- Associated Press - Sunday, June 7, 2015
Minnesota man helps in fight against Ebola in West Africa

MANKATO, Minn. (AP) - A Mankato resident who worked in public health and environmental engineering for more than 20 years has been tackling his most dramatic assignment yet: the deadly Ebola epidemic in West Africa.

Since November, Dave Ausdemore has spent much of his time in Monrovia, Liberia. He serves as the Country Director of eHealth Systems Africa, a nongovernmental organization fighting the disease, which has killed more than 11,000 since the first case last spring.

Ausdemore returned to Mankato last month for just the second time since November, The Free Press of Mankato (http://bit.ly/1G4C3fBhttp://bit.ly/1G4C3fB ) reported. On Friday he and his son, a senior-to-be at Mankato West High School, will return to Monrovia. His son will volunteer there for three weeks, while Ausdemore could stay for another year.

Ausdemore oversaw more than 200 workers in Liberia’s 15 counties at the height of his organization’s response. He said he and his co-workers worked 16-hour days to build and renovate the country’s poor infrastructure.

“There was just that desperation of, ‘This is getting out of control and we really don’t know what to do,’” Ausdemore said Saturday.

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Operators shut down Unit 2 at Prairie Island nuclear plant

RED WING, Minn. (AP) - Operators have safely shut down Unit 2 of the Prairie Island nuclear power plant near Red Wing.

Minