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Local/state briefs

Greenwood fire 80% contained, forest restrictions lifted

DULUTH (AP) — Authorities say they have lifted fire restrictions for the entire Superior National Forest in Northern Minnesota after reports over the weekend that the Greenwood Lake blaze was 80% contained.

While the region remains historically dry, officials don’t expect the fire to spread, said Val Cervenka, a spokeswoman for the team managing the fire. It is not showing any flames, although some of its perimeter straddles inaccessible wetlands and full containment won’t come until snow falls, she said.

This past week crews continued to find and dig out hot spots along the fire’s edge and remove fallen or standing dead trees, including in the hard-hit McDougal Lakes area. Other work included sorting salvageable wood and fixing damaged roads, the Star Tribune reported.

The fire continues to smolder in ash pits buried within peat bogs, said Patrick Johnson, a fire behavior analyst for the Greenwood fire and a Superior National Forest employee.

“We can’t find them all no matter how much effort we put into it,” he said at the meeting.

The fire was started by lightning on Aug. 15 about 10 miles southwest of Isabella. It has destroyed 14 cabins and homes along with 57 outbuildings. Evacuation orders stand for the roughly 40 residences within the McDougal Lakes area.

Weekend shootings leave 11 people injured in Minneapolis

MINNEAPOLIS (AP) — Authorities say there were seven shootings over a 26-hour span across Minneapolis between Saturday and Sunday morning that left 11 people injured.

Police said two of the victims are in critical condition.

The first shooting happened around 12:50 a.m. Saturday, KSTP-TV reported. Police responded to a hospital where a man had been dropped off with gunshot wounds.

The victim told police he was robbed at gunpoint and was shot while fighting back, although he said he didn’t know where the incident happened. He is expected to survive, police said.

Starting Saturday evening, there was a string of shootings over the course of nine hours that resulted in injuries to nine people.

Suspect in killing of 4 in Wisconsin arrested in Arizona

MINNEAPOLIS (AP) — One of two men suspected in the shooting deaths of four people whose bodies were found in an abandoned SUV in Wisconsin has been arrested in Arizona, authorities said.

Antoine Darnique Suggs, 38, turned himself in to police in Gilbert, Arizona, on Friday and will be extradited to Wisconsin, the Star Tribune reported.

His arrest came two days after St. Paul police arrested Suggs’ father, 56-year-old Darren Lee McWright, who has been charged with helping hide the victims’ bodies. There have been no descriptions yet of who shot the victims or where the shootings took place, but authorities said in court documents that Suggs was seen at a St. Paul bar with victim Nitosha Flug-Presley and two of her friends hours before they were found dead along with a fourth victim.

Flug-Presley’s mother and aunt told investigators that Suggs had been dating her during visits to St. Paul from his Arizona home, according to a criminal complaint filed in Dunn County (Wisconsin) District Court. The two were last seen together by several witnesses at the White Squirrel bar early Sunday morning, according to the criminal complaint.

Flug-Presley’s father, Damone Presley Sr., said Friday that he was relieved to hear the news about Suggs’ arrest.

“I am excited that he is arrested because it could have been somebody else’s family that was going to pay a price for his devilish deeds,” he said.

The bodies discovered Sunday afternoon by a local farmer near Wheeler, Wisconsin, were identified as Flug-Presley, 30, Matthew Pettus, 26, Jasmine C. Sturm, 30, and Loyace Foreman III, 35. Each had been shot at least once in the head and left in a black Mercedes driven into a cornfield.

McWright, of St. Paul, was arrested Wednesday and charged with four felony counts of hiding a corpse. Surveillance video taken from a gas station in Wheeler, Wisconsin, showed Suggs and McWright there but in separate cars, one of which was the Mercedes found Sunday.

Grand jury indicts boyfriend in death of Shakopee woman

MINNEAPOLIS (AP) — A grand jury has indicted a man on first-degree murder charges in the gruesome death of his girlfriend in Shakopee.

The Star Tribune reports the jury indicted Alexis Saborit, 42, on Friday in the death of his longtime girlfriend America Mafalda Thayer. His bail also was raised from $2.5 million to $4 million.

Saborit is accused of beheading Thayer in a vehicle in front of onlookers near downtown Shakopee on July 28 as the two were on the way to his court appearance for felony charges alleging that he had set fire to the couple’s apartment during a confrontation with police in Shakopee.

The jury heard from just over a dozen witnesses before they issued the indictment Friday. Witnesses included a neighbor who was able to record Saborit pulling a body out of his vehicle.

COVID-19 affects musicals in Rapid City, Sioux Falls

SIOUX FALLS, S.D. (AP) — Musicals scheduled in South Dakota’s two largest cities have either been postponed or scrapped due to the coronavirus.

A musical that was set to run this weekend at the Orpheum Theater in Sioux Falls was postponed to Sept. 29 and 30 after two members tested positive for COVID-19. The production of “Lost in Vegas,” held by local theater company Lights Up, held its opening run last weekend in front of about 200 people each day.

After one cast member had tested positive for COVID-19 this past week, the show went on Thursday after officials blocked the first two rows and warned the 150 people in the audience about the results, director Brent Grosvenor told the Sioux Falls Argus Leader.

“We did the right thing, we talked to the cast, the cast made an informed decision still to preform,” Grosvenor said. “We had understudies replacing sick actors and that’s how the real world works.”

After another cast member tested positive for the virus on Friday, theater officials called off the rest of the weekend shows.

In Rapid City, the Black Hills Community Theatre in Rapid City announced Friday it had canceled all planned performances of the musical “Matilda” following the increased spread of COVID-19 infections in the region.

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