When Kathy Maloney and Connie Burczyk heard splashing and cries for help while walking in Hester Park along the Mississippi River, they investigated and saw a man struggling in the water, writes Ben Katzner of the St. Cloud Daily Times. “Burczyk — who Maloney said has multiple sclerosis, a fractured ankle and barely knows how to swim — entered the water and pulled the man to shore while Maloney called police. ‘By the time we found him, his hands were already blue,’ Maloney said. ‘It was a miracle that it happened the way it did because that man would have froze to death or drowned.’ Capt. Steve Richardson of the St. Cloud Fire Department … said the man was walking near the water when he slipped on a rock and fell in. When authorities arrived, the man wasn’t in danger of drowning but could have faced a serious risk of hypothermia. … Burczyk declined to comment, but Maloney said her actions spoke volumes. ‘I’m very proud of Connie, I’m just amazed … she was brave to do that. I’m so tired of hearing of people saying that people don’t care about other people; here’s proof.”
Do Minnesotans still live the good life? “I think we really do,” said Ed Ehlinger, commissioner for the Minnesota Department of Health, speaking at Sanford Bemidji Medical Center. But that might not last long, reports Bethany Wesley of the Bemidji Pioneer. For years, the state was ranked No. 1 or No. 2 in national health rankings, but last year the state was ranked No. 6. Infant mortality is on the rise as well. “We really should be ashamed of ourselves,” Ehlinger said. In 2006 the state invested $249 per person in public health; in 2011, under different legislative leadership, that figure dropped to $49 per person. The Statewide Health Improvement Plan was funded for $47 million in 2010-11 and just $15 million in 2012-2013, he noted. “We need to make that investment again,” Ehlinger said. Minnesota also is ranked 44th in binge drinking and 24th in geographic disparities. One fix: The Healthy Minnesota Partnership in July approved a framework that presents three themes for improving Minnesota’s health: capitalize on the opportunity to influence health in early childhood, assure that the opportunity for health is available everywhere and for everyone, and strengthen communities to create their own healthy futures. “I’m seeing community engagement as a major public health tool,” Ehlinger said.
After a robbery attempt early Monday, law enforcement agencies netted Eric Wade Forcier, 26, and then turned their attention to finding the weapon the suspect allegedly used to fire at a Rice County Sheriff’s deputy and a Minnesota State Patrol trooper, reports Jerry Smith of the Northfield News. They found it later in the day not far from where they originally stopped Forcier and a female companion. “SWAT members found the gun on the west side of Dundas Boulevard with his other shoe,” Northfield Deputy Chief Chuck Walerius said. According to Northfield Police, at 2:47 a.m. an adult male entered America’s Best Value Inn and robbed an employee. After a traffic stop on Dundas Boulevard, a female passenger was apprehended without incident. The male suspect fled and fired a weapon at a Rice County deputy and a Minnesota State Patrol trooper. The area was sealed off and a search was conducted by several area law enforcement agencies including the Northfield Police, Dakota and Rice County Sheriff’s Offices, the State Patrol as well as 12 SWAT teams from as far away as Albert Lea and Anoka County.
At a Fergus Falls City Council open forum Monday, Denise Mauer asked about a possible heroin problem in the area. Seth Johnson of the Fergus Falls Journal wrote that Mauer said she had heard reports of two people dying from overdosing on heroin. Kile Bergren, chief of public safety, said the deaths have not been confirmed as heroin-related, but heroin has become more prevalent not only in Fergus Falls, but nationwide. “Our efforts aren’t only on heroin,” he said. “It’s on heroin and all other drugs.”
It was a tough couple of nights for Samuel William Ness, 20, of St. Cloud. David Unze of the St. Cloud Daily Times reports that Ness was arrested at about 3:30 a.m. Saturday in Waite Park after driving 66 mph in a 40-mph zone, according to Police Chief Dave Bentrud. Ness was booked for investigation of DWI at the jail and was released at about 7 a.m. A Sartell officer arrested Ness 17 hours later after police spotted him driving near Morning Glory Avenue and 15th Street South, according to Police Chief Jim Hughes. Ness was booked back in to the Stearns jail for investigation of a second DWI within 21 hours.
The Windom High Future Farmers of America team – three sisters and a friend – have placed fifth in a national FFA contest, reports Julie Buntjer of the Worthington Daily Globe. Sisters Molly, Abby and Natalie Resch and teammate Ryan Helmoski combined to earn a fifth-place finish in the Farm Business Management contest at the National FFA Convention last week in Indianapolis, Ind. The team of Molly and Abby Resch, and Abby’s best friend, Ryan, began preparing for the region contest last October, and went on to earn first place at the Minnesota FFA Convention this spring. Molly graduated from high school last spring and is now a freshman studying actuary science at a college in Nebraska, but she was determined to see the team through the national contest. Meanwhile, her younger sister, Natalie, joined the FFA this fall as a freshman. Both Abby and Ryan are seniors this year. All four scored well enough to earn an individual gold ranking, but it was high school senior Abby who led the team. After placing second in the state contest, she won fourth place in the national contest, besting approximately 155 other FFA members. The Farm Business Management contest has FFA members work through a farm’s financials. They are supplied with background history of a farm and need to work up a financial statement and determine how the farmer can maximize profits. Abby said their team benefited by having three sisters who grew up with parents who both deal with math in their careers.