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MINNESOTA NEWS ROUNDUP: Three teens arrested in Willmar murder

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

Three teenagers are in custody in Kandiyohi County in connection with the death of a grandmother this week in Willmar. Formal charges could be filed today against the two 17-year-old suspects and the 16-year-old, all from Willmar It's believed 79-year-old Lila Warwick was killed during a burglary attempt. Authorities say she suffered multiple stab wounds and neck injuries consistent with strangulation. Sheriff's officials doing a welfare check Monday found Warwick dead inside her home, where she lived alone. Funeral services are Saturday in Willmar. 

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A man drowned in a Clay County gravel pit last night. A group of friends was jumping off a raft and swimming in the Felton Gravel Pit when the man went under. Rescue crews recovered the man's body after about an hour of searching. Sheriff Bill Bergquist says it's a popular spot, even though no trespassing signs are posted. He says people generally go there to party. The man was 26 and from Fargo. His name has not been released. 

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The Beltrami County Sheriff's Office has released more information in a Wednesday hit-and-run that killed a 25-year-old Bemidji man. Christopher Strong was found dead on Grange Road early Wednesday morning, and police have identified the make of the car that killed him. Sheriff Phil Hodapp says they are looking for a maroon red Chevrolet Monte Carlo, which is likely to have significant front end damage, and are hoping for a tip that will lead investigators to the driver that left the scene. 

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Day two of We-Fest country music festival at the Soo Pass Ranch near Detroit Lakes, and a lot of law officers and security officers are patrolling the grounds to keep festival-goers safe. Coordinator John Gourley says with 30,000 fans spending the weekend camping, they want to make sure everyone is okay. The State Patrol brings in extra troopers from across the state to help keep the highways safe, and Becker County deputies and Detroit Lakes police patrol the roads outside the grounds. Keith Urban and Gary Allen are on stage tonight, and tomorrow night Darius Rucker and Carrie Underwood will wrap things up. 

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Governor Dayton and legislative leaders are talking about a possible special session for storm relief. Dayton's Deputy Chief of Staff, Bob Hume, says they're working on a bipartisan agreement to pay the state's share of disaster funding. Under the disaster declaration President Obama signed for 18 Minnesota counties, the federal government will pay three-quarters of the cost to repair public infrastructure damaged in the June storms and flash floods. Local governments and/or the state must pick up the remainder. The governor's office wants an agreement limiting the special session to storm relief. That's likely because Republicans have been clamoring for a special session to repeal a warehousing sales tax that takes effect next year. Dayton has said it can be dealt with during the regular session which begins next February. 

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A Moorhead man has been charged after a fight erupted into a road rage incident. Clay County Sheriff Bill Bergquist says two men got into an altercation Tuesday night at a park, then left in separate vehicles and continued the fight at a drag strip near Sabin. Court documents say 35-year-old Shukry  Mohammad rammed the victim's vehicle several times and then tried to run him over. He faces charges of assault with a dangerous weapon and criminal damage to property. The victim, who was treated for a broken jaw, was cited for disorderly conduct 

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Seventh District Congressman Collin Peterson is blasting U-S House Republicans for an agreement on a nutrition bill that he warns would cut 40 billion dollars from food assistance programs. The Republican-controlled House sidestepped the controversy over food stamps last month, passing a Farm Bill that made no changes in the program and leaving the food stamp cuts for separate legislation. Peterson says House Republicans' latest move demonstrates "they have no interest in compromise or actual legislating." Congressman John Kline declined comment, but his spokesman notes the Second District Republican voted for the Farm Bill twice this year -- once when it included food stamps and once when it did not. The Senate passed a bill with much smaller cuts to food stamps, now known as the SNAP program. 

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Jason Schulte is a reporter for the New Richmond News since February 2015. Prior to that he spent eight years at the Pierce County Herald in Ellsworth. His duties with the News will include covering news out of Hammond and Roberts along with action from St. Croix County court system. He lives in Roberts. 
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