Minnesota deer harvest up 10 percent

ST. PAUL-Minnesota firearms hunters registered 145,054 deer through the second weekend of deer season as more corn was out of the fields, according to the Department of Natural Resources.

Preliminary results through the second weekend show that the number of deer registered was up 10 percent from 2016.

There were 70,724 deer taken during the first weekend and 74,330 this past weekend.

Of the deer harvested over the firearms season, 54 percent were bucks, compared to 63 percent in 2016.

The hot spot continued to be in northeastern Minnesota In Zone 1 where the harvest was up 25 percent. In Zone 2, which covers the majority of the state in the west and central counties and runs from Canada to Iowa, harvest was up 6 percent. In Zone 3 in southeastern Minnesota, the November harvest was down 12 percent.

"It appears as though deer harvest improved substantially since the first weekend," said Steve Merchant, wildlife populations and regulations manager. "Getting more corn out of the fields and a bit drier weather likely helped."

Based upon the number of antlerless permits available and the number of permit areas that allow multiple deer to be taken, the DNR is projecting the 2017 total deer harvest to be around 200,000. The 2016 total harvest was 173,213.

In much of Minnesota, the firearms deer season ended Nov. 12. Additional deer will be harvested during the northern rifle zone season, which continues through Sunday, Nov. 19; the late southeast season, which runs Saturday, Nov. 18, through Sunday, Nov. 26; and the muzzleloader season, which begins Saturday, Nov. 25, and continues through Sunday, Dec. 10. More information on deer management can be found at mndnr.gov/deer.

Fargo man who scammed Minn. welfare programs gets 14 years in prison

ST. PAUL --- A Fargo, N.D., man who scammed Minnesota welfare programs out of hundreds of thousands of dollars will spend the next decade in prison.

Elfonzo Dyrell Shelby was sentenced Tuesday in Ramsey County District Court to just over 14 years in prison for committing identity theft and theft by swindle, according to court records.

The 47-year-old used information he collected on phony surveys he sent out to inmates at a correctional facility in Mississippi to create actual and fake identities, authorities say.

He used the identities to scam the Minnesota Department of Human Services' general assistance and food stamp programs in Ramsey, Hennepin and Renville counties out of more than $300,000, according to legal documents.

Shelby pleaded guilty to the allegations in September.

Minn. police officer buys motel room for family of 7 planning to spend night in vehicle

COON RAPIDS, Minn.-In the name of "no good deed going unnoticed," an officer with the Coon Rapids, Minn. Police Department is being recognized by a fellow officer for going above and beyond the call of duty.

According to a post on the Coon Rapids Police Department Facebook page:

On Nov. 9, 2017, an officer with the Coon Rapids Police Department made a traffic stop. Inside the vehicle, the officer found a mother and father with five small children.

The family told the officer they were homeless and were planning to sleep in their car. Temperatures that night were going to be around 10 degrees above zero. The officer was afraid that the family, especially the children, might freeze if they slept in the car overnight.

The officer attempted to find emergency shelter for the family through normal channels, but had no luck securing it.

The officer then helped transport the family to a local motel where the officer paid for the room out of their own pocket.

The officer didn't want to be named or receive any recognition.

Officials release names in northwest Minn. murder-suicide shooting

MENAHGA, Minn.-Names have been released in the murder-suicide shooting that took place in Menahga in northwest Minnesota early Monday morning, Nov. 13.

Michael Callahan, 67 and Carl Albin, 82, both of Menahga, were identified as the two male individuals found dead from apparent gunshot wounds inside the home, according to the Wadena County Sheriff's Office press release.

The Menahga Police Department and the Wadena County Sheriff's Office responded to a 911 call shortly after midnight on Monday, where they, along with the Sebeka Police Department and the Minnesota State Patrol, found the two men.

The bodies were transported to the Midwest Medical Examiner's Office for autopsy, according to the press release.

The investigation is open and pending, with the Minnesota BCA also working on the case.

Northern Minn. man gets strict probation for sexually assaulting 5-year-old

WALKER, Minn.-A 19-year-old Pine River man, who admitted in Cass County District Court in Walker to sexually assaulting a 5-year-old girl, will be on supervised probation for the next 10 years.

William Pearl Schnoor was sentenced by Judge Jana Austad Monday for third-degree criminal sexual conduct with a victim under the age of 13 with an age difference greater than 36 months. Schnoor was sentenced to 57 months in prison, which is stayed for 10 years. A stayed sentence means if Schnoor violates the terms of his probation, he may have to serve the original prison sentence the judge imposed.

Schnoor pleaded guilty Sept. 15 to one of the six felony criminal sexual conduct counts he was charged with. He sexually assaulted a girl July 2, 2016, while staying at a relative's home in Pine River, court records stated. The girl told investigators Schnoor woke her up and sexually assaulted her.

During the sentencing, the other five counts were dismissed. There are 26 conditions Schnoor must follow. Conditions include attending a sex offender program and counseling in conjunction with sex offender treatment, cannot possess any pornographic/sexually explicit materials, cannot access or use the Internet without approval, cannot have any contact with personal under age 18, with females unless supervised by an adult who is pre-approved by probation or treatment, cannot contact the victim or her family and cannot possess any firearms or ammunition or use any alcohol or controlled substances.

As part of the sentencing, he also must pay a $1,325 fine.

Suspect charged in Mall of America knife attack; survivors have deep wounds

BLOOMINGTON, Minn.-Alexander Sanchez, 19, was trying on pants at Macy's in the Mall of America on Sunday. When he left the fitting room, a man confronted him with an 8-inch knife. Sanchez tried to push past him, but the man began cutting and slashing him, according to a complaint filed in Hennepin County District Court.

On Tuesday, 20-year-old Mahad Abdiaziz Abdiraham of Minneapolis was charged with two counts of first-degree assault in connection with an attack that left Sanchez and his brother wounded, according to the complaint said.

Sanchez had been shopping with eight family members around 6:30 Sunday evening. He tried on some pants and went to show them to his family. When he returned, he noticed Abdiraham standing outside the fitting room, "looking as if he thought about going inside," according to the complaint.

When Sanchez exited the dressing room with his things, Abdiraham took a knife to him, according to the complaint. His family heard him screaming and tried to help. Sanchez's brother John Sanchez, 25, was stabbed while trying to grab the knife from Abdiraham, the complaint said.

Eventually, the victims and witnesses subdued Abdiraham until police arrived. Officers found "a chaotic scene and a lot of blood," according to the complaint.

Alexander Sanchez suffered cuts across his face, head, and arms, some to the bone. He later required a blood transfusion and will most likely have permanent head scarring, medical personnel told authorities. John Sanchez's back required 42 stitches to repair, the complaint said. He has been released from the hospital, police said.

Abdiraham has been previously arrested for stabbing two staff members with a pen at an in-patient psychiatric unit, according to the complaint. He is in custody, and his first appearance will be Wednesday at 1:30 p.m.