- 6/18/13; West Hancock vs. Corwith Wesley Luverne Baseball will play varsity first at 5:45 p.m. No JV. :
CROP REPORT-MINNESOTA Minn. farmers wrap up harvest ahead of average ST. PAUL, Minn. (AP) – Minnesota farmers are finishing the corn and sunflower harvests ahead of the five-year average. According to the final Minnesota crop report of the season, the U.S. Department of Agriculture said Wednesday farmers nearly wrapped up the harvest last week. Despite rain and snow during the week, Minnesota’s harvest of corn, sunflowers and sugar beets was nearing completion. As of Sunday, corn was 98 percent harvested, compared with 89 percent last year and 58 percent for the five-year average. Sunflowers were 99 percent harvested, compared with 85 percent last year and 61 percent average. Sugar beets were 93 percent harvested, compared with 99 percent last year and 92 percent average. Rain and snow boosted moisture supplies statewide. Most reporting stations in southeastern Minnesota reported over an inch of rain last week.
TWIN CITIES HOSPITALS-NURSES Twin Cities hospitals, nurses agree to early talks MINNEAPOLIS (AP) – The Minnesota Nurses Association has accepted an offer from six Twin Cities hospital systems to hold early contract negotiations. The two sides agreed to limit the talks to wages only. The current contract with union nurses expires June 1st, 2013. If an agreement is not reached by December 25th of this year, the hospitals and the union would return to normal contract negotiations and all terms would be up for consideration. The contract covers 12,000 nurses at Allina, Children’s, Fairview, HealthEast, North Memorial and Park Nicollet hospitals. In a statement, the Twin Cities hospitals say an early contract settlement would be in patients’ best interests. The union says it looks forward to a contract that will be “beneficial and satisfactory” to nurses.
PRAIRIE ISLAND-UNUSUAL EVENT Prairie Island plant declares ‘unusual event’ RED WING, Minn. (AP) – Xcel Energy Incorporated says its Prairie Island nuclear plant near Red Wing declared an “unusual event” after some security equipment failed. The Minneapolis-based utility says the event happened around 2:15 p.m. Wednesday and was declared over just before 6 p.m. Xcel says there was no release of radioactive material and that there is no danger to the public or plant employees. Plant officials made the declaration after some security equipment temporarily failed. The equipment has been restored, and plant officials are investigating the cause. The plant maintained security during the event. Xcel says it notified federal, state and local officials. The declaration is the lowest of four emergency classifications. Prairie Island’s Unit 2 continues to operate at full power. Unit 1 remains offline has part of a scheduled refueling outage.
SPCO-LOCKOUT Locked-out SPCO musicians reject contract offer (Information in the following story is from: Minnesota Public Radio News, http://www.mpr.org) ST. PAUL, Minn. (AP) – Locked-out musicians of the St. Paul Chamber Orchestra have unanimously rejected management’s latest contract offer. The musicians voted by secret ballot Wednesday. In a statement, musicians said the proposal would have drastically reduced their salary and benefits. Management calculated the proposal would cut wages by 14 percent, but musicians argued the cuts actually amounted to 33 percent. Minnesota Public Radio News reports the four-year contract proposal also would have reduced the number of SPCO players from 34 to 28, and offered buyouts to musicians ages 55 or older. That’s about half the current players. SPCO concerts through Sunday are currently canceled. In Minneapolis the musicians of the Minnesota Orchestra also remain locked out.
MUSIC-GEORGE JONES-MINNESOTA George Jones cancels Minn. concert due to health MAHNOMEN, Minn. (AP) – A Minnesota casino says legendary country singer George Jones is ill and has canceled a concert scheduled this week. Jones was scheduled to perform Friday at Shooting Star Casino, Hotel and Event Center in Mahnomen (muh-NOH’-min). That concert had been rescheduled from April when Jones needed more time to recover from an upper respiratory infection. Shooting Star released a statement from Jones’ management team, saying the 81-year-old singer has gotten a virus and is being treated by doctors. Jones apologized to his fans for the inconvenience. Shooting Star says there are no plans to reschedule the performance. Ticket-buyers will receive a refund in seven to 10 days.
JACKSON-LEAVE OF ABSENCE US Rep. Jackson voted absentee; no election event CHICAGO (AP) – Jesse Jackson Junior’s publicist says the ailing Illinois congressman has voted by absentee ballot. However, Kevin Lampe says in a statement that Jackson won’t hold an election night event next week. Jackson has been at Minnesota’s Mayo Clinic for treatment for bipolar disorder. He recently checked in for the second time and there’s been no indication of when he’ll return to work. The Chicago Democrat took medical leave in June and hasn’t campaigned beyond a recent robocall to voters. In it, he asked for patience and says he wants to return to work. Jackson first took office in 1995 and is widely expected to win again Tuesday. He faces two little-known challengers on the November 6th ballot, including a Republican college professor and postal worker running as an independent.
DOUBLE HOMICIDE Man charged with killing Minn. mother, nephew MINNEAPOLIS (AP) – Prosecutors have charged a 22-year-old man with fatally stabbing his mother and teenage nephew in their Minneapolis home. Ishmael Roberts was charged Wednesday in Hennepin County court with two counts of second-degree murder. According to the criminal complaint, a witness awoke in the house and saw a man wearing a mask and dark clothing stabbing the woman. As he ran from the house to call 911 the witness says he heard the boy screaming. Police recovered a sheath for a sword at the scene. The victims have not been identified, but the Star Tribune reports they are Roberts’ mother, 57-year-old Beatrice Wilson, and her 14-year-old grandson Peter. The victims were stabbed early Monday. Roberts was arrested in Iowa that night after authorities say he rolled Wilson’s car and ran away.
MINN ST-MANKATO-CHILD PORN Minn. football coach says videos innocent MANKATO, Minn. (AP) – A Minnesota football coach accused of making pornographic videos of his children says there was nothing inappropriate about the cellphone images. Minnesota State, Mankato, coach Todd Hoffner testified Wednesday at a hearing in which he asked a judge to dismiss the case. Hoffner says he shot the videos because his kids asked him to after they came up with some skit in the bathtub. He says the videos just showed the children being silly, laughing and dancing. Hoffner says he never watched the videos and never showed them to anyone, either. Blue Earth County Judge Krista Jass didn’t rule in the case. She gave attorneys until November 14th to file additional briefs.
MINNESOTA-ELLENSON Gophers’ Ellenson out 6-8 weeks with broken hand MINNEAPOLIS (AP) – Minnesota freshman Wally Ellenson has a broken left hand and will miss six to eight weeks. Coach Tubby Smith said after Wednesday’s practice that Ellenson hurt his shooting hand when it caught in a teammate’s jersey during a rebounding drill the day before. Smith said he will consider redshirting Ellenson, a 6-foot-4, 200-pound shooting guard from Rice Lake, Wis., who averaged 20.1 points and 8.9 rebounds per game as a senior. Ellenson was being counted on to back up Joe Coleman and Austin Hollins at the wing spots. Minnesota opens the season on November 9th at home against American University.