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MINNESOTA NEWS ROUND-UP: President Obama to hold town hall meeting, speak on economy during Minnesota visit

WASHINGTON D.C. -   The White House has released President Obama's itinerary for his visit to the Twin Cities later this week.  The president holds a town hall meeting Thursday afternoon at Minnehaha Park in Minneapolis with invited guests only, then attends a Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee (DCCC) event. 

On Friday, the President will speak on the economy at the Lake Harriet Bandshell in Minneapolis.  That event is open to ticketed members of the public.  Tickets will be distributed beginning at noon tomorrow at the Bandshell, one per person, limited quantities available.


Former Minnesota State University football player and Mankato resident Isaac Kolstad is continuing to show encouraging signs in his recovery.  According to family members, Kolstad's care team is satisfied with the healing of his head wound from bone replacement surgery earlier this month.  Kolstad is being transferred to a Twin Cities rehab center.  Kolstad was severely injured in an assault last month.  Two men have been charged: former University of Minnesota quarterback Philip Nelson of Mankato  and Trevor Shelley of Saint Peter.


Xcel Energy continues working to restore power in Blakeley.  The small south-central Minnesota community of 500 was evacuated last week due to flooding along the Minnesota River.  Scott County Emergency Management Director Chris Weldon says many roads around town have been washed out and they're working on an access road so residents can get back in.  Governor Dayton will be in Scott County this afternoon to get a first hand look.  


State health officials are reminding Minnesota residents to avoid unnecessary contact with flood water.  Kris Ehresmann with the state Health Department says flood water can be really fun for kids because there's water in a place it hasn't been before -- but she warns it can be contaminated with sewage, disease-causing terms and other unhealthy materials.  Ehrsmann advices if you do come in contact with flood water, wash your hands thoroughly, especially before preparing food, eating or drinking.


Police are investigating a fight in north Minneapolis Monday night that left one person dead.  Officers received a shots-fired call on the way to the scene and found a man in the street with a gunshot wound.  The victim was taken to North Memorial Medical Center and died a short time later.  Investigators are talking with witnesses but do not have any suspects in custody.  Police say it does not appear to be a random incident.     


A benefit fund has been set up for a Sauk Rapids man whose home was destroyed by a plane Friday night.  A single engine plane crashed into Jeff Hille's home, causing a massive fire and explosion that destroyed his belongings.  One person was home at the time and managed to escape by jumping out a second story window.  The pilot and his passenger were both killed.  The benefit fund and account have been set up at Bank Vista in Sartell.  Donations can be mailed in or dropped off in person.


Non-profits and municipalities struggling to operate high-speed Internet networks are finding it tough to compete against Comcast and other giants.  But Christopher Mitchell with the Institute for Local Self-Reliance says such networks are important because they go up against a handful of companies with a stranglehold on the business.  Mitchell says community networks are often demonized by big cable and telephone companies for "failing" when they don't create profits in the first three years -- which he says is a nearly impossible standard.  But Mitchell notes the point of community-based Internet is first to provide a service -- not make a profit.