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RENVILLE, Minn. -- Renville County residents are being advised to make emergency phone calls via cellphone Thursday, as a county-wide 911 and landline phone outage has been reported by service provider CenturyLink. Problems have been reported in Bird Island, Olivia, Danube and Renville. Residents in the affected areas may be able to reach 911 by cell phone, but the Verizon cellular network is also experiencing issues in the area, the Renville County Sheriff's Office said Thursday.
ATWATER, Minn. -- A 79-year-old Atwater man died just before noon Thursday after his riding lawn mower tipped over in a ditch, pinning him underneath it. His wife called emergency responders to Gennessee Township west of Atwater. Atwater is about 80 miles west of the Twin Cities. Paramedics arrived minutes later, but the man was pronounced dead at the scene. His name has not been released.
ST. PAUL -- Becker County attorney Gretchen Thilmony has been appointed as the new district court judge in Minnesota’s Seventh Judicial District. She replaces Judge Joseph Evans and will be chambered in Detroit Lakes. Minnesota’s Seventh Judicial District consists of Becker, Benton, Clay, Douglas, Mille Lacs, Morrison, Otter Tail, Stearns, Todd, and Wadena Counties.
A teenage girl allegedly witnessed the killing of a Hibbing man last month, drove with the suspect when he dumped the body and later lied to investigators about the events of that night, according to charges filed this week. A Hibbing man also faces charges after allegedly seeing the aftermath of the crime, hearing the suspect confess, helping to clean the apartment of blood and also lying to authorities. RELATED
The dashboard camera of a Minnesota State Patrol squad car recently captured this video of a car narrowly missing another vehicle on Highway 59 in Detroit Lakes. The elderly male driver of the white sedan had just turned from a four-lane highway onto this two-lane road and drove into oncoming traffic. The man told the trooper he thought the other vehicle was to blame for the near head-on collision. The driver was cited for failure to keep right/over the center line.
ST. PAUL -- Minnesota's unemployment rate remained at 3.8 percent in May, for the second straight months, but employers reported they eliminated 1,900 during the month. The state Department of Employment and Economic Development issued the report Thursday. Losing 1,900 jobs last month followed the addition of 14,300 in April. Over the past year, the number of Minnesota jobs grew 1 percent; the national rate in that time was 1.7 percent.
BISMARCK -- A 16-year-old girl said she was peeped on with a cellphone camera while in a dressing room at the Bismarck Target on Tuesday evening. The girl told a manager that a man placed a phone under her dressing room door with the camera face up, Bismarck Police said. When she walked out, the man entered a different dressing room. Dorothee Wacheux, a manager at Target, declined to comment on the case, but said such incidents are rare at the store.
AITKIN, Minn. -- Staples, Minn.-based Stern Rubber Co. announced Wednesday it is adding 10 jobs and doubling its manufacturing facility in Aitkin. According to a release from the Minnesota Department of Employment and Economic Development, the company will invest $1.26 million to double the plant’s size to 20,000 square feet. Stern Rubber said the new jobs will pay an average of $13.50 per hour. DEED is contributing nearly $80,000 to the expansion project through its Job Creation Fund.
THIEF RIVER FALLS—A federal judge in Florida awarded Arctic Cat, the manufacturer of all-terrain vehicles and snowmobiles with a plant in Thief River Falls, $46.7 million in damages in a patent dispute with Bombardier Recreational Products, Arctic Cat said this week. RELATED: Arctic Cat working on turning around profit losses
The Minnesota State Patrol and Aitkin County Sheriff are investigating the death of an Aitkin County woman they believe was struck by a vehicle near her mailbox. Margaret Ann Johnson, 85, of rural Aitkin County was found deceased on the shoulder of Highway 47 about 3.5 miles east of Aitkin last Friday. Authorities believe that a vehicle struck Johnson near the shoulder of the roadway, and the driver may not have realized that contact had occurred.