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Pat Pheifer

Reporter | Metro
phone: 612-673-7252
Pat Pheifer covers the Twin Cities metro area.
Recent content from Pat Pheifer
Cambridge-Isanti schools were closed Wednesday and all after-school activities and events were canceled as authorities and district officials investig

Threat that closed Cambridge-Isanti schools was false alarm

The district said decision was made out of abundance of caution.

Man hit by car in Uptown Minneapolis has 'very significant injuries'

The driver of the car, trying to turn onto Lagoon from James Avenue S., is cooperating with police.
Students were evacuated from Patrick Henry High School after a gunman was reported getting off a Metro Transit bus near the school Tuesday.

Patrick Henry High was locked down after report of gunman inside

A person with a gun was seen stepping off a city bus nearby.The suspect was seen on surveillance video leaving the school and remained at large. No one was arrested.

Woman who died in St. Cloud fire is ID'd

Authorities said the fire was started by a cigarette.
St. Anthony Police Chief Jon Mangseth, shown at a City Council meeting in 2017.

Feds' work with St. Anthony police will continue, but differently

Federal help, which was prompted by a fatal 2016 shooting, will run through August.
Orono Police Chief Correy Farniok said a student was arrested at the high school Wednesday after a threat of gun violence that came from the school. A

Student arrested in Orono schools threat that prompted lockdown

An online threat had students barricaded in their classrooms for hours, with desks and chairs blocking the doors.

Fareway chicken salad may be contaminated with salmonella

The U.S. Department of Agriculture has warned people who bought deli chicken salad at any of the six Fareway Foods grocery stores in southern Minnesota…
Scott Spoo

Victim's attorney decries lack of charges against driver in fatal St. Paul crash

Lawyer for driver, who has been found to have brain cancer, has sharp response.
Wild Onion exterior

St. Paul's Wild Onion closing; space to become a Red Rabbit restaurant

The timing was right as Italian-themed restaurant sought a second location.
Sen. Amy Klobuchar addresses the public about the flu during a news conference at Fairview Southdale Hospital on Sunday, Feb. 11, 2018 in Edina. Klobu

Klobuchar seeks more resources to fight flu amid deadly outbreak

So far in Minnesota this flu season, more than 3,800 influenza-related hospitalizations have been reported, and the season is only half over, Klobuchar said. For the entire previous flu season, the total was 3,700.
Guests of Como Zoo watched as Buzz, one of the facility's twin polar bears, played in his pool this summer.

St. Paul's Como Zoo schedules dates to accommodate visitors with autism and sensory disabilities

Early-open dates will allow people with autism to visit before the doors open to the general public.
The vehicle with the blown-out back window was being investigated Tuesday night by police in Brooklyn Center after gunfire was reported.

Police: Man who fired shots from car in Brooklyn Center shot self

Police said the man was hospitalized in critical condition.

Latvian computer hacker who targeted pleads guilty

He admitted making up to $250,000 in the scam.
Faith leaders gathered Thursday in Bloomington to announce a campaign against Islamophobia.

Interfaith event at Bloomington mosque decries anti-Muslim rhetoric

They urged everyone to participate fully in political process.
Tthe family of Alan Geisenkoetter Jr., the 8-year-old boy struck last week by an allegedly drunken snowmobiler, said that he has died.

8-year-old boy hit by snowmobiler on Chisago Lake dies

Alan Geisenkoetter, 8, "got his angel wings today," his mother said.

Man killed in officer-involved shooting in St. James

A man who fled authorities in a stolen vehicle was killed Wednesday afternoon in an officer-involved shooting in St. James, Minn., about two hours southwest…

Alexandria's second fire in 10 days brings death toll to 3

A 19-year-old woman died Monday in an apartment fire in Alexandria, Minn., just 10 days after another fire at a mobile home killed two people in the Douglas County city of 13,500 people.

Investigated Minnesota priest returned to limited ministry

The Rev. Jonathan Shelley was removed from active ministry in 2012 after sexually explicit images were found on a discarded computer.
Project REACH will use the funds contributed to its emergency initiative directly to ensure the families being relocated have what they need to stay s

Homeless families with kids in St. Paul schools won't be out in the cold during Super Bowl

Those losing motel rooms will be sheltered elsewhere, though not in schools buildings.

Court of Appeals admonishes Minnesota Teaching Board in license denial

'Appearance of impropriety' cited in panel's treatment of applicant.

Appeals Court sides with city of Burnsville over mobile home park inspections

City has changed rules for mobile home parks, but said ruling was a victory.
A media event Sunday drew 200 people including, from left, U.S. Rep. Keith Ellison, Natalia Marchan, U.S. Sen. Tina Smith and Angelica Bello Ayapantec

Keith Ellison, Tina Smith press case for state's DACA recipients

As congressional deadline on DACA program nears, activists push for solution for young immigrants.
DWI arrests were up in Minnesota in 2017, from 23,392 in 2016 to 25,190 last year.

