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PUBLIC SAFETY

Ryan Leif Erickson, 63, had been a Blomkest volunteer firefighter since the age of 18. He died in the line of duty Thursday when a large grain bin was blown over by the high winds and fell on him as he was preparing to leave his farm to monitor storms.
A 49-year-old Benson man was northbound Thursday on Minnesota Highway 29 when his motorcycle left the road and entered the ditch.
Emergency responders discovered a deceased man under a collapsed grain bin just before 7 p.m. Thursday in Kandiyohi County.
Detroit Lakes police and firefighters, Becker County deputies, state troopers and medical personnel from Essentia St. Mary’s EMS all worked together to safely remove the two from the debris.

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A crash Friday evening involving a motorcycle and truck pulling a trailer loaded with a skid steer near St. Stephen, Minnesota, killed the driver of the motorcycle.
Two babies, both linked through DNA to suspect, were found dead in 1999 and 2003. A newborn boy was found in Lower Boat Harbor in Red Wing, and a newborn girl was found in Lake Pepin.
With more than 650 carjackings in Minneapolis in 2021 and shootings at record rates, U.S. Attorney Andrew Luger said every prosecutor in his office will now handle violent crime cases in addition to their other work. They’ll also hire new attorneys who will join in new efforts to aggressively pursue federal charges in carjacking, armed robbery, firearms and gang cases.
The Minnesota Supreme Court last week ruled that a man, who stayed at a woman’s house after a first date and took video of her without clothes on while she slept, had not broken privacy law as he was inside the woman’s home.
The Minnesota State Patrol reported that alcohol is believed to be a factor in a two-vehicle crash Friday night on state Highway 23 that killed one driver and seriously injured two passengers. The other driver is in jail.
After hours of floor debate Friday night, April 29, the Minnesota House passed the DFL-backed $340 million public safety bill 68-61 on party lines. House public safety committee chair Carlos Mariani, the bill’s sponsor, said the House DFL public safety package looks to new, innovative solutions to crime rather than relying on cracking down on offenders. Republicans have been pushing for a tough-on-crime approach that would stiffen penalties for certain offenses and provide police officer recruitment incentives across the state.

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During COVID-19, traffic-related deaths soared to about 500 each of the past two years, up from the 350-400 average annual deaths the previous decade.
The number of full-time Metro Transit police officers is the same as it was when the safety initiative was announced last summer. Eight full-time officers were brought on board since then, but staffing advances have been thwarted by attrition. While the department is authorized to employ 170 full-time officers, only 111 are on the payroll.
The Forum went on a ridealong with the North Dakota Highway Patrol to learn about the enhanced enforcement effort.

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