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Duluth police say man killed four relatives before killing himself

Plus: man connected to child nutrition investigation arrested by FBI at MSP airport; COVID infections once again above high-risk threshold in Minnesota; Wolves blow huge lead, lose game 3 to Grizzlies; and more.

police tape

The AP and the Forum News Service report: “A 29-year-old man killed his aunt and uncle, two young cousins and their dog while they slept, then later killed himself at their Duluth home after posting on Facebook that he had made ‘the absolutely horrid choice’ to do so, police said Thursday. Duluth Police Chief Mike Tusken said at a news conference that Brandon Taylor Cole-Skogstad killed his relatives in their beds sometime Tuesday night, then shot himself as police knocked on the door around 12:30 p.m. Wednesday. Cole-Skogstad made his Facebook post about an hour earlier, saying he had ‘suffered many years of mental illness’ but that he ‘almost never sought out help because I felt I never deserved it.’”

A Star Tribune story by Jeff Meitrodt says, “FBI agents arrested a man connected to the sprawling federal investigation of the child nutrition program Wednesday, taking him into custody as he attempted to board a flight to Amsterdam at Minneapolis-St. Paul International Airport. Federal prosecutors charged Isanti resident Mohamed Jama Ismail, 49, with knowingly making a false statement when he applied for a new passport in March after authorities seized his passport during a January raid of his house. …Ismail used the new passport when he checked in for his flight, the complaint said.”

In the Minneapolis/St.Paul Business Journal Ethan Nelson says, “Advocacy groups spent more than $72 million lobbying Minnesota’s government last year, a jump of around $5 million from 2020 and a figure that signals a return to normal for groups looking to influence elected officials. The $68 million that organizations spent on lobbying in 2020 was the lowest the state had seen since 2012. Jeff Sigurdson, executive director of the Minnesota Campaign Finance Board, said that’s a result of the pandemic relegating formerly in-person, often ad-hoc meetings to more formal Zoom calls.”

Says the Star Tribune’s Jeremy Olson, “Coronavirus infections have risen back above Minnesota’s high-risk threshold, but health officials hope immunity levels will limit the number of cases that result in hospitalization or death. Minnesota for the first time in two months has identified more than 1,000 infections in a day, despite the rising popularity of at-home rapid antigen COVID-19 tests that aren’t included in state tallies. … Even with the increase, Minnesota’s case rate remains far below the peak of 246 per 100,000 residents in the week ending Jan. 11.”

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Mara H. Gottfried reports in the Pioneer Press: “The St. Paul city council named an additional 35 people Thursday to an examining committee to help select the next police chief. They will join the previously-appointed co-chairs, Sasha Cotton and Kathy Lantry. …The committee will review applications, conduct interviews, lead community engagement and recommend five candidates to Mayor Melvin Carter. Carter will appoint a police chief for a six-year term. The committee is expected to meet once a week beginning in late May or early June.”

This from John Myers and the Forum News Service, “It’s long been assumed that wolves will prey upon the easiest meals out there, including the sick, the very young and the old among the deer or moose they live with. Now, a new study by Isle Royale researchers from Michigan Technological University has documented that assumption as fact, and found that wolves play a key role in keeping moose populations healthy on the big Lake Superior island. Wolves on the island showed a strong preference for elderly moose over prime-age moose, with wolves selecting their targets based on the age of the moose and whether it suffered from osteoarthritis, a chronic disease that can be influenced by genetics and injuries.”

FOX 9’s Leah Beno reports: “As a fourth-year physics major with a math minor, 13-year-old Elliott Tanner is on the verge of graduating yet remains one of the youngest students at the University of Minnesota. … Elliott says he wants to be a high-energy theoretical physicist and ultimately a professor of physics at the University of Minnesota. His mom, Michelle Tanner, says he started reading and doing math by age 3. A few years of homeschooling, and he tore through the high school curriculum when he was ages 7 and 8, and started college at 9-years-old.”

ESPN’s Kevin Arnowitz reports: “In one of the most dramatic comebacks in NBA playoffs history, the Memphis Grizzlies clawed their way out of a 26-point hole on Thursday night to defeat the Minnesota Timberwolves 104-95. Improbably, the Grizzlies now lead the best-of-seven first-round series 2-1.”

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