Here's a WJON FlashBriefing for April 6, 2017.



TAXI DRIVER CHOKING -- A Willmar man is charged with a hate crime -- choking a St. Cloud taxi driver he asked whether he was Muslim. The taxi driver of Somali descent was taking 23-year-old Zachary DeGraw and a woman to a bar on Highway 23 in Benton County, March 25th. The woman tells police DeGraw asked the driver if he was a Muslim -- and then choked him from the back seat. Court records say the car swerved from lane to lane before the driver could stop the taxi and break free.


DRUG TRAFFICKING BUST -- Authorities have busted what they say was a large-scale drug trafficking operation to bring drugs into the St. Cloud area. Meth, cocaine, marijuana. Two men are jailed -- 39-year-old Hernando Nambo-Salas and 35-year-old Francisco Nambo-Chacon. Police say the arrests cap a more than two-year investigation spanning several states and Mexico.


EASTSIDE ARMED ROBBERY -- Police are looking for a man who threatened another man in in East St. Cloud with a handgun and tried to restrain him. The victim fought off the suspect, chasing him toward Cloverleaf Trailer Park. The victim's okay.


PAYLESS SHOE SOURCE CLOSURES -- The four Payless Shoe Source stores in the St. Cloud metro will remain open while their parent company works through bankruptcy. But the company says Payless stores in Elk River, Moorhead, Medford and Cottage Grove are closing.


SUMMERY WEATHER -- Bring on Summer! Temps will warm into the 80s across parts of Central and Southwestern Minnesota this weekend. Upper 70s Saturday in the St. Cloud area. A chance of some severe weather along the Minnesota-Iowa border on Sunday.



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