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Aug. 17 Live: Dismembering killing charges, Gazelka on Carnahan, large wildfire grows

All of Minnesota's top stories in one place.

Third person charged in St. Paul man's killing, dismembering

A third person has been arrested and charged in the killing of a St. Paul man whose remains were dismembered and dumped in Lake Superior. 

Jacob Colt Johnson, 35, of Superior, Wisconsin, is charged with second-degree intentional murder in connection to the death of Richard Balsimo, 34, of St. Paul.

Jacob Colt Johnson

Balsimo was reported missing on June 20. His body was found, dismembered and placed in 5-gallon buckets in Lake Superior near Grand Portage on July 15 and 16

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Gazelka won't be drawn on Carnahan resignation calls in wake of strategist's child sex trafficking arrest

While the Minnesota GOP has been roiled by controversy over the past week, with chairwoman Jennifer Carnahan the subject of calls to resign, there has been mostly silence from the state's top elected Republicans.

Breaking his silence on Monday was Senate Majority Leader Paul Gazelka, issued a brief post on Twitter in which he stated any decisions on Carnahan's future should be left to the relevant party authorities.

"There are allegations that have come to light regarding the leadership at the state party. I fully trust the executive board and state central delegates to find a path forward for our party. It’s very important that we look at all of the facts before we make any decisions," he tweeted, before issuing an addendum a few hours later that backed Lazzaro's arrest, and decried sex trafficking.

Here is Minnesota's COVID-19 update for Tuesday, August 17

Hospitalizations continue to increase. More than 430 people with COVID-19 are admitted to hospitals in Minnesota, according to health department data. 

An additional 15,500+ people received their first dose of the vaccine over the weekend, though Tuesday's report includes Saturday-Monday totals of more than 3,000 new cases from more than 56,000 tests. 

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Latest reports on Timberwolves' alleged 'persistent' pursuit of Ben Simmons

"Minnesota is one team that has been persistent with Philadelphia, but they really need to have a third and even four teams in those kinds of deals to get Philly what they really want," said ESPN's Adrian Wojnarowski on Get Up Tuesday morning.

Wojnarowksi's report echoes what The Athletic's Jon Krawczynski said on the Talk North podcast on Monday, noting that Minnesota's roster doesn't currently have enough assets to land Simmons without adding a third team with a star player into the discussion.

"It does seem that, at least right now, the market is pretty dry for Ben Simmons," said Krawczynski. "The Timberwolves continue to have conversations with the Sixers. They need to find a third team to get a player Philly really wants to get to kind of really facilitate a trade and make it realistic, and that's why it's unlikely and that's why it's going to be really hard, especially before the season."

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Wolves trade with Grizzlies for Patrick Beverley

After doing literally nothing since NBA free agency opened, the Timberwolves moved the needle a little bit on Tuesday by trading for All-NBA-caliber defensive guard Patrick Beverley.

According to ESPN's Adrian Wojnarowski, the Timberwolves are sending 2019 first-round pick (No. 6 overall) Jarrett Culver and forward Juancho Hernangomez to the Grizzlies for Beverly.

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Greenwood wildfire doubles in size to 2,000 acres; 75 homes evacuated

The Greenwood Fire in northeastern Minnesota has grown to more than 2,000 acres and has forced highways to close and the evacuation of about 75 homes and cabins.

Monday afternoon, the fire was estimated at 1,000 acres and by Monday night, it was estimated at being 2,000 acres in size, the U.S. Forest Service said Monday evening.

Greenwood Fire, wildfire

"Fire behavior was observed to be extreme with torching and long-range spotting," the U.S. Forest Service said. Long-range spotting means there 'large glowing firebrands are carried high into the convection column and then fall out downwind beyond the main fire starting new fires," according to the National Wildfire Coordinating Group.

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Diver who helped after I-35W bridge collapse returns medals in protest of Line 3 pipeline

A Navy Diver who helped recover victims of the Interstate 35W bridge collapse in Minneapolis 14 years ago has returned the honors he received in protest of Enbridge's Line 3 pipeline.

John Miller, who lived in Minnesota for 29 years and now lives in Maui, Hawaii, returned the medals during an event Monday alongside the Red Lake Treaty Camp representing the Red Lake Nation. The event was held near the Stone Arch Bridge in Minneapolis.

