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MINNESOTA NEWS BRIEFS: Wilf family found guilty in New Jersey civil lawsuit

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news Ellsworth, 54011
Pierce County Herald
715-273-4335 customer support
Ellsworth Wisconsin 126 S. Chestnut St. 54011

MORRISTOWN, N.J. - Minnesota Vikings owner Zigi Wilf, his brother and cousin will know in two weeks what a long-running lawsuit decided against them will cost. A judge found the three committed fraud, breach of contract, breach of fiduciary duty and violated the state's civil racketeering statute, or RICO.

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The Newark Star-Ledger newspaper says the case, which lasted 21 years, involved four judges, mountains of paperwork and allegations of what it terms "chicanery and evil." At issue was the construction of a 764-apartment complex in New Jersey. The Wilfs' partners in the deal say they were systematically cheated out of their fair share of the revenues. 

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The Minnesota Bureau of Criminal Apprehension says the active investigation into the November murder of Cold Spring Police Officer Tom Decker is wrapped up, but the case file will remain open. BCA officials say they have gathered enough evidence to show that Eric Thomes  was likely behind officer Decker's murder -- and would have been arrested had he not committed suicide in January. Although Ryan Larson was arrested early in the investigation, detectives now say there is no known connection between he and Thomes, and there is no reason to believe Larson participated in the murder. Although the BCA took an active role in the investigation, the file has now been turned back over to the Stearns County Sheriff's Office.

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Police officers across Minnesota ticketed more than 17,000 drivers for speeding during a statewide campaign meant to increase safety on roads and highways. The Minnesota Department of Safety says at least 12 drivers were caught traveling more than 100 miles-per-hour, including one near Mankato clocked at 148 miles-per-hour. An average ticket for 10 mph over the limit is typically more than $120, and those stopped at 20 miles-per-hour over the speed limit face double the fine. The twelve drivers caught driving more than 100 miles-per-hour face the possibility of losing their license for six months. DPS Office of Traffic Safety director Donna Berger says speeding is a leading crash death factor and accounts for around 80 traffic deaths every year.

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It's proving to be a deadly year for motorcyclists in Minnesota. One man is dead and his passenger hospitalized after a crash in Maple Grove early this morning. According to police, the motorcycle left the roadway and plowed into a number of mailboxes. The man was pronounced dead at the scene, his female passenger was taken to North Memorial Medical Center with injuries. No word on her condition. More motorcyclists have died this year on Minnesota roads than last year at this time, according to officials with the Minnesota Department of Public Safety. Over 40-percent of riders killed this year were over the age of 50.

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Fourteen agencies from around the state will be participating in a domestic training exercise Thursday at Camp Ripley in Little Falls, in preparation for a larger exercise in 2015. The Minnesota National Guard's Joint Force Headquarters is conducting the drill designed to establish and strengthen working relationships between local, county and state agencies. Some of the objectives include validating roles and responsibilities, reviewing procedures and exercising communication systems. The drill in 2015 dubbed "Vigilant Guard" is an all-hazard, full-scale exercise.

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A new study shows meat processing plants need to plan better for a viable future. There are more than 130 meat processing plants in Minnesota, with hundreds of farmers supplying them. USDA economist Richard Stillman says the study shows processors need to more rigidly schedule their business. He says you can't have a farmer randomly show up with a couple of cattle and say "I need slaughter today." Rather, he says processors need to schedule and maintain their processing capacity. On the flip side, Stillman says processors need to improve quality and services to farmers, including marketing and distribution efforts.

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 A 67-year-old man will be pedaling across Minnesota over the next several days, as part of a 12,000 mile bicycle ride around the perimeter of the continental U.S. to raise money for an organization close to his heart...the Best Friends Animal Society. Floyd Lampart began the ride at his home in Clear Lake, New York in April. Today he will cross into Minnesota from North Dakota, and make stops today and tomorrow in Karlstad, Greenbush, Roseau, and Warroad.   

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