened a teenager before speeding off in a van. the victim, lashay whittaker, 41 ] facebook photo just before midnight friday, officers were called to the 800 block of blair avenue. a 911 caller reported that her boyfriend had tried to stab her 14-year-old son with a machete, then raced out the door with the weapon. he hopped into a white van and peeled down the alley with his lights off.the suspect nearly slammed into a responding squad car, said police spokesman steve linders. he did not stop when the officer activated his emergency lights. police lost sight of him. then they heard a thunderous boom.the suspect, later identified as shawn m. konder, 26, of st. paul, crashed just a few blocks away, slamming into whittaker's stopped vehicle in the 800 block of sherburne avenue. he fled on foot but was quickly detained and...