Recently in Local News Category

Boy killed in dirt bike accident

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A fourth-grade boy died Friday night after an apparent dirt bike accident in Oak Grove, Minn.

Nicholas Engler, a nine-year-old at Cedar Creek Community School, was found unresponsive by emergency responders, including his own father, the Pioneer Press reported.

Engler was wearing a helmet, chest guard, boots, and gloves, and he was an avid dirt bike rider, according to WCCO.

No witnesses to the accident had been located, and investigators believe Nicholas was riding alone, the Pioneer Press reported.

Engler would have been 10 next month.

1 dead and 2 injured in a fire

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A 4-year-old boy was killed and two other children were injured in a house fire near Stephen, Minn. on Friday.

Authorities received a 911 call from someone in the house around 10 p.m. on Friday, according to the Pioneer Press.

The two injured children were taken to Altru Hospital in Grand Forks, and their names and conditions have not yet been made available, WDAZ News reported.

The fire remains under investigation.

Albert Lea man dies in crash

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An Albert Lea man died Saturday night in a head-on-collision on an undivided highway just north of the city, the Minnesota Highway Patrol said.

Michael Skov, the 47-year-old co-owner of the Bend in the Road Bar in Manchester, Minn., was driving north on Hwy. 13 when his car crossed into the southbound lane and collided with another car, according to the Albert Lea Tribune.

The three men in the other car, ages 16, 17, and 27, were all treated and released from the Albert Lea Medical Center with non-serious injuries, the Pioneer Press said.

Sailing trip turns into tragedy

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Two young boys have died and their brother remains in critical condition after the sailboat they were on capsized Friday.

According to the Star Tribune, the boys and their father were sailing on Clearwater Lake when a strong gust of wind capsized the boat, pitching the family into the frigid water.

All three boys were wearing life jackets. Their father swam for help, but 2-year-old Jacob and 6-year-old Zech did not survive. None of the boys were responsive when pulled from the water. They apparently died of hypothermia, Kare 11 reported.

Isaiah, the 8-year-old eldest brother, remained in the hospital Saturday. His family told the Star Tribune that he opened his eyes but could not breathe on his own.

The family is asking for prayers following this Easter-weekend tragedy.

Man dies in ATV crash

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A man died early Sunday morning after the all-terrain vehicle he was driving crashed into a tree.

According to WCCO, the Stearns County Sheriff Department was called to the scene of the ATV crash shortly before 3 a.m. Sunday.

The driver appeared to be heading west on Schuman Lake Road when he lost control going around a curve and struck a tree. He was treated at the scene, but died on the way to the hospital, Kare 11 reported.

The victim's name has not yet been released.

Minneapolis to demolish hoarder's home

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The city of Minneapolis decided to push forward with demolition plans for a duplex in northeast Minneapolis, deemed unlivable last summer.

The City Council met on Friday and agreed to tear down the vacant home, according to the Pioneer Press.

WIth piles of dead cats, animal droppings, and rotting debris, an inspector's report from last summer found the stench of the house inescapable, the Pioneer Press reported.

According to City Council member Tom Deegan, the city has tried to work with the homeowner- a clinically diagnosed hoarder, however those talks have been unsuccessful, Fox News said.

The duplex is set to be demolished this summer, and the owner will be charged $15,000 to cover the costs, the Pioneer Press said.

Fox reportedly talked to the family, who said the proceedings have "destroyed" them.

"Party-drug" lab busted

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A drug lab was busted on Thursday in St. Paul.

Timothy Lee Meyer, 32, and Amanda Lee Vickaryous, 23, were arrested at the scene where police found chemicals, grain alcohol, and ether, according to the Pioneer Press.

The apartment was apparently making synthetic LSD and tranquilizers, Fox News reported.

Ramsey County sheriff's office spokesman told the Pioneer Press that this is the first drug lab of this kind to be found in Minnesota. It appeared that the drugs were being broken down, and turned into "super-drugs."

The two adults arrested at the scene apparently have a criminal history, and a 4-year-old found at the scene was taken into custody, Fox said.

Youth minister charged with stealing from church

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A former Burnsville youth minister has been accused of stealing $8,000 from a church last year.

John Mertes, a 40-year-old from Burnsville, appeared in court this week on the felony charges of theft-by-swindle by skimming funds from the church last year, according to Fox News.

The missing money was called to the attention of the church in January, after a $500 check was missing from a fundraiser, the Washington Post reported.

In total, about 40 checks made out to the church were deposited into Mertes' bank account, summing up to over $8,000, the Post said.

According to Fox, Mertes told police that he was under financial stress, and that none of the money was ever given back to the church.

Minnesota man dead after car crash in North Dakota

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The North Dakota Highway Patrol said a Minnesota died after fleeing a trooper and crashing his pickup, according to the Pioneer Press.

Paul Mertens, a 36-year-old from Ramsey, Minn. died while being taken to a Bismark hospital by ambulance, the Bismark Tribune reported.

Mertens was reportedly driving in a reckless manner, and a trooper pulled him over. Shortly after, Mertens fled, reaching speeds of up to 90 mph, the patrol statement said.

Mertens apparently lost control of the vehicle about four miles later, as it rolled multiple times and ended up in the ditch. Mertens was ejected from the truck, according to the Bismark Tribune.

Garage fire leaves one dead

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A fire in St. Paul destroyed a garage and left one man dead.

Police believe that Donald Pnewski Jr., a 53-year-old St. Paul native, died in a garage fire on Thursday, according to the Pioneer Press.

Authorities believe that Pnewski was living in the unattached garage at the residence belonging to his mother, Kare 11 reported.

According to the Pioneer Press, Pnewski's had been living in the garage because his mother didn't want him in the house. She reportedly died a few months ago, but Pnewski continued to live in the garage.

The cause of the fire remains under investigation.

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