Local/state briefs

Teen driver missed stop sign in fatal crash near Mora

BRAHAM (AP) — Authorities said a teen driver missed a stop sign and caused a crash that killed her and her boyfriend at an intersection in Kanabec County.

Eighteen-year-old Alexis Hasser and 16-year-old Gavin Butenhoff were killed Saturday when their car collided with a pickup truck east of Mora. Butenhoff died at the scene. Hasser, the driver, died at North Memorial Medical Center in Robbinsdale.

A couple from Pine City in the pickup was also taken to North Memorial. They had non-life threatening injuries.

Kanabec County Sheriff Brian Smith said it’s too soon to say why Hasser missed the stop sign.

Counselors were available at Braham Area High School Sunday and again Monday to help students deal with the loss of their classmates. Hasser was a senior at the school and Butenhoff was a junior.

Fire destroys historic Mazeppa building

MAZEPPA (AP) — The cause of a fire that destroyed a historic downtown Mazeppa building is under investigation.

The fire early Sunday gutted a popular gathering spot, W.D.’s Bar and Grill. The three-story building was built in 1900.

Mazeppa Fire Chief Brandon Goranson said the building was totally engulfed in flames when firefighters arrived. It took firefighters more than five hours to being the blaze under control.

The fire temporarily knocked out power in Mazeppa. Residents who didn’t want to stay in their homes were directed to a community center.

Liebling’s exit leaves just 3 DFL candidates for governor

ST. PAUL (AP) — Longtime Democratic state Rep. Tina Liebling is ending her campaign for governor.

The Rochester lawmaker announced Monday she was dropping from the race. Liebling had struggled to gain traction and fundraising in the wide-open race to replace Gov. Mark Dayton. She said it was clear she could not win the DFL endorsement.

Her exit leaves U.S. Rep. Tim Walz, state Auditor Rebecca Otto and state Rep. Erin Murphy in the race on the Democratic side. The Republican field remains unsettled as former Gov. Tim Pawlenty considers running for his old job.

Liebling says she will run for an eighth term in her Rochester-area House district.

Canadian man dies in fall from Minnesota home without deck

GRAND PORTAGE (AP) — Authorities in northeastern Minnesota say a Canadian man has died after falling from a home without a deck.

Cook County sheriff’s authorities said first responders were called around 5 a.m. Sunday to a home in Grand Portage. Forty-seven-year-old Kevin Morrisseau of Thunder Bay, Ontario, was found unconscious and later pronounced dead.

Morrisseau reportedly fell from a second-story patio door that did not have a deck attached. Authorities say he was an employee at Grand Portage Lodge and Casino and was socializing with friends in Grand Portage before he fell.

An autopsy is being conducted.

GOP proposes work requirement for public health care

ST. PAUL (AP) — Minnesota Republicans will push to impose a work requirement for the state’s health care program for those in poverty.

A group of House and Senate Republicans introduced a bill Monday that would require Medical Assistance enrollees to work at least 80 hours a month, seek employment or enroll in job training programs. It exempts many at-home parents as well as people living with disabilities

Republican House Speaker Kurt Daudt said its meant to control growing costs of public programs while encouraging more Minnesotans to enter the workforce.

But Democrats say it’s a misguided effort. Rep. Jennifer Schultz said it’s “cruel” legislation that will increase the state’s uninsured rate.

Medical Assistance is Minnesota’s name for Medicaid. A single, childless adult on Medical Assistance makes roughly $16,000 or less annually.

Construction/carpentry training, informational meeting is Thursday

An informational meeting is offered on construction/carpentry training. The meeting is at 4 p.m. Thursday at Friendship Homes of Minnesota, 815 Budd Road, Montevideo. From 4-4:15 p.m. will be an overview of training and class schedule. From 4:15-45 p.m. enrollment forms will be completed. From 4:45-5:30 p.m., students will meet their adviser. Classes will take place from April 2 to May 18, Monday, Wednesday and Thursday from 4:30-8:30 p.m. at Friendship Homes in Montevideo. Training includes pre-carpentry/construction preparation, math/tape measure, understanding blueprints, basic construction knowledge, use of air tools and other equipment, safety, proper lifting techniques and essential workplace skills. Two college credits will be provided for those who successfully complete the course. Scholarships may be available. Possibility of full-time employment upon completion may be available for the right candidate. For more information or to request an application contact the SW MN Private Industry Council: Audra Klinkner, 320-269-5561 or aklinkner@swmnpic.org.