Swim coach charged with sex crime against second teenage student

   A 61-year-old former Burnsville swim coach is facing more criminal charges stemming from allegations he had sexual contact with a second teenage girl he coached.
   Alfred O’Neill, also known as “Rocky” has been charged with three counts of third-degree criminal sexual conduct, according to the Dakota County Attorney’s office. Prosecutors allege O’Neill had sexual contact three times with a 16-17-year-old girl he coached in 1997-1999.
A copy of the criminal complaint was not available because of restrictions shielding the release of information regarding sex crimes and child pornography.  
   Burnsville Police received a report of the second victim after O’Neill had been charged with a felony sex crime based on allegations he had sex with a 17-year-old student 30 years ago.
Alfred "Rocky" O'Neill

City Council approves Vikings' hotel permit

Representatives from a limited liability company established to build a hotel at the Viking Lakes site presented construction plans to Eagan City Council Oct. 16
EAGAN, MN -- The Eagan City Council approved an agreement to allow construction of a 320-room hotel to begin at the Viking Lakes site in northeast Eagan before winter.
   The developers of the Viking Lakes hotel requested the city issue a permit so excavation at the site could begin before the recording of the final subdivision of the site. Developers declined to announce a completion date for the hotel and conference center. Eagan hotels currently have a vacancy rate of about 30 percent during the peak season in August.
   The project’s supporters told city councilors corporate sponsors –which would be featured on billboard-style ads visible from Interstate 494 -- will be needed to make the project economically viable. Because of the need for corporate sponsorship, the Vikings’ representatives told the city council they would likely need “flexibility” on the city’s signage rules. The agreement requires compliance with the city’s rules for signage.
   The city council approved the permit unanimously. Earlier at its meeting, the council approved, without discussion as part of its consent agenda, an agreement to install sewer lines and other infrastructure to support the hotel.
   In other business, the city council Oct. 16 also approved a series of assessments to homeowners in several neighborhoods throughout the city for street improvements. Property owners will be charged for the improvements, in addition to their regular tax bills.
Leigh Monson reviews A Star Is Born

City council tables vote on variance request

EAGAN, MN – The Eagan City Council tabled a request by a Yankee Doodle road self-storage facility to use the same construction materials as the Vikings practice facility.
   The owner of property at 540 Yankee Doodle Road, the site an imminent self-storage facility, requested a variance from the city code to build with insulated metal panels, rather than other materials specified by the city code. The company’s representative, Jeff Johnson, told city council members at an Oct. 16 public hearing the insulated metal panels would reduce building costs. Such panels comprise about 80 percent of the Vikings’ practice facility in northeast Eagan, Johnson told the city council. Unlike other construction materials, logos and other graphics can printed on the panels.
   The city council took no action on the request, tabling the matter for further discussion at a future meeting. Mayor Mike Maguire expressed concern that allowing a business to use the materials used by the Vikings would give it an unfair competitive advantage.

No charges brought against truck driver

   EAGAN, MN -- A young Eagan mother of two hospitalized since a truck allegedly ran a red light and crashed into her car at the intersection of Cliff and Pilot Knob roads passed away Oct. 18, more than two months after the crash.
   Eagan police did not respond to an inquiry as to whether charges will be brought against the driver of the semi-truck involved in the crash, identified as Todd Steven Franklin. Eagan police have, so far, refused requests for information, saying it is an active investigation. The Dakota County Attorney's office said crash reconstruction, which can take months, is still underway.
    Alayna Tanaka, 33, of Eagan, was seriously injured at about 11:30 a.m. Aug. 13 in a two-car crash at the intersection. Her children were not in the car at the time of crash. An online fundraising site was established to help the Tanaka's young family meet the enormous expenses of caring for a victim of a traumatic brain injury. Contributions can be made at https://www.gofundme.com/alayna-tanaka.
  The driver of the truck that struck Tanaka's SUV was identified as Todd Steven Franklin, 50, of Randolph. Franklin was treated for unspecified injuries after the crash and released from the hospital a short time later. Franklin has an extensive history of driving offenses, according to court records. 
Alayna Tanaka, the Eagan mother of two young children  who was critically injured when, according to police, her SUV was struck by a truck that ran a red light Aug. 13.

