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04/14/09: This week’s Minnesota news from other media

Work on US Steel’s Three Bays on Lake Vermilion residential development could begin as early as this summer if a proposed project development agreement is approved by the county board, reports Marshall Helmberger of the Timberjay Newspapers. He notes that the agreement would be the first of its kind under the county’s new flexible zoning rules. The county planning commission last month approved the project after more than three years of negotiations over its scope.

Accidents involving farm vehicles account for only a small percentage of fatalities and injuries on Minnesota roads each year, writes John Weiss in the Rochester Post-Bulletin. The Minnesota Department of Public Safety reports that in 2007, five people died and 84 were injured in accident with farm vehicles, compared with two death and 62 injuries in 2006.

The hospital and nursing home’s administration of Avera Marshall Regional Medical Center is proposing a 3 percent rollback in its own salaries affecting seven staffers and a 25 percent cut in paid time off, reports Rae Kruger of the Marshall Independent. “We felt we needed to be leaders, and come out first and take a step forward,” said Avera Marshall Chief Executive Officer Mary Maertens of those who proposed the rollback. Administrators there said they also will consider other ways to reduce expenses for the next several fiscal years.

A Winona-based communications company wants to seek federal stimulus money to build a Red Wing fiber optic network, so long as the city supports the proposal, reports Jon Swedien of the Red Wing Republican Eagle. The network would provide cable, Internet and phone services to residents. Gary Evans, president of Hiawatha Broadband Communications, said the company hopes to build a network serving Red Wing, Lake City and Cannon Falls.

The Hells Angels Motorcycle Club plans to hold its summer USA Ride in Carlton County, and law enforcement officials already are planning their response, reports Lisa Baumann of the Pine Journal in Cloquet. Some club members already have rented rooms at area hotels, and about 500 to 1,000 club members are expected to participate in several daytime rides into Duluth and along the North Shore, she writes. According to her report, hundreds of Hells Angels riders converge somewhere in the country every July for several days of meetings, riding and revelry before the well-known motorcycle rally in Sturgis, S.D. The FBI classifies the group as one of the four biggest outlaw motorcycle gangs.

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