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Morning Minnesota News Briefs: Houseboat tips in Mississippi River near Dresbach

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news Ellsworth, 54011
Pierce County Herald
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Ellsworth Wisconsin 126 S. Chestnut St. 54011

DRESBACH, Minn. - Eleven people were rescued yesterday after a houseboat tipped over on the Mississippi River near Dresbach.

Six of the victims were taken to the hospital but are expected to survive. A preliminary investigation shows the boat may have lost power and was then swept into the rollers at Lock and Dam No. 7. ohn Meyer, the fire chief in La Crescent Minnesota, said the houseboat flung over the roller gates on the lock-and-dam unit and then tipped over. All 11 people on the boat were out of the water when rescuers arrived. Everyone was accounted for. A fishing boat captain, John Rieple, told the La Crosse Tribune he rescued five of the victims when he saw them clinging to a lifeboat nearby. Emergency divers tried salvaging the houseboat. It was spotted near the shore with only its top visible. A family of four drowned in 2007 when their boat lost power in the same area.

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At least three people died on Minnesota roads over the Memorial Day weekend. Minnesota State Patrol officials say one person was killed yesterday near Little Falls when one person in a van collided with a car carrying three people. 24-year-old Jessica Parish-Olson of Waterville died Saturday morning when her car hit a utility pole in Le Sueur County. Her 2-year-old son was also in the vehicle but suffered only minor injuries. 19-year-old Landon Lien of Carlos was killed early Saturday morning in Douglas County when he lost control of his pickup when he tried to pass a truck and rolled over. Passenger 18-year-old Jacob Dale of Alexandria was hurt but not badly.

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A body was found after a cabin fire on Greenstone Lake near Ely. Lake County sheriff's deputies say a man called 911 to say his 49-year-old friend was inside a burning cabin and couldn't make it out. The cabin was only accessible by water. The Morse Township and Fall Lake fire departments responded but could not save the person inside. An autopsy is pending, and investigators believe the victim is from Ely, but haven't released further details.

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While he hasn't *officially* announced his re-election bid, it's expected Governor Dayton will seek a second term. Carleton College Political Analyst Steven Schier believes Dayton has a good shot at getting re-elected unless Republicans can come up with a well-known candidate with deep pockets. He says Republicans need someone who can raise enough money to become well known very quickly and the Governor may have a significant advantage with campaign funds and resources. Schier says on the other hand, keep in mind in a non-presidential election the voters tend to be older and more rural, which could work in Republicans' favor.

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Under a recently passed law, investor-owned utilities in Minnesota must produce one-and-a-half percent of energy from solar by 2020, with a goal of 10-percent by 2030. BlueGreen Alliance Executive Director David Foster says the new law will be good for Minnesota. He says even though some view regulatory mandates as a bad thing, the mandates could prove to be a tremendous stimulus to the economy. Foster says the BlueGreen Alliance is a national partnership of labor unions and environmental organizations.

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Drivers looking to increase miles per gallon to offset high gas prices need to know federal agencies do NOT make recommendations on devices and products that claim to do just that. The Better Business Bureau's Dan Hendrickson says one Minnesota company has gone so far as to claim people can buy a fuel system that will allow them to "start using water for gas." He says the company received an "F" rating with the Bureau for failing to provide information supporting their claim.

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As we head into summer, the American Red Cross of Minnesota is reminding people the need for blood donations is always there. Spokeswoman Sue Gonsior says blood donations always fall in June, July and August. She says each day the Red Cross needs 17,000 blood donations to meet the needs of patients at approximately 3,000 hospitals and transfusion centers across the country. She says every time you give blood you can help save up to three people's lives and give them more time with their loved ones. To make a donation appointment you can call 1-800-red-cross or on-line at red-cross-dot-org.(www.redcrossorg).

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Minnesota's famous Coen brothers have earned international praise for their newest film "Inside Llewyn Davis". The St. Louis Park natives' film won the Grand Prix award at the Cannes Film Festival. The movie is about a singer-songwriter who makes his way through the 60s folk scene in New York City. The film is set to be in theaters in December.

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Two Duluth police officers were treated in the emergency room and released after their squad car was involved in a crash yesterday (Mon) afternoon. The officers were running with lights and sirens when a department spokesman says the cruiser hit a passenger car at an intersection. 61-year-old Richard Kafut of Chisholm wasn't hurt, nor was his passenger. He says they were going up a hill at the intersection, had a green light, and the squad car flew into the intersection right in front of him and he was unable to stop. Minnesota State Patrol is investigating the crash.

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It's costing less for Minnesota drivers to refuel their vehicles. According to Minnesota Gas Prices-dot-com the average price for a gallon of unleaded is four-dollars. While the price continues to fall, Minnesotans are still paying 35 cents above the national average of 3.65 a gallon. Just a week ago, the average price of a gallon a gas in Minnesota hit an all-time high of $4.28 a gallon.

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