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MINNESOTA NEWS BRIEFS: Fugitive caught in Blue Earth County

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

MANKATO, Minn. - A fugitive being sought by Blue Earth and Nicollet County law enforcement for assaulting an officer, running from police and a parole violation has been captured.

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31-year-old Jacob Friedrichs is in the Blue Earth County Jail, after a search that Sheriff Brad Peterson says was prolonged because Friedrichs had help in evading authorities. Peterson says Friedrichs was assisted by friends, stayed with them and borrowing cars. Friedrichs was sent to prison in 2005 on a conviction for producing methamphetamine.

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Two people are dead after a truck collided with a pick-up near Duluth on Tuesday. The State Patrol says it appears a tire problem likely caused a truck hauling well-drilling equipment to veer into the path of the oncoming pick-up, killing both of its occupants and causing a fire. The victims are a 46-year-old Floodwood man and a 29-year-old Cloquet man. The truck driver, a 61-year-old man from Esko, remains in serious condition at a nearby hospital.

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Minnesota Governor Mark Dayton has called on leaders from both sides of the aisle in the U.S. House to pass the farm bill and then go into conference committee negotiations with the Senate. One new proposal is to split the bill in half, with one piece on farm policy and the other on nutrition policy. But Farmer Alan Merrill points out that farm and nutrition policies were merged decades ago to bridge the rural-urban divide, and he says rather than break up the legislation the whole package should be renamed the "Food Bill." U.S. House leadership floated the plan to split the bill on Tuesday, with mostly party-line responses of Republicans supporting it and Democrats opposing it.

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Minneapolis-based Target is the target of a lawsuit brought by three former employees who are claiming racial discrimination. Robert Gonzalez, Bulmaro Fabian and Pedro Garcia-Ayala's lawyers are citing a document they say was given to managers, which states that not all Hispanic people eat tacos and burritos, dance to salsa or wear a sombrero. The memo goes on to say that Mexicans have a lower education level, and may say "OK, OK" and pretend to understand when they don't, in order to save face. The lawsuit also claims that nearly all of the supervisors the men worked for were Caucasians who regularly used racial slurs. Gonzalez claims he was fired in retaliation for reporting the problem to human resources. A statement from Target says it's never the company's intent to offend team members and offers an apology, and claims the memo "was used during conversations at one distribution center, was never part of any formal or company-wide training," and the company takes accountability for its contents and is "truly sorry."

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Police looking into a pipe bomb that was found by a utility worker in Rochester say it was old and rusted, and suspect it may have been lying where it was found for some time. Rochester Police Captain John Sherwin says the pipe bomb was found along a frontage road, and it doesn't appear there was any intent to blow up something specific. The fact that it wasn't near any homes or businesses, he says, made it easier to isolate the area and keep people safe. There are no suspects. 

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