School district seeks suggestions for budget cuts

   School District 196 is seeking suggestions for $25 million in budget cuts.
   The district has posted a link on its website to a form members of the public can use to submit suggestions: https://district196.az1.qualtrics.com/jfe/form/SV_8II5OXy8XpzPCwB.
   A copy of the district’s preliminary operating budget can be obtained by clicking the following link 2018-19 Preliminary Budget Book.pdf. The district’s 2018-19 capital expenditure budget can be obtained by clicking this link: 18-19 capital expenditure book.pdf.
   The district has claimed budget cuts are necessary because of inadequate state and federal funding. The assertion follows a period of heavy spending by the district on staff raises and bonuses, new administrative positions, new construction and renovation, a $6 million speculative land purchase, and a 40 percent raise for members of the District 196 school board.
   The budget cutting comes as the district is seeking a new superintendent to replace Jane Berenz, who retired suddenly last spring.

Eagan man charged in county melee

HASTINGS, MN – An Eagan man was arrested after a series of events in which witnesses reported he struck families driving in their vehicles, ran away wearing no pants, gouged a firefighter’s eyes, and repeatedly spat on a paramedic.
   Michael Papa, 46, of 1388 Lakeside Circle, Eagan, is facing several criminal charges, including a felony charge of threats of violence, in connection with the Oct. 6 episode, according to a Dakota County criminal complaint.
   Papa was arrested after police were called to the scene of a vehicle crash at the intersection of 160th Street E. and General Sieben Drive in Marshan Township and arrived to find the suspect vehicle, a white Hyundai Elantra, had left the scene and caught fire. The suspect than fled on foot. An officer found the suspect standing next to a truck, banging on the door. Police described the suspect, later identified as Papa, as “wearing a white t-shirt, dark-colored jacket, and his pants had fallen down around his ankles.”
   Police allege Papa refused to follow a police officer’s commands and instead walked up to one of the damaged cars and yelled at the driver “I’ll kill all of you.” Papa continued to yell and resist arrest, shouting “I’ll kill him. How many do I have to kill today?” according to police.
   Papa is accused of ramming into the truck of a driver who stopped to help him after his car appeared to be broken down in the roadway. Witnesses reported they were driving their 2016 Dodge Ram when, thinking the driver needed help, they stopped behind a stationary car with its flashers on. The witnesses reported the Elantra then backed up, driving around the truck that stopped to help, rammed the Good Samaritan’s truck from behind, and sped away. The victim tried to follow but was unable to safely keep up at the speed the vehicle was driving.
   The victim called 911. Then watched as the car that struck his struck an SUV. The driver of the SUV told police she had been driving with her son when he cautioned that a car was quickly approaching theirs. The approaching vehicle then rammed the victim’s Chevy Equinox from behind, spinning the car until it faced the opposite direction, and injuring the mother and son.
   The driver who hit the victim’s car got out of his car and began pounding on another vehicle, trying to get in, before running from the scene according to police. A witness reported the fleeing driver as “a heavy set male with a shaved head [who] appeared to be on drugs…he had a white t-shirt on and his pants kept falling down.”
   A passerby stopped and spoke to the crash victims, according to court documents. When she saw Papa standing in the road, she honked her horn at him. The suspect, whom she described as wearing a navy sweater and no pants, reached into her car window, grabbed her hair and the car door handle, and yelled “get the [expletive deleted] out.” The passerby sped off and called 911.
   Another passerby reported a man with no pants running towards his car. The passerby asked the man if he was OK, then drove off as the man tried to open his car door.
   A firefighter driving through the area with his wife and child then came upon the crash scene. When he saw Papa in the road, the firefighter started to open his door to get out of his truck. Papa then allegedly charged at the firefighter, gouged his eyes, scratching the firefighter’s eyeballs, and began throwing haymaker punches, according to the complaint. After removing Papa from his truck, according to court documents, the firefighter then put on his gear to fight the car fire.
   Police then arrived and arrested Papa, according to the complaint. He was transferred from police car to an ambulance. While medics were tending to Papa, he allegedly removed a towel used to cover his face and began spitting at one of the paramedics. Police obtained a search warrant to test Papa’s blood and are awaiting results, according to court records.

Michael Papa