Minnesota News Briefs: Widespread illness hits Gaylord schoolMinnesota News
-- More than 150 students and a handful of staff from Sibley East School in Gaylord called in sick Wednesday morning and a few more dozen left school early ill.
GAYLORD -- More than 150 students and a handful of staff from Sibley East School in Gaylord called in sick Wednesday morning and a few more dozen left school early ill.
School officials say the phones were ringing off the hook from students complaining of stomach pains, vomiting and diarrhea. Health officials are investigating and say they are hoping better hygiene can stop it from spreading. The school did get a thorough cleaning and officials will temporarily eliminate self-service foods during lunch. So far, the outbreak seems to be limited to just one school campus and the symptoms are lasting about 24 hours. Attendance numbers from today will help determine the spread, if any.
A band of very thick fog moved through southern Minnesota this morning, causing issues for some drivers. The National Weather Service said visibility was at its lowest in Dodge and Mower counties.
A bill aimed at banning a synthetic party drug called 2CE sponsored by Senator Amy Klobuchar (DFL-Plymouth) and two companion bills are being blocked from a final vote. In an unusual move, Klobuchar and two other colleagues went on the Senate floor Wednesday to denounce Senator Rand Paul who put a hold on the proposals. Klobuchar says while 30 states,including Minnesota have banned synthetic drugs, the dangerous chemical compounds are still available. She calls it a "life and death issue," especially in the rural areas that don't have the ability to call in a bunch of lab technicians and experts to be able to testify about what type of synthetic drug it is A spokesperson says Senator Paul has concerns about the far-reaching consequences of federal drug laws.
Hundreds turned out to see Republican presidential candidate Rick Santorum speak just over the Minnesota border in Fargo. He pointed out North Dakota has more delegates than Iowa and South Carolina -- and he's looking for a lift during the March 6th caucuses. Meanwhile, the president's nationwide approval rating is back up to 50-percent, thanks to some measures of economic recovery. The CNN/ORC Poll also shows Democrat Barack Obama currently holds an edge over any GOP challenger in the run for the White House.
It looks like 2012 could be a bumpy year for home foreclosures in Minnesota. TheJanuary rate was up 15-percent from December and 17-percent over January of last year. RealtyTrac reports lenders are ramping backup on some of these delayed foreclosures. Based on the January numbers, Minnesota now has the 17th highest foreclosure rate in the nation.
The annual Minnesota Governor's Homeland Security and Emergency Management Conference wraps up today in St. Paul. Over the three days, participants took part in training sessions addressing current and critical topics in emergency management, incident response and state disaster recovery. Kris Eide, director of Minnesota Homeland Security and Emergency Management, says last year there were three presidential declarations for spring flooding, tornadoes in Minneapolis and Anoka County and severe storms in July. Eide says around 500 people from across the state are taking part in this week's training.
It was a close call for more than 50 school children on a bus in the city of Pierz Wednesday. The State Patrol says it was foggy when a woman's car slid into the bus which had stopped on Highway-25. The 18-year old driver sustained minor injuries but the schoolchildren and the bus driver were not hurt.
A teenager is in stable condition after jumping from a school bus on Wednesday. Minnetonka Police say the girl on the special needs bus became agitated and despondent -- and reportedly ran to the back of the bus and jumped out. She was taken to the hospital with head injuries.
The sentence is more than four years in prison for an Akeley man who attacked a state trooper as she tried to arrest him last October near Park Rapids. Investigators say 26-year-old Elijah Knowles was suspected of drunken driving when Trooper Darcy Gagnon tried to handcuff him. They say he hit the trooper on the head several times with her Taser and tried but failed to get her sidearm. Knowles sped off when other officers arrived but he was arrested after a high-speed chase. The trooper was treated for injuries but has returned to full duties with the State Patrol.
You can see the progress on a new bridge being built over the Mississippi River at Minneapolis. The final segment of the arches on the new Lowry Bridge is in place. Workers began work on the $93-million span in 2010 and it's expected to open by summer.
Here are the winning numbers from the Minnesota State Lottery for Wednesday, February 15th, 2012. The Daily Three: 3-5-7. Northstar Cash: 2-5-7-8-11. Gopher Five: 1-2-11-13-30. Hot Lotto: 1-15-16-22-33 and the Hot Ball was 13. Powerball: 11-12-32-52-56 and the Powerball was 11.