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MINNESOTA NEWS ROUND-UP: Dozen students taken to hospital after Corcoran school bus crash

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CORCORAN, Minn. -- A dozen students were taken to the hospital for treatment after a school bus crash in the Twin Cities suburb of Corcoran this morning.

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The bus carrying 50 children to Rockford Elementary Arts Magnet School collided with an SUV just after 8 a.m. Ambulances from North Memorial Medical Center arrived with ER doctors to do triage and determine if students needed further medical attention. School officials say many of the children suffered bumps and bruises in the crash.

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Saint John’s students and faculty held a prayer service this morning for victims of the terrorist attacks in Kenya. Family members of two students at Saint John’s Prep were killed in the attacks at a shopping mall in Nairobi. Matt Reichert, principal at Saint John's Prep, says an uncle and a grandfather of the students, as well as other close friends and neighbors are among 68 people killed.

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Freeborn County Sheriff's officials say an Albert Lea man died Saturday while duck hunting in southern Minnesota. The family of 73-year-old Orrie Jirele become concerned when he didn't return home. Family members later located him near a dam on Pickeral Lake. Authorities say it appears Jirele died of natural causes not related to hunting.

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A Bemidji man is dead after he was struck by a vehicle early Sunday morning. Police responded to a call at around 4:45 am and found the victim, 54-year-old Andrew Reed, lying on the road with a significant head injury. He was pronounced dead at the scene. The accident remains under investigation.

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Minnesota has now regained all the jobs lost during Great Recession, but an expert says the quality of those jobs still has a long way to go. In the past year the state added more than 63-thousand jobs and the unemployment rate in August fell to five-point-one percent -- the lowest since April 2008. But Minnesota 2020's Joe Sheeran says in the second quarter of 2013, almost 45 percent of jobs added were part-time and more than half required less than a college education. Minnesota 2020 is among a coalition of groups that support raising the state's minimum wage. Both the Minnesota House and Senate approved hikes to the wage last session, but it never became law because the chambers could not agree on how much the increase should be.

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The nation's medical bills have slowed dramatically in the past four years, and experts say that's great news for the federal budget. Richard Koganof with the Center on Budget and Policy Priorities says there's a lot of disagreement about why -- or if it will continue -- but says what had been a looming crisis for the nation is starting to look more manageable. Koganof says despite baby boomers now entering their 60s, growth of health care costs has dropped dramatically. In 2011, health-care inflation was just over a third what it was twenty years earlier. Per-person Medicare spending has grown less than two percent a year since 2010.

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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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