(update) Minnesota News Briefs: Minnesota Marine dies in AfghanistanMinnesota News
-- The U.S. Department of Defense is reporting the death of a Minnesota Marine in Afghanistan.
(Twentynine Palms, CA) -- The U.S. Department of Defense is reporting the death of a Minnesota Marine in Afghanistan.
Twenty-one-year-old Corporal Taylor Baune of Andover died Wednesday during combat operations in Helmand Province. Baune was assigned to the 1st Battalion, 7th Marine Regiment, 1st Marine Division based in Southern California. No other details about how he was killed have been released.
A motorcycle crash in Wright County claimed the life of a Cokato man early today (Thurs). The sheriff's office says the 64-year-old rider lost control on County Road 35 shortly after midnight and was thrown from his cycle. The unidentified victim was pronounced dead at the scene in French Lake Township. The cause of the fatal crash is still under investigation.
Authorities have released the name of a 16-year-old girl who drowned in Cedar Lake, Sunday in Minneapolis. Chiccena Carpenter of Minneapolis was swimming with friends when she jumped off a floating raft and never resurfaced. Divers pulled her from the water after 40 minutes in about 12-feet of water. She died Monday at a Twin Cities hospital. The medical examiner ruled Carpenter's death an accidental drowning.
St. Cloud Hospital is taking steps to prevent the abduction of a baby. Starting tomorrow the hospital’s Children’s Center will be a locked unit. To access the Children’s Center, visitors will now have to show a photo ID and provide both the first and last name of the patient they want to see Hospital officials says having a locked unit will decrease traffic flow and allow for better monitoring.
A nine year-old boy is in critical condition after a hit-and-run accident in Coon Rapids. According to the Anoka County Sheriff's office, the child was struck by a pickup truck Wednesday night and the driver did not stop. Investigators are looking for a full-size black or dark colored Chevy pickup with an extended cab and two doors. The drivers side has damage to the side mirror and was dangling after the crash. It's believed the driver is a white man in his late 20-'s to early 30's. He had short blonde hair and a unshaven face. Anyone with information should contact the Anoka County Sheriff's office.
Minnesota's unemployment numbers for May come out later this morning. In April, the state's unemployment rate fell two-tenths of a point to five-point-six percent in April -- but at the same time Minnesota lost 31-hundred jobs. State labor analyst Steve Hine says he believes job gains are being under-reported and under-estimated. He says the state has seen significant improvements in the jobless rate since the recession. Minnesota is still well below the national unemployment rate of eight-point-two percent.
Libraries are usually a quiet, safe haven to relax and enjoy reading. This wasn't the case however at the Franklin Library in Minneapolis where patrons were shocked by gunfire Wednesday afternoon. An unidentified man is being treated at Hennepin County Medical Center for a wound to his back after being shot in the bathroom. Officials say the library is equipped with security cameras, however there are no cameras in the bathroom. Library officials have turned over surveillance tape and it apparently shows the suspect leaving the restroom after the shooting.
Home foreclosures are up across the state and it's not because more people are defaulting on their mortgages. RealtyTrac's Daren Blomquist (bloom-quist) says the spike actually has to do with lenders catching up on foreclosure proceedings, and Minnesota has been ahead of the pack on that over the past year. Blomquist says until all the recession-related foreclosures have made it down the pipeline, it will continue to be a drag on home prices.
It's expected Republicans at the Minnesota Legislature will move forward today to try to block a lawsuit challenging this fall's ballot question on the proposed voter photo-ID constitutional amendment. A legislative commission will debate retaining legal counsel so Republicans can ask the Supreme Court's permission to weigh-in on a lawsuit filed by the American Civil Liberties Union. The ACLU contends the ballot question is misleading and should not be put before voters this fall. But Senate Majority Leader Dave Senjem says Republicans "intend to protect the right of citizens to vote on this important issue of election integrity." The group Minnesota Majority is also asking the high court for permission to intervene in the lawsuit, saying they don't have faith that Democratic Secretary of State Mark Richtie, who opposes the amendment, will diligently defend the ballot question. Ritchie's spokeswoman says they don't comment on pending litigation.
Senator Amy Klobuchar (DFL-Plymouth) says she's satisfied with the how the U.S. Justice Department is investigating a rash of national security leaks. Some Republicans in Congress want to appoint a special counsel to look into the issue. The Minnesota Democrat says the attorney general's appointment of two federal prosecutors is sufficient. She notes that one of the U.S. attorneys was appointed by former President George W. Bush. Klobuchar says senators may disagree on *who* should investigate the leaks, but there's widespread agreement that they must be investigated.
This is "World Blood Donor" day. Sue Gonsior with the American Red Cross says people are encouraged to donate during their "Live to Give" summer blood drive. She says if you donate between now and September 5th, you could also qualify for a grand prize -- an appreciation gift from gift-certificates-dot-com. Gonsior says all blood types are needed throughout the summer months but O-negative is always in high demand because it's universal.
There's going to be a lot more Norwegians in the St. Cloud area this weekend -- you betcha! The Sons of Norway is holding their District 1 convention at the St. Cloud Holiday Inn. It's a multi-state event with folks from as far away as Texas. Spokeswoman Diane Halvorson says the Sons of Norway was started in Minneapolis in 1895 by 18 Norwegian young men. The convention includes folk art exhibits and cultural workshops. It runs today through Saturday. The Sons of Norway last held their district convention in St. Cloud about 30 years ago.
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