Minnesota traffic deaths in 2017 were the lowest since 1943

State credits 2017's total to better driving habits. DWI arrests for the year increased somewhat.
“Who wouldn’t want to build an igloo over winter break?”
Tom Zirps of Minneapolis, whose family has been involved from the start

Igloo rises while temperatures fall in Minneapolis front yard

The below-zero cold doesn't matter much when there's a colorful ice-block igloo to be built in the neighborhood. At least it's not too warm.Martha Palm,…
Mallards take flight over the frigid waters below the Rum River Dam Tuesday, Dec. 26, 2017, in Anoka, Minn.

Shelters work overtime to protect homeless from dangerous Minnesota cold

After a slight warmup Thursday, weekend high temperatures will be below zero.
Hennepin County Attorney Mike Freeman

Freeman defends time being taken on Damond death investigation

"There is good reason to take real care in our review," the Hennepin County attorney said in a statement.
Along with his family, John Ruszcyk, second left, demanded Thursday in Sydney, Australia, a more rigorous probe into the fatal shooting of his daughte

Justine Damond's father 'deeply concerned' about work of BCA

In Australia, John Ruszczyk had some biting words about the "integrity" of the state Bureau of Criminal Apprehension and the "gaps" in its investigation.
Jose Hernandez Solano

Cyclists remember man killed in hit-and-run as police announce arrests

Dozens of cyclists turned out to remember a St. Paul restaurant worker killed in a hit-and-run crash.
Sen. Amy Klobuchar, D-Minn., talked Sunday about swift passage of a bill aimed at helping caregivers of those with autism and Alzheimer's and about th

Klobuchar: It doesn't matter if man or woman replaces Franken

Senator says long vacancy after Franken resigns would hurt Minnesota interests in Washington, D.C.
Garrison Keillor sang during the live 2016 broadcast of "A Prairie Home Companion" at the State Theatre in Minneapolis.

CEO: 'Multiple allegations' were made over long time period against Keillor

American Public Media CEO's comments came in a closed staff meeting, according to report.
University of Minnesota police are investigating an “incident” involving a dead person at the Mechanical Engineering building on the East Bank cam

University of Minnesota police investigating dead body on campus

The investigation was taking place at the Mechanical Engineering building on the East Bank campus in Minneapolis.
Mike Loeffler took Pan, his 9-year-old Husky mix, for a walk Monday across I-35 south of downtown Minneapolis; temperatures were in the mid-50s.

After record high, Twin Cities headed into the freezer

Snow and winds of 25 to 30 mph are in the forecast early Monday evening, possibly during the rush hour.
File photo shows Diamond Reynolds at the June trial in St. Paul of Police officer Jeronimo Yanez in connection with the fatal shooting of her boyfrien

Settlement for Castile's girlfriend Diamond Reynolds will be $800K

St. Anthony City Council voted 4-0 to settle with Diamond Reynolds for $675,000 while Reynolds will receive another $125,000 from the League of Minnesota Cities Insurance Trust and the city of Roseville, making the total settlement $800,000.
Dog walker finds body in park south of Lake Nokomis; no ID

Dog walker finds body in park south of Lake Nokomis; no ID

The body was partly covered, apparently by another person — with more than just leaves, debris and branches that could have fallen on it, police said.
Protesters "take a knee" before start of Vikings game

Protesters "take a knee" before start of Vikings game

The "Take a Knee" protesters were at U.S. Bank Stadium again Sunday before the start of the Vikings-Rams game, carrying signs and making impassioned speeches.
On Super Bowl Sunday, Blue Line light-rail trains between Mall of America and downtown Minneapolis will be restricted to those who have tickets to the

Super Bowl will limit light-rail use to ticket holders on game day

Only ticket holders for the game can board on game day; all others must ride buses.
A stabbing was reported at Mall of America on Sunday night.

'Interrupted theft' led to stabbings at Macy's in MOA

Police arrested a man they believe stabbed two other men who tried to stop him from stealing. He was held by other shoppers after the assault, police said.

Search continues for two fishermen on Lower Red Lake

No progress was made Thursday in the search for two fishermen who have been missing since Monday on Lower Red Lake in northern Minnesota. Ground…
Valerie Castile, John Thompson and Ramsey County Attorney John Choi talked at a meeting about community policing on Wednesday night.

