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ST. PAUL — Public safety officials across Minnesota lose sleep at night over the possibility of major crude oil transportation disasters such as ones last year in North Dakota and Quebec. That is what state Public Safety Commissioner Mona Doman told House Transportation Finance Committee members Thursday as they heard that firefighters and others first responders are not ready for such disasters. Highly flammable crude oil from western North Dakota’s Bakken formation is being transported in nearly two-mile-long trains through Minnesota, the committee learned.
BISMARCK -- Grant County State’s Attorney Todd Schwarz said a plea agreement has been reached with white supremacist Craig Cobb, who is accused of terrorizing residents in the small town of Leith, N.D. A change of plea hearing is set for 3 p.m. Thursday in Burleigh County. Schwarz said the deal calls for Cobb to plead guilty to one of the six felony terrorizing charges he faces. The other five terrorizing charges would be reduced to Class A misdemeanor menacing charges. Under the recommended sentence, Cobb, who has been in jail since Nov.
LITCHFIELD, Minn. — Authorities are investigating the death of a 4-year-old child Wednesday afternoon in Watkins. According to a news release from Meeker County Sheriff Jeff Norlin, authorities received a 911 call about 5:45 p.m.
BEMIDJI, Minn. -- Police are investigating the death of a 6-year-old girl found outside this morning at an apartment complex in southeast Bemidji. Police were called to 924 Carter Circle SE at 6:23 a.m., according to the Bemidji Police Department. The child showed signs of exposure and was pronounced dead at the scene, police said. An autopsy is pending. Overnight temperatures were in the 20-below range, with 27 below the low mark at 6:30 a.m., according to the National Weather Service office in Grand Forks, N.D.
MOTLEY, Minn. -- A 36-year-old Staples woman was found dead Tuesday in the snow near an apartment complex in Motley. Morrison County Sheriff Michel Wetzel said Anna Eakle’s body was discovered around 8:45 a.m. Tuesday. He said there was no indication of foul play. Motley Police Chief Brian Madison said all but the core part of her body was frozen. According to the National Weather Service, the windchill just after 8 a.m. was 29 degrees below zero. The woman was last seen by a railroad worker around 4:40 a.m.
A Menahga man will essentially be held without bond on a Second Degree Murder charge in the death of a Park Rapids woman Monday. That’s because Harley David Leritz, 21, has been simultaneously charged with a probation violation for a 2012 criminal sexual conduct charge. However, Judge Robert Tiffany, appearing by an ITV hookup from Bagley, set bail in the death of Kiela Gem Knowles, 19, at $1.5 million unconditional and $1 million with numerous conditions.
ALEXANDRIA, Minn. – A bullet-proof vest likely saved the life of a Douglas County sheriff’s deputy who was shot in the chest Monday evening while checking on a suspicious vehicle. The two people in vehicle, a 29-year-old woman and a 24-year-old man, both from North Dakota, were found dead after a short chase, Douglas County Sheriff Troy Wolbersen said Tuesday. A handgun and a long gun were recovered near their bodies. The deputy, whose name has not been released, was transported to Douglas County Hospital, where he was treated and released.
PARK RAPIDS, Minn. - A Menahga man has been arrested in the death of a 19-year-old woman Monday morning at a Park Rapids apartment complex. Harley David Leritz, 21, was taken into custody Monday and is scheduled to appear in court Wednesday on charges relating to the death of Kiela Knowles at the Park Rapids Middle School apartments. The Hubbard County Sheriff’s Department is assisting Park Rapids police with the investigation. Hubbard County Sheriff Cory Aukes said he could not give out any information about the case. Leritz has a criminal record.
ST. PAUL - A bill to be introduced when the Minnesota Legislature opens at noon Tuesday would require government agencies, including law enforcement organizations, to obtain search warrants before accessing the location of electronic devices such as mobile telephones. “Nearly every Minnesotan carries some mobile device with them every day and we need to make sure that the location data of innocent people is not subject to unreasonable or unchecked searches by government,” Rep. Joe Atkins, D-Inver Grove Heights, said.
MORRIS, Minn. -- A deputy shot a man early Saturday in rural Swift County after an armed robbery in Morris. Shortly before 1 a.m., officers with the Swift County Sheriff’s Office and the Appleton Police Department stopped a vehicle matching the description of one involved in the robbery, according to a release from the sheriff’s office.