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The Latest News From Minnesota Daily News Dot Com

1st October 2014
news
For the first time, 13 Minnesota utilities are joining forces to fight back against scams.  Reports of phone and email billing scams targeting Minnesota utility customers are increasing at an alarming rate, representing thousands of dollars lost by customer victims. In an effort to shut down scammers, the Minnesota utility coalition today launched “Slam the Scam,” an awareness campaign aimed at warning customers and preventing scams.  The coalition is encouraging customers who think they are being targeted by a scammer to simply end the conversation – “slam” down the phone.  Protecting personal and financial customer data is a top priority for utilities, and they are working to provide solutions to protect the public from scams. Utilities want customers to know how to identify a scam. If they are behind on their bills, they will receive a written notice before service disconnection. Customers who have not received a disconnection notice in the mail should not engage anyone on the phone or by email demanding to take payment. Instead, customers should hang up and contact their respective utilities to verify account status and report the attempted scam. They are also encouraged to report the incident to local law enforcement.


30th September 2014
news

Bemidji Police are looking for information on a Monday morning burglary where a large number of quarters were stolen. During the early morning hours of September 29, 2014 the Bemidji Police Department took a report of a burglary in which about $600 in quarters were taken along with the container; a gray 5 gallon bucket that said “Ridgeway 2” on it. Local businesses are encouraged to contact the Bemidji Police Department if a customer attempts to make a large purchase using only quarters.





29th September 2014
news

With winter coming, the Minnesota Department of Transportation encourages residents to get their mailboxes ready for the change in the weather.  For the upcoming winter season, residents are responsible for the care and replacement of a damaged mailbox unless it was directly hit by a snowplow. Minnesota Statute 169.072 cites that mailboxes along state highways need to conform to location and breakaway standards. These standards are available at the following web page: http://www.dot.state.mn.us/stateaid/trafficsafety/safety/mailboxes.pdf  Often when damage occurs, it is the result of mailboxes not conforming to these requirements. This is often caused by rusting mailboxes or posts that do not stand up to the snow thrown by plows.  MnDOT follows up on all mailbox damage complaints and appreciates cooperation from mailbox owners when investigating damages. Mailbox damage found to be caused by a direct snowplow collision will be repaired by MnDOT. Repairs may take time due to snow removal and other regular maintenance activities.



26th September 2014
news

Dwight Thomas Jones, of Cass Lake, Minnesota was arrested without incident tonight, Friday September 26, 2014 at 9:59 PM at a residence in the 4300 block of Luomas Ln SE in southeasten Beltrami County.  The arrest took place in the in the Allen's Bay neighborhood where the original altercation occurred.  The investigation will continue and charges are pending upon reviewal by the Beltrami County Attorney's Office. The Headwaters SWAT Team was assisted in this arrest by the Beltrami County Sheriff's Office and the Minnesota State Patrol. The Beltrami County Sheriff's Office thanks all of those who assisted in locating and arresting Jones.

EARLIER PRESS RELEASE
Just after midnight on September 26, 2014, Beltrami County Sheriff’s office responded to a shots fired call at the Allen’s Bay neighborhood northwest of Cass Lake.  Christopher Alex Romero, 22, White Earth, MN was found suffering a gunshot wound to the leg and Edward Manuel Romero, 23, White Earth, MN, was found with injuries from a beating.  Deputies and Investigators worked through the night learning this involved a debt the Romero’s were attempting to collect from the suspects and a squabble over Facebook postings.  Cory Walter Jones was taken into custody at the scene by officers on serious assault and felon in possession of a firearm charges and transported to Beltrami County Jail. Dwight Thomas Jones, 39, of Cass Lake, Minnesota, fled the scene.  He was wanted for questioning in connection with the assult.



12th September 2014
news

Zebra mussels have been confirmed in Cass Lake. According to the Department of Natural Resources, a citizen discovered the zebra mussels earlier in the week while collecting shells on the beach on the southeast corner of Cedar Island. Samples were collected and tested by the DNR. Following the identification, DNR staff conducted a search on Cass Lake around the northwest and southeast points of Cedar Island. The crew inspected more than 200 items along 565 feet of shoreline and 2,500 square feet of lake habitat and found zebra mussels in a variety of sizes. DNR officials say this is the first confirmed adult zebra mussel find in the Bemidji area. Cass Lake will be designated as zebra mussel infested. The reach of the Mississippi River between Cass Lake and Lake Winnibigoshish will also be designated as zebra mussel waters with this discovery. Lake Winnibigoshish was designated as infested with zebra mussels in 2013 due to the discovery of zebra mussel veligers. Buck Lake, Andrusia Lake, Wolf Lake, Pike Bay, Pug Hole Lake, Kitchi Lake, Little Rice Lake and Big Rice Lake and their respective connecting rivers will also be designated as zebra mussel infested. While no zebra mussels have been found in these lakes, they are heavily used by boaters traveling from Cass Lake. The DNR reminds everyone that preventing the spread of invasive species takes personal responsibility. Before leaving any water access or shoreland boaters must remove all aquatic vegetation, dispose of bait, drain water by removing drain plugs and keep drain plugs out while transporting watercraft. More information is available on the DNR website at www.mndnr.gov/ais.







10th September 2014
news

Governor Mark Dayton met with propane suppliers and consumers yesterday in an effort to avoid shortages similar to last year’s, which drove prices sky-high and left some rural residents without needed fuel. “During last winter’s propane shortage, this group worked to ensure the safety of all Minnesotans,” said Governor Dayton, who first convened propane stakeholders and state regulators last January. “Working together in the months ahead, they will do everything possible to prevent shortages, reduce drastic price increases, and provide all Minnesotans with fuel for the fall harvest and for their winter comfort and safety.”

