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MINNESOTA NEWS BRIEFS: First woman on state supreme court dies

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news Ellsworth, 54011
Ellsworth Wisconsin 126 S. Chestnut St. 54011

ST. PAUL -  Former Justice Rosalie Wahl, the first woman to serve on Minnesota Supreme Court, died Monday morning at the age of 88.

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Wahl was appointed to the high court in 1977 by Governor Rudy Perpich and served for 17 years. State Supreme Court Chief Justice Lorie Gildea says Wahl was a trailblazer, leading efforts to address both gender fairness and racial bias in Minnesota's justice system. Funeral services are pending.

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A 36-year-old woman from Grand Rapids is dead after an ATV crash about 20 miles east of Bemidji in Moose Lake Township. Authorities say the machine rolled and pinned her to the ground. Lifesaving efforts were unsuccessful and the woman was pronounced dead at the scene. Her name is being withheld until all family members are notified.

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The state's housing market showed no signs of slowing down in June. Closed sales were up four-and-a-half percent, pending sales rose about eight percent and average days on the market dropped. Chris Galler (GAL'-ur) with the Minnesota Association of Realtors says sellers are getting more for their homes: statewide the median price is $185,000; $217,000 in the metro. Despite low inventory, new listings increased more than 16 percent last month. Galler says the number of foreclosed and distressed properties in Minnesota is half of what it was last June.

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A man convicted of cutting a dog's throat in June of 2010 is back in jail after a probation violation. Benjamin Stavaas was released on two years' probation after a year in jail, but admitted to an Otter Tail County judge Monday that he was charged with burglary in Grand Forks, North Dakota and had started drinking one week after treatment. Stavaas will remain in jail until Friday's court hearing before the judge who handled the original animal abuse case. The dog in that case, named Star, recovered from her injuries. 

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The Olmsted County Board is expected to decide today 3 p.m. whether Rochester and surrounding communities will have a 10 dollar-per-vehicle "wheelage tax" plus a quarter-percent sales tax. It would help cover the county's portion of infrastructure costs for the Mayo Clinic's planned expansion in downtown Rochester. Elected officials in about two dozen Minnesota counties have said "yes" so far this month to a "wheelage tax" to fund road and bridge projects -- and a half-dozen more county boards will likely vote before the August 1st deadline. State lawmakers earlier this year gave all Minnesota counties the option to collect a wheelage tax. Before that, 

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