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MINNESOTA NEWS ROUNDUP: Officials looking into cause of MSU-Moorhead fire

MOORHEAD, Minn. -- More than 100 students in a Minnesota State University-Moorhead residence hall were roused from sleep and evacuated from the building after a construction site fire broke out on campus at around 3:00 this (Fri) morning. Firefighters arrived to find a large amount of construction material, mostly roofing board and insulation, burning inside a security fence outside West Snarr Hall. The dorm was unoccupied during construction, but students in nearby East Snarr were cleared from their rooms for about 45 minutes as a precaution. Fire Chief Greg Dodoen says the nearby dorm was evacuated because heavy smoke pouring from the fire was toxic. Nobody was hurt, and the cause of the fire is under investigation. 


Some residents of Rochester and Eyota will be spending their weekend cleaning up from a brief storm that blew through yesterday (Thu) morning and left a lot of damage in it's wake. About two inches of rain fell in Rochester in under an hour, during the morning commute, flooding streets and stranding drivers Winds reached speeds of 50 miles per hour at times. The Mayo Clinic Charlton building flooded, with water knee-high in the lobby of the building. A substantial amount of the cleanup has been completed, but officials say it will take a week or two to finish completely. The National Weather Service is looking into the possibility that a tornado may have touched down in Eyota. Trees were twisted and toppled, power lines were downed, and many homeowners reported roof and other damage. 


Authorities in the Twin Cities are looking for the driver of a dark-colored Honda sedan who hit a worker in a construction zone Wednesday night on I-694 in New Brighton and then fled. State Patrol Lieutenant Eric Roeske says they don't know why the suspect vehicle was driving in an area closed to traffic. He says motorists need to be aware of construction zones and be careful in them. The worker is hospitalized with non-life-threatening injuries. Anyone with information should contact the State Patrol. 


Authorities say they'll release the name today (Fri) of the Saint Paul police officer who struck a 101-year-old woman while backing up a squad car. Roza Sakhina died Wednesday, five days after the accident. Police spokesman, Sergeant Paul Paulos, says they believe the squad car was backing up at a low rate of speed when it either nudged or bumped Sakhina and she fell to the ground. The officer had been in the area on a juvenile disturbance call but Paulos says the officer was not going to another call at the time. Paulos say the officer took a couple days off but is now allowed to return to work. 


 Family, friends and police officers gathered at Lions Park in Cold Spring yesterday (Thursday) to officially dedicate a section of Highway 23 as the 'Tom Decker Memorial Highway.' Two signs have been placed along an eleven mile stretch of highway from Wakefield township to Richmond. Rosella Decker and her husband John provided the funding for the signs. She says the stretch of highway was her son's last ride. Plans for the memorial have been in the works since Decker's murder. The signs are brown with white lettering and were unanimously approved by the Cold Spring City Council. 


Charges are pending against four adults and one juvenile arrested shortly after a robbery at a liquor store in Cloquet Wednesday night. A clerk at Lemon Tree Liquor Store told authorities two men and one woman entered the store as they were preparing to close and tried to grab money. There was a brief struggle and the suspects took a small amount of cash. Investigators say no weapons were involved and no one was hurt. 


The holdup of a bank in Stacy may be the work of a female robber that committed a similar crime last week. The Chisago County sheriff's office say a woman robbed the Stacy branch of First State Bank of Wyoming yesterday (Thu) afternoon. She apparently handed the teller a note, demanded money, and threatened to use a weapon. She got away with an undisclosed among of cash. The petite thief was a white woman dressed in black and wearing a black scarf and large sunglasses. The sheriff's office says she may have also robbed a bank in Colgone a week ago. 


Duluth Police say a man tried to avoid arrest by cutting most of his hair off, but it didn't work. They were called to a home to deal with a man that was apparently standing in the front yard with a rifle. 22-year-old Marcus Linky was still there and still holding the gun when police arrived and told him to drop it. He did, and then the shaggy haired man ran inside the house. Officers entered the home and found Linky in bed, with a freshly shorn head. A search of the home uncovered a pile of just-cut hair, scissors, and the clothes the first officer on the scene described. Linky is charged with running from police, and they say more crimes are likely to be added. 

Jason Schulte

Jason Schulte is a reporter for the New Richmond News since February 2015. Prior to that he spent eight years at the Pierce County Herald in Ellsworth. His duties with the News will include covering news out of Hammond and Roberts along with action from St. Croix County court system. He lives in Roberts. 

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