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ST. PAUL—Fresh off a five-year career at the Minnesota State Capitol, former Sen. Matt Schmit will take the lead of a new project with advocacy and policy research group Growth and Justice. The group aims to develop policies that stimulate economic prosperity throughout the state. Schmit will work from his hometown of Red Wing as the director of the group's new Minnesota Rural Equity Project, which will seek nonpartisan solutions to socioeconomic struggles faced throughout greater Minnesota.
ST. PAUL—The Jewish Community Center on St. Paul Avenue in Highland Park has re-opened after an evacuation Monday morning due to a bomb threat. After a search of the facility, the St. Paul police did not find bombs or dangerous devices. St. Paul police spokesman Steve Linders said the center received a "robo-call"-style threat around 10 a.m. Monday and police sent multiple officers, including a bomb squad. The center runs programs for preschoolers, infants and toddlers, who were moved to a nearby fire department.
PEQUOT LAKES, Minn. — One of the most horrendous crash scenes area law enforcement officers said they have ever seen in their career occurred Thursday when a semitrailer and Ford truck crashed head-on, ignited into flames, and killed a driver. A 60-year-old Pequot Lakes man was killed in the crash, which was reported at 6:31 a.m. on Highway 371, south of Pequot Lakes in Sibley Township in Crow Wing County. His name was still not released late Thursday night.
FERGUS FALLS, Minn.—The Fergus Falls Police Department and the Otter Tail County Sheriff's Office were still looking for an inmate who left his work crew on Tuesday afternoon. He was still missing on Wednesday afternoon, the sheriff's department said.. At about 12:14 p.m. on Valentine's Day, inmate James Fitzpatrick Helps was on a Sentence to Serve crew when he slipped away unseen and was noticed missing about a minute later.
In an update posted to the Small Business Revolution's Facebook page , Red Wing has moved into first place in the voting for a $500,000 downtown revitalization package. Contest organizers said after nearly a full week of the standings remaining the same, Red Wing has narrowly moved into the lead on Feb. 15. Voting closes at 8 p.m. Thursday, Feb. 16.
BROOKLYN CENTER, Minn.—Six adults have been arrested in connection with a fatal shooting at a Brooklyn Center hotel on Saturday night. Police were called to the Quality Inn Hotel at 1600 James Circle N. at 8:45 p.m. to find an adult female victim with a gunshot wound. She was pronounced dead at the scene. A subsequent investigation led to the arrests. This was not a random crime, police said. The investigation continues, but no additional suspects are being sought. Moorhead person relaxing in recliner hurt when pickup smashes into home
Amtrak's Empire Builder route resumed Wednesday after heavy snowfall and an avalanche in the Rocky Mountains halted it Monday. Amtrak officials previously said service would not resume until Thursday, but the railway announced Wednesday morning that its Empire Builder departures from Chicago, Portland and Seattle would operate across the full route. The westbound train departs St. Paul about 10:20 p.m. and reaches the Rocky Mountains the next evening. The train travels on the BNSF Railway, which passes through Fargo, Grand Forks and Minot on its westward route.
ANNANDALE, Minn.—The Woodbury man who demolished the house of Jacob Wetterling's killer is giving the vacant lot to the city of Annandale. Developer Tim Thone said Tuesday, Feb. 7, that the city has agreed not to develop the quarter-acre lot for at least 10 years. Thone bought the house Dec. 16 for $58,000, including back taxes. He demolished the house on Dec. 23, with about $16,000 in donated help from local contractors. Thone hopes the donation of the land will help the Wetterling family — and the entire state — deal with the crime.
DEER RIVER, Minn. — A 22-year-old Remer, Minnesota, man was killed and a 19-year-old female passenger from Remer received non-life-threatening injuries in a Saturday night crash near here. The city is located in Itasca County east of Bemidji. A baby girl riding in the Chrysler Town and Country minivan was not injured. The man's name has not been released pending notification of relatives. The woman, Savannah Ellen Hinsz, was taken to Deer River Hospital. Deer River is about 15 miles west of Grand Rapids.
DULUTH — Supporters of the Boundary Waters Canoe Area Wilderness protested in front of U.S. Rep. Rick Nolan's Duluth office Thursday, Feb. 2, against the congressman's support for copper mining near the federal wilderness. About 100 people packed the entryway outside the Technology Village downtown to voice their opposition to Nolan's pro-copper position. Nolan in recent weeks has urged the new Trump administration to overturn an 11th hour move by the Obama administration to ban minerals exploration in areas adjacent to the BWCAW.