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Traffic deaths up last year in Minnesota

MinnPost photo by Rita Kovtun

Not good, Minnesota, not good. MPR’s Tim Nelson reports: “Traffic fatalities in Minnesota were up 14 percent last year over 2014, according to data released Thursday by the Department of Public Safety. … The department said there were 411 fatalities on state roads in 2015, compared to 361 the year before. It’s the highest fatality rate in five years, and reverses a fairly steady decline that dropped annual traffic deaths below the 500 mark a decade ago.”

Also not good. MPR’s Mukhtar Ibrahim has a disturbing update on Wednesday’s shooting in Minneapolis: “One of the victims of a shooting early Wednesday morning in a Minneapolis neighborhood near the University of Minnesota said the shooter made disparaging remarks about Muslims before opening fire. … Hussein Gelle, a 22-year-old Metropolitan State University student, said the shooter made the comments shortly after they came back from playing basketball at a nearby house. The men wore qamis, a long ankle-length robe that many Muslim men wear. Gelle said they were headed to a mosque to perform nightly prayers during Ramadan.”

Relief comes to St. Paul. The Pioneer Press reports: “Right at the state-mandated deadline, St. Paul will get its first medical marijuana dispensary Friday. … LeafLine Labs will open facilities in Hibbing, Minn., and on Vandalia Street in St. Paul on Friday. Patients with a medical certification and who have registered with the state can consult with staff at the centers and receive prescriptions. … When Minnesota’s medical cannabis law passed in 2014, it required the two companies between them to have a distribution center in each of the state’s eight congressional districts by July 1, 2016.”

Shakeup at the Gunflint. The Star Tribune’s Mark Brunswick reports: “Bruce and Sue Kerfoot, owners of the Gunflint Lodge, the quintessential northern Minnesota resort, are hanging up their paddles. … The lodge, which has been in the family since 1929, was sold last week to a couple who plan to continue its traditions and the outfitting operation on Gunflint Lake, 43 miles north of Grand Marais. … ‘I’m optimistic that we are handing it off to somebody with good North Woods values but also good business instincts,’ Bruce Kerfoot said. ‘We’re pleased to pass the torch to somebody who we hope will grow it and carry it on good.’”

In other news…

Sting: “Fargo, Moorhead police collar 18 men on suspicion of soliciting minors for sex” [Inforum]

Attempting to contain the Red River: “Minnesota OKs next step in Fargo-Moorhead flood diversion plan” [MPR]

Experienced with foreign disasters: “American Refugee Committee snags John Griffith, former Target exec and civic leader, for key post” [Star Tribune]

Video of the day: “Miguel Sano takes a popup off his head, gets bailed out by teammate’s diving catch” []

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