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Avian flu: Public forum at 3 p.m. Saturday in Willmar with Dayton, other lawmakers

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BNSF: Amtrak services suspended in western Minn., N.D. and Mont. due to weather

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news Willmar, 56201
Willmar Minnesota 2208 Trott Ave. SW / P.O. Box 839 56201

SEATTLE (AP) -- A Burlington Northern Santa Fe spokesman says icy weather has backed up trains on New Year's Day and forced it to halt Amtrak service on its tracks across Montana and North Dakota.

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BNSF spokesman Gus Melonas says traffic has been slowed by snow, freezing temperatures and winds that have pushed wind chills into the minus-20s and lower.

He says freight trains are still running, but at slower speeds. Crews also have to remove snow from tracks and work on switches to keep them from freezing up.

Amtrak spokeswoman Christina Leeds says passenger trains will run between Seattle and Whitefish, Mont., and Chicago and St. Paul, Minn., but not at points in between. She says passengers who had hoped to ride the full route will have the option to return to their point of origin.

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