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WILLMAR -- The roar of 30 Harley-Davidsons echoed through the neighborhood Saturday as a pack of 50 bikers rumbled down Horseshoe Drive in Willmar. Closer and closer, louder and louder came the crackle of American engines down the road with American flags leading the riders to their destination -- the home of a fallen soldier's family. As the riders of Tribute to the Troops pulled into the cul-de-sac driveway of Greg and Kimberly Schmit -- parents of the late Sgt.
One key Minnesota lawmaker probably is quietly happy that a Democratic-Farmer-Labor Party proposal to hold a special legislative session on Tuesday fell flat. Sen. Keith Langseth, DFL-Glyndon, was one of five Senate leaders who worked on a proposal to bring lawmakers back to St. Paul for a one- or two-day session this week. But that most likely would have meant those leaders would have met throughout the weekend working out details. That would have been a problem.
Deer donated to food shelves will be processed at no cost to hunters this year, thanks to a new program coordinated by the Minnesota departments of Natural Resources and Agriculture.
Drought conditions and stressed trees could mean a short, unimpressive fall color season in some areas of Minnesota this year. Recent rain may have been enough to save some of the state's autumn color displays. To keep tabs on the progress of the fall color season, the Department of Natural Resources' Division of Parks and Recreation has launched Fall Color Reports 2007 online at www.dnr.state.mn.us . Reports contain extras such as changing fall colors among the native grasses and wildflowers, information about birds, butterflies and other wildlife that are migrat
This year, 34 Minnesota state parks will be open for special permit archery, firearm or muzzleloader deer hunts. In addition, bonus permits and other special hunting incentives will be in place to attract more participants to apply for special hunts. Prior to making application for a special hunt, applicants must first purchase a deer license that is valid for the park they want to hunt. Application deadline is Sept. 6. Hunters who wish to camp at the park hosting a special hunt will not need reservations. After Nov. 1, all camping is on a first-come, first-served basis.
To provide more opportunities for dove hunters this fall, the Minnesota Department of Natural Resources is managing eight public fields specifically to attract doves. The 3- to 5-acre fields were planted this summer with small grains, sunflowers or other crops known to attract doves. Hunters will be required to use non-toxic shot. To get ready for the Sept. 1 opener, area wildlife managers have been knocking down sections of the crops, causing seeds to fall for the ground-feeding doves.
With some small game and early goose seasons starting Labor Day weekend, hunters heading to southeast Minnesota should plan ahead so as not to interfere with flood cleanup efforts and to make sure they can safely access their hunting areas. A number of roads and bridges in southeast Minnesota remain closed. Access to some public lands is difficult. Road conditions are available online at http://www.dot.state.mn.us/ "Public hunting areas in the southeast are an incredible resource and we don't want to unnecessarily limit access," said Tim Bremicker, DNR regional wildlife manager.
An unusual getaway strategy couldn't help a suspected bank robber get away with robbing a West Duluth bank Tuesday. Duluth police say a man told tellers he had a gun and robbed the Western Bank, at 201 N. Central Ave. in Duluth, just after 3 p.m. Tuesday. No weapon was displayed. According to authorities, he then used a taxicab that was waiting for him to make his getaway. Duluth police checked with local taxi companies and found one with a cab that matched the getaway cab's description.
OLIVIA -- The Southern Minnesota Beet Sugar Cooperative has won a partial victory in its appeal of its tax assessment in Renville County, but it may not translate into any significant tax reduction. In a ruling released Friday, the Minnesota Supreme Court reversed a tax court decision that upheld Renville County's assessment of the beet sugar facility at more than $20 million. The Supreme Court remanded the case to the Eighth Judicial Tax Court. It instructed the tax court that it was free to either revise or maintain the valuation, but that it needed to show its reasoning for it.
Ronald Mann, 50, of Cass Lake, was arraigned Tuesday for felony second-degree murder in Cass County District Court. Bail was set at $500,000. His next court date is Friday. Ronald Mann is accused of murdering his 74-year-old father, Ivan Mann, whose body was found on Friday in a wooded area near his home in Wilkinson Township. According to the criminal complaint, Ronald Mann killed his father following an argument. An autopsy determined that Ivan Mann's death was caused by manual strangulation and blunt force trauma to the head, the complaint stated.