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Severe weather leaves damage across Minnesota

Plus: Violent crime rates up in more than a dozen Twin Cities suburbs; Fort Snelling National Cemetery holds official Memorial Day service for first time in two years; former Vikings cornerback Jeff Gladney dies in car accident; and more.

Storm clouds

FOX 9 reports: “Strong storms blasted parts of Minnesota on Monday, leaving behind damage across the state, particularly in areas to the west. … Some of the worst damage was spotted in the small city of Forada, Minnesota, just south of Alexandria. Photos and video from storm chasers show significant damage through a neighborhood along Maple Lake, Minnesota. Douglas County officials say that after search and rescue operations, there aren’t any reports of deaths or major injuries as a result of the storms.  There are widespread power outages, officials say, and some roads are blocked due to downed power lines and trees.”

For the Star Tribune, Jeff Hargarten and Kim Hyatt say: “Violent crime rates have been rising in the last couple of years in more than a dozen suburbs, according to a Star Tribune analysis of five years of crime data from 50 of the largest Twin Cities suburbs. A total of 51 homicides were recorded in those suburban communities in 2021, more than double the 22 recorded in 2019. … Similarly, the total number of robberies in 2021 rose 20% from a pre-pandemic average. But nearly two-thirds of that increase occurred in six neighboring cities: Brooklyn Center, Brooklyn Park, Robbinsdale, New Hope, Crystal and Columbia Heights.”

Elizabeth Shockman reports for MPR: “More than a thousand people turned up in the rain on Monday morning to honor service members buried at Fort Snelling National Cemetery. It was the first official Memorial Day service at the site in two years after large in-person gatherings were restricted because of the pandemic.  ‘Those of you who came today know we can’t forget,’ said Gov. Tim Walz, who spoke at the outdoor service during the tail end of a rain storm. ‘It matters to come here and honor this day. It matters to put the flags on the graves, but what matters most [is] are we honoring their legacy by the way we live?’”

For KSTP-TV, Krystal Frazier reports: “Fire officials say a man is in critical condition Monday after jumping from the Franklin Bridge Sunday night and being rescued by a bystander. According to the Minneapolis Fire Department, crews were called to the 500 block of River Parkway shortly before 9 p.m. Officials say they were told the man jumped from the 3000 E. Franklin Bridge into the river, then began struggling and yelled for help. Fire officials say the caller was able to rescue the man from the water and pull him to the shoreline south of the bridge before the fire department’s boat reached him.”

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A Star Tribune story by Alex Chhith says, “A fire in Wadena roared through an irrigation company Monday, prompting city officials to ask residents to shelter in place to avoid exposure to potentially hazardous materials. Emergency responders worked to extinguish the fire at Minnesota Valley Irrigation at 602 Ash Av. in the central Minnesota town, according to the Wadena Police Department in a Facebook post at 3:43 p.m. By about 6:20 p.m., the Police Department said it was no longer requesting residents to shelter in place. Police said that while the cloud of smoke was not dangerous to breathe, they recommended residents close windows and shut off air conditioning.”

Says Rina Torchinsky for MPR, “Astronomers say a meteor shower is possible Monday night into early Tuesday. On Monday night, Earth will travel through the debris trails of a broken comet named 73P/Schwassmann-Wachmann or SW3, for short, according to a NASA blog. … Those in North America have the best shot at seeing the shower at about 1 a.m. on the East Coast or 10 p.m. on the West Coast, according to the NASA blog. The meteor shower can also be viewed via the Virtual Telescope Project.”

For KSTP-TV Krystal Frazier says, “The City of Duluth welcomed a cruise ship and its passengers to the city’s docks Monday for the first time in nearly 10 years. The Viking Octantis ship brought more than 600 people to port Monday morning – including nearly 400 passengers – who will be able to take the day and enjoy what the city has to offer.”

WCCO-TV reports: “Former Minnesota Vikings cornerback Jeff Gladney has died at the age of 25 following a car accident in Texas Monday morning. Gladney’s agent, Brian Overstreet, confirmed that Gladney died in a crash near downtown Dallas, according to NFL Network.… Gladney was a first round pick by the Vikings in 2020. He was cut from the team a year later after he was indicted by a Texas grand jury on a felony assault charge. He was later found not guilty.”

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