Recently in Local Category

Pilot Dies, Small Plane Crashes Into Minnesota Lake

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A small plane crashed into a Minnesota lake on Sunday morning, killing the pilot and injuring a passenger.

Just before 10 a.m. on Sunday a small experimental plane crashed into Upper Whitefish Lake near Brainerd, killing the pilot, a 55-year-old man from Crosslake, The Associated Press said.

The passenger, 61, also from Crosslake, was taken to a hospital with serious injuries, The Associated Press said.

The plane was a fixed-wing single engine Skystar Kitfox 4, Federal Aviation Administration Spokeswoman Elizabeth Cory said, the Star Tribune said.

The plane was submerged about 75 yards offshore, FAA Spokesman Roland Herwig told The Associated Press.

The aircraft was built in 2008, the Star Tribune said.

Otter Attacks Anoka Woman in Duluth Lake

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An Anoka woman was attacked this week by an otter in a northern Minnesota lake, leaving with 25 bite marks.

Leah Prudhomme, 33, a triathlete from Anoka, was swimming in Island Lake when an otter attacked her, The Star Tribune said.

The wetsuit prevented her 25 wounds from being worse, Northland News Center said.

"It just kept coming after me," Prudhomme said to The Star Tribune. "You never knew where it was going to bite next."

Driver Killed in Single-Car Crash in St. Paul

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A driver died after driving off the road and hitting a tree late Friday in St. Paul.

At about 9 p.m. on Friday a 2001 Jeep Cherokee was going north on Highway 61 in St. Paul's Battle Creek area when it crossed the center median into southbound lanes, State Patrol told The Pioneer Press.

The driver then overcorrected, crossing the northbound lanes and driving into the ditch where they hit a tree, State Patrol told The Star Tribune.

The driver's name has not been released and was the only person in the car, The Star Tribune said.

WASHINGTON -- Locals suffered through another day of repressive heat without air conditioning or refrigeration on Sunday as utility crews worked to get electricity restored for thousands of people.

The heat index reached 100 as locals sought refuge in malls and movie theaters while waiting for power to be restored in their smoldering homes, The Washington Post said.

Storms late Friday took down trees and power lines that ruined properties and took lives, closed emergency 911 call centers, and left residents without power for days, the Associated Press said.

"If we don't get power tonight, we'll have to throw everything away," Susan Fritz said about her refrigerator and deep freezer to the Associated Press.

National Guard members patrolled intersections with broken traffic signals, raising concern for the condition of Monday morning commutes, The Washington Post said.

The Washington Post reported many closures and cancellations, including public summer classes and programs for Monday, due to the outages.

CHARLOTTESVILLE, Va. -- The University of Virginia's reinstated President Teresa Sullivan on Tuesday after campus-wide outcry over her ouster in early June.

The university's 15-member board of visitors unanimously agreed to reinstate Sullivan after weeks of protest by students, faculty, and alumni, The Wall Street Journal said.

While the board voted, students and faculty gathered outside in support of Sullivan, the Associated Press said.

The Wall Street Journal said that Helen Dagras, the head of the board, had been persistent in saying that the university needed a leader who would be more bold amid changes in the university than Sullivan.

Oklahoma Train Crash Leaves One Dead, Three Missing

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GOODWELL, Okla. -- One person died and three Union Pacific crewmembers were missing after two freight trains collided in Oklahoma and caught fire Sunday morning.

Two train engineers and a conductor were unaccounted for after two trains, one carrying a resin solution, collided shortly after 10 a.m. Sunday, Union Pacific spokeswoman Raquel Espinoza said.

One person was killed, though their identity has not been released, News On 6 said.

Officers searched around the scene for the missing crewmembers, said Betsy Randolph, an Oklahoma Highway Patrol trooper. "We're hoping they may have jumped off the train," she said.

Firemen were on scene to control the fire that burst out after the crash and doused the unignited resin solution as a precaution, Espinoza said.

The train wrecks could explode, so authorities warned locals to not visit the scene.

Duluth: A Flooded Mess

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Flooding on Tuesday and Wednesday in the Duluth area has caused the closing of roads, evacuating of homes, and the zoo in a state of loss.

Five to nine inches of rain have fallen in the past 12 hours in the Duluth area. All forms of travel are discouraged, and some residents have been asked to evacuate their homes, the Star Tribune said.

Animals at the Lake Superior Zoo in Duluth have escaped, including a polar bear and a seal, both of which have been located and returned. Many of the zoo's animals died as well, including a great number of the barnyard exhibit's animals, CBS News said.

"The greatest danger or concern at this point is that it is washing out the roadbeds beneath the concrete," Duluth Mayor Don Ness said. While the roads may look normal from the surface, sinkholes are brewing below, waiting for a car to cause the road to collapse. "At this point, that's our primary concern in terms of safety."

Duluth will most likely need help from the federal government, Ness said. "It'll likely take us weeks if not months to fully understand the extent of the damage."

Hmong Pilots Saluted, Reunite in Maplewood

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Hmong fighter pilots were thanked by U.S. Air Force officials for their help in the "Secret War" while they reunited in Maplewood on Saturday.

The 38 attending pilots came from across the country to reunite and receive letters of recognition and thanks from the U.S. Air Force's Chief of Staff, Gen. Norton Schwartz, for their assistance in the Vietnam War, the Star Tribune said.

"It's just a bit too late, in my opinion," pilot Ya Lee of Vadnais Heights reported to the Pioneer Press about their recognition.

After the war the pilots were to be killed by the Communist-run Vietnamese, but went to the U.S., the Pioneer Press said.

At their gathering they reflected on their time in the war and soldiers lost. They made plans for future reunions, assuring they would be more frequent from then on, the Star Tribune said.

Cougars Are Spreading Out, Moving In

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Cougars are moving to the midwest where they haven't thrived for 100 years, according to The Associated Press, as seen in The Missourian. 178 sightings have been documented between 1990 and 2008, the Star Tribune says.

As focused on in the Star Tribune article, few females are participating in the long-distance move from the Rockies to the midwest. Male cougars more commonly travel long distances, searching for habitable land and a mate, coming from areas that have reached their cougar capacities -- such as the Black Hills of South Dakota and the Badlands of North Dakota. These types of movements are called "steppingstones".

While The Star Tribune discusses the migration's affect on cougar population, The Associated Press investigates the affect these moves have on local citizen lives. From a decrease in huntable deer to the cougar-caused death of livestock, inhabitants of the midwest can expect to be affected by cougars in one way or another.

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