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News briefs from Forum News Service and the St.Paul Pioneer Press: North Dakota Call center set up on data breach
Results from the state medical examiner’s office indicate a homeless man found dead Jan. 9 in Fargo died of hypothermia, said Fargo police Lt. Joel Vettel. Randy Lee LaFontaine, 48, was found lifeless under a truck about four blocks from the Gladys Ray Shelter. LaFontaine, who had no permanent address, was a frequent client at Gladys Ray, which is the metro area’s only facility that takes in homeless people who have been consuming alcohol.
The Fargo police lieutenant who killed himself early Tuesday morning left a note for his family before driving outside city limits and shooting himself with a personal handgun. The investigation into Lt. Jeff Skuza’s suicide is nearing completion and should be done within a couple of days, Sgt. Tara Morris with the Cass County Sheriff’s Office said Wednesday. Skuza, 47, shot himself in the head at Holy Cross Cemetery, just outside Fargo city limits.
RANDALL, Minn. -- A train spilled fuel Thursday morning along Highway 10 in this central Minnesota town, but a fire crew that responded said the spill was considerably smaller than the 200 gallons originally reported. Randall Deputy Fire Chief Rick Gaffke said his crew of nine firefighters never had to pull their lines and the spill had stopped when they arrived. He said a fuel line leak on the CSX Corp. train engine on a BNSF Railway line apparently caused fuel to spill through an overflow pipe. Gaffke said he didn’t know how much had been spilled, but doubted that it was 200 gallons.
FERGUS FALLS — Investigators determined that a mechanical failure caused a fire and explosion Monday afternoon at an ethanol plant in Fergus Falls. A hydraulic pump that controls the damper...
Organizers of the Red River Valley Fair on Tuesday morning announced country music artists Kellie Pickler and Billy Currington, along with Minnesota rock act Hairball and heavy metal band Five Finger Death Punch, will play the West Fargo fair this year. The headliners for July 8 and 13 have not yet been announced. Tickets for grandstand shows are free with paid gate admission, which is $8 for adults. The Red River Valley Fair runs from July 8-13.
MINNEAPOLIS – A 19-year-old driver who survived a Friday night crash that left four dead is recovering from his injuries in a Minneapolis hospital. Kansas Adams was in critical condition Sunday, and by Tuesday, his condition had improved to fair, according to a spokeswoman for North Memorial Medical Center. According to the Minnesota State Patrol, Adams was driving a 2003 Pontiac Grand Prix west on an icy stretch of U.S. Highway 14 when he lost control of the car and slid sideways into the eastbound lane shortly after 8:15 p.m.
MOORHEAD – Fire officials here have determined the cause of an explosion that delayed the opening of the new Sanford Clinic in south Moorhead. The explosion on Feb. 24 was likely caused by the accidental ignition of propane in an elevator shaft, set off by an open flame torch being used by a contractor, according to a news release from Chad Stangeland, assistant fire marshal. At the time of the explosion, a contractor was using a propane torch to dry up water in the bottom of an elevator shaft.
ST. PAUL - Minnesota state employees will receive raises, in some cases for the first time in years, if the House agrees with the Senate. Senators Monday approved 43-22 pay raises of 3 percent this year and again next year for most state workers. "More than half of our state employees received zero percent increase," Sen. James Metzen, D-South St. Paul, said, because of a struggling economy. "These state employees helped us get through the recession." While workers will get more pay, Metzen said they also will pay more for health insurance. Sen.
ST. PAUL - Minnesota senators will not rush to judgment on a $500 million tax cut the House passed last week. On Monday, Senate Minority Leader David Hann, R-Eden Prairie, wanted senators to immediately take up the tax bill House members passed Thursday, but Democrats defeated the attempt 38-26. Gov. Mark Dayton wants the tax-cut bill on his desk by Friday.