- Associated Press - Friday, August 1, 2014
Charges: Man who shot officer said: ‘I hate cops’

MINNEAPOLIS (AP) - A man charged Friday with killing a Mendota Heights police officer and firing at others during an eight-hour manhunt allegedly told police, “I hate cops and I’m guilty,” according to court documents.

Brian George Fitch Sr., 39, was charged with two counts of first-degree murder in the death of Officer Scott Patrick. Prosecutors say he shot Patrick in the head, leg and abdomen as Patrick approached his car during a traffic stop Wednesday in West St. Paul.

Fitch was also charged with 10 other counts - including attempted murder, drive-by discharge of a firearm, and assault - after a shootout with police in St. Paul. Fitch was shot eight times.

After being taken to a local hospital, Fitch looked at the officer guarding him and said: “Just to let you know, I hate cops and I’m guilty,” according to the charging documents.

Fitch is expected to remain hospitalized for at least another week. It was not immediately clear if he had an attorney.

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Feds expand Minnesota flood disaster declaration

ST. PAUL, Minn. (AP) - The federal government has expanded Minnesota’s flood disaster declaration to 24 more counties and two tribal governments.

Last month President Barack Obama declared a disaster in eight Minnesota counties damaged by flooding, unleashing federal funds to help repair millions in damages.

The state Homeland Security and Emergency Management division said Friday that the declaration now covers 32 counties and the Red Lake Band of Chippewa and Prairie Island Indian Community. The Federal Emergency Management Agency is reviewing six other Minnesota counties affected by summer floods.

Gov. Mark Dayton says he’ll continuing pushing to add those six counties.

Members of Minnesota’s congressional delegation also say the U.S. Department of Transportation has awarded Minnesota a $5 million statewide grant to repair roads damaged by flooding.

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Health officials: Ebola risk in Minnesota very low

ST. PAUL, Minn. (AP) - State health officials say the risk of Ebola spreading to Minnesota is very low.

U.S. health officials are warning against traveling to three West African nations - Guinea, Liberia and Sierra Leona - where a deadly Ebola outbreak is ongoing.

But the Minnesota Department of Health on Friday pointed out that no cases of Ebola have occurred in the U.S.

The department also says it has surveillance systems in place to identify people who might become ill while traveling. Since the start of the outbreak, the state Health Department has sent several health alerts to Minnesota health care providers advising them to be on the lookout for anyone showing symptoms of Ebola.

To address concerns about the outbreak, health officials will host an information session Wednesday night in Brooklyn Center.

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Minneapolis council OKs stadium bird resolution

MINNEAPOLIS (AP) - The Minneapolis City Council is calling for bird-safe glass at the new Minnesota Vikings stadium.

The council on Friday unanimously approved a resolution urging stadium planners to outfit the $1 billion stadium with bird-safe glass.

The Star Tribune (http://strib.mn/UG9GkKhttp://strib.mn/UG9GkK ) reports the measure is symbolic and has no binding power. But it adds more pressure to calls from bird advocates to modify the design of the glassy building.

The Audubon Society of Minnesota praised the resolution. The group is concerned that many birds will die from colliding with the large windows slated to be installed at the stadium.

The Vikings say the team and the authority overseeing the stadium have agreed to implement lighting procedures to prevent bird collisions. The team also is discussing Audubon’s recommendations for the stadium’s lighting design.

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