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DNR plans ‘conservative harvest approach’ to deer season

ALSO: Three die in small plane crash; Rochester kids go back to school; Northfield Armory is for sale; and more.

There will be a one-deer limit in most of Minnesota.

The Minnesota Department of Natural Resources plans another conservative deer season to rebuild the herd, the department announced. There will be a one-deer limit in most of the state. “In 70 of Minnesota’s 128 deer permit areas, hunters must be chosen in a lottery to shoot an antlerless deer. Only bucks can be hunted in 14 areas. In 29 areas, hunters have the choice of shooting a doe or a buck. Bonus permits allowing hunters to shoot more than one deer may only be used in 11 permit areas and for some special hunts. In three southwestern areas, the DNR is restricting antlerless harvest to youth hunters only,” the department writes. Licenses are available starting Saturday, Aug. 1. The deadline to apply for the lottery is Thursday, Sept. 10. Visit the DNR’s deer hunting site for more information.

Summer has ended for students at one Rochester elementary school using an alternative calendar. Taylor Nachtigal of the Rochester Post Bulletin chronicled the first day of school at Longfellow Elementary, which uses a 45-15 schedule. Students attend classes in 45-day blocks, with three-week breaks in between and a six-week summer vacation. Fourth-grade teacher Jodi Fisher said the year-round schedule helps students retain information, which is why she sent her own children to Longfellow. “Kids will be pretty close to where they were when they left,” she said.

 A small plane crashed Monday night in Pipestone County, killing all three aboard. The Sioux Falls Argus Leader says the pilot was Steven Christensen, 59, from rural Pipestone and his passengers were Marcos Favela, 18, of Torreon, Mexico, and a 13-year-old girl from Guadalajara, Mexico. All were pronounced dead at the scene. The Pipestone County Sheriff’s Office and Federal Aviation Administration are investigating the crash. 

Like a beer connoisseur who loves a fine stout or a baseball fanatic who enjoys a well-struck single up the middle, a small-town crime reporter loves it when he can write a paragraph like this one that appeared in the Austin Daily Herald: “The suspect allegedly broke into a southwest Austin home, stole a TV, tried to leave the TV at a friend’s house, got into a fight, called the police on his friend, then was caught an hour later stealing weed trimmers from a lawn service company.”

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And then there’s this crime tidbit from Moorhead under the headline “Moorhead mechanic accused of breaking customer’s leg over bill dispute”: “Adil Mohamed, a customer at Bilal Auto Repair, … told police he got into an argument with auto repair employee Al Saeedi about the bill, and that Al Saeedi lost his temper and told him he couldn’t take the car. Mohamed told police that when he told Al Saeedi he was done arguing and started to walk toward his vehicle, Al Saeedi grabbed him and tried to choke him. Al Saeedi then kneed Mohamed in the thigh, Mohamed told police, and he heard his leg crack. Al Saeedi denied Mohamed’s accusations, documents state, admitting the two got into an argument over the bill, but that when he walked over to Mohamed’s car and took the keys, Mohamed ran after him, colliding with the bumper of another vehicle nearby.

Speaking of Moorhead, the population near the city has grown by one. Lucy the moose has moved in to Clay County and her neighbors are keeping a close eye on her. The moose likes to hang out near Highway 32, a few miles north of Highway 10, about 25 miles east of Moorhead. “She’s got everything she needs – food, water, there’s a bean field now she’s eating in,” said neighbor Raymond Gierszewski. The Detroit Lakes DNR office is “probably averaging a call a day” from people concerned about the moose, said DNR Area Wildlife Manager Rob Baden. He and several conservation officers checked on the moose and found no apparent problems. “She seems to be completely healthy. She just likes hanging around that one area there,” he said.

A Blooming Prairie brother and sister have been arrested for a 19-year-old Texas murder, reports the Owatonna People’s Press. Angelica Marie Torres, 40, of Blooming Prairie and George “Poche” Torres Jr., 37, of Lino Lakes were arrested Friday night in Rocksprings, Texas, in connection with the homicide of their aunt, Patricia Torres Paz, in 1996. Paz was killed for the several hundred dollars given her by her husband after shearing sheep at a local ranch. The Edwards County, Texas, Sheriff’s Department has opened up a cold-case team which was able to get new information on this crime. The arrests n Texas came about by pure chance — the siblings had come from Minnesota to Texas to support their mother, who was undergoing a five-valve bypass operation on her heart. A deputy noticed George Torres sitting on his mother’s porch and the deputies made the arrests. If convicted of murder, Angelica and George Torres face the death penalty or life in prison without the possibility of parole.

The National Guard is putting the Northfield Armory up for sale. The Northfield News reports that the first offer must go to the city, and the National Guard has pegged the building’s sale price at $600,000. It has a great location at 519 Division Street and has undergone multimillion dollar upgrades in the past few years. Storage and parking are problems. The decision to turn over the armory is part of the Readiness Center Transformation Master Plan, which will reduce the number of state armory locations from 61 to 52. If the city balks at the building, the county gets the next crack at it, then it goes up for public auction. There is no proviso that the city or county can’t buy the building and flip it for a profit.

Shaylma Salinas of Owatonna has been crowned Miss Minnesota Latina 2015, reports the Owatonna People’s Press. Salinas, 22, an Owatonna native, graduated from Hamline University in May with bachelor’s degrees in political science and biology. A shy person by nature, she decided to compete in her first pageant this spring after watching Miss Universe 2014. “I was like, ‘Wow, these women aren’t only beautiful on the exterior, they’re beautiful on the interior and they’re doing great things in their own communities,’” she said. Since her coronation, she is working as a toddler teacher at Tri-Valley Head Start in Owatonna and studying for law school. Her dream is to become a lawyer and create change in medical policy. “I really want everyone to have accessible health care and quality care,” she said. Salinas will compete in the 2015 Miss U.S. Latina Pageant from Aug. 30 to Sept. 6 in Riviera Maya, Mexico.