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MINNESOTA NEWS ROUND-UP: Sauk Rapids plane crash probe continues

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

SAUK RAPIDS, Minn.  -- Investigators with the National Transportation Safety Board and Federal Aviation Administration are still working to piece-together why the plane crashed in Sauk Rapids.

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Multiple eyewitnesses says the plane appeared to have crashed after crossing the wake of another larger plane over Sauk Rapids. Numerous witness accounts indicate the smaller plane may have gotten caught in the larger plane's wake turbulence. St. Cloud Regional Airport Director Bill Towle says there is a lot of air disruption and it's kind of tumultuous air behind that larger plane which can affect a smaller airplane. 

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A family friend of Scott A Olson has confirmed that he was the pilot of the small engine plane that crashed into a home in Sauk Rapids, killing both occupants. Trina Sturlaugson says Olson had 30 to 40 years of experience flying both commercial and small planes. His passenger was 16-year-old Alexander Voigt, a German foreign exchange student hosted by the family of St. Cloud Mayor Dave Kleis. Investigators are waiting to officially release both names once the family of the passenger has been notified. Olson was giving Voigt an aerial tour of the St. Cloud area so the teen could take photos. Voigt was scheduled to return to Germany this week. One person was in the house at the time of the crash Friday night but he was able to get out safely. No one on the ground was hurt. 

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Police have arrested a man in connection with the death of a woman found wrapped in a blanket in the woods in St. Paul Saturday. The 64-year-old suspect was booked into the Ramsey County jail. Officers were originally called to the scene on a report of a dead baby, but instead found the woman wrapped in a blanket. So far, the victim's identity has not been released.

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A woman from northwestern Minnesota was killed when the motorcycle she was riding on collided with a farm sprayer in Lake of the Woods County Sunday afternoon. Thirty-six-year-old Karlyn Hawks of Roosevelt died from her injuries while 46 year-old Russel Hawks was taken to the hospital with non-life-threatening injuries. The Minnesota State Patrol says Hawks was trying to pass the farm sprayer and collided with it when the sprayer turned left into a field.

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A St. Paul man died after he went under water near a beach platform on Lake Phalen in St. Paul Saturday night. Twenty-two-year-old Roger Valle was swimming by the platform when one of his family members saw him go under and never resurface. His body was recovered a short time later. Valle's official cause of death has not been released.

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A newly-released report ranks Minnesota best in the nation for long-term care of the state's aging population. State Human Services Commissioner Lucinda Jesson says Minnesota is in the top spot because the state has a strong system of support and services, and she also credits ongoing efforts to help people live independently and to be protected when they are receiving services. She says DHS is going to roll out a new streamlined system next year that is going to make it easier to report abuse and neglect and speed up investigations. But Mary Jo George of AARP Minnesota says the report did point out areas of concern, like the cycle of home-hospital-nursing home care. She says the state needs to do a better job in decreasing hospital admissions for those receiving home care. 

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