Marijuana legalization, bears in Maple Grove, Kim Potter released: this week's top stories

Kim Potter released from prison. Marijuana legalization in Minnesota. Black bear family spotted in Maple Grove. Here are the top stories from April 22 to 28.

1. Kim Potter released from prison

Kim Potter, the former Brooklyn Center police officer convicted in the killing of Daunte Wright, was released from prison early Monday morning. The Department of Corrections says Potter was released from their facility in Shakopee around 4 a.m. Potter served 16 months of her sentence in Shakopee and will now move to Wisconsin, where she will serve the remainder of her sentence under supervised release. 

2. Person released from jail, arrested 2 hours later for 35th time: Sheriff

The Ramsey County Sheriff’s Office says a 31-year-old, who was reportedly released from jail at 6 a.m. Wednesday, was back in custody about 100 minutes later. The 31-year-old is alleged to have stolen a pickup truck with a trailer attached and fled, driving over the speed limit and against traffic through Maplewood and Vadnais Heights. The suspect fled the car after hitting a second set of stop sticks deployed by law enforcement. He was eventually taken into custody by Maplewood police and was taken back to the jail, the Ramsey County Sheriff's Office said.

3. Train derails into Mississippi River in Wisconsin

A train derailed, sending two containers into the Mississippi River in Wisconsin on Thursday, April 27. Railway officials say there's no risk to the river. The incident happened near the Lansing Bridge, between De Soto and Ferryville, Wisconsin, which is about a 3-hour drive (190 miles) from Minneapolis. BNSF Railway said the train derailed at about 12:15 p.m. Two cars carrying paint went into the Mississippi River but they have since been secured to the bank. Other cars carrying lithium-ion batteries and oxygen containers are on shore. But they never went into the water and BNSF says the volumes involved don't pose a risk to the river or the nearby communities.

4. Recreational marijuana bill passes Minnesota House

Recreational marijuana is a step closer to becoming legal under state law in Minnesota, with lawmakers in the Minnesota House and Senate passing a bill to legalize recreational marijuana. The Minnesota Senate began debating the bill on Friday and passed in a 34-33 vote. The Minnesota House passed the bill earlier this week and now both House and Senate bills will be sent to a conference committee to iron out the differences.

5. Three black bears spotted with mom at Elm Creek Park Reserve

A family of bears is calling the Elm Creek Park Reserve in Maple Grove home. A FOX 9 viewer spotted the three black bear cubs happily strolling along with their mom. Three Rivers Park District Senior Manager of Wildlife John Moriarty says bears have become a part of life at the park over the years, so much so, they put up signs to remind people to be bear aware. He urges visitors to use common sense and to be prepared, not scared.

6. Man shot by FBI in Minneapolis was livestreaming standoff

An armed man who was shot and killed by an FBI agent Thursday morning in Minneapolis was livestreaming his final moments. The FBI Minneapolis branch said SWAT operators and federal agents were serving an arrest warrant on the 3700 block of Dupont Avenue North Thursday morning. The subject of the warrant, identified as Chue Feng Yang, barricaded himself inside the home. The standoff went on for several hours and Yang streamed it on social media, said Minneapolis Police Chief Brian O'Hara and Hennepin County Sheriff Dawanna Witt in a joint press conference. Yang emerged from the home around noon and was allegedly armed. A federal agent shot him, and Yang was transported to the hospital where he died from his injuries.

7. ATV crashes kill three children in Minnesota

Three children died in two ATV crashes in Minnesota on Saturday — two 10-year-old girls in Afton and a 13-year-old boy in Lent Township. The Afton crash involving two 10-year-old girls involved the girls getting trapped under the ATV. They were pronounced dead at the scene. The Lent Township crash involving the 13-year-old boy is still under investigation, with first responders finding him injured near the ATV. 

8. Loons are falling from the sky in Wisconsin

Atmospheric conditions at high altitudes are causing ice to build up on migrating loons’ bodies, causing them to land in dangerous situations. The Raptor Education Group, located in Antigo, Wisconsin, near Wausau, says they’ve received several calls this week of people finding loons stranded on the ground. The group says this can be a dangerous, even deadly situation for loons. Loons can’t walk on land and can only take off from water. So if they land on the ground, they can’t get back in the air.  

9. MOA standoff: Police negotiate peaceful ending in parking lot, no threat to public

According to the Bloomington Police Department, around 4 p.m. a woman called dispatch stating a man in a white truck in the parking of American Boulevard and 24th Avenue had a large gun. The caller stated the man then went inside a circus tent in the parking lot and was walking around. FOX 9 crews spoke with a witness who said the man threatened staff in the tent.

10. Missing Madeline Kingsbury: Winona authorities make new request in search efforts

Winona's law enforcement has issued new requests to property owners in the ongoing search for Madeline Kingsbury. The Winona Police Department and Winona County Emergency Management are asking for property owners in Winona and Fillmore counties to report old wells from before 1925, old homesteads, windmills, or sinkholes, as this information is not available in records and could lead to new searches. Maddi went missing on March 31 and has not had any contact with friends or family since. The father of her children is believed to have been the last person to see her. You can find a timeline of the case here.