Minnesota News Briefs: Clearwater County boy recovering from boating accidentMinnesota News
-- Clearwater County boy is getting stronger -- recovering from critical injuries he received in a sailing accident earlier this month.
BEMIDJI - Clearwater County boy is getting stronger -- recovering from critical injuries he received in a sailing accident earlier this month.
Eight-year old Isaiah Risland lost his two younger brothers when their sailboat sank on Clearwater Lake. Their father swam to shore to get help. Isaiah's CaringBridge web page says the boy is now speaking and eating and his internal organs are functioning at very close to normal levels. He also shows improved motor skills and is now working on a wood puzzle and brushing his own teeth - with just a little help. It was only a week ago that Isaiah was still on a ventilator.
State health officials encourage parents to make sure young infants are up to date with their immunizations. Kris Ehresman with the Minnesota Department of Health says parents should not fear immunizing their child. She says under-vaccinating a child can leave them vulnerable to illnesses that were once thought nearly eradicated. This week is National Infant Immunization week.
University of Minnesota Regent Dean Johnson of Willmar says when it comes to hiring an athletic director, it's more about dollars and cents. The university has named Norwood Teague from Virginia Commonwealth University to be the school's new athletic director. Johnson says Teague has an impressive fundraising record and that's important. Teague and college officials are now working out a contract.
A Minnesota engine parts maker is moving more jobs here while closing a plant in Winnipeg. Phillips and Temro will bring two-thirds of that work force to its headquarters in Eden Prairie while the other third will go to China. In all, the manufacturer will add about 80 positions in Minnesota.
After a quick start by Minnesota farmers to this spring's planting season, wet weather has slowed things down. A dry, early spring allowed farmers across the state to start planting early this year. But rain over the past week or two throughout much of the region has put the brakes on spring planting in many areas This week's weather and crop update from the Minnesota Department of Agricultural Statistics shows eleven percent of the state's corn crop is in -- fairly close to average for this time in April. Spring wheat, oats, barley, sugar beets, potatoes and green peas all getting in at a faster pace than normal. However, the latest USDA Crop Report shows spring wheat planting still moved forward and is now close to 85-percent finished. Other early crops went in the ground and corn is now 11-percent planted. Soybean planting could start soon if the ground dries a bit, but more rain is in the forecast starting Wednesday.
Trampled by Turtles makes its inaugural appearance tonight on the "Late Show with David Letterman." The Duluth-based bluegrass group takes the stage at the Ed Sullivan Theater today for its first-ever national tv audience. Trampled by Turtles played a gig last night in North Carolina and drove overnight to New York City. The band was scheduled to play Letterman this summer but a cancellation led to today's fill-in peformance. They're on tour supporting the new album "Stars and Satellites" and will likely perform their current Billboard Top 40 song "Alone."
The body of a Minnesota man was recovered from Big Stone Lake on Minnesota's western border. Roberts County, South Dakota Sheriff's officials say 49-year-old Richard Larsen of Champlin was recovered from the water just before one-o'clock Monday afternoon. No foul play is suspected. Larsen's death is being ruled accidental drowning.
A driver from eastern Kentucky was killed when his car drifted across the center line of a Minnesota road and collided with a semi. The accident happened on Highway-59 near Marshall, resulting in the death of 49-year old Mace Eden. The truck's driver was treated and released from the hospital.
The Minnesota Department of Natural Resources (DNR) will lift burning restrictions in 13 Twin Cities metro and central Minnesota counties beginning Friday morning at 8. The DNR is lifting restrictions in areas where there's green-up and wildfire conditions are easing. Although the restrictions are being lifted in these counties, residents still need to follow any local and county restrictions. Keep in mind, a good chunk of central and northern Minnesota still remain under burning restrictions. For the latest on burning restrictions, you can go to the DNR's website.
The Minnesota state House of Representatives has followed the Senate's lead and passed a bill to legalize fireworks in Minnesota similar to those allowed in Wisconsin . Inver Grove Heights DFLer Joe Atkins proposed adults under the influence not be allowed to use fireworks or supervise children using them. Elbow Lake Republican Torrey Westrom fired back, saying people could drive a car or a boat if they're under the legal limit, but not shoot off a bottle rocket. He questions: "Can't you just let Minnesotans have a little bit of fun?" Atkins then withdrew his admendment, saying the point was made.
A medical device maker with plants in the Twin Cities area reports one death due a problem with one of its products. Massachusetts-based Boston Scientific says a transformer in two of its inplantable cardiac defibrillators malfunctioned, leading to the death of one patient who had been fitted with the ICD. There's no word on where the patient lived and no recall is planned. Some of Boston Scientific's devices are made at plants in Arden Hills and Maple Grove.
"Operation Medicine Delivery" will be taking place in parts of the Twin Cities metro on Sunday May 6th. Postal workers will make an unusual morning delivery to residential addressees in four local zip codes. What they will be delivering is an empty pill bottle. Jane Braun with the Department of Health says if we had something such as an anthrax attack we would need to get antibiotics out to everybody in the state within 48 hours. The state would be using medication centers but they're trying this model in certain areas to see if they could be delivered door-to-door.
