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REGIONAL BRIEFS: Couple killed in crash west of New London

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Credit: Forum Communications

Minnesota

Couple killed in crash west of New London

NEW LONDON, Minn., -- A Madison, Minn., couple was killed Thursday morning in a two-vehicle crash at the intersection of U.S. Highway 71 and State Highway 9 west of New London.

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According to the Minnesota State Patrol, Arthur L. Dove, 82, was driving a 2002 Ford Windstar van that collided with a 2005 Freightliner driven by a 63-year-old Hector man. The name of the truck driver was not disclosed, but he was taken to St. Cloud Hospital and was in critical condition.

Dove and his passenger, Elaine L. Dove, 77, were killed in the crash, which happened about 11:15 a.m. Thursday.

Highway 71 was closed north of the intersection for more than two hours after the crash, reopening about 2 p.m. Both vehicles came to rest in the ditch, with the truck coming to rest against trees in the ditch north of the intersection.

(WCT)

Nolan gets seat on Transportation Committee

WASHINGTON -- U.S. Rep.-elect Rick Nolan of Minnesota will follow his predecessors onto the House Transportation and Infrastructure Committee.

Nolan's office announced Thursday that the newly elected congressman requested and received the appointment from House Speaker Nancy Pelosi.

"This is a major committee assignment -- vital to generating good jobs and economic development here in the 8th Congressional District," Nolan, DFL-Crosby, said in statement. "Building a strong surface and water transportation system creates good-paying jobs, improves the quality of our lives, and is the economic backbone of a large district like the 8th. Timber, taconite, tourism and manufacturing spread over a large geographic area all require strong transportation to be successful."

Nolan listed the Northern Lights Express passenger rail line proposed from Duluth-Superior to the Twin Cities as a priority, as well as airports and ports.

Nolan follows Rep. Chip Cravaack, R-North Branch, onto the committee. Nolan defeated Cravaack in November.

Former DFL 8th District Reps. Jim Oberstar and John Blatnik also served on the committee, also both serving as chairman.

(DNT)

Climber takes another crack at McKinley

DULUTH -- Weather permitting, Grand Marais adventurer Lonnie Dupre could fly onto Alaska's Mount McKinley as soon as Saturday or Sunday to begin his third attempt to climb North America's highest mountain solo in the dead of winter.

Dupre is attempting to become the first person to reach the 20,320-foot summit of McKinley solo in January. A team of two Russians reached the summit in January 1998. In total, only 16 climbers from nine expeditions have reached the summit during the winter. Six climbers died on those expeditions.

In all, 120 climbers have died on the mountain since 1932, according to the National Park Service.

Dupre's previous attempts to reach the summit in 2011 and 2012 were thwarted by severe weather.

(DNT)

North Dakota

Six crash victims identified

JAMESTOWN, N.D. -- The North Dakota Highway Patrol has released the names of six men, all from Missouri, killed in a crash Wednesday in west Jamestown.

The men were killed while riding in a 2002 Chevrolet pickup going westbound on Interstate 94 through Jamestown that went out of control on the ice-covered road and crossed the median into the path of an eastbound 2006 Freightliner semitrailer.

The patrol said Martin Zuniga, 47, Republic, Mo., was driving the pickup. The passengers were Mayolo Lopez, 51, Albino Galicia Martinez, 43, Epitacio Acosta Padron, 50, and Jose Isabel Avila, 54, all of Springfield, Mo., and Herson Orellana, 34, Nixa, Mo.

Three of the pickup's occupants were ejected during the crash. None wore seat belts.

The truck driver, Stuart Hauge, 23, Glen Ullin, N.D., suffered minor injuries and was taken by Jamestown Ambulance to Jamestown Regional Medical Center. He was wearing a seat belt.

(JS)

In Sandy's wake, Fargo man heads east again

FARGO - A local Red Cross volunteer will soon leave for his second deployment to the embattled East Coast in the wake of Superstorm Sandy.

Roger Hamalainen of Fargo leaves Friday for at least two weeks in New York, according to a release from the Minn-Kota Region Red Cross. He is one of 200 national volunteers called back to assist Red Cross efforts in New York following the superstorm and blizzard-like nor'easter that blasted the area in late October.

During his first deployment, Hamalainen spent more than a month in New York, the release said. Shelters continue to operate at near full capacities as the clean-up continues.

Officials say 90 percent of about 5,500 Red Cross workers on the East Coast are volunteers.

(FF)

Valley City hosts flood risk meeting

VALLEY CITY, N.D. - A status update of the Sheyenne River Flood Risk Management Feasibility study is scheduled for Jan. 10 here.

The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers study evaluated alternatives for flood risk management in the area.

This, the first of three phases in the study, found flood risk alternatives wouldn't include razing or relocating any buildings. The results will be presented at the meeting, and residents will be asked to provide feedback.

The study tries to find cost-effective alternatives that can qualify for federal funding. The alternatives will be further developed in the next phase of the study.

The next two phases of the study are scheduled for 2013 and 2014.

The meeting starts at 6:30 p.m. Jan. 10 at the Valley City High School, 493 Central Ave. N. A formal presentation begins at 7 p.m., followed by a question-and-answer period at 7:30 p.m.

The cost of the study is shared by the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, St. Paul District, and Valley City.

(FF)

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