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ST. PAUL – The future of state aid that many local Minnesota governments depend on may be at stake in the next few weeks as property taxes appeared to be headed up. By mid-December, city, county and other local officials decide how much property tax they will collect. Those decisions come on the heels of the Democratic Legislature and governor sending them large bundles of new money in the name of property tax relief. If taxes go up, local governments may see less state aid in the future.
Geoffrey Biteman pleaded guilty Monday to theft of an airplane in Roseau, Minn., as part of a deal that will see him serve 60 days in jail and 60 days on electronic home monitoring, said Michael Grover, a Roseau County prosecutor. The 18-year-old was charged with unlawfully taking a 1971 Cessna 150 from the Roseau airport and flying it without permission of the owner. He flew it several times into the Thief River Falls airport during the summer and fall and left it at a St. Thomas, N.D., farm where he got injured when he rolled a sugar beet truck in October.
A 32-year-old Staples man died in a one-vehicle rollover Friday night. David Duane Kobliska was driving a 2004 Ford explorer on Todd County Road 66 near the intersection of County Road 7 in Fawn Lake Township shortly before 11:15 p.m. when the vehicle left the roadway, according to the Todd County Sheriff's Office. He was ejected from the vehicle and died at the scene. Kobliska's father, Duane Donald Kobliska, 56, of Staples was riding in the vehicle and was transported to the Staples Hospital. Neither occupant was wearing a seat belt, according to the sheriff's office.
What could be more redneck than deer hide covered floats, camouflage outfits and running for beer, dressed in blaze orange? Find out Nov. 23 during the Redneck Holidazzle event in Vergas. After a successful first year last year, the Community Club decided to add a few more activities this year. First off is the Rednecks Chase Beer Fun Run, beginning at 2:45 p.m.
DULUTH – St. Louis County social service officials have started enforcing Minnesota’s new drug-testing program for residents receiving state “welfare” benefits who previously have been convicted of a felony drug crime. The county is following a little-known law passed by the Minnesota Legislature in 2012 requiring counties to test convicted drug felons who are receiving benefits under several state programs. It’s the first time the state and counties have actively sought people who have felony records and are receiving assistance.
MAHNOMEN, Minn. -- It is a monumental milestone for the White Earth Reservation, as voters there said “yes” to an entirely new constitution. The mail-in votes were counted Tuesday night, with results showing 79 percent approval. Of the 3,492 ballots counted, 2,780 were in favor and 712 against. It was a voter turnout twice that of a normal tribal election. “I am very gratified that the people of the White Earth nation have spoken,” said White Earth Tribal Chairperson Erma Vizenor.
Deer season is a sad time for the unlucky. But one young deer escaped an icy death on Two Inlets Lake Wednesday, assisted by two good Samaritans and a rush of adrenalin. Two dogs had chased it onto the lake, said Glen Wolters. His neighbor, Don Wheeler, came over to help. “We drove down to the deer,” Wolters recalled. “It was 100 yards out on the ice” and had gone through. “Its head was resting on the ice.” Ice depths toward shore, where the deer started, were two inches.
WHITE EARTH, Minn.
SAUK RAPIDS, Minn. -- A pedestrian was struck and killed by a driver Saturday morning on Highway 10 near Sauk Rapids. The Minnesota State Patrol said Robert C. Schmidt, 23, of St. Cloud, was struck by a 1990 Buick Century around 5:30 a.m. at milepost 176. He died at the scene. The driver of the car, Angela J. Lott, 37, of Sauk Rapids, was southbound in the left lane of four-lane divided highway at the time of the accident. She suffered non-life-threatening injuries.
JAMESTOWN, N.D. -- The University of Jamestown student whose alleged “satanic” threats prompted a campuswide lockdown last week has been charged with terrorizing. Robert Flores, 18, of Thousand Oaks, Calif., appeared Thursday before Judge John Greenwood and heard the charge, a Class C felony punishable by five years in prison and a $10,000 fine. Greenwood also set a $10,000 cash or surety bond.