MINNESOTA NEWS BRIEFS: State unemployment rate unchanged
Minnesota's unemployment rate remained at five-point-two percent in July as employers added 4,300 jobs. Meanwhile, the state Department of Employment and Economic Development revised June figures from 400 jobs gained to one thousand jobs lost.
In July, government led all sectors with four-thousand jobs gained, followed by 2,300 jobs in financial activities and 1,400 in leisure and hospitality. The state has gained 71,500 jobs over the past year with a growth rate of two-point-six percent. Minnesota's jobless rate is more than two points below the national rate of 7.4 percent.
Two people killed in an apparent murder-suicide near La Crosse, Wisconsin have been identified as 22-year-old Jesse Klukas of La Crosse and 18-year-old Dana Shefelbine of Holmen. Police found the bodies Tuesday in an apartment building on French Island, in the middle of the Mississippi River between La Crosse and Dresbach. Media reports say Klukas wrote on Facebook how he killed his ex-girlfriend Shefelbine - and posted two photos soon after her murder. The page has been taken off Facebook, and police say they're using it as part of their investigation.
An 83-year-old pilot walked away from a plane crash in eastern Pope County near Brooten Tuesday morning. The Pope County Sheriff's Office says the one-seater crashed after striking an electrical line and came to rest in a ditch just north of County Road 8. The pilot suffered minor injuries. The FAA is investigating.
Preliminary figures show 69,000 fans attended Minnesota Vikings Training Camp this year in Mankato. The Vikings held their final practice on the Minnesota State University campus Wednesday afternoon. Training camp was nearly three weeks this summer and Vikings spokesman Jeff Anderson says daily numbers were higher than previous years. Last year's attendance was 52,000. The Vikings signed a three-year agreement with MSU through 2015. The event generates about five-million dollars for the Mankato area economy.
The sign design for the Tom Decker Memorial Highway was unanimously approved by the Cold Spring City Council Tuesday. An 11-mile section along Highway 23 from Wakefield Township to Richmond will be dedicated to the fallen officer. The two signs are brown with white lettering and cost nearly a thousand dollars each. City leaders had hoped to incorporate their department's police patch on the signs as well, but MnDOT said "no" because of federal and state regulations. The council is in the process of planning a formal tribute ceremony which will be announced after the signs are put in place. Funding for the two memorial signs was donated by Decker's parents, John and Roesella.
A golden retriever is recovering in Eden Prairie after undergoing emergency surgery to remove nearly two pounds of rocks from his stomach. Seven-year-old Gordon had the two-hour operation Wednesday at BluePearl Veterinary partners. Gordon ingested 16 rocks weighing 1.79 pounds each. His owner says only Gordon would be able to explain why he chose to eat river rocks in the garden when great food is always accessible. BluePearl Veterinarian Jeff Yu says most dogs will stop after one or two, but Gordon certainly had quite the hankering for some rocks. He is expected to make a full recovery.