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Minnesota roundup: Family IDs man fatally shot by sheriff's deputies in Vadnais Heights; St. Paul council rejects call for Trump investigation

VADNAIS HEIGHTS, Minn.—The family of a man killed by Ramsey County sheriff's deputies in Vadnais Heights earlier this week has identified him as Darren Jahnke, 47.

"Our hearts are breaking right now," sister Jenny Vance said Wednesday night.

All four deputies have been placed on standard administrative leave. They are Lisa Daly, a 25-year veteran; Doug Haider, an 11-year veteran; Sara Naglosky, 4 months and Andre Rongitsch, a 12-year veteran.

According to the Minnesota Bureau of Criminal Apprehension, which is investigating the shooting, deputies on patrol spotted a parked car and an RV that they deemed to be suspicious.

According to the BCA's preliminary investigation, the two deputies approached the car and a woman inside told them that a male, identified by the medical examiner as Jahnke, was inside the RV. As the deputies approached the RV from either side,Haider and Daly arrived. The deputies located Jahnke sitting in the driver compartment of the vehicle.

After attempting to speak with Jahnke through the driver compartment, the four deputies entered the RV. While trying to identify Jahnke, a struggle ensued during which two deputies deployed their Tasers, but the Tasers were ineffective. At that point in the struggle, Jahnke disarmed one of the deputies, said the BCA. Rongitsch then fired his weapon, striking Jahnke, said the report. The four deputies immediately rendered first aid and requested an ambulance.

He was taken to Regions Hospital, in St. Paul, where he died. The woman was interviewed and released.

"He was loved by many people," Vance said of her brother. "Everybody he ever talked with just fell in love with him. He was charming and a really great person. We love him, and we're going to miss him."


County commissioner plans 2018 gubernatorial run

ST. PAUL — Ramsey County Commissioner Blake Huffman said Wednesday that he's running for governor of Minnesota.

Huffman, a Republican from Shoreview, is seeking to succeed Gov. Mark Dayton, who is not seeking a third term in office.

Next year's gubernatorial election has drawn a crowded field of DFL candidates, but fewer potential Republican candidates have stepped forward. Huffman, a former Shoreview City Council member, was first elected to the Ramsey County Board of Commissioners in November 2012 and recently retired as a vice president with Wells Fargo Home Mortgage.

Huffman is a graduate of Mounds View High School and Bethel University. According to his bio on the Ramsey County website, he "started and leads a local non-profit, Journey Homes, which buys rehab homes throughout Minnesota, fixes them up with volunteer help and rents the homes to veterans and domestic violence survivors."


Opioid crisis forum set for Spicer

SPICER, Minn.—U.S. Rep. Collin Peterson will host a bipartisan legislative forum to discuss the opioid crisis at 1 p.m. Saturday, April 22, at the Prairie Woods Environmental Learning Center in rural Spicer.

State legislators, Sen. Andrew Lang, R-Olivia, and Rep. Dave Baker, R-Willmar, will also be at the session.

"With partisanship at an all-time high, it's more important now than ever to reach across the aisle," said the DFL'er Peterson in a news release.

"In the spirit of bipartisanship, I am encouraging folks to visit with State Representative Baker, State Senator Lang, and myself to discuss the opioid crisis and healthcare concerns facing Minnesota."


St. Paul council rejects call for Trump investigation

ST. PAUL — A proposed resolution calling for a congressional investigation of President Donald Trump fizzled before the St. Paul City Council, which voted 6-1 on Wednesday, April 19, to kill the effort.

"Symbolic resolutions, strictly for political purposes, when overused, become meaningless," said council member Chris Tolbert, dressing down the proposal brought by colleague Dai Thao, who cast a lone vote in support of the resolution.

Thao, a St. Paul mayoral candidate, had sought to have the council ask Minnesota's congressional delegation to investigate the president's ties to Russia and any personal financial benefits he receives from foreign powers.

Thao's resolution specifically called for the delegation to ask the House Judiciary Committee to investigate whether the president is violating the emoluments clause of the U.S. Constitution. His proposal also criticized Trump's relationship with the media.

While acknowledging that he takes issue with Trump's actions "hourly," Tolbert delivered the lengthiest remarks against Thao's proposal. Rather than symbolic political gestures, Tolbert said "we need to work on police-community relations ... we need to work on transit cuts. ... We need to work on protecting paid leave ... jobs for unemployed youth, jobs for adults."