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MINNESOTA NEWS ROUND-UP: Storms batter northwest Minnesota

NEW YORK MILLS - Strong thunderstorms moved through parts of northwest Minnesota this morning causing flash flooding and hail damage. 

Two-to-four inches of rain fell in the Barnesville area, plus golf-ball-sized hail.  Baseball-size hail was reported in the Ottertail and New York Mills area.  A weather spotter in Pelican Rapids reports 2.53 inches of rain.  One inch was reported north of Clitherall and around three-and-a-half in Perham.

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The Minnesota Department of Health released data on their research into the number of sports-related concussions in Minnesota high schools during the 2013-2014 school year.  It includes information about which sports account for the most concussions among boys and girls.  In 2011, Governor Dayton signed Minnesota's youth sports concussion safety bill into law.  The legislation requires all coaches and officials to receive concussion training and education.  Coaches must also remove an athlete from activity if they exhibit signs, symptoms or behaviors consistent with a concussion.  The law also requires an appropriate health care professional's signature to return to play if an athlete is removed due to a concussion. 

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A judge in Wisconsin will decide today if there's enough evidence to put a former sheriff's deputy on trial for the killings of his wife and her sister, who grew up in Stillwater.  Andrew Steele is charged with two counts of first-degree intentional homicide.  The 39-year-old is accused of killing his wife Ashlee and her sister Kacee Tollefsbol.  Both were found shot to death August 22nd at the Steeles' home in the Madison suburb of Fitchburg.  Andrew Steele was diagnosed with ALS and retired in June after 14 years as a Dane County sheriff's deputy.  He took the Ice Bucket Challenge on T-V and raised awareness of his disease, while his wife raised $75,000 to help care for him.

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As the search continues for a man accused of murdering his business partner and former boyfriend, the family of victim Kelly Phillips is asking the public to help police locate Lyle "Ty" Hoffman.  Phillips' friends and family say they are understandably frustrated that Hoffman has not been caught more than three weeks after he allegedly shot his ex at a gas station in Arden Hills -- but say the "net is quickly tightening around both him and anyone who may be aiding him."  They are asking the public to closely examine photos of Hoffman shown in the media and immediately call 911 if they think they may have seen him.  They join police in cautioning that Hoffman is considered armed and very dangerous. 

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A non-profit headquartered in St. Louis Park is coordinating an effort to send medical supplies and food to a west African nation impacted by the Ebola virus.  Megan Doyle, founder of the group "Matter," says four shipping containers filled with a million meals as well as burial supplies, personal protective gear, and medical equipment will soon be headed to Liberia.  She says Minnesota is home to many families that have loved ones in the midst of the crisis.  Matter is hoping to raise $200,000 to send additional food and supplies.  Donations can be made online at matter-more-dot-org.

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