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WILLMAR, Minn. -- Highway crashes involving farm vehicles and equipment are rare, according to statistics from the Minnesota Department of Public Safety. But, crashes do happen and can result in serious injury or death. According to department statistics, from 2006 to 2008, there were nine fatalities and 26 serious injuries from crashes involving farm vehicles. In 2008 alone, farm-related vehicles were involved in 127 crashes. Of those crashes, two resulted in fatalities, 43 in injuries and 82 in property damage.
Most teenagers occasionally go toe-to-toe with their parents, but Aaron Tonder was different. "When he would come home, we wouldn't know if it would be the good son or the evil son," said Aaron's mother, Jody (Freij) Tonder. "It was completely unpredictable." It began with the 12-year-old blond boy refusing to do chores around his family's rural Two Harbors home. In the next seven years, Aaron grew more and more confrontational.
It has been almost 40 years since my wife and I spent our honeymoon in Rome. The sights of the Eternal City, from the Colosseum to St. Peter's, from St. Paul's Outside the Walls to the Pantheon are etched in our minds, well, I guess, eternally. And so we have returned to that fabled city many, many times and cannot seem to get enough of it -- or even to scratch the surface. Friends say, "Rome again? Isn't it about time you get it right?
Zebra mussels have invaded Isle Royale National Park, with Park Service officials Monday confirming the finding for the first time. Park officials are concerned because Isle Royale holds one of the region's largest remaining populations of native mussels on small lakes on the island. Zebra mussels have in many cases wiped out native mussel populations across the Great Lakes. "A lot of the boats that come here come from harbors that have zebra mussel problems on other parts of [Lake Superior]," Isle Royale superintendent Phyllis Green said.
If you happen to come across a small yellow submarine off Two Harbors in Lake Superior, University of Minnesota Duluth researchers ask that you leave it alone. It's theirs. Scientists at UMD's Large Lakes Observatory on Thursday released the first remote electric submarine in the Great Lakes and, so far, it's working just fine. The 7-foot-long vessel was launched off UMD's research boat, the Blue Heron. The submarine has no propeller but moves forward, and can change depths, by changing its buoyancy.
Dakota County Sheriff Don Gudmundson announced Sept. 21 he will not seek re-election in 2010. Gudmundson was first elected in 1995. He indicated he had made the decision with his family months ago. Before becoming Dakota County sheriff, Gudmundson was a member of the Detroit Police Department, was sheriff in Fillmore County, and was the police chief in Lakeville.
The tourism folks in Grand Marais are having a bit of fun these days with the theft of a faux gull that was perched on the city's billboard along Interstate 35 in Pine County. "He was perched there, welcoming people north. And now it's just this little tangled yellow feet - so we're pretty sure he didn't just up and fly away," reports the Grand Marais Area Tourism Association. Grand Marais Mayor Sue Hakes has vowed to pull out all the stops to get to the bottom of the crime. The caper is the subject of Facebook updates.
People are used to calling 911 when they have an emergency, but starting next week Dakota County residents can expect the county's emergency dispatch center to return the favor. On Sept.
The Cash for Clunkers program, or Car Allowance Rebate System (CARS), has been parked for good and U.S. Transportation Secretary Ray LaHood has judged it to be a "wild success." It was also a wild success for some local dealers. Bruce Wiitanen, vice president of Juettner Motors in Alexandria, said, "In terms of selling cars, the program was very successful.