Deep snow, cold takes toll on swans, ducks
ROSEVILLE, Minn. (AP) - This year's deep snow and extreme cold have taken a toll on Minnesota wildlife - especially swans and other waterfowl that can't find open water on the state's many frozen lakes.
Minnesota Public Radio News reports that the Wildlife Rehabilitation Center of Minnesota is treating about a half dozen birds that have been coming in with injuries.
Veterinarian Agnes Hutchinson says when they can't find open water, swans and other birds have to stand on ice more than usual, and that's hard on their feet.
Center director Phil Jenni says birds are also starving because they can't find a food source on land. And, when there is no open water, birds are also more vulnerable to attack from raptors and other predators.
ICE BREAKING-LAKE SUPERIOR
Coast Guard begins ice breaking on Lake Superior
SUPERIOR, Wis. (AP) - The U.S. Coast Guard is beginning to break the ice on Lake Superior and officials say the process will be difficult this year.
The director of the Coast Guard's Vessel Traffic Services, Mark Gill, says it's the most ice he's seen on the lake in 25 years. Gill says the record-setting cold winter has ice exceeding 42 inches on the Superior side of the harbor and up to 36 inches of plate ice on the Duluth, Minnesota side.
Gills tells Wisconsin Public Radio that they'll use commercial tugs to help get boats moving by March 17th.
He says the "lakers" are already asking for help to leave the harbor later this month. The Soo Locks are set to open March 25th.
Republicans decline to endorse Rep. Loon
ST. PAUL, Minn. (AP) - Republican delegates in Eden Prairie have declined to endorse state Rep. Jenifer Loon, one of four House Republicans who voted in favor of same-sex marriage.
At their convention Saturday, the Eden Prairie delegates decided not to endorse anyone for the 48B District race.
Loon tells Minnesota Public Radio News she knows her vote played a role in her endorsement, but she doesn't regret it. She says she recognizes same-sex marriage is a sensitive and divisive issue and she intends to run in the primary.
The other three Republicans who voted in favor of legalizing same-sex marriages are Reps. David FitzSimmons of Albertville, Pat Garofalo of Farmington and Andrea Kieffer of Woodbury.
FitzSimmons lost his party's endorsement, and Kieffer is not seeking re-election.
Garofalo won party endorsement last month.
FATAL CRASH-SLEEPY EYE
4 male victims die in crash near Sleepy Eye
SLEEPY EYE, Minn. (AP) - Four young men are dead after a car lost control on an icy highway near Sleepy Eye.
The State Patrol says a Pontiac Grand Prix was westbound on Highway 14 on Friday when it crossed into oncoming traffic and was hit by a Dodge pickup.
There were five people in the car. The driver, 19-year-old Kansas Adams of Sleepy Eye, was seriously injured.
The four passengers were killed. They were identified as 17-year-old Payton Adams of Sleepy Eye, 17-year-old Caleb Quesenberry of St. Peter, 18-year-old John Mangen of Fairfax and 20-year-old Tyler Hadley of Sleepy Eye.
The driver of the pickup and his two children suffered injuries that weren't life-threatening.
Just a week ago, three Minnesota college students also died when their vehicle lost control on an icy road.
1 dead after vehicle hit by train in Independence
INDEPENDENCE, Minn. (AP) - Authorities say a 25-year-old woman is dead after her car was hit by a train in Independence.
The West Hennepin Public Safety Department says the crash happened about 1:15 a.m. Saturday at the intersection of Highway 12 and County Road 92.
Authorities say Paulina Lang of Buffalo was making a right hand turn to go north on County Road 92 when she was hit.
There are flashing lights and lane gates at the intersection. Authorities say they were working at the time of the crash.
Authorities want to remind the public to be cautious around railroad tracks, obey crossing arms and flashing lights, and never try to beat a train at a crossing.
Playwright's 'Hamlet' hits the road in Minnesota
MINNEAPOLIS (AP) - Minnesota playwright Jeffrey Hatcher is taking his one-man show about his childhood experience staging Hamlet on the road this month.
"Jeffrey Hatcher's Hamlet" will travel to seven Minnesota communities.
Hatcher was 11 when he adapted, directed and performed in Shakespeare's drama "Hamlet" for a fifth-grade English class in Steubenville, Ohio.
Hatcher will play himself telling the story of staging "Hamlet" as a boy. The show premiered last summer as part of the Illusion Theater's Fresh Ink series.
Stops are planned in Blue Earth, Staples, Brainerd, Duluth, Moorhead, Cambridge and Dawson.
The tour is funded by the Minnesota Arts and Cultural Heritage Fund.
Big names join Stars' Modano for jersey ceremony
DALLAS (AP) - Mike Modano's Number 9 has been retired by the Dallas Stars.
The guy who made hockey cool in North Texas was joined on the ice at the end of a 50-minute ceremony by five of the biggest names in pro sports in the area, including former Dallas Cowboys and Super Bowl-winning quarterbacks Roger Staubach and Troy Aikman, and Dallas Mavericks star Dirk Nowitzki.
The 43-year-old Modano played his first 20 seasons with the Stars franchise in Minnesota and Dallas. The team moved to Dallas in 1993.
Modano ran the gamut of thanks in a 20-minute speech before the Stars played the Minnesota Wild, the franchise that replaced the North Stars seven years after they left.
He was joined on stage by most members of the franchise's only Stanley Cup-winning team in 1999.
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