- 6/18/13; West Hancock vs. Corwith Wesley Luverne Baseball will play varsity first at 5:45 p.m. No JV. :
HOMEOWNER-FATAL SHOOTINGS Man charged with killing 2 teens seeks lower bail (Information in the following story is from: St. Cloud Times, http://www.sctimes.com) LITTLE FALLS, Minn. (AP) – The Minnesota man accused of killing two teens who broke into his home on Thanksgiving is asking a judge to reduce his bail. The St. Cloud Times reports (http://on.sctimes.com/12k3PA8) 64-year-old Byron David Smith is seeking to reduce the $2 million bail set by Morrison County District Judge Douglas Anderson. The judge set the high bail when Smith made his first court appearance on charges that he murdered 18-year-old Haile Kifer and 17-year-old Nick Brady. A hearing has been scheduled for Monday to argue the motion, which was filed by Smith’s attorney, Steven Meshbesher. Smith is charged with two counts of second-degree murder. Authorities say Smith went beyond what’s permitted for self-defense when he shot the cousins multiple times, including after they had been incapacitated, at his home near Little Falls.
PARK HAZE RULES EPA misses another deadline on MN haze rules (Information in the following story is from: Duluth News Tribune, http://www.duluthsuperior.com) DULUTH, Minn. (AP) – The federal government has missed another deadline for issuing new regulations for Minnesota taconite plants to reduce haze over public lands like Voyageurs National Park and the Boundary Waters Canoe Area. The Environmental Protection Agency was under a court-ordered agreement to make a final recommendation by Nov. 10, then Nov. 27 and then Dec. 10. But the Duluth News Tribune reports (http://bit.ly/VBnBBm ) that Minnesota Pollution Control Agency officials confirmed Tuesday the EPA has now delayed a decision until at least mid-January. The taconite companies and the MPCA have proposed changes that industry supporters say will make the regulations more workable. Environmental groups have been pushing for state-of-the-art pollution controls that would cut the haze by reducing emissions at Minnesota’s taconite plants as well as the state’s coal-fired power plants.
VIKINGS STADIUM-BIRDS DNR wants new Vikings stadium to be bird-friendly (Information in the following story is from: Finance and Commerce, http://www.finance-commerce.com) MINNEAPOLIS (AP) – The Minnesota Vikings may hope their new stadium is a hostile environment for the Philadelphia Eagles and Arizona Cardinals, but the Department of Natural Resources hopes it will be friendly to real birds. The DNR has urged planners to consider “bird-friendly designs” to reduce the potential for fatal collisions with birds. The agency’s comments were included in a 75-page document released Tuesday that’s part of the environmental review process. Melissa Doperalski, regional environmental assessment ecologist for the DNR, tells Finance & Commerce (http://bit.ly/Zcjp1L ) that numerous birds die each year after flying into building glass. The Mississippi River is a major migratory corridor. So, she says, if the stadium has prominent glass features designers should consider other elements that provide visual cues to prevent birds from crashing into the glass.
HOG BARN FIRE About 180 pigs killed in barn fire in southern MN (Information in the following story is from: Albert Lea Tribune, http://www.albertleatribune.com) CONGER, Minn. (AP) – About 180 pigs died as a result of a hog barn fire near Conger in southern Minnesota. The fire struck Tuesday morning at the Ron Kruger farm. His wife, Jane Kruger, tells the Albert Lea Tribune (http://bit.ly/Zc725M ) that 30 of the animals were piglets and the rest were pigs between 120 and 150 pounds. Some died in the fire itself while others were suffering and had to be shot. Jane Kruger says her husband was in another barn when it started and spotted the smoke. She says he likely would have gone into the burning barn to try to save pigs if it weren’t for a farm employee, who’s also a Conger firefighter, who stopped him. Firefighters from Conger, Alden and Emmons battled the blaze. The cause was under investigation.
MIDWEST STORM-MINNESOTA 3rd death blamed on Minnesota storm MINNEAPOLIS (AP) – The snowstorm that hit Minnesota over the weekend and its aftermath are being blamed in a third death. The State Patrol says 63-year-old James E. Hughes of North Mankato was killed when he lost control on icy U.S. Highway 169 near the junction with U.S. Highway 14 on Monday afternoon. His Jeep jumped the median and was hit by an oncoming semi. Two deaths on Sunday have also been blamed on the storm. Fifty-four-year-old Matt Shetka, a middle school teacher and high school coach in the New Prague school district, died while shoveling snow at his home. Twenty-one-year-old Justin T. Breza, of Winona, died when a semi lost control on snowy U.S. Highway 61 near Red Wing and struck his family’s car and an SUV.
ENDANGERED SPECIES-MOOSE Minn. DNR proposes update in moose status (Information in the following story is from: Duluth News Tribune, http://www.duluthsuperior.com) ST. PAUL, Minn. (AP) – The Minnesota Department of Natural Resources is highlighting concern about the state’s declining moose population by proposing a change in the animal’s status. The DNR wants to list moose as a “species of concern.” The status wouldn’t limit hunting. That would happen only if the moose moves up on the list from “species of concern” to threatened or endangered status. A revised endangered species list has been in the works for five years and could be finalized next year. The DNR wants to add 67 animals to the list. The Duluth News Tribune says the DNR’s protection of an animal or plant begins with the “species of concern” designation.
SENATE-BRODKORB Minn. Senate legal bill near $200K ST. PAUL, Minn. (AP) – Legal costs associated with a Minnesota Senate scandal involving a former Republican leader and her top aide have nearly doubled. The Associated Press on Tuesday obtained copies of a new invoice from the Senate’s private attorney showing $90,000 in new expenses. That brings overall costs to just below $200,000. A Senate official familiar with the matter but not authorized to speak for attribution says the spiking costs reflect aggressive efforts to settle or dismiss the case. Former senior staffer Michael Brodkorb is suing over his firing that came after his affair with then-Senate Majority Leader Amy Koch (kohk) became public. He argues female employees in similar relationships didn’t lose their jobs. Top senators meet Thursday to review the invoice. Republicans hand over power to a new Democratic majority in January.