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MINNESOTA NEWS BRIEFS: Half of Minnesota now in drought

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Drought appears to be returning with a vengeance. The latest report shows half of Minnesota is now in drought, up from 10 percent last week.

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Parts of the Midwest will get some much-needed rain over the next few days, but USDA meteorologist Brad Rippey says Minnesota isn't likely to see much, if any With weeks still to go before harvest, Rippey says a wet September could still be beneficial for fill-in corn and soybeans.

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A 77-year-old man is dead after a farming accident in rural Sleepy Eye. Brown County Sheriff's officials say it appears Donald Richert got off a skidloader to move something in a burn pit, when the skidloader moved forward, pinning Richert underneath. Richert received extensive burns to the majority of his body. He was pronounced dead at the scene.

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A northern Minnesota man died in a construction accident in far eastern Ohio Thursday. The 31-year-old man from Shelvin was driving a pipe loader on a hill at a gas pipeline construction site when he thought the loader was sliding into a ditch. Authorities say the man's foot got caught in the loader's track and he fell backward and suffered a head injury The victim's name has not been released. 

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Authorities have identified human remains found August 17th inside a burned-out hunting shack in northeastern Minnesota. The St. Louis County Sheriff's Office says the victim is 37-year-old Josh Haavisto of rural Virginia. The cause of the Vermilion Lake Township fire is still under investigation and anyone with information is asked to contact the sheriff's office in Virginia.

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Sean Scallon
Sean Scallon has been a reporter and Sports Editor at the Pierce County Herald newspaper in Ellsworth since 1998. He holds a bachelors degree in communication arts from the University of Wisconsin-Madison. He's also worked at newspapers in Glenwood City, Wisconsin; Marion, Illinois and Shawano, Wisconsin. Sean also works as a sports reporter for other newspapers and websites in RiverTown Multimedia from River Falls to Hudson to New Richmond and Red Wing.
(715) 273-4334
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