Minnesota’s propane industry is working to expand and increase production. And it’s urging people to buy their propane early. 

According to the U.S. Energy Information Administration, as of August 9, propane supplies in the Midwest were 1.9 million barrels higher than last year, but still 1.6 million barrels below the five-year average. Despite these increased supplies, Governor Dayton has expressed concerns to the federal Surface Transportation Board about the transport of those supplies and farm products to Minnesota residents and businesses given the backlog on the state’s crowded railways.

The Governor has pledged to continue working in the months ahead with the propane industry, railroad companies, the federal government, Minnesota’s congressional delegation, and neighboring states to ensure Minnesotans who need propane this winter, have access to it at a reasonable price. 



9th September 2014
news

Minnesota state park and trail visitors will soon be seeing red and orange and yellow and countless other shades of autumn as the leaves and prairies grasses put on their annual show.  To help travelers plan their fall hikes, bike rides, paddling trips and scenic drives to coincide as closely as possible with peak color, staff at Minnesota state parks and recreation areas will update an online fall color finder at www.mndnr.gov/fallcolor every Thursday through October. This online trip-planning tool includes a map showing where to find peak color across the state, a link to fall color programs and special events, a slideshow and a photo uploader that provides an easy way for people to share their favorite fall color images.



25th August 2014
news

On Sept. 1, changes to Minnesota's immunization law take effect that require students to receive certain vaccinations or submit documentation of a legal exemption. Among the changes, seventh graders will now need to receive the meningococcal and tetanus, diphtheria and pertussis (Tdap) vaccines. Health officials expect that the requirement will help boost rates for those vaccines.

According to Kristen Ehresmann, director of infectious diseases for the Minnesota Department of Health, "Meningococcal and Tdap vaccines have been recommended for 11-12 year olds for a while, but vaccination rates have not been as high as we'd like," Ehresmann said. "The new requirement will help us make sure adolescents are protected from these diseases. We've already seen the rates increase as students get ready for the upcoming school year, but we have a long way to go."

The MDH Immunization Program is working to educate parents on the importance of these adolescent vaccines through a new website http://www.health.state.mn.us/divs/idepc/immunize/adol/index.html, social media messages, awareness campaigns, and outreach at the Minnesota State Fair. Ehresmann noted that these efforts are also letting parents know about other vaccines recommended for adolescents, such as influenza and the HPV vaccine, which protects against certain types of cancers caused by the human papillomavirus.

For parents who are concerned about the cost of immunizations, the Minnesota Vaccines for Children Program provides free or low cost shots for eligible children through 18 years of age: www.health.state.mn.us/divs/idepc/immunize/mnvfc/basics.html.

School immunization data for counties, districts and schools is available on the MDH website at www.health.state.mn.us/divs/idepc/immunize/stats/school/index.html.



22nd August 2014
news

Governor Mark Dayton took the ALS Ice Bucket Challenge at the Minnesota State Fair on Thursday, while participating in an interview on ESPN 1500’s “Garage Logic” with Joe Soucheray. Governor Dayton was nominated to take part in the Ice Bucket Challenge by Minnesota Twins owner Jim Pohlad. After taking the challenge, the Governor nominated U.S. Senator Al Franken to do the same. 
ALS, also known as Lou Gehrig’s disease, is a progressive neurodegenerative disease that affects nerve cells in the brain and the spinal cord. While rare, ALS is a fatal disease. Currently, an estimated 30,000 Americans and 500 Minnesotans are living with ALS.



21st August 2014
news

Timothy Lance Scott 33, of Grygla, MN, was arrested at approximately 10PM on August 19th, 2014, after leading authorities approximately 30 miles on a high speed chase reaching speeds of around 90 miles per hour.  A Minnesota State Trooper patrolling west of Wilton on Hwy 2, spotted Scott's pickup driving east bound at 84 MPH in a 65 MPH zone.  When the trooper attempted to stop the vehicle, Scott increased his speed and began fleeing east toward Wilton.  Scott turned his vehicle north on HWY 89 and continued driving at speeds over 90 MPH.  Scott continued driving at a high rate of speed and in a reckless manner northbound on HWY 89 toward Red Lake.  As Scott drove onto the Red Lake Reservation, Tribal Police Officers deployed stop-sticks and took over the chase from the State Patrol Trooper and Beltrami County Deputies. With a deflated tire, Scott continued to drive until he lost control of the vehicle and drove into the north ditch of HWY 1 near the Tribal police Department.  As tribal officers and deputies pulled their vehicles around Scott's truck, Scott accelerated his truck and drove right at a Beltrami County Deputy who had just stepped from his patrol car in an attempt to strike the officer.  Two gun shots were fired at Scott's vehicle by the deputy as he moved to get out of the path of Scott's oncoming vehicle when another deputy crashed Scott's truck with his squad car to stop him.  Scott got out of his vehicle and grabbed a logging chain when he was subdued by officers. Scott was taken into custody by Beltrami County Deputies and Red Lake Officers.  No officers or citizens were injured and Scott suffered minor scrapes and abrasions during his apprehension.  Scott was transported to Beltrami County Jail where he is being held on potential charges of 1st Degree Assault, Felony Fleeing of a Peace Officer and DWI.  The case will be reviewed the Beltrami County Attorney's Office for formal charges once the investigation has been completed.




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