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OLIVIA -- The body of Spc. James Wertish will arrive at the Dirks-Blem Funeral Home in Olivia between 1:30 p.m. and 2 p.m. Thursday. Wertish, 20, of rural Olivia, was one of three Minnesotan soldiers killed in a missile attack near Basra, Iraq on the evening of July 16. They were all were all members of the 34th Military Police Company, 34th Infantry "Red Bulls" Division. Wertish's body is scheduled to arrive at about 10:25 a.m. Thursday at the National Guard Base in St. Paul. The body will be met by family and a Military Honor Guard.
WILLMAR -- On July 16, just before 9:15 p.m. Iraqi time, Spc. Jacob Benson, 22, of Willmar was talking with his three closest friends and fellow National Guard soldiers at a military base near Basra, Iraq, when a rocket hit, sending him flying. "I hit the ground, and I got back up," he said. What he found were his friends -- Spc. James Wertish, 20, of rural Olivia, Spc. Carlos E. Wilcox IV, 27, of Cottage Grove, and Spc. Daniel P. Drevnick, 22, of Woodbury -- all on the ground, dying. Staff Sgt. Blake Hayden called in an ambulance.
A reprint of a 1990 book just re-done by the University of Minnesota Press makes me feel very good. Very good indeed. See, when I was growing up only rich people went fishing for game fish in the Great Lakes, the not-so-great lakes and trout streams like the Brule. Those of us poor people who were nearly landlocked had to settle for the muddy little stream that flowed through our towns. My river was the Trempealeau, where municipalities, cheese factories, creameries and slaughterhouses had been dumping raw sewage, whey, cow guts into it for decades.
INTERNATIONAL FALLS -- Traffic was moving quickly and the line was short at the Canadian border crossing here Monday, the first day passports were required for entry into the U.S. It appeared nearly everyone trying to enter the U.S. via Minnesota's four major crossings was aware of the new regulation, said Marty Eide, area port director. "We're at about 5 percent noncompliance across Warroad, Baudette, International Falls and Grand Portage," Eide said at midday Monday. "It's going very well.'' The same report came from other U.S.
ST. PAUL - Minnesota state parks are asking a question of people who like to get outdoors and explore the wildlife and terrain of the 72 state parks: "Are you ready for the challenge of a high-tech treasure hunt?" Each park -- including Frontenac -- is involved in a geocaching wildlife safari with a trail containing a hidden cache (a treasure of sorts) that is marked by way finding points.
When Margaret Kerry says she is "flying" somewhere to talk about her career, you might think of fairy wings flapping at a hummingbird's speed and a glittery jet stream of pixie dust. Almost 60 years ago, Kerry was the original reference model for the famous Disney sprite Tinker Bell, featured in "Peter Pan." Kerry, whose daughter lives in Duluth, is in town from the Glendale and Burbank, Calif., area for a two-part fundraising event Saturday at the Lake Superior Railroad Museum, 506 W. Michigan St. Talk to Tink is from 1:30-4:15 p.m.
Another step was taken to end domestic violence in Douglas County. At last Tuesday's Douglas County Board meeting, Chuck Nettestad, along with several other members of the United Communities Advocating Non-Violence (U-CAN) committee, presented the county commissioners with a resolution calling for a comprehensive strategy to prevent domestic violence. This is the first resolution of its kind to be presented to a county board in the state of Minnesota. The resolution uses the six levels of the Spectrum of Prevention as a tool to further the goals of the initiative.
ST. PAUL - Gov. Tim Pawlenty said small cities will be protected when he cuts spending to balance the state budget, but he wants other cities and counties to say how much state aid they can live without. Minnesota's smallest counties and cities may not see a loss in state aid when Pawlenty cuts spending himself, the governor and his staff said Thursday, but other local governments should expect less. "What (funding) cut level can they take and not complain?" Pawlenty said he will ask local officials and other interest groups.
A former Alexandria, Minn., resident died in a bicycle crash in the Twin Cities Wednesday morning. Dennis Dumm, 31, was riding in the bike lane near the intersection of Park Avenue and 14th Street East in Minneapolis when the accident happened at about 7:40 a.m. Authorities said Dumm and a semitrailer were both headed north.