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MINNESOTA NEWS ROUND-UP: Crash kills in Otter Tail County

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MINNESOTA NEWS ROUND-UP: Crash kills in Otter Tail County
Ellsworth Wisconsin 126 S. Chestnut St. 54011

HENNING, Minn.  --  Two people are dead and four others seriously injured in a head-on crash in Otter Tail County. 

The State Patrol says the driver of a car was traveling southbound in the northbound lane near Henning Wednesday night.  Officials say the car struck an SUV and both vehicles ended up in the ditch.  Two people in the car were killed - the 34-year-old driver and a 26-year-old passenger, both from Deer Creek.  Two children in the car, ages five and eight, were seriously injured -- as were two people in the other vehicle.  The victims' names are not being released at this time. 

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Two men are in custody after abducting a 37-year-old man from his house in Loretto just west of the Twin Cities.  The man's wife called police around 9:30 last night to report the kidnapping.  Police located the suspects' car near Highway 55 in Loretto and during the stop they ran.  With help from a Minnesota State Patrol helicopter, authorities eventually tracked the men down in a field in Corcoran and arrested them around 1 a.m.  Officials say the victim and suspects didn't know each other and the motive is still unclear.

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On yesterday's 12th anniversary of the terrorist attacks of 2001, Minnesota officials gathered with federal emergency managers to take steps so something like 9/11 doesn't happen within the state's borders.  Joe Kelly, deputy director of Minnesota Department of Homeland Security and Emergency Management says they and FEMA conducted a threat assessment, looking a key facilities in Minnesota communities, how vulnerable they are and what's necessary to protect them more.  Kelly says 9/11 was a wake-up call and Minnesota is much better prepared for such things than 12 years ago -- and more ready to prevent them from happening in the first place.

Yesterday's (Wed) 12th anniversary of the 9-11 attacks was felt more personally by a Mayo Clinic doctor than most other Minnesotans.  Doctor Richard Oakler was a firefighter in the Bronx on 9-11 -- as well as a medical student -- and the day after two planes destroyed the World Trade Center he headed to Ground Zero to help in the rescue and recovery effort.  Oakler says everyone was saying, "We've gotta get this pile out of here and get everybody out from underneath there," because they just assumed there would be a whole bunch of people trapped -- but unfortunately it never happened.  He says he has never gone back to Ground Zero since his participation in the rescue effort -  and says it would be emotionally difficult for him.  Oakler is now a pulmonologist at Mayo, treating lung diseases that have affected many rescuers and other New Yorkers who breathed in dust and other byproducts produced when the World Trade Center collapsed.

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