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Minnesota News Briefs: Gas prices to peak in state this week

Gas prices in Minnesota will go down soon. That's according to AAA Minnesota's Gail Weinholzer.

She says the reason gas hit record highs in the first place was due to constricted supply from refineries in the midwest. Weinholzer says that's being remedied with help from other areas. She says they are beginning to divert some of the refined fuel from the Gulf Coast region to the upper Midwest. In addition, Weinholzer says the refineries in the midwest will likely get back online soon after Memorial Day. Weinholzer says we should hit peak prices some time this week, with a slow decline after the Memorial holiday, and then a more rapid decline in mid-June.


A five-year-old boy was killed when he ran into the street near a lake in southwestern Minnesota and was hit by an SUV. Jackson County Sheriff Roger Hawkinson says Yomi Costello of Worthington darted out in front of the driver, 68-year-old Marjorie Svoboda, on County Highway 4 near Loon Lake and the crash remains under investigation. The kindergartner at Prairie Elementary School in Worthington was at the lake on a fishing outing with his family.


Cass County authorities and the Minnesota Bureau of Criminal Apprehension are still looking for a Staples man who's been missing nearly four years. Peter Achermann was last seen July 24th, 2009 and today would have been his 86th birthday. Sheriff Tom Burch says they're offering a 20-thousand-dollar reward for information that leads to an arrest in the case. He says Achermann's car was found the day after he disappeared but there have very few leads since. Anyone with information on the whereabouts of Achermann should contact the Cass County Sheriff's Office or Crimestoppers of Minnesota.


Small portions of Minnesota are no longer considered in drought, more than a dozen counties are still considered in severe drought, and the rest of the state lies somewhere in between. USDA meteorologist Brad Rippey says the storm system impacting Minnesota this week will make even more improvement in the dry conditions. As the drought in Minnesota improves, dry conditions continue to worsen in the Southwest and Plains states.


The U.S. Senate Judiciary Committee is hoping to pass an immigration bill this week, to secure the border and offer citizenship to millions, but lawmakers still have some disputes to resolve. One of them - whether to increase the number of high-skilled foreign workers in the U.S. Another hot button topic is whether to allow gay foreign born spouses to come to American on a green card, like straight spouses can. Bloomington immigration attorney Mark Prokosch says Senators Amy Klobuchar (DFL-Plymouth) and Al Franklin (DFL-Minneapolis) have a lot of work to do in looking over the 844-page Gang of Eight bill. Prokosch says they'll need to pass the bill this week, so the full Senate will be able to vote on it after the Memorial Day recess, and, "With all of these amendments they'll have to work even harder so it continues to have bipartisan support." This week amendments will focus on the crucial sections of the bill dealing with the 13-year path to citizenship the legislation offers to the 11 million people in this country who are here illegally.


A You Tube video that is growing in popularity consists of what many say is just the latest outrageous statement from Republican Minnesota State Representative Glenn Gruenhagen. The video is of Gruenhagen's Minnesota House floor speech last week against funding an increase in alternative energy use in Minnesota. Among other things, he claims that the human caused increase in carbon doxide is actually good for the planet.G ruenhagen mentions reliable sources like CPAC as he outlines how alternative energy is a "disaster" and global warming/climate change is a "complete United Nations fraud and lie."