Minnesota News Briefs: National Night Out takes place throughout stateMinnesota News
-- Neighbors in communities throughout Minnesota are gathering this evening for National Night Out and Night to Unite. In Northfield, Deputy Police Chief Chuck Walerius says he looks forward to meeting with residents.
NORTHFIELD -- Neighbors in communities throughout Minnesota are gathering this evening for National Night Out and Night to Unite. In Northfield, Deputy Police Chief Chuck Walerius says he looks forward to meeting with residents.
Walerius says it's always fun to talk to people, hear their concerns, and spread the good word of crime prevention and safety. Night Out activities often include block parties and cookouts. The goal of the annual event is to promote neighborhood spirit and police/community relationships.
Farmfest 2012 is underway in southwestern Minnesota ear Redwood Falls. It's a who's who in Minnesota politics today with a congressional forum featuring candidates in the 7th and 1st districts. This afternoon Minnesota Governor Mark Dayton speaks and so will U.S. Senator Al Franken (DFL-Minneapolis). Also at Farmfest this afternoon, there will be a discussion on two big issues: the renewable fuel standard and water quality concerns.
The latest USDA Crop Report shows tassled corn continuing ahead of schedule, while nearly all of Minnesota's soybeans are now in bloom. It's the best time of year for folks looking for fresh sweet corn, since the crop is really starting to come in. Most of the state's spring wheat has been harvested. Last year at this time, only four-percent of the crop was out of the fields.
A Silver Bay man is dead following a late-night crash in Lake County. The State Patrol says around 11:00 pm Monday, 40-year-old Gregory Kellerman was heading southbound on County Road Three near Two Harbors when he crossed Highway 61 and ran off the road into a tree. The State Patrol reports the roads were wet at the time. The crash remains under investigation.
Fergus Falls City Council members have approved a limited archery deer hunt in the city. The idea surfaced following a number of car-deer crashes in the area over the past 18 months. Gary Holden favors the hunt, saying the night before his tulip bulbs open, the deer come and eat them. But bow hunter Tom Johnson opposes the hunt, saying he loves deer and loves having them come around. Only ten hunters will be chosen through a lottery system, and they'll be required to pass a proficiency test. The deer hunt will be held in three key areas where officials have seen increases in car-deer crashes.
Access to parts of Minneopa State Park near Mankato will be limited over the next three months as crews work to restore a 90-year-old waterfall bridge. The bridge site will be closed while the project is underway and access to the lower waterfalls area will be restricted. The bridge restoration will involve removing weathered portions of the span. Work is scheduled to begin later this month and, weather permitting, should be completed by October.
The Minnesota Department of Commerce says it's helped 7,200 consumers claim $19-million in missing bank accounts, life insurance policies, safe deposit boxes and other property in 2012 -- a 13 percent increase over last year. The unclaimed property is usually recovered each year after insurance companies, banks and other corporations report it to the Department of Commerce. It's estimated that one out of every 20 Minnesotans has at least 100 dollars currently being held by the state. Consumers can determine if they have lost property to claim by visiting the Department of Commerce web site.
A Minnesota man was killed Sunday on South Dakota Highway 44 when he lost control at a curve and went off the road and hit a post. Authorities says alcohol and speed played a role in the crash. The man was not wearing a helmet. His name has not been released. The annual Sturgis bike rally is underway and runs through Sunday. Officials expect more than 400,000 bikers to attend the even in the Black Hills.
The state's crops are maturing as we head toward the middle of August. The latest USDA Crop Report shows tassled corn continuing ahead of schedule while most all of Minnesota's soybeans are now in bloom. It's the best time of year for folks looking for fresh sweet corn, since the crop is really starting to come in. Most of the state's spring wheat has been harvested. Back this time last year, just four-percent had been pulled out of the fields. Last week saw welcome rain in central and southeastern Minnesota and topsoil moisture held its own overall even though it remains short this year due to a lack of consistent rain.
Fergus Falls City Council members have approved a limited archery deer hunt in the city. The idea surfaced following a number of car-deer crashes in the area over the past 18 months. Only ten hunters will be chosen through a lottery system, and they will be required to pass a proficiency test. Potential hunters will have to land five-out-of-six arrows on a nine inch target from 20 yards. The deer hunt will be held in three key areas on the outskirts of town where officials have seen an increase in car deer crashes.
A former bank employee in southwestern Minnesota pled guilty Monday to stealing hundreds of thousands of dollars from the customers of Minnwest Bank in Marshall. 47-year-old Barbara Kaye Rechtzigel admitted that from 1998 through June of this year she embezzled the money for personal use, primarily to pay off shopping debts. At the time of her termination, Rechtzigel was the senior operations manager at the bank’s Marshall location. To carry out her scheme, she created false paperwork to make bank customers believe their CDs were renewed and earning interest, when, in fact, she was stealing and spending their money. The bank paid back their customers more than a million dollars, even though Rectzigel had depleted the accounts. Rectzigel faces 30 years in prison.
Legislative leaders say they've agreed with Governor Dayton on Friday August 24th as the tentative date for a special session for flood relief. A working group meets at the State Capitol today (11:30 a.m.) to begin preparations, but legislators are still waiting for final damage numbers. Top lawmakers have indicated the special session will likely deal with assistance to local governments for repairing flood-damaged infrastructure -- but probably *not* individual assistance for homeowners and businesses. The federal government denied a request for that assistance but Governor Dayton has appealed.
Two men were injured in an explosion at a grain elevator Monday afternoon in the southwestern Minnesota community of Tracy. One man was an employee of the elevator owner, CHS -- and the other was a non-employee truck driver. A company spokeswoman says the explosion occured in equipment used to load and unload grain. The two injured men were taken to Hennepin County Medical Center. Their names are not immediately available.
The DNR is now taking applications through September 6th for Minnesota's first-ever wolf hunting and trapping season. 3,600 licenses will be awarded by lottery for the early wolf hunting season which begins November 3rd....and 2,400 licenses will be awarded for the late season which begins November 24 and also includes trapping. The statewide target harvest is 400 wolves. To make an application for the wolf hunt lottery, go to any DNR license agent or visit mndnr.gov/buy-a-license (mndnr.gov/buyalicense)
The CEO of Redwood Area Hospital has been charged with two gross misdemeanor counts of theft. Jim Schulte is accused of filing a thousand dollars worth of travel reimbursement claims to both the hospital and Central Minnesota Diagnostic Inc. for the same trips. The investigation began in January, when a check made out to Schulte was received by the hospital's chief financial officer from CMDI for a mileage claim. The check caused the financial officer to review the records and that's when it was discovered Schulte had already been reimbursed by the hospital for the mileage claimed. Schulte later admitted to receiving payments from both parties and is currently on administrative leave without pay from the City of Redwood Falls.