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MINNESOTA NEWS ROUNDUP: More rain, minor flooding expected

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news Ellsworth, 54011
Ellsworth Wisconsin 126 S. Chestnut St. 54011

CHANHASSEN, MN -- One last round of showers and thunderstorms is likely across widespread areas of Minnesota today (Mon), after three to five inches of rainfall over a wet weekend.  Forecasters with the National Weather Service in Chanhassen say the potential for flooding will persist into the evening hours, but the rainfall should come to an end overnight.  Peeks of sunshine are possible throughout the day.  The watch also covers all of the Northland except for Koochiching, northern St. Louis and northern Itasca counties Among the rivers expected to experience flooding are the Sauk River at St. Cloud, the Mississippi River in Aitkin, and the Kickapoo River at Gays Mills, Wisconsin and other nearby communities.  The flooding is expected to be minor, with the biggest risk to low-lying farmland.

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State Republicans endorsed Jeff Johnson for governor at their convention in Rochester this weekend.  Johnson told the party faithful that Republicans need to do better at what Democrats are really good at:  telling everyday stories about how laws affect people.  Johnson cites the much-scrutinized MNsure as an example of how Minnesotans have been impacted by democrats' decisions. Johnson, a Hennepin County commissioner and former state representative serving the western Hennepin County suburbs, will still have three Republican rivals in the August primary:  Scott Honour, Kurt Zellers and Marty Seifert. 

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As expected, Governor Mark Dayton recieved the endorsement of his party for a second term.  At the DFL convention in Duluth over the weekend, Dayton stood by his record, citing progress on issues like same-sex marriage, the bonding bill and job creation.  At the convention, Dayton criticized Republicans for being against everything--including progress. Republicans insist that Dayton's policies and big spending have set Minnesotans back.    

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MNsure officials continue the outreach push across the state this month to help Minnesotans looking to sign up for health insurance through the state's exchange.  Even though the 2014 enrollment period is closed, some may still qualify for Medical Assistance and MinnesotaCare.  Delaney says Minnesota is the only state in the nation that is offering a basic health plan such as MinnesotaCare.  To find an enrollment event nearest you go to the MNsure website. (mnsure.org)

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Four out of five older Minnesotans support bipartisan legislation to combat age discrimination in the workplace. A new AARP poll of voters 50 plus finds 82 percent in favor of Congress passing the Protecting Older Workers Against Discrimination Act.  AARP's Cristina Martin Firvida (FER'-vee-duh) says support cuts across all ideologies.  The legislation is designed to overturn a divided (5-4) Supreme Court decision (Gross v. FBL Financial Services) that made it much more difficult for older workers to prove claims of illegal bias because of their age.

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The flu season has finally come to an end in Minnesota.  There were about 15-hundred influenza-related hospitalizations.  The state Department of Health's Kris Ehresmann says the flu season peaked in late December/early January and again in late April/early May.  Ehresmann calls this flu season "very average." She says they have not yet calculated the total number of flu-related deaths. 

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With the warmer weather that comes along with summer, so do door-to-door solicitors. And while many operate fairly and honestly, there are ways to spot those who are simply looking for a quick buck. One red flag is the asphalt firm that says it has extra asphalt left over from another job and can do the work right away, for a minimal cost. Dan Hendrickson of the Better Business Bureau of Minnesota and North Dakota says professional contractors know, with great accuracy, how much material they need for a project.  Hendrickson says when dealing with a door-to-door solicitor, always ask for identification, verify the company and that the individual works for it and inquire about licensing.

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Here they come! The Monkees make their way to the Minnesota Zoo tonight (MON) to kick off the annual summer Zoo concert series.  Surviving members Mike Nesmith, Peter Tork and Micky Dolenz are back on stage together nearly 50 years after they were first cast as the iconic TV group.  Dolenz for one says he's excited to be playing more drums for this tour. The band is expected to play all its hits, as well as some deeper album cuts. The show gets under way at 7:30 pm.

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A woman was left trapped in an elevator at the LaQuinta Inn in Rochester after a power outage caused by a lightning strike on a transformer.  Firefighters were able to pull the woman out of the car and she was not injured.  Immediately after the rescue fire crews responded to a smoking well building at the nearby Comfort Inn & Suites came in. It turned out to be a malfunction in a backup generator that switched on automatically after the power went out  Damage to the pump house was minimal.

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A 48-year-old Dayton woman remains hospitalized after being hit by lightning while watching a baseball game on Saturday at Ham Lake Lions Park.  Christine Kloeppner was struck just before 3 p.m. and was unresponsive when paramedics arrived on the scene.  She was revived in the ambulance as she was being taken to Mercy Hospital in Coon Rapids.  Family members have requested the hospital not release information about her condition.

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Minneapolis police are looking for suspects in the shooting death of a 17-year-old boy on Sunday.  The teen's pastor has identified the victim as Nehemiah Steverson, but authorities have not released the victim's name.  The teen was found shot around 2 a.m. Sunday in the 16-hundred block of Newton Avenue North.  He died Sunday afternoon at Hennepin County Medical Center.

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 National Park officials say the search for six missing climbers on Washington's Mount Rainier is being scaled back because of dangerous conditions.  The search for 26-year-old Mark Mahaney of St. Paul and five others has already been held-up because of ice and rock falls and poor visibility.  It will now be limited to crews in helicopters trying to spot the missing climbers.  It's believed the six climbers likely fell about 33-hundred feet to their deaths after they were caught in an avalanche.  The climbers were last heard from Wednesday.

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Students in the St. Paul School District might get to sleep in a little bit starting in 2015.  The district is looking into pushing back the start of class for the high school and middle school students from 7:30 to 8:30 after next year.  The move is being considered due to research that indicates later start times increase the ability of students to learn.

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Five wolf pups left orphaned by a raging Alaska wildfire are heading to their new home together.  The animals were rescued from their den in the early days of the Funny River Fire.  A zoo in Anchorage took in the pups, but doesn't have room to keep them.  On Saturday wildlife officials said the critters were in danger of having to split up until the Minnesota Zoo stepped in and offered to take all five. The pups will head to their new home as soon as they are healthy enough to travel.  

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