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MINNESOTA NEWS ROUND-UP: First court appearance for accused Mendota Heights cop killer

The man accused of killing a Mendota Heights police officer two weeks ago made his first court appearance this afternoon. 

Thirty-nine-year-old Brian Fitch Sr. is facing 12 charges, including murder in the shooting death of 47-year-old Officer Scott Patrick.  Patrick was shot in the head during a traffic stop in West St. Paul.  Fitch has had at least two court appearances delayed while recovering from several gunshot wounds suffered in a standoff with police.  

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A man was struck and killed by a Canadian Pacific train early this morning in Winona.  Train personnel told police he was standing near the tracks and when the train approached he stepped into the middle of the tracks and sat with his back toward the locomotive.  The train operator was unable to stop in time.  The name of the 23-year old from Winona is being withheld until his family is notified.  

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A Detroit Lakes woman whose body was found outside a Menahga home last month died of strangulation.  The Ramsey County Medical Examiner's Office ruled the cause of 32-year-old Kelly Lund's death was "a ligature wrapped around her neck multiple times causing asphyxia." Family members found Lund dead in a tent on her brother's lawn the morning of July 12th.  She returned to her hometown for the annual Midsummer Festival and was camping with her boyfriend.  

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State Representative Jennifer Loon of Eden Prairie survived a Republican primary challenge Tuesday despite her support for same-sex marriage.  The House deputy minority leader defeated conservative candidate Shelia Kihne, who was supported by the Minnesota Family Council.  Kihne decided to run against Loon after she voted to legalize gay marriage in 2013, and GOP delegates in House District 48B refused to endorse Loon this spring.  Republican Representative David FitzSimmons of Albertville also lost his party's endorsement over his same-sex marriage vote but did not seek re-election. 

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It's time for two-a-days and Fall captains practices at high schools across Minnesota, and a new study from Safe Kids Worldwide shows that injuries to student athletes are on the rise.  CEO Kate Carr says more than half of athletes say they have played while injured, and more than half of coaches felt pressured to put injured players back in the game.  She says that just leads to bigger problems down the road because that injury could result in a lifetime of a more serious challenge that you have to face physically, rather than missing a single game. Carr says proper technique, strength training and stretching all can help prevent injuries, and she encourages young athletes to only participate in one sport at a time to prevent injuries because of overuse. 

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