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Updated: 2 days 9 hours ago

Walking, 'talking' drilling rigs aim to modernize fracking

Tue, 04/15/2014 - 11:14am

WEST CHESTER, Pennsylvania (Reuters) - The backbreaking life of a roughneck, the iconic worker bees of oilfield drilling rigs, is getting a little easier.

Schramm Inc, which built the drilling rig that four years ago helped rescue 33 trapped Chilean copper miners, has designed a 500,000-pound rig for the oil and natural gas industry that can walk, rotate 360 degrees, be operated with a remote control, and load pipe automatically.

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US Airways investigating pornographic tweet sent to complaining customer

Tue, 04/15/2014 - 11:00am

(Reuters) - US Airways said it was investigating a pornographic tweet on Tuesday sent on its Twitter account in response to a customer complaint about a flight delay, which went viral on social media.

US Airways issued an apology on Monday immediately after deleting the tweeted photograph of a naked woman lying on a bed with a toy airplane between her legs, said Davien Anderson, spokesman for US Airways.

By Tuesday morning, the apology had been retweeted nearly 13,000 times and social media was flooded with jokes and gripes about the image.

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Deputy shot, wounded in Norman County

Tue, 04/15/2014 - 10:15am

PERLEY – A Norman County sheriff's deputy was shot and wounded this morning near Perley and authorities are searching for the shooter.

Clay County Sheriff Bill Bergquist said his department has been called in to help in the search.

Bergquist said about 8:30 a.m., a Norman County deputy made a traffic stop on County Road 39 east of Perley.

At some point during the stop, the deputy and the driver of the car exchanged gunfire and the deputy was wounded.

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Sky-watchers see 'Blood Moon' in total lunar eclipse

Tue, 04/15/2014 - 9:35am

CAPE CANAVERAL, Florida (Reuters) - Parts of the world saw a rare celestial event on Tuesday when the Earth's shadow fell across the moon, turning it orange.

The lunar eclipse unfolded over three hours beginning at about 2 a.m. EDT, when the moon began moving into Earth's shadow. A little more than an hour later, the moon could be seen eclipsed and bathed in an orange, red or brown glow.

Depending on local weather conditions, the eclipse was visible across a swath of the United States.

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Dayton signs minimum wage increase bill into law

Tue, 04/15/2014 - 9:19am

St. Paul - Minnesota’s minimum wage will begin to climb this summer, and could keep climbing every year after that, now that Gov. Mark Dayton has signed a bill that includes automatic increases tied to inflation.

Surrounded by legislators and some of the workers who will soon receive a raise, Dayton signed today the state's first minimum wage increase since 2005. The current rate of $6.15 will move in stages over the next two years to $8, $9 and $9.50 for large employers and to $7.75 by 2016 for small employers.

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For MnSCU students, transferring colleges can be costly

Tue, 04/15/2014 - 9:08am

Changes to Minnesota's credit-transfer process in recent years haven't done enough to make switching colleges easy, say students who are frustrated with the process.

The Minnesota State Colleges and Universities system has worked out numerous transfer agreements among campuses, rolled out online planning tools for students and improved access to transfer information.

But too often, students say, they take classes at one campus only to find later that their new campus won't grant them the academic credit they expected -- forcing them to retake those classes at the new school.

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From reporter to mock patient

Mon, 04/14/2014 - 9:44pm

It’s not too often I’m asked to play a patient and ride on a helicopter.

Pretty much never, until last week.

Matt Cordes, operations supervisor of North Memorial Ambulance in Brainerd and flight paramedic of North Memorial Air Care, called to tell me North Memorial Air Care was conducting hands-on training for its new employees Friday for the first time. North Memorial came up with five scenarios, fueled and loaded its Agusta helicopter and invited Brainerd firefighters to help them train.

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North Memorial Air Care training goes live in Brainerd

Mon, 04/14/2014 - 9:43pm

It was the worst headache of her life.

Clara Adams, 54, was standing in her kitchen, fell to the floor and was unresponsive. Her husband called 911 and when ambulance personnel found her she was on the floor, eyes open and pupils were unequal. Her right side was weak.

Clara was having symptoms of a stroke.

Clara’s story was not real. It was made up Friday to help eight new flight nurses and paramedics with North Memorial Air Care train for real life scenarios. The training took place at the air care base, located at the Brainerd Lakes Regional Airport.

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School board upholds committee decision to keep "Of Mice and Men"

Mon, 04/14/2014 - 9:43pm

The decision to keep John Steinbeck’s “Of Mice and Men” in the Brainerd school curriculum was upheld Monday by the school board.

The book was recently brought under the microscope after parent Doug Kern told the board he thought some of the language and terms used were vulgar and inappropriate.

Kern argued terms used in the book like “Jesus Christ,” (used as curse words) “(the n-word),” and “Japs,” were “appalling.”

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Correction-clarification

Mon, 04/14/2014 - 8:56pm

Correction/clarification

The Brainerd Dispatch incorrectly attributed a statement to Stewart Mills III in Monday’s story about the Republican endorsement for the 8th Congressional District. The staff member that Mills spoke with about the Affordable Care Act worked for then-Rep. Jim Oberstar, D-Minn., not Rep. Rick Nolan, D-Minn.

