Forum News Service
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BLAINE, Minn. -- Blaine residents were without water to drink or bathe Sunday morning as city officials scrambled to restore an interruption described as “a city-wide loss of water.” Residents were instructed to boil drinking water and classes were canceled at six schools for Monday, including Blaine High School. Officials said the cause of the disruption was still a mystery. Early indications were that it did not appear to be a water main break, said Mayor Tom Ryan.
ST. PAUL -- Minnesota officials say 397 people died in traffic fatalities on state roadways in 2016, a number that could climb near the 2015 final figure of 411 as more data is evaluated. The Minnesota Department of Public Safety Office of Traffic Safety projects the final number to be 412, it said in a news release Thursday, Jan. 5. Pedestrian deaths increased to 60 in a preliminary count, the highest number since 61 died in 1991 and a 50 percent increase over the average of the past five years.
BEMIDJI —The owners of a Bemidji funeral home started the year with an unpleasant surprise Monday, when they arrived at work to find that one of the hearses had been stolen.
PEQUOT LAKES, Minn. -- A 59-year-old northern Minnesota man faces six felony criminal sexual conduct charges after he allegedly sexually assaulted a 78-year-old assisted living resident with advanced Alzheimer’s disease in Pequot Lakes.
ELLSWORTH, Wis. -- A Maiden Rock, Wis., teenager was charged with a felony after a high school dodgeball game allegedly turned violent.
The biggest headlines left Minnesotans stunned in 2016, with three stories clearly standing alone as the most shocking. But politics, new stadiums, health care and a drug epidemic also made their mark statewide. These are the top 10 stories compiled by Forum News Service and ranked by editors across the state.
SPICER, Minn. – Trifecta Deals, who sells hoverboards across the country, is being sued by Kris and Joel Paffrath of Spicer. The couple believe the company sold them a defective hoverboard in May 2016, which was the cause of a fire at their Spicer home in July 2016. The fire killed the family’s four dogs, injured Kris Paffrath and caused over $50,000 in damages to the home.
DALTON, Minn. — The Red River Valley Regional Bomb Squad is disposing of about 25 sticks of dynamite Friday, Dec. 30, found at a rural residence along the Otter Tail and Grant county line, an Otter Tail County Sheriff's Office spokesman said. The dynamite was discovered about 3:30 p.m. Thursday, Dec. 29, in a shed near the home in the 28,000 Block of 100th Street, Lt. Keith Van Dyke said.
WEST FARGO, N.D. — Fire damaged a home in rural West Fargo Tuesday after the owner tried to melt snow from his front stoop using a blowtorch. West Fargo and Horace firefighters responded about 2:55 p.m. to a call at 6425 13th St. N. in the Cass County community of North River after the owner reported smoke in the house, said West Fargo Fire Chief Dan Fuller.
ELLSWORTH, Wis. — A 31-year-old Ellsworth man faces multiple felony charges in Pierce County Circuit Court on accusations he repeatedly sexually assaulted a girl. Pierce County investigators allege that Dustin C. Larson had repeated sexual contact with a juvenile female for roughly three years until the girl was 14 years old. According to the criminal complaint: