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Highway 23 stream work begins Monday WILLMAR -- Work will begin Monday on a stream restoration project along state Highway 23 at a location about one-fourth mile north of state Highway 274 near Granite Falls, according to the Minnesota Department...

Highway 23 stream work begins Monday
WILLMAR - Work will begin Monday on a stream restoration project along state Highway 23 at a location about one-fourth mile north of state Highway 274 near Granite Falls, according to the Minnesota Department of Transportation.
The project consists of a ditch restoration and constructing drainage structures to help reduce erosion. All work on this project will be done off the highway; traffic will not be affected.
Landwehr Construction Inc. of St. Cloud is the contractor for the $242,416 project, which is scheduled to be completed Jan. 30, weather permitting.
- Staff reports
State Patrol identifies rollover fatality victim
BRAINERD - The Minnesota State Patrol Tuesday identified the victim in a rollover fatality that took place Monday afternoon in Crow Wing County as Patricia C. Tougas, 76, of Brainerd. The accident took place near the junction of Highway 25 and County Road 2.
Tougas was heading north on Highway 25, south of Brainerd, when the Jeep Grand Cherokee drifted into the northbound ditch and vaulted over a driveway approach, landing on its roof. The accident took place at about 2:30 p.m. Monday.
While stopping for emergency traffic on Highway 25 following the fatal crash, three other drivers sustained non-life-threatening injuries in a two-vehicle rear-end collision, the state patrol reported.
Woodrow Banks, 95, Crosby, failed to stop the vehicle he was driving in time and ran into the vehicle driven by 16-year-old Molly Lybeck of Brainerd.
Banks, Lybeck and Lybeck's passenger, 16-year-old Priya Rozario of Baxter, were all transported to Essentia Health-St. Joseph's Medical Center for treatment.
The Crow Wing County Sheriff's Office assisted at the scene.
- Forum News Service
Video camera records fight that ended in death
THIEF RIVER FALLS - A video camera caught a fight in Thief River Falls that ended in the death of a man from a severe brain injury, according to court records.
Shaun Robert Brandt, 34, of Thief River Falls, was charged with second degree manslaughter and first degree assault, both felonies, after he allegedly pushed Blaine resident Brad Friesen on Dec. 17 and knocked him unconscious.
The video reportedly shows a group of people bringing Friesen outside the Veterans of Foreign Wars building in Thief River Falls and Brandt pushing him to the ground, court records say. Brandt then made a 911 call to request an ambulance, court records say.
Friesen was taken to Sanford Health, where it was found he was suffering from a “massive intracranial bleed,” according to court records. Medical documents also reportedly show he had sustained multiple skull fractures.
Court documents say Friesen was pronounced brain dead five days after the fight on Dec. 22 at Altru Hospital in Grand Forks.
Brandt's next scheduled court appearance is Feb. 26 in Minnesota 9th District Court in Thief River Falls. If convicted of both charges, he faces up to 30 years in prison.
- Forum News Service
Moorhead bank robbery suspect arrested in Fargo
FARGO - A suspect in the armed robbery of a Moorhead bank on Monday was arrested in Fargo at about 6:15 Tuesday night, according to a release from the city of Moorhead.
Malcolm Roy Evans, 52, of Fargo was arrested at a motel in south Fargo on charges related to aggravated robbery and kidnapping, the release said. He is being held in the Cass County Jail.
The suspect allegedly displayed a firearm and robbed a Wells Fargo bank inside the Hornbacher’s grocery store at 101 11th St. S. shortly before noon Monday. The suspect then fled to a nearby liquor store where he stole a vehicle with a man still inside, according to Moorhead police.
The robber ordered the man in the vehicle to drive to Fargo and let him out near West Acres mall, Lt. Brad Penas said in a previous report.
That man was not hurt, nor was anyone else at the time, and the recent release said there were no injuries during the arrest Tuesday night.
The stolen vehicle, however, has not been located, and police are asking for the public’s assistance in locating the maroon, four-door 2010 Ford F-150, with Minnesota license plate 007NBD. The pickup was last seen northbound on 42nd Street South near 13th Avenue South in Fargo.
- Forum News Service
MnSURE nears its goal of 67,000
ST. PAUL - Enrollment in the Minnesota health insurance exchange, called MnSure, is nearing its goal of 67,000 people for 2015.
In its updated report Friday, the Minnesota Department of Health said 59,000 people were enrolled. The deadline to signup is Dec. 31 for coverage on Jan. 1, although people can still get insurance after that date.
This year, people who don’t have health insurance will again pay a penalty on their federal taxes if they don’t have coverage under the nation’s new health insurance program, often called Obamacare.
Of the 59,000 people signed up in Minnesota, 26,000 people were in private plans. That’s important to the operation of the state exchange because they collect a fee off private plans to fund operations.
- Forum News Service

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