Local/state briefs

Wyatt-Yerka to run for election to the Minnesota House of Representatives

Tom Wyatt-Yerka, a graduate of Marshall High School and a Humphrey School of Public Affairs research assistant, filed paperwork Thursday with the Minnesota Campaign Finance & Public Disclosure Board to run for election in 2018 to the Minnesota House of Representatives under the Democratic Farmer Labor party and representing District 16A in southwestern Minnesota. At 21 years old, Wyatt-Yerka is also one of the youngest individuals to seek election to the Minnesota House in the state’s history.

Wyatt-Yerka said in a news release his “first priority is fighting for our ‘Right to Be Rural’ by focusing on three categories important to all voters: the economy, healthcare, and infrastructure.”

Wyatt-Yerka was inspired to run and to focus on the “Right to Be Rural” initiative after growing “frustrated by inaction and political fighting in St. Paul, while he watched family, friends, and neighbors across the district play by the rules, yet struggle to get by.”

Wyatt-Yerka is the first candidate to publicly announce his intention to run for this seat in the district in 2018, with “incumbent legislators across the state hesitant to defend an unproductive, poorly led legislative session at the capital,” he said.

While civic engagement is “seemingly at an all-time low across the country,” Wyatt-Yerka said, he “hopes to run a grassroots campaign effort, with energy and support coming from the people of southwest Minnesota, not from special interests and big businesses.”

The campaign will publicly launch today during Southwest Minnesota State University’s 50th anniversary homecoming celebration in Marshall. Wyatt-Yerka will march with Lyon County’s DFL unit and will be at the Daily Grind after the parade to “talk with folks about their hopes for the future of southwest Minnesota.”

Heroin dealer sentenced in 2 deaths, faces charges in 3 more

MINNEAPOLIS (AP) — A Twin Cities heroin dealer has been sentenced to 14 years in prison for the overdose deaths of two men and still faces murder charges in the drugs deaths of three others.

Thirty-one-year-old Beverly Burrell, of Maplewood, was convicted of third-degree murder in the death of Max Tillitt and Luke Ronnei. Their family members told Hennepin County District Judge Paul Scoggin about the never-ending pain of losing a loved one to heroin addiction.

The Star Tribune reported Tillitt’s father, Stephen, told the judge his 21-year-old son knew the dangers of using drugs, but that the addiction was overpowering. Hennepin County Attorney Thad Tudor calls Burrell the most prolific heroin dealer the county has seen.

Burrell also faces third-degree murder charges for selling heroin that killed three other men.