MINNESOTA NEWS ROUND-UP: Duck hunter killed in shooting accident
PARK RAPIDS, Minn. -- A newlywed duck hunter was shot and killed by his hunting partner when the other man lost his balance and the shotgun he was holding discharged.
Hubbard County Sheriff's officials say 23-year-old Adam Poole of Nevis and his friend both stood at the same time to shoot at a duck on a river near Crow Wing Lakes when the boat rocked and the gun went off, hitting Poole in the head. Investigators are treating the death as accidental. Poole was married one month ago.
The federal government shutdown could be hazardous to Minnesotans' health if it continues into flu season. The U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention is closed and Congressman Keith Ellison says the flu doesn't care about the shutdown and neither does any other illness, and he is concerned that an outbreak during the shutdown, "Would be catastrophic." The CDC is keeping some employees on duty to maintain its emergency operations, but it has stopped monitoring influenza. Food safety is also a concern with more than half of the CDC's foodborne-illness tracking team on furlough.
State Health Department officials say routine inspections of nursing homes, hospices, outpatient surgical centers, dialysis centers and the like may have to be curtailed as soon as the third week of October if the federal government shutdown continues. Health Department spokesman Mike Schommer says that preventative function would need to be suspended -- but emphasizes the state would still be able to conduct investigations in cases where there was a complaint alleging immediate harm or a similar situation. And Schommer says the WIC nutrition assistance and counseling program for pregnant women and young children may have to be suspended by month's end if the shutdown continues past then.
Seven major sportsmen's groups -- including Minnesota-based Pheasants Forever -- warn the federal government shutdown will hurt hunting because hundreds of wildlife refuges and other federal lands are closed. Pheasants Forever President Howard Vincent says it comes as pheasant population numbers plunge because farm acres are being taken out of CRP and put into corn production. Vincent calls the shutdown "another hit" because refuge lands are "the last bastion for hunting." Minnesota's pheasant opener is Saturday and the DNR estimates populations are down 29 percent from last year.
The south-central Minnesota city of Madelia will host the 2013 Governor's Pheasant Hunting Opener this weekend. City Administrator Dan Madsen says Madelia has created habitats that encourage the pheasant population, by transforming three decommissioned wastewater ponds. He says the ponds are ideal for inexperienced hunters as well as hunters with disabilities. For more information on the event go to mn-pheasant-dot-com.(www.mnpheasant.com).
Changes to a Planned Unit Development in St. Cloud to allow for construction of a mosque, school and community center in a residential neighborhood prompted spirited debate last (Mon) night. Council President Jeff Goerger opened the public hearing by reminding those in attendance that the issue before them was strictly a zoning issue and not one of race or religion. At the end of the discussion, the Islamic Center decided to remove the application for consideration, which means if they wanted to build a mosque at that location in the future, the process would start all over again.
An environmental watchdog group hung a 40-foot Post-It note from the Washington Avenue Bridge in Minneapolis yesterday to protest 3M's impact on the environment. ForestEthics claims 90 percent of Post-It products have no recycled content, and that 3M gets materials for its paper from protected habitats and endangered forests, without much discussion with local communities. Company officials say 3M is among the most acclaimed companies in the world for its environmental stewardship -- and Post It notes specifically use a renewable, plant-based adhesive that reduces petroleum use. The company also offers Post-it Notes and other products made entirely of recycled materials.
The nine-year-old boy that managed to sneak through the Minneapolis-St. Paul International Airport and climb aboard a flight to Las Vegas without a boarding pass was already known to child protection investigators and has been in trouble before. The boy had previously been caught sneaking into a water park without paying and last week he was apparently arrested on I-35 and accused of stealing a car. Hennepin County Human Services officials have stated in an email that the boy's family has been scrutinized four times since last December. The Minneapolis Star-Tribune also reports that the boy's mother works at the airport and officials are investigating whether she had any role in his solo flight to Sin City. The email also says the boy has a history of behavior problems and they're examining his mental health status. It is possible that he could be removed from the home. He is too young to be charged with a crime.
A federal jury in Minneapolis has found the owner of a well-known Duluth headshop guilty of selling banned synthetic drugs. 56-year-old Jim Carlson, who owns Last Place on Earth, was convicted on 51 of 55 felony counts. The jury also convicted Carlson's girlfriend, 33-year-old Lava Marie Haugen on all four counts against her and Carlson's son, 35-year-old Joseph Gellerman, was found guilty on two of four counts. The jury returned the verdicts after deliberating just over two days following a two-week trial.