MINNESOTA NEWS BRIEFS: State Fair enjoys warm, sunny weather for opening day
FALCON HEIGHTS, Minn. - The 2013 Minnesota State Fair is open for what can only be described as fantastic weather on its first day.
Officials note Mother Nature can make or break State Fair attendance on any given day. Folks were feasting on roasted corn before 8 a.m. and the mini-donut stands were packed. U.S. Senator Amy Klobuchar (DFL-Plymouth) enjoyed a breakfast of Lift Bridge Brewery's Mini-Donut Ale. Her collegue Senator Al Franken (DFL-Minneapolis) is also at the Fair. Admission for adults is reduced to ten dollars on this "Thrifty Thursday."
While some areas of Minnesota awoke to a foggy morning commute, those in the far southeast corner of the state are dealing with heavy rain and flash flooding. The National Weather Service issued a flash flood warning for central Olmsted County through 10 a.m. Up to two inches of rain fell in under an hour in some areas, and storm spotters and local police are reporting street flooding in the city of Rochester. Forecasters and emergency officials say excessive runoff is expected to cause flooding of small creeks and streams, urban areas, highways, streets and underpasses, and other low-lying spots. They're also reminding people not to walk or drive through moving water and flooded areas.
Officials with Northstar Link and Northstar Rail have a special deal for central Minnesota families who want to go to the State Fair on the weekends. For 20 dollars, two adults and up to three children can ride the Northstar Link from Saint Cloud, catch the Northstar Rail in Big Lake and then hop on the State Fair Express Bus in Fridley. The special offer is only good this weekend and the weekend of August 31st through September 1st. You must buy your family pass online and keep it to show Metro Transit staff on your return trip. For more information go to metrotransit.org.
Brooklyn Center police are investigating a murder, after officers found a man bleeding from a gunshot wound at about 3 a.m. in the rear parking lot of the Super 8 Motel near Interstate 694. Investigators aren't certain whether the victim was a guest at the motel, but say they were called by the clerk when the man tried to get in the back door of the building. The man died at the scene and so far there are no suspects.
Police say speed was a factor in last week's crash near Hibbing of a tanker truck carrying 40-thousand pounds of potentially explosive material. They've turned the investigation report over to the Saint Louis County Attorney's office for possible charges. Authorities say the 62-year-old driver from Virginia, Minnesota was trying to turn off a highway into the entrance of Hibbing Taconite when the truck rolled. None of the ammonium nitrate, used in the blasting process at the site, was spilled. A portion of Highway 5 near the plant entrance was closed for several hours, and the driver suffered minor injuries.
Allegiant Air is adding an additional weekly flight between St. Cloud and Mesa, Arizona. Starting on February 12th, the airline will fly three times a week to-and-from the Saint Cloud Regional Airport and the Gateway Airport in Mesa. Earlier this week, it was announced Allegiant will be flying twice-weekly between St. Cloud and Orlando? Sanford International Airport.