At police-community forum, Philando Castile's mother says nightmare hasn't ended

Talk on police-community relations that includes the top Twin Cities prosecutors focused on loss of trust in police and courts.
Roger Erickson, right, is shown with his longtime WCCO Radio partner Charlie Boone in 1992.

WCCO Radio legend Roger Erickson made mornings, snow days a joy

For generations of Minnesotans, Roger Erickson was the first voice they heard in the morning.The WCCO-AM radio legend, along with his co-host Charlie Boone, were…

St. Paul school cafeteria workers OK two-year contract

Pact in St. Paul increases wages 2 percent each year.
Hwy. 53 near Duluth and Hermantown was covered in snow this morning, as this image taken at 6:23 a.m. by a MnDOT snow plow camera shows.

Ready, set, snow: Slush likely to slow morning commute

The metro area and much more of Minnesota should see 1 to 4 inches, according to the National Weather Service.
Falcon Heights Mayor Peter Lindstrom answered questions about the new policing contract from a handful of residents on Wednesday night.

Falcon Heights OKs policing deal with Ramsey Co. sheriff

Deputies will start to patrol suburb starting Jan. 1 in a vote 16 months after the shooting death of Philando Castile in Falcon Heights at the hands of a St. Anthony officer.
The Anoka County Sheriff's Department dive team vehicle drives away after divers recovered the crashed plane. Sheriff's Department speaks during a pre

Princeton man's body found in plane pulled from river

Crash killed the pilot and his wife, who were sightseeing.
The Minnesota State Capitol. ] GLEN STUBBE ï ORG XMIT: MIN1704201736480360

Party-line vote recommends Minnesota Legislature rejects union contracts with 30,000 state workers

Contracts between the state, MAPE and AFSCME will go to the Legislature in February.
St. Paul police escorted children from a home while investigating an officer-involved shooting Thursday night on the 400 block of Earl Street.

St. Paul police: Man fatally shot had fired gun at woman with five children nearby

St. Paul police fatally shot a man Thursday night outside a home in the Dayton's Bluff neighborhood after he fired a gun at a woman with five small children nearby, according to a police spokesman.
Jacobo Gabriel-Tomas is on his way to Guatemala, a country he has not set foot in for 25 years, the Immigrant Law Center of Minnesota said.

Last appeal failed, Worthington dad leaves for Guatemala

U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement denied a stay of deportation to Jacobo Gabriel-Tomas on Sept. 25, and a review by the acting director was denied Wednesday.
Burnsville letter carrier Deb Ochetti was awarded 2017 Humanitarian of the Year by the National Association of Letter Carriers.

Burnsville mail carrier receives national honor for donating stem cells

Someone needed Deborah Ochetti. She didn't know who. But she didn't hesitate.
Vanessa Danielson

Family of Mpls. woman set on fire pleaded with her to leave relationship

She talks of daughter's death in hopes of helping other victims.
Vanessa Danielson was fatally burned in her northeast Minneapolis home.

Minneapolis woman dies after being set on fire during dispute

A man set a woman ablaze in a northeast Minneapolis duplex Thursday in what police are saying is a domestic dispute that has killed the victim and left the suspect in critical condition.
The Board of Estimate and Taxation has agreed to Minneapolis Mayor Betsy Hodges’ 5.5 percent increase in the property tax levy for 2018.

Proposed Minneapolis property tax levy clears first hurdle

Now it will be heard by the city's Ways and Means/Budget Committee through Oct. 27, and the City Council will hold a public hearing on Nov. 29.
Right to left, Sen. Bobby Joe Champion, Rep. Fue Lee, Commissioner Matt Massman, Rep. Raymond Dehn speaking at a town hall meeting Wednesday night at

State officials meet North Side business owners to talk jobs, economic development

Minority employment in Minnesota since recession has risen more than in other states.

DOJ shift casts doubt on federal audit of St. Anthony police

St. Anthony was one of 16 cities nationwide enrolled in a program that sought to boost police reform and the federal changes make the status and future of the assessment unclear.
A runner jogs past a boat launch area near the main beach of Lake Nokomis. The higher ozone levels expected Friday can Higher ozone levels can affect

Metro area, much of southern Minnesota under air quality alert Friday

High ozone levels to pose problems for those with breathing issues.
St. Paul police reported the arrest of the St. Catherine University security guard on Wednesday night, a 25-year-old St. Louis Park man, on suspicion

St. Catherine University security guard actually shot himself, police say

The 25-year-old man was charged with filing a false police report.
A sample enhanced driver's license.

Minnesota asks for extension to comply with Real ID Act

Dayton asked for an extra year to comply with federal security standards.

