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Minnesota news in brief - June 5

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2,000 help cleanup of north Minneapolis

MINNEAPOLIS (AP) — An estimated 2,000 people turned out for the massive cleanup of Minneapolis neighborhoods hit by a tornado last month.

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The Star Tribune reports (http://bit.ly/jD6Htahttp://bit.ly/jD6Hta ) volunteers raked and bagged debris and dragged larger branches to curbs Saturday. Salvation Army and Red Cross trucks provided food and water.

Heavy-equipment operators had already cleared the streets of massive tree trunks and heavier branches.

According to the city of Minneapolis, public works crews will continue to pick up tree debris moved to the boulevards through June 10.

Since the May 22 tornado, hundreds of volunteers have helped with cleanup. Saturday's event was billed as the final stage of debris removal.

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Minn conservation officers killed in 1940 honored

MINNEAPOLIS (AP) — Three unarmed Minnesota conservation officers gunned down on the shore of Lake Sakatah in 1940 will be honored this month.

The state Conservation Officers Association and Department of Natural Resources enforcement supervisors and managers chipped in $6,000 for a memorial plaque outside its offices in New Ulm.

Forty-five-year-old Marcus Whipps, 55-year-old A. Melvin Holt and 50-year-old Dudley Brady were murdered on July 12, 1940 in Waterville, Minn. Fifty-four-year-old Bryant Baumgartner shot them with a 12-gauge shotgun after they asked to see his commercial fishing license. He then killed himself.

Whipps' now 80-year-old son, Wayne Whipps, of Owatonna, tells the Star Tribune (http://bit.ly/m09F9Nhttp://bit.ly/m09F9N ) that he's happy to see it but wish it would have been done sooner.

A dedication is set for June 13.

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Former Minnesota Power director charged with theft

DULUTH, Minn. (AP) — A former Minnesota Power executive has been charged with theft of corporate property.

Susan Kay Thompson is accused of not being able to account for more than $200,000 while using company money for personal expenses and weekend travel, making false claims of company travel and filing for reimbursements by forging her supervisor's signature.

The 53-year-old former director of customer service worked for Minnesota Power for more than 20 years until resigning in January 2010.

Thompson was to make a court appearance Thursday but after she obtained a doctor's excuse the hearing was changed to July 28.

Attorney Kevin Cornwell tells the News Tribune (http://bit.ly/j74dxAhttp://bit.ly/j74dxA ) he advised his client to not comment on the case.

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Man dies after St. Paul apartment fire

ST. PAUL, Minn. (AP) — A 34-year-old man is dead after a fire was intentionally set in a St. Paul apartment.

St. Paul Fire Marshal Steve Zaccard says fire crews responded around 12:15 a.m. Saturday and found a small fire in the bedroom, where the man was found.

Zaccard says the man was severely burned and died around 10:30 a.m. Saturday at a local hospital.

The St. Paul Pioneer Press reports (http://bit.ly/itKVsqhttp://bit.ly/itKVsq ) the fire was deemed to have been intentionally set. It caused about $20,000 in damage and was confined to the apartment.

Authorities are still investigating the fire's cause and the man's death. His identity has not yet been released.

Copyright 2011 The Associated Press.

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Denton (Denny) Newman Jr.
I've worked at the Brainerd Dispatch with various duties since Dec. 7, 1983. Starting off as an Ad Designer and currently Director of Audience Development. The Dispatch has been an interesting and challenging place to work. I'm fortunate to have made many friends, both co-workers and customers.
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