Parents slam Minnesota district on Facebook amid snowstorm

AP News
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Posted: Jan 23, 2018 7:34 PM

MINNEAPOLIS (AP) — More than a foot of snow in the Twin Cities has Minnesotans digging out from one of the biggest snowstorms in recent years, and angry parents admonished school officials on social media for not sending students home earlier.

Schools in the Twin Cities and elsewhere in southern Minnesota closed Tuesday, a day after some students in St. Paul were stranded at schools until 10 p.m.

The St. Paul School District apologized to parents whose children didn't make it home until late at night because some buses got stuck in the snow. In some cases, St. Paul police officers delivered students to their houses, the Star Tribune reported.

"Had we known that the City of Saint Paul was going to get up to 8 inches of snow between 2 and 6 p.m., SPPS may have taken a different course of action," school officials said in a statement.

Parents took to the district's Facebook page, questioning why officials waited until the snow began to pile up to send students home.

The district placed automated calls to parents about 7 p.m. to alert them that some students were stranded at schools, waiting for buses to pick them up. About 300 students were stuck on buses or in schools between 10 p.m. and midnight on Monday, with the last student arriving at 12:05 a.m. Tuesday, Minnesota Public Radio reported.

"I'm very sorry for what happened yesterday," St. Paul Superintendent Joe Gothard said Tuesday afternoon.

It was the highest single-day snowfall total in the Twin Cities in more than five years, topping the 10.5 inches that fell on Dec. 12, 2012. The snow totals were even deeper to the south. Seventeen inches of snow fell in Owatonna, 16.5 inches in Waseca, 12.5 inches in Northfield, 12 inches in Falcon Heights and 11 inches in Stillwater.

Cities across the metro and the state have declared snow emergencies, including Minneapolis, St. Paul, Mankato, Red Wing, Bloomington, West St. Paul, and Crystal.

Police in Rochester, in southeastern Minnesota, said a man who was robbed Monday night while clearing snow off his vehicle used an ice scraper to fend off the suspect. Authorities said the suspect allegedly had a knife and demanded money from the victim, who said he had no cash and gave up his cellphone instead, the Post-Bulletin reported.

The victim told police he was eventually able to ward off the suspect by hitting him in the hand with the ice scraper. Police were able to follow the suspect's tracks for a few blocks before losing the footprints.

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Information from: Star Tribune, http://www.startribune.com