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MINNESOTA NEWS ROUND-UP: I-394 fatal cycle crash second earliest in Minnesota

ST. PAUL - The fatal motorcycle crash on Interstate 394 near Minneapolis last night  was the first of the year and second earliest ever in Minnesota. 

Thirty-year-old Anand Baskaran of New York hit a pothole and was thrown from his cycle.  The Department of Public Safety says riders are taking to the roads because of the warm weather and safety is critical especially early in the riding season.  There were 60 motorcycle fatalities last year compared to 55 in 2012.        


The harsh winter weather has really taken a toll on roadways across the state.  As the snow continues to melt and the temperatures rise -  the potholes continue to surface.  In central Minnesota, Sartell Public Works Director Brad Borders says crews have already begun a temporary fix.  The material known as a cold mixture could last two days or a couple of months.  Borders says temperatures need to stay around 45 degrees for crews to begin permanent repairs.  He says if you notice any pothole it's best to report it to your local city hall.


A new study from the University of Minnesota shows student's grades and health improve with later high school start times.  U of M study spokeswoman Kyla Wahlstrom says in addition they found a 70 percent reduction in the crash rates for teens in Jackson Hole, Wyoming as a result of their later start time.  Wahlstrom says students should be getting at least eight hours of sleep a night and an 8:30 a-m school start time seems to allow for them to be able to do that.  The three-year study followed more than nine-thousand students attending eight high schools in Minnesota, Wyoming and Colorado.  


A national survey shows prescription drug abuse among young people between the ages of 12 and 17 in Minnesota increased between 2009 and 2011.  Dr. Ryan Stanton of the American College of Emergency Physicians says there's a reason for the slight increase among teenagers.  He says teens believe prescription drugs are safer, more accepted and there's not as much of a stigma associated with them as you get with street drugs.  Stanton says there is also greater access to prescription medications, with a 70 percent increase in the number of prescriptions written in Minnesota over the past decade.