Minnesota News Briefs: Moorhead carjacking suspect arrestedMinnesota News
-- A suspect in a Moorhead theater carjacking was arrested after a brief pursuit and crash in Fargo.
(Moorhead, MN) -- A suspect in a Moorhead theater carjacking was arrested after a brief pursuit and crash in Fargo.
The suspect, a man from Fargo, sped off when a trooper attempted to pull him over. The car later spun out of control and struck three trees, vaulting into the air and coming down on its top. Authorities recovered a handgun at the scene. The suspect faces charges in both Minnesota and North Dakota. Officer Troy Nelson says car jackings in this part of the country are rare.
Two men could be charged in the death of a young teenager in St. Paul. Reports say one of the men turned himself in while the other was arrested without incident, following Monday's discovery of a 14-year-old girl who died from an overdose. Authorities say she and a friend attended a party in Burnsville where they were given alcohol, marijuana and codeine cough syrup. The other girl is in the hospital.
Just in time for the start of the State Fair, officials are urging people to take precautions to steer clear of a new strain of swine flu. Doctor Richard Dinella says there are no cases of H3N2 in Minnesota yet but 29 have been reported in other states. Dinella says the best way to prevent getting the virus is to wash your hands and avoid eating in barns. Symptoms of the current strain include fever, coughing, a runny nose and sore throat.
A statewide day of prayer in Minnesota is being called for this Sunday following last Sunday's shooting of six people at a temple outside Milwaukee. Officials with the Minnesota Conference of Churches say it will also give an opportunity for people of all faiths to learn more about the Sikh (sick) religion. The man who shot the six people at the Sikh temple was killed by police.
And then suddenly, Minnesotans were spending a lot more at the gas pump. In less than a week, the cost of regular unleaded has shot up a quarter -- to $3.80 a gallon on average around the state. Minnesota-Gas-Prices.com says various factors are at work including a fire at one of the nation's largest refineries located near San Francisco.
Crews continue removing old Defense Department barrels from Lake Superior near Duluth but officials at the Red Cliff Band of Chippewa aren't saying how many barrels they've recovered or what's in them. Environmentalists have long speculated they could contain radioactive and other toxic materials but the government says the barrels have old concrete and munitions scraps and pose no threat to the environment. Nearly 1,500 barrels were dumped at three locations between 1958 and 1962.
A lot of details are still to be worked out before a planned special session August 24th to provide flood relief for northeastern and south-central Minnesota. Governor Dayton says he trusts legislative leaders at their word that it will be a short special session, focused on disaster relief. Dayton says they'll have a certain timeline and he "won't call a special session until that's been satisfied." Dayton has proposed a $190-million flood relief package but some Republicans are balking at the size of that number.
The DNR suspects Newcastle disease may have killed hundreds of double-crested cormorants and ring-billed gulls on Pigeon Lake in Meeker County and Minnesota Lake in Faribault County. Final lab results are expected later this month. Infected birds often display droopy heads or twisted necks, can't fly or dive, or are partially or completely paralyzed. Officials advise owners of domestic poulty to keep their flocks away from birds believed to have Newcastle disease.
Union leaders say they'll meet today and tomorrow with management at the now-closed Verso Paper Mill in Sartell about severance packages. Lyle Fleck, president of United Steelworkers Local 274, says local organizations will assist workers applying for jobs. Fleck says a special task force is not only trying to get another firm into that facility, but also working on training and job assistance for displaced workers. Over 259 people lost their jobs when Verso decided not to re-open the Sartell plant after an explosion and fire on Memorial Day.
The state's agriculture industry is in the spotlight again today in southwestern Minnesota. Day-two at Farmfest includes U.S. Senate candidates talking about agriculture and rural issues with a senatorial debate scheduled later this morning. They'll discuss the livestock industry and the importance of farmers talking about their work to the growing non-farm public. Farmfest wraps up on Thursday in southwestern Minnesota, not far from Redwood Falls.
The 2012 elections are getting serious. Republican presidential candidate Mitt Romney has scheduled a visit to Minnesota later this month for a campaign fundraiser. Romney will attend a $50,000-per-couple event west of the Twin Cities. Former governor Tim Pawlenty, plus former senators Norm Coleman and Rudy Boschwitz are expected to attend.
The National Weather Service in Minnesota is getting new radar technology that should help them more accurately issue warnings. Spokesman Dan Luna says the new radar will help them distinguish large hail from large rain drops, drizzle versus regular rain, and snow versus rain-mixed-with-snow. The National Weather Service is spending about $50-million nationwide to make the upgrades. Luna says it will also help them identify tornadoes at night through the radar's ability to pick up the debris from a twister.
A new poll looks into current trends in naming the country's most liveable states in the future. Minnesota ranks second in the Gallup Poll based on surveys taken about smoking, clean water, future employment, learning and more -- by more than half-a-million Americans. Utah is predicted to be the most livable state in the coming years. North Dakota also made the top-five. West Virginia came in last.
A Fergus Falls photographer had five framed photos worth about 500-dollars stolen at the Otter Tail County Fair. David Lill jokes that his work, mostly of cows and items of local interest, has gotten famous enough that it's now worth stealing. Lill says whoever took the photos can come forward with a payment or turn them back in -- no questions asked. All five framed photos have David Lill's signature in the bottom right corner One of them was quite large: 36-by-18 inches.