The Dispatch regrets the error.

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Firefighters respond to calls

Mon, 04/14/2014 - 8:56pm

Firefighters respond

The Brainerd Fire Department responded to two calls Monday morning.

The first call was at 8:35 a.m. to USA Karate, 7771 College Road. Firefighters investigated and cleared the scene at 8:44 a.m.

The second call was at 9:07 a.m. to Airmotive Enterprises, 16384 Airport Road. It was reported that the company was working on its sprinkler system and forgot to notify the fire department. Firefighters were canceled en route.

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Brainerd School Board holds first reading for flex zone policy

Mon, 04/14/2014 - 8:56pm

In anticipation of school district implementing “flex zones,” the Brainerd School Board held the first reading of a policy that better lays out who can change school boundaries and how.

The board on Monday unanimously approved the move.

Late last year the board agreed to look more into flex zones. The plan has been in the works for more than a year by school officials in an effort to level out the class sizes among each of the 100 kindergarten through fourth-grade classrooms in the district.

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Extension of sewer, water to airport is highlighted

Mon, 04/14/2014 - 8:55pm

Minnesota House DFLers placed a spotlight Monday on a bonding project that Brainerd Lakes Regional Airport officials said they need in order to comply with a State Fire Marshal mandate — the extension of Brainerd water and sewer to the airport.

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Minor flooding reported in Aitkin

Mon, 04/14/2014 - 7:59pm

The National Weather Service (NWS) Monday issued a flood warning for the Mississippi River in Aitkin and Crow Wing counties.

At 9:30 a.m. Monday, the stage at the Mississippi River at Aitkin was reported by NWS to be 12.8 feet. Flood stage is 12 feet. Minor flooding was occurring and was forecast to continue. The river is expected to continue to fall below flood stage by Saturday.

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Cold Weather Rule expires April 15

Mon, 04/14/2014 - 7:59pm

Minnesota’s Cold Weather Rule expires Tuesday, April 15 and Xcel Energy advises customers with past due bills to contact the company as soon as possible to make payment arrangements.

“We appreciate and support the efforts of customers who have sought assistance and made consistent payments during the winter months,” said Pat Boland, manager, customer policy and assistance. “Our partnership with local Community Action Programs has resulted in customers receiving needed energy assistance. Funds are still available, so we encourage customers to apply.”

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Jury selection begins in Byron Smith murder trial

Mon, 04/14/2014 - 6:44pm

LITTLE FALLS — Jury selection began Monday in the murder trial of Byron Smith of rural Little Falls. Smith admitted in November 2012 to shooting two teenagers, Nick Brady and Haile Kifer, after the pair allegedly entered Smith’s home without permission.

Judge Douglas Anderson said the ultimate question in the case was whether Smith’s action in shooting the teens multiple times was within the scope of the law that allows individuals to protect their home with lethal force while preventing a felony from being committed and danger is perceived.

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Video News: Three Ways to NOT Pay Taxes... Legally

Mon, 04/14/2014 - 4:31pm

April 14 (Bloomberg) – The wealthy and shrewd have ways around pesky financial obligations, like paying taxes.

With a little planning they can reduce their tax exposure to, sometimes, zero. And the best part? What they're doing is completely legal.

Bloomberg Businessweek's Brendan Greeley explains how clever, law-abiding citizens have managed to give the taxman the slip. (Source: Bloomberg)

Watch the video above or click here.

Categories: Today's Headlines

Video News: Dogs getting sick from eating pot

Mon, 04/14/2014 - 3:56pm

Arizona vets see a rise in the number of pets that get sick from eating their owners marijuana.

Doctors say they are seeing an average of 24 cases a month of doped up dogs - twice the number as seen in years before. While garden grown marijuana can give dogs a sick stomach, synthetic pot can be potentially poisonous to a pooch.

Watch the video above or click here.

Categories: Today's Headlines

Florida woman survives bear mauling; jaws clamped on her head

Mon, 04/14/2014 - 3:20pm

ORLANDO, Florida (Reuters) - A Central Florida woman was recovering at home on Monday after a bear knocked her down outside her house, clamped its jaw on her head and tried to drag her away on Saturday, her husband said.

Terri Frana, 44, of Lake Mary, received stitches and staples in the back of her head to close a wound, and had visible gashes on her forehead, back and around her mouth, according to Greg Workman of the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission.

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California flight diverted after man tries to open door mid-flight

Mon, 04/14/2014 - 2:26pm

(Reuters) - A Southwest Airlines flight from Chicago to Sacramento was rerouted to Omaha, Nebraska after a passenger tried to open a cabin door during flight, authorities said on Monday.

The Sunday flight set down at the Eppley Airfield after an unruly passenger, identified as Joshua Carl Lee Suggs, pushed past a flight attendant and tried to open one of the rear doors while the plane was flying, according to papers filed by the Nebraska U.S. Attorney's Office in federal court.

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