St. Catherine University security officer shot, injured in St. Paul

No one had been arrested yet Tuesday night, but there was an active search for the suspect, St. Paul police said.
Classes will start Thursday at Crossroads Elementary and Montessori School, shown in 2016, after a delay caused by the concern that toxic vapors under

With air safe, classes starts Thursday at Crossroads School in St. Paul

Classes will start Thursday at Crossroads Elementary Science and Montessori in St. Paul as planned, after a delay caused by the concern that toxic vapors…
In the past 14 months, John Thompson has been a fixture at nearly every rally, vigil, march, protest and community meeting seeking police reform. He d

After Castile's death, John Thompson turned anguish into energy

A 44-year-old St. Paul man has made his voice heard — and has even won grudging respect — from police. "Are all cops bad? I want to say yes, but I can't," Thompson said. "If I said yes, I'd be a hypocrite."
Margaret and Angus Wurtele were major donors to the Walker Art Center and the Guthrie Theater.

Obituary: Angus Wurtele, arts donor and former CEO of Valspar

Angus and Margaret Wurtele gave generously to the Walker Art Center and Guthrie Theater.
Snelling Avenue near State Fair is reopened following protest

Snelling Avenue near State Fair is reopened following protest

Under the theme "Minnesota Ain't Fair," about 100 protesters gathered Sunday afternoon at Hamline Park in St. Paul.
Al Sicherman columnist photo 11/2001 ORG XMIT: MIN2017082717080505

Obituary: Food writer, author and humorist Al Sicherman

For decades, his readers laughed over groceries, cried over a lost son, savored his wise words.
Minneapolis police investigate a shooting downtown Tuesday night near 6th Street and Hennepin Avenue that left a bystander wounded.

Bystander hit in shooting at 6th and Hennepin near arguing men

A man who was shot and wounded near 6th Street and Hennepin Avenue in downtown Minneapolis happened to be standing near two other men who were arguing, police said.
John Beise's vintage truck was parked next to his house when a drunk driver wrecked it.

Vintage farm truck survives 76 years, then is totaled by drunken driver

Suspected drunken driver totals Mound man's vintage Chevy.
Brent Blank's garage, south of Nicollet, Minn., was damaged by one of the multiple tornadoes that touched down in the region on Wednesday, Aug. 16, 20

7 tornadoes hit Minnesota on Wednesday, Weather Service says

Three tornadoes touched down Wednesday night as storms rolled across south central Minnesota, and as many as three other twisters might also have landed, according to the National Weather Service.
From left, Mike and Jannetta Spahn, of Plymouth, and Michele and Erin Horan, of St. Paul, put on their ponchos during a rain delay before the start of

Strong storms drop tornadoes, heavy rain in Minnesota

At least five touchdowns were reported, as well as rainfalls of 3-plus inches in a couple hours, on a stormy night full of watches and warnings.
A former Mrs. Minnesota, Jennifer Kline, of Wayzata, was convicted of felony theft by swindle for switching price tags on clothing she bought at the S

Former Mrs. Minnesota convicted of switching price tags on clothes

Jennifer Kline could get jail time for Macy's clothing scheme.
Protesters in downtown Minneapolis Monday.

Anti-racism rally blocks streets and light rail in Minneapolis

With a police escort, marchers proceeded along Franklin, Cedar and Washington avenues until they reached downtown Minneapolis.
The Minnesota State Capitol

'Never forget this': Past and present workers honored at State Capitol

The event drew descendants of some of the building's original laborers and craftsmen.
Zebra mussels have been found in the Minnesota River, adding yet another major waterway to the state Department of Natural Resources’ infested-water

Minnesota River added to DNR infested-waters list for zebra mussels

The presence of the invasive mussels has been confirmed in Granite Falls, and its larvae have been found at four of seven sites along the river.
Mohamed Omar, the executive director at the Dar Al Farooq Islamic Center, addressed the more than 1,000 people who turned out at Tuesday night’s sup

Hundreds turn out to support Bloomington Islamic center

The community gathering at the Dar Al Farooq Islamic Center on Tuesday night showed support and denounced the destruction from the weekend's bombing.

One killed in multivehicle crash in Plymouth that had closed part of Hwy. 55

Several people were taken to a hospital with injuries.
A Coon Rapids snowplow cleared away hail from a June storm that battered the metro area and left about $650,000 in damage to Anoka County public prope

Anoka County gets state aid for damage from June 11 storm

Gov. Mark Dayton on Monday authorized more than a half-million dollars in aid to help Anoka County pay for storm damage to the National Sports…
Beverly Cory

Woman killed in Mendota Heights was 'kindest soul'

Beverly Cory, 48, was shot by a robber fleeing police.

Hwy. 243 bridge over St. Croix closed to repair a hole

"We always err on the side of safety," said a MnDOT spokesman.
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