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MINNESOTA NEWS ROUND-UP: Morton man killed in crash near Sleepy Eye

SLEEPY EYE, Minn.  --  A Morton man was killed in a two-vehicle accident on Highway 4 near Sleepy Eye Thursday afternoon.  

The State Patrol says a car driven by Abigail Balsley of Redwood Falls collided with a pickup driven by Michael Hartmann of Paynesville at the intersection with Brown County Road 29.  A passenger in Balsley's vehicle, Travis Thompson of Morton, died at the scene.  Balsely was taken to the hospital with non-life-threatening injuries. 


St. Louis County authorities have identified the man killed in a one-vehicle crash Wednesday night near Voyageurs National Park.  Deputies say 43-year-old Jonathanon Stevenson of International Falls was already dead when they arrived at the scene.  His passenger, 38-year-old Tara Reller of I-Falls, was trapped in the car.  Reller suffered non-life-threatening injuries.  Investigators believe excessive speed and alcohol were factors in the rollover crash.  


Five people are injured, two seriously, after a crash early this morning on Interstate 694 in Fridley.  The State Patrol says an SUV was traveling at a high rate of speed around 4:15 am when it ran off the ramp to East River Road and rolled several times.  The driver, 21-year-old Charles Ginyard III, received non-life-threatening injuries.  Ginyard's father, 42-year-old Charles Ginyard II, and another passenger, 18-year-old Charisse Cash, were seriously injured.  Two other passengers, ages 18 and 21, suffered non-life-threatening injuries. The State Patrol says it was foggy at the time of the crash.     


A southern Minnesota fisherman reported missing by his family yesterday has been found safe.  The Chisago County Sheriff's Office confirms 51-year-old Kendahl Jochumsen of Austin was discovered by his family around 8:15 pm.  Jochumsen had last been seen fishing alone on East Rush Lake.  His family became concerned when Jochumsen's boat washed ashore--without him--on the north end of the Lake.  Officials say Jochumsen had fallen asleep when he was found.


Day two of the Minnesota State Fair is in progress and the forecast calls for mostly sunny skies with highs in the mid 80s.  The Queen of Soul, Aretha Franklin, headlines the Grandstand tonight while Blood, Sweat and Tears featuring Bo Bice perform at the Bandshell.  It is Governor's Fire Prevention Day, and fair guests can make ornaments for the U.S. Capitol Christmas Tree in DNR Park 


State fairgoers can avoid congestion and ride in comfort to and from the Great-Minnesota-Get-Together by taking Metro Transit.  There are 20 Park-and-Ride locations around the Twin Cities region, and Metro Transit provides service to 13 of them.  There are five that have buses every 15 minutes, another five with service every half hour, and a couple of locations with State Fair buses only on weekends and Labor Day.  This year fairgoers will be dropped off at the new transit hub on the west side of the fair grounds near the Grandstand.  To find a Park-and-Ride nearest you go to


A Fargo woman has admitted to beating her husband with a child's toy.  Chelsy Graves was accused of hitting her husband while he was holding their baby, telling him he deserved to die, and threating to shoot him with his own gun  -- and then assaulting her mother when she called for help.  She pleaded guilty Wednesday to menacing and disorderly conduct and will spend 26 days in jail, a year on probation, and will also be screened for possible drug addiction problems.


A West Fargo man admitted to beating up his sister and then preventing her from calling 911 after she called him out for leaving the toilet seat up.  Court paperwork shows 24-year-old Thaddeus Morgan pled guilty to simple assault and interference with telephone during emergency call, after a fight that began when Morgan forgot to put the toilet seat down, which made his sister mad.  Prosecutors say it was "simply a sibling fight that got out of control."  Morgan has been sentenced to one year of supervised released and has to take anger management classes.


A Madison mother is facing charges for treating her son with cannabis oil.  Angela Brown says she gave her son the oil to help relieve pain from a brain injury, which was caused by a baseball hitting his head during a game in 2011.  Minnesota's medical marijuana law does not take effect until next summer, and because of that the Lac Qui Parle County Attorney's Office charged Brown with two misdemeanors.  


Last fall Minnesota farmers struggled to dry down extremely moist grain crops and heat livestock barns amid a propane shortage, which carried over into the home heating season as well.  CHS propane marketing manager Matt Klumm doesn't expect another round of the same trouble this year because propane inventories in the Midwest have returned to five year average type of levels, and prices are also back down to their historical range.  One of the recommendations that came out of last winter's propane shortage was for Midwest propane wholesalers to increase storage capacity, and they seem to have heeded that advice.  Klumm says his company has sold more storage tanks this year than in the previous 15 years combined.  He's now urging those wholesalers to make sure the shiny new tanks are filled before the grain harvest and cold weather kick in.


The Mississippi River could soon carry a larger share of the state's products, after the Upper Mississippi was designated a federal marine corridor from Minneapolis to Saint Louis.  Minnesota and four other states asked for the designation, saying it would enhance trade and business growth -- while relying less on highways and railroads to ship goods.  The five states estimate about five percent of truck merchandise and one-and-a-half percent of rail tonnage will eventually move to the Mississippi River -- saving millions of dollars on highway maintenance and energy use, plus reduct air and noise pollution.  The new corridor will be called "M-35," with the nickname "Waterway of the Saints." 


"RoboCops: From Phones to Drones" was one high-profile topic from this morning at a national conference of state lawmakers in Minneapolis.  State Senator Branden Peterson from Andover is a facilitator and says current laws are out-of-date.  Petersen recommends instead of dealing with specific technologies that can change over time, lawmakers should have a more "universal conversation" about Fourth Amendment guarantees against unreasonable search and seizure, plus what the expectation of privacy means.  "RoboCop" issues have sparked perennial debate at the Minnesota Legislature.