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john miller

Miller's unit led the charge in retrieving the bodies of people missing after the bridge collapsed on Aug. 1, 2007, in what became known as the "sacred mission." He was awarded the Joint Service Commendation Medal by the Secretary of Defense, and from Minnesota Gov. Tim Pawlenty he received the Minnesota Commendation Ribbon with Pendant and a Certificate of Commendation.

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Abigail Anderson, sister of late Gophers track star Gabe Grunewald, dies after being run over twice by same driver

A woman killed in Falcon Heights after being struck twice by the same driver Saturday evening has been identified as Abigail Anderson, sister of the late Gophers and Team USA track star Gabe Grunewald.

Anderson, 29, was walking near the University of Minnesota's Elizabeth Lyle Robbie soccer stadium in Falcon Heights when a truck crash into a parked car, sending both vehicles into her and through a chain-link fence.

She was then struck again by the truck when the driver made a U-turn, running over her again as they turned back onto Cleveland Avenue..

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Three teens arrested in Woodbury in connection with wave of vehicle thefts

Police in Woodbury say they arrested three teenagers over the weekend in connection with a recent vehicle theft spree in the city.

The arrests were made Saturday after police were called to attempted thefts of vehicles from garages on the 9100 block of Heritage Way and the 4800 block of Ashton Curve. The thieves fled when confronted in a white Audi sedan, a stolen vehicle that police say has been linked to several other incidents in the Twin Cities.

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The vehicle was found a short time later, with the teens fleeing again before striking a road sign and crashing off the road at Radio Drive and Seasons Parkway.

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Award-winning investigative reporter from Arizona is joining FOX 9

An award-winning reporter from the southwest will soon call Minnesota home.

Nathan O'Neal tweeted Monday he is joining FOX 9 as an investigative reporter, writing: "So excited for this next adventure!"

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Next Up

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North High principal Mauri Friestleben returning to finish year

The principal said Friday she had been fired from her role over her support of a student protest.


One dead, two injured in wrong-way crash on Hwy. 169

The crash occurred on Highway 169 early Sunday morning.

minneapolis police

Man fatally shot overnight in north Minneapolis

The shooting was reported around 2:20 a.m.

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Campsites closed at Voyageurs National Park due to 'historic' water levels

All backcountry trails and campsites are closed, as well as many frontcountry sites.

state capitol Minnesota

Lawmakers reach agreement on tax cuts ahead of session's end

Lawmakers announced they had reached a deal on a tax bill Saturday ahead of the looming session deadline.


Victims of daytime drive-by shooting in Robbinsdale identified

The two men died after a hail of bullets struck a vehicle.

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Source of 'loud explosion' in Brooklyn Park a mystery

The noise was investigated by police, but no source could be determined.

covid, vaccine, booster shots

COVID: All Americans over 50 advised to get a second booster

Cases, hospitalizations and deaths are on the rise again as new COVID variants emerge.

J.W. Peck (left) and Eric Galler.

2 Minnesotans inducted into White Castle's Hall of Fame

White Castle — it's what a man in Minneapolis and another in Woodbury, crave.

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Video shows officers ended pursuit before fatal crash in Anoka

The crash occurred when the driver fled police during an attempted traffic stop in Coon Rapids.

Eli Hart

6-year-old Eli Hart identified as boy found dead in car trunk

The kindergartner's father was trying to get full custody of his son.


Boy found dead in trunk of car in Mound was kindergartner

"It is horrifying and difficult to process a tragedy of this magnitude, especially in our close-knit community," the superintendent wrote.


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Aug. 20 Live: Today's top Minnesota stories

All of the top stories in Minnesota in one place.

State Fair crowd

August 18 Live: All of today's top Minnesota stories in 1 place

All of today's top Minnesota stories in one place.

Greenwood Fire, wildfire

Live: Wildfire intensifies, sister of ex-track star fatally run over, Carnahan update

Get the latest on all of the top Minnesota stories in one place.

covid, schools

August 19 Live: Today's top Minnesota stories

Get the brief version of the biggest stories in Minnesota, all in one place.

Paul Gazelka

Gazelka won't be drawn on Carnahan calls in wake of strategist's trafficking arrest

Meanwhile, Carnahan has challenged the GOP executive board to call a confidence vote.

Jennifer Carnahan

More GOP sex harassment allegations emerge, Carnahan says victims are out to get her

The Minnesota GOP chairwoman spoke to two radio stations on Tuesday.

Jennifer Carnahan

Jennifer Carnahan speaks out, says she's victim of 'coup' within the GOP

She says that she's victim of "smears" after one of her close confidants, Anton Lazzaro, was indicted for child sex trafficking.