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Local/state briefs

Wild About Reading: Meet at the Trail is Tuesday in Marshall

Wild About Reading: Meet at the Trail will be from 9:30-10:30 a.m. Tuesday at the Southwest Amateur Sports Complex in Marshall. This is the first Bilingual Born Learning Trail in our service area. This program will promote literacy development while incorporating movement and hands on activities for children. The activities include: interactive stories, an exercise card activity, Born Learning Trail exploring, scavenger hunt, parachute games, activity dice, and a life size bowling game.

Parents, caregivers and childcare providers are encouraged to bring their preschool or young children to the Trail nearest to them and enjoy the fun. Childcare providers who attend with the children in their care will receive a bag of books for their daycare. Other children in attendance will receive a free book. Programming is free and brought to you by the United Way of Southwest Minnesota. Activities will be geared toward preschool age learners, but all ages are welcome.

Wild About Reading: Meet at the Trail will be held at the other nine permanent Born Learning Trail sites found in communities throughout our service area.

MRAAA gives notice of 2020 Title III funding cycle

The Minnesota River Area Agency on Aging is seeking grant applicants for Title III services in southwest Minnesota for the funding period of Jan. 1, 2020-Dec. 31, 2020. Applications will be accepted for Supportive Services, National Family Caregiver Support Services, Disease Prevention and Health Promotion Services. Some services are restricted to select counties.

Detailed information, including specific rules and requirements for Title III funding and the application process, is available at www.mnraaa.org/grants-management.

The application deadline is Aug. 2.

If you have any questions, contact Rhonda Hiller Fjeldberg at 507-387-1256 ext. 105 or rfjeldberg@mnraaa.org.

Shooting victim rescued by Uber driver near Stillwater

STILLWATER (AP) — Authorities said an Uber driver rescued a woman who had been shot and left to die along a road in Washington County.

A 23-year-old St. Paul man, suspected of being in the U.S. illegally, is charged with attempted murder and kidnapping. A criminal complaint said the Uber driver found the woman bleeding from the chest along a road near Stillwater in the early morning hours of June 9.

The Star Tribune reported the man says he tried to call 911 but couldn’t get a signal, so he put a blanket around her, placed her in his vehicle and headed to Stillwater where he met law enforcement officers.

Authorities said the defendant and an accomplice, who’s still at large, are Sureños 13 gang members. The 39-year-old St. Paul woman is hospitalized in critical condition.

Minnesota State college system to raise tuition by 3%

MINNEAPOLIS (AP) — The Minnesota State college system’s board of trustees has voted to raise tuition by 3% this fall as enrollment declines.

The Star Tribune reported that the board of trustees approved a $2.1 billion budget for the 37 universities and community colleges in the system, which has lost almost a fifth of its enrollment over the past decade.

In recent years, state lawmakers have required the system to freeze tuition. Minnesota State officials had vowed to freeze tuition again if the Legislature granted $246 million more for the biennium — but the system received only a third of that amount.

System leaders said they need to raise tuition to keep up with the cost of inflation. Some trustees and student leaders opposed the increase, saying the schools should remain affordable.

Option to undo some DUI convictions yet to be widely sought

BISMARCK, N.D. (AP) — Court officials and lawyers in North Dakota say few people have tried to undo convictions for refusing DUI blood tests in the year since a state Supreme Court opinion offered a narrow pathway for doing so.

The North Dakota high court ruled in 2018 that a 2016 U.S. Supreme Court decision found it unconstitutional to criminalize refusal of a warrantless blood draw applies retroactively. The 2016 decision was based on cases in North Dakota and Minnesota involving alcohol testing.

The North Dakota justices said in their ruling that any post-conviction relief applies “in very limited circumstances” such as time of the conviction and the “legal landscape” as it existed at the time of each case. Even so, Bismarck attorney Dan Herbel, who argued in both the 2016 and 2018 cases, said it doesn’t appear many people are taking advantage of the state ruling.

“I don’t know if a lot of people are even aware that they have the option of vacating a prior conviction based upon these cases,” Herbel told The Bismarck Tribune.

The Minnesota Supreme Court in late 2018 also ruled that the U.S. Supreme Court case applies retroactively.

Attorney Jonathan Green, of Wahpeton, said he’s sent letters to people he can find who have convictions for refusing warrantless blood draws. He’s received phone calls from about a dozen people and has filed petitions for about half. Judges earlier this month vacated Burleigh County convictions for a Fargo woman and a Bismarck man for whom Green sought relief under the state Supreme Court ruling.

Aaron Birst, a former Cass County prosecutor and now executive director of the North Dakota State’s Attorneys’ Association, said prosecutors aren’t actively looking over cases in which the law might have or has changed, so anyone who believes his or her case should be revisited should contact a lawyer.

“As a rule, prosecutors of course want to do the absolute right thing and right every wrong,” Birst said. “But it’s impossible to know, going back in time, of which cases really fall within those parameters and which don’t.”

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