REGIONAL BRIEFS: Autopsy says girl who went missing drownedDANBURY, Wis. — Preliminary autopsy results indicate a 3-year-old Wisconsin girl found dead in a canal near her home died of apparent accidental drowning.
From the Forum Communications New Bureau
Autopsy says girl who went missing drowned (DNT)
DANBURY, Wis. — Preliminary autopsy results indicate a 3-year-old Wisconsin girl found dead in a canal near her home died of apparent accidental drowning.
Burnett County medical examiner Mike Maloney said an autopsy was conducted Thursday on the body of Renna Mae Williams.
Maloney said the girl had water in her lungs consistent with normal signs of drowning. He says her body had a couple of little scratches but no trauma or anything suspicious.
Final autopsy results won’t be available until four to six weeks when the toxicology report comes back.
Divers found Reena’s body Wednesday afternoon in a canal about 25 yards from her home in Danbury.
Hundreds of volunteers and law officers had searched for the girl after she apparently wandered away from her home Tuesday.
N.D.’s unemployment rate drops in July (GFH)
BISMARCK -- More and more people in North Dakota’s labor force are finding jobs.
The state’s unemployment rate in July was 2.9 percent, down 0.2 percentage points from June, according to Job Service North Dakota.
Of the state’s 397,586-person labor force, 11, 466 are without jobs.
The state’s unemployment rate has continued to decrease from July 2011, when the unemployment rate was 3.4 percent.
The seasonally adjusted unemployment rate for North Dakota was 3 percent in July, up 1 percentage point from June but 0.6 percentage point lower than in July 2011.
Nationally, the seasonally-adjusted unemployment rate was 8.3 percent for July, down 0.1 percentage point from June. In July 2011, the national rate was 9.1 percent.
Last defendant in drug ring case found guilty (DNT)
MINNEAPOLIS – A jury has found the last defendant in a large drug ring in Minnesota and Wisconsin guilty.
The federal jury in Minneapolis late Wednesday found Lawrence Lalonde Colton, 43, of Detroit, guilty of conspiring to distribute controlled substances, including oxycodone, oxymorphone, hydromorphone and heroin in Duluth, Minn., and Superior, Wis. Colton also was convicted on three separate counts of distributing or aiding and abetting the distribution of oxymorphone.
Colton faces a potential maximum penalty of 30 years in federal prison for each count of the conviction. The federal criminal justice system does not have parole.
Colton and 25 co-conspirators were indicted on Sept. 21, 2011. Seventeen of the co-defendants have already been sentenced for their roles in the drug trafficking operation, while eight have pleaded guilty and are waiting for sentencing.
As part of the investigation, authorities executed search warrants on Sept. 27, 2011, at 11 properties throughout Minnesota and Wisconsin. In those searches, they seized large amounts of narcotics as well as firearms, ammunition, and approximately $30,000 in cash.
Lawsuit claims racial discrimination at school (RE)
ZUMBROTA, Minn. -- Three sisters have filed a federal lawsuit against a southern Minnesota school district alleging racial discrimination, a hostile environment and violations of the Minnesota Human Rights Act.
The complaint against the Zumbrota-Mazeppa School District was filed by the girls’ attorney Joshua Williams on July 27.
According to the complaint, the sisters, who are black, classmates directed racial slurs at the students several times from 2008 to 2012. In addition, the complaint says the sisters, who are not named, got into altercations with white students about the name calling twice. However, the school only reprimanded the black sisters, once by forbidding them from riding the bus for a period of time and once by suspending them from school.
The complaint also says that the sisters and their mother reported the name-calling incidents to school administration on multiple occasions. Their complaints were not investigated, the complaint says.
The Zumbrota-Mazeppa School District released a statement denying the complaint’s claims.
“The allegations of civil rights violations are false,” the statement says. “It will vigorously defend against these claims in the court system.”