In Brief

Published 10:20 am Saturday, November 13, 2010

Minneapolis suspect jumps from freeway ramp, dies

MINNEAPOLIS (AP) — Minneapolis police say officers were chasing a suspect on foot when the man jumped from a freeway ramp, fell several stories to a parking lot and died.

The police department issued a statement Saturday saying the chase started about 2 a.m. after officers were called to a fight outside the Epic nightclub. The department says one of the people officers believe started the fight ran through a nearby parking ramp and onto a freeway off-ramp.

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The department says the man vaulted over a concrete barrier and fell. Paramedics pronounced him dead at the scene.

The department says an internal investigation is being conducted. Five officers involved in the chase have been offered three-day leaves.

The suspect’s identity has not yet been released.

Minneapolis Crosstown to get reopening ceremony

MINNEAPOLIS (AP) — State and local transportation officials in the Twin Cities will cut the ribbon on the single biggest road construction project in Minnesota history.

The project is the reconstruction of the Interstate 35W/Highway 62 crosstown interchange along the border of south Minneapolis and Richfield. It re-opened to traffic at the end of October, but on Saturday officials gathered for a ceremony to mark the years of work and many millions spent on an area that had been a notorious traffic chokepoint for decades.

The project cost $288 million and took 3 1/2 years to complete. In all, there were 26 new bridges and 50 miles of new concrete.

The opening ceremony will be held at Pearl Park in Minneapolis near the interchange.

Minn. man, 3 sons memorialized after plane crash

EDINA (AP) — Family, friends and co-workers of a Minneapolis man killed along with three of his sons in a Wyoming plane crash will gather for a memorial service to say goodbye.

The service for Luke Bucklin and his sons Nate, Noah and Nick Bucklin was at 11 a.m. Saturday at Christ Presbyterian Church in Edina.

It took searchers around Wyoming’s Gannett Peak a week to find Bucklin’s single-engine plane after it crashed on Oct. 25 in the Wind River mountains. He and his boys had flown out of Jackson after a family visit to the area and radioed ground controllers about 40 minutes later that he was encountering mild turbulence and ice was forming on the plane.

U of Minn. names just 1 presidential finalist
MINNEAPOLIS (AP) — The University of Minnesota Board of Regents announced Friday that there’s only one finalist to be the school’s next president, just a week after a search committee recommended four candidates.
The candidate, Eric Kaler, is provost at Stony Brook University in New York and holds a Ph.D. in chemical engineering from the University of Minnesota. Regent John Frobenius told the Star Tribune of Minneapolis that Kaler is “an outstanding final candidate,” citing as strengths his support of athletics, strong research experience and leadership style.
Current President Robert Bruininks, who has led the state’s largest university since 2002, previously announced he would return to the faculty when his contract as president expires in June 2011. The board’s search committee considered 148 candidates before settling on four semifinalists, all who came from outside the university.

Lawyers look ahead in tangled Minnesota gov. race

ST. PAUL (AP) — Competing lawyers involved in Minnesota’s tangled race for governor maneuvered Friday for a potentially protracted struggle, with Republicans suing for faster access to election data and Democrats challenging whether Gov. Tim Pawlenty should stay in office if the battle drags into next year.
With a recount set to begin by month’s end, attorneys for Republican Tom Emmer and Democrat Mark Dayton demonstrated how each side is readying for a fight that could push through December. The new governor is supposed to take his oath on Jan. 3.
For now, Dayton holds an 8,755-vote lead over Emmer, who is entitled to an automatic hand recount of all 2.1 million ballots. The recount phase is scheduled to end in mid-December, but Emmer and the state GOP haven’t ruled out a court challenge after that.
There’s a lot at stake for both sides in the next moves. Republicans risk a public backlash if they’re seen as stringing out an inevitable outcome simply to make legislative gains by keeping a Republican governor in office longer. Pawlenty, a 2012 presidential hopeful, could be damaged if he’s seen as part of such an effort. For Dayton and Democrats, delay means lost time in power and a more difficult transition.
Emmer’s attorneys sued election administrators in Pine and St. Louis counties, saying they haven’t been quick enough to turn over voter rolls, absentee ballot data, background on poll judges and paper trails from voting equipment. They cited the urgency of the upcoming recount — and noted the potential of a lawsuit contesting the election later.