Cold Spring mayor hopes for clue in Decker's death

MINNEAPOLIS (AP) — Authorities are still searching for evidence that will lead to the person who killed Cold Spring police Officer Tom Decker.

Decker was fatally shot last Thursday. A suspect was initially arrested but has been released. The Bureau of Criminal Apprehension says Thursday there have been no new arrests.

Mayor Doug Schmitz says he felt numb in recent days as Decker was laid to rest, and the fact that no one is charged is a "hard pill to swallow." He says everyone wants the case solved.

Schmitz hopes someone will come forward with a clue, or the shooter will turn him or herself in.

Authorities urge residents to share information, even if it seems minor. They're also asking residents to help search for a shotgun believed to be the murder weapon.


Minn. gov.: No plan to redo Vikings stadium plan

ST. PAUL, Minn. (AP) — Gov. Mark Dayton on Thursday downplayed the sluggish start of a statewide gambling initiative being counted on to help fund the new Minnesota Vikings stadium, saying doesn't plan to redo the financing package during the upcoming legislative session.

Dayton told reporters the early revenue projections are worth watching but shouldn't cause alarm about the merits of the electronic terminals that are only starting to appear in bars and restaurants. Relatively few establishments now offer the iPad-style machines that patrons to play low-stakes games, but the availability has as much to do with vendors working to clear regulatory hurdles.

The bill to finance a $975 million stadium that will be built in downtown Minneapolis won approval last spring. The legislation authorized electronic pull-tab and linked bingo games, making Minnesota the first state to permit that form of gambling statewide.

The novelty of the games and the challenges of constructing a new gambling system from the ground up take time, Dayton said in arguing against revisiting the financing plan next year.

"I certainly wouldn't favor it unless it becomes absolutely necessary and I don't think it is at this point," Dayton said.


Minn. prosecutor ordered to stay away from teen

MINNEAPOLIS (AP) — A Minnesota prosecutor who entered the public eye after he was wounded in a courthouse shooting a year ago has been accused of an improper relationship with a teenage girl.

Cook County Attorney Tim Scannell was ordered by a judge Tuesday to stay away from the girl, now 17, and her parents after the parents sought a restraining order.

In their petition, the parents described Scannell, 47, as a longtime family friend who told them in September that he had fallen in love with the girl. They said he promised to stop communicating with her, but continued to text and call her and send mail and packages.

Scannell was out of the office Thursday, and didn't respond to a phone message or an email seeking comment. His home phone listing rang unanswered.

His attorney, Joe Tamburino, said in a statement that Scannell intends to stay in his job "and trusts that this matter will resolve quickly."


Man shoots ex-wife, kills self in Pine County

BROOK PARK, Minn. (AP) — A woman shot and wounded by her ex-husband before he took his own life was able to escape by barricading herself in the bathroom and texting her neighbor for help, a Pine County sheriff's official said Thursday.

The woman was shot in the upper chest by her ex-husband at her home in Brook Park Wednesday about 9 p.m., Chief Deputy Steven Blackwell said.

Deputies from the Pine County and Chisago County Sheriff's Department responded, established a perimeter around the house and tried repeatedly to reach the woman by phone, but got no response.

At one point, the man, identified as 55-year-old Daniel Shilts, came out of the residence, stood on the front deck, then went back inside, ignoring deputies' commands. A short time later his vehicle was found parked about a quarter mile away from the home, authorities said.

Blackwell said SWAT team members busted into the house with a flash-bang device to rescue the woman.