Minnesota News Briefs: Women killed in car crash near St. PeterMinnesota News
-- A single car crash near St. Peter on Sunday killed a 21-year old woman identified by authorities as Elizabeth Risk.
ST. PETER, Minn -- A single car crash near St. Peter on Sunday killed a 21-year old woman identified by authorities as Elizabeth Risk.
Risk was a 21-year old from Gaylord. Four other people including the car's driver were injured in the crash. The car went off the road and into a ditch before hitting several trees.
There's another move afoot at the Minnesota Legislature to reduce the number of state agencies. Senator Mike Parry's bill would combine MN-DOT with another department, and do the same with the Health Department, Human Rights Department and a number of other state agencies. But the Waseca Republican stresses his bill is a starting point to open the discussion. Columbia Heights Democrat Barb Goodwin is leery about combining state agencies. She says the state already ranks very high for efficiency in running state government. There's a Senate hearing set for Friday.
Could there be something more for Rep. Michele Bachmann (R-Stillwater) than just another run at Minnesota's 6th-District Congressional seat? Producers of "Dancing with the Stars" say they've extended an invitation to Bachmann to join the celebrity cast of TV's "Dancing With The Stars" next season. They've also asked former candidate Herman Cain and football player Tim Tebow. Casting announcements will be out in a couple of weeks.
We haven't paid this much for gas since late October. innesota-Gas-Prices-dot-Com reports regular unleaded now up to 3-45 a gallon on average across the state. The most expensive gas is selling in northern Minnesota.
The federal government is investigating the HMOs that run the state's four-billion dollar Medicaid program. Investigators are looking into whether Minnesota's Department of Human Services or its Medicaid HMOs inflated costs to illegally gain federal health care funds. The state contracts with four private insurance companies to manage its Medicaid program through health maintenance organizations. Medicaid provides health care for low-income families and individuals.
The snow-plowing budget this season is not draining like it did last winter at the Minnesota Department of Transportation. During the winter of 2010-2011, highway crews cleared about 60-inches of snow at a cost of $47-million. MnDOT's Kevin Gutknect says they put in more than 129-thousand hours of overtime for snow and ice last year compared with under 50-thousand this season. Gutknecht says the department's sand and salt piles are still standing tall this season. Last year, they sprinkled 30-thousand tons of salt on roadways. So far this season, it's about half that.
New figures from the state Department of Commerce show 2011 was the third best year for E-85 sales in Minnesota. Drivers bought nearly 20-million gallons of 85-percent ethanol fuel last year. Bob Moffitt with the American Lung Association says tailpipe emissions are the largest source of air pollution in the state and E-85 is a cleaner alternative to petroleum-based fuel. Moffitt says the 71 blender pumps in the state also sold about two-million gallons of mid-level ethanol fuels such as E-30 and E-50. Minnesota drivers used two-point-four-billion gallons of gasoline in 2011 which was the lowest consumption in a decade.
A runway at Minneapolis-St. Paul International was shut down Monday after a Lear jet blew a tire. The jet aborted take-off and two people onboard were not hurt. Airport officials say there were no delays, as two other runways handled the extra traffic while officials cleared the scene.
It appears the city of Moorhead's ban on the sale of drug paraphernalia will remain in effect for the time being. Those who petitioned to overturn the measure came up short of the 18-hundred needed signatures because up to 1,200 were not registered Minnesota voters. Mayor Mark Voxland says they have 30 days to make corrections and will likely have to do another petition drive or try something else. Organizers of three Moorhead head shops organized the petition drive.
Some World War I bolt-action rifles that were stored at the Dilworth Community Center have been returned to their rightful owners -- the U.S. Army. Dilworth VFW Commander Jason Hicks says the old rifles weren't being used anymore. The Army has been asking veterans groups across the country to return World War One bolt-action rifles so they can be replaced with newer ones. The rifles are used for military funerals and other ceremonies.
Police have collared a South St. Paul man, saying he stole at least six-thousand dollars worth of laundry detergent from a Twin Cities area Wal-Mart store. Fifty-three-year old Patrick Costanzo faces felony theft charges after surveillance tapes caught him loading up a cart with Tide and taking off. Store officials say it seems to be an ongoing cycle, complaining that they have lost more than 25-thousand dollars worth of detergent over the past 15 months. Officials believe Costanzo was selling it on the black market.
It's not just Valentine's Day today -- it's also National Ferris Wheel Day and Love Makes the World Go Around Week. So naturally, the Mall of America is hosting an event that will cover all the bases. MOA public relations manager Bridgette Jewel says about a dozen couples will tie the knot all at once on the mall's ferris wheel. She says they will get into separate gondolas, be married in an official ceremony and share their first kiss before the wheel is put in motion. Jewel says one of the couples got engaged on a ferris wheel.
Here are the winning numbers from the Minnesota State Lottery for Monday, February 13th, 2012. The Daily Three: 1-2-0. Northstar Cash: 4-12-13-15-30. Gopher Five: 3-9-11-26-46.