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Minneapolis hospital sees spike in overdoses from synthetic drug

Plus: another candidate joins race for 8th Congressional District; Twin Cities professors build database of mass shooters; Minnesota farmer gives $7,000 reward to the girl he helped find; and more.

Hennepin County Medical Center
Wikimedia Commons

Bad stuff on the streets. MPR’s Marianne Combs says, “Hennepin County Medical Center is dealing with a spike in patients who accidentally overdosed on what authorities believe is the synthetic drug known as K2. Forty-two people have been brought to HCMC since Wednesday. …. K2 was initially created in research labs to mimic the active ingredients in marijuana.”

Good set-up here for a movie. Says Jack Day of the Forum News Service, “Eleven years after he dropped his camera off a cliff into Lake Superior, an Idaho man is finally seeing some of the photos. About a month ago, Two Harbors photographer Christian Dalbec found a digital camera while he was diving in the lake. He was able to salvage three photos and posted them on Facebook. … The four people in the pictures were conducting research for the Student Conservation Association’s Veterans Fire Corps, working out of Ashland.” And in the background of one of the shots: sasquatch!

More competition for Rick Nolan. MPR’s Dan Kraker says, “There are now four candidates for Congress in Minnesota’s vast 8th Congressional District in northeast Minnesota. Thirty-three-year-old Leah Phifer, a native of Two Harbors and current Isanti resident who stepped down from her job as an intelligence analyst for the FBI in May to explore a run for office, has announced she will challenge incumbent Congressman Rick Nolan for the DFL endorsement.”

More guns. The Star Tribune’s Stephen Montemayor reports: “More illegal firearms, many of them semiautomatic handguns, are turning up in evidence rooms across Minnesota, according to federal authorities who’ve tracked their origins. The number of unlawfully possessed guns traced in Minnesota last year was the highest ever — matching a yearslong increase in the seized weapons nationwide — and federal authorities here say it reflects a troubling rise in shootings among rival gang members eager to reach for a gun.”

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Tell us something we don’t know. Says Tim Harlow in the Strib, “The Minnesota Department of Transportation released its annual Twin Cities congestion report last week, and the news was kind of ominous. Congestion rose to its highest level since 1993 …. This year’s report found roads were jammed 23.7 percent of the time between 5 and 10 a.m. and 2 and 7 p.m. on weekdays. Even more foreboding is that roads are projected to be jammed 30 percent of the time within the next 10 years.”

Studying killers. At MPR, John Wannamaker reports, “The gunman at last Sunday night’s shooting at a country music festival in Las Vegas is entry number 134 in a database of mass shooters that two Twin Cities professors are building. Jillian Peterson, a Hamline University assistant professor of criminology and criminal justice, and James Densley, an associate professor of criminal justice at Metropolitan State University, hope to better understand why mass shootings happen and identify ways to prevent them. … Peterson said they don’t have definitive statistics. But she has seen two things surface repeatedly — hopelessness and a need for notoriety in life or in death.”  

Just when you thought classy behavior had gone the way of the dinosaurs, we hear about this guy. Fox News says, “A Minnesota farmer was presented with a $7,000 reward for finding a missing teenage girl — and then just moments later gave the money to the girl, who was a captive of three men for a month. Earl Melchert, 65, of Barrett, turned the reward money over to the girl Friday at police headquarters. … Fox 9 Minneapolis reported that the girl escaped Sept. 5 by swimming across a lake. Melchert found her when she came running toward him.”