It's often forgotten that crime victims have problems long after the crime itself. This week, Minnesota officials are pointing to the many laws that help crime victims cope with their physical and psychological trauma. Dakota County Attorney Jim Backstrom notes that crime victim rights laws didn't exist 25 years ago and we've come a long way. He says we still have a long way to go with the types of crimes today including identity theft and Internet-based crimes. Backstrom says Minnesota has a victim compensation fund, counseling and service agencies that help crime victims with their individual needs. This is Crime Victims' Rights Week in Minnesota and across the nation.
Representative Michele Bachmann is wrapping up a four-day trip to the Middle East which included a visit to combat zones in Afghanistan. The Sixth District congresswoman had breakfast with Minnesota soldiers and says they are dedicated to seeing this mission through. She says not one of the local troops said the U.S. should leave now because there's a lot of work to be done. Bachmann says the United States and Afghanistan have agreed to a long-term strategic partnership after our combat troops withdraw in 2014. She says the Afghans need to be able to stand on their own for this war to be defined as a success.
Prices at the pump continue to fall. The average for regular unleaded gasoline in Minnesota is $3.66 a gallon. Petroleum analyst Gregg Laskowski with Gas-Buddy.com says we're seeing good numbers from the Department of Energy on refining, crude supply and gasoline supply. Laskowski says another contributing factor may be that Iran is back at the bargaining table with the UN Security Council. Minnesota is seeing the lowest gas prices in a month and he's predicting there will not be an uptick before Memorial Day weekend.
A cement plant is considered a total loss following an early morning (fire in Otsego in Wright County. The roof had already caved in and flames were engulfing the Knife River plant when crews from four northwest metro fire departments arrived around 4:30am. A plant manager was able to move a number of Ready Mix trucks away from the burning structure. No one was injured in the blaze. The damage is estimated at $800,000.
A small town in northwestern Minnesota is grieving after the loss of a boy in a fire late Friday. The fire near the town of Stephen resulted in the death of a four-year old and injuries to two of his three siblings. The Marshall County Sheriff's Office hasn't released any names yet, nor the conditions of the boy's two older brothers. The boys' parents were reportedly at work late Friday and the children were home alone. The four-year-old's body was found on Saturday after an extensive search. The home was destroyed. Local residents are collecting money to help the family.
It's been 15 years since historic flooding along the Red River. Tens of thousands of residents were evacuated in the wake of the worst flooding ever in Grand Forks and East Grand Forks. Former President Bill Clinton tried to inspire evacuees who had taken shelter at the Grand Forks Air Force Base. Clinton told the crowd "we have hardly ever seen such a remarkable demonstration of courage, commitment and cooperation and basic human strength and we are very impressed and proud to be Americans to see what you have done in the face of this natural disaster." The Red River had crested at over 54 feet - or eight feet over major flood stage. By comparison, the Red at Grand Forks today is leveling off at just under 19 feet.
The election is many months away but it's already certain there will be many new faces in the Minnesota legislature next session. A large number of lawmakers in both houses plan to retire or are running for a different office New legislative boundaries are forcing some to quit while others are tired of all the political bickering. U-of-M political science professor Kathryn Pearson says lawmakers on both sides of the aisle are frustrated by the gridlock, frustrated by the partisan rancor. She says at the congressional level, it will be difficult for Democrats to regain control of the U.S. House. Pearson thinks they could hang on to the Senate but only by a seat or two. She says Republicans do have a shot at winning control.
A group of Minnesota high school students had a harrowing experience while returning from a field trip to New York. The Star-Tribune reports their Delta flight took off from La Guardia Sunday night but had to land right away at JFK because the pilot smelled smoke in the cabin. Three-dozen students from Southwestern High School in Minneapolis were on the plane when it made its emergency landing. There were no injuries.
At the Mall of America this morning, senior citizens are taking part in a "Walk Against Fraud." State Commerce Commissioner Mike Rothman says the purpose of the event is to help raise awareness of scams targeting older consumers. He says each year, older Americans are conned out of two-and-a-half billion dollars. Lieutenant Governor Yvonne Prettner Solon will be on hand to answer questions and share information about fraud and the steps seniors can take to protect their finances. AARP is co-sponsoring the event, which happens in conjunction with Financial Literacy Month.
The tax filing deadline has come and gone -- so what about people who missed it? Carrie Resch of the IRS says penalties kick in immediately but there are some circumstances where late fees may be eased. Resch says it's possible to get penalties reduced if you can establish a reasonable cause for your late filing and your late payment, such as hardship situations or natural disasters. Resch says if you owe money but missed the deadline, you should file your return quickly. That way you will pay less penalties and interest. She says E-filing is still the best option for speed and accuracy.
The number of "couch potatoes" has bloated in recent years but some states, including Minnesota are more active as a whole than others. Our state ranks among the top five most-active states in the country, according to the Sporting Goods Manufacturers Association annual report. The others include top-rated Utah, New Hampshire, Idaho and Colorado. The states with the lowest level of physical activity are Tennessee, New Mexico, Louisiana, West Virginia and Mississippi.
Here are the winning numbers from the Minnesota State Lottery for Monday, April 23rd, 2012. The Daily Three: 5-1-8. Northstar Cash: 13-18-26-30-31. Gopher Five: 5-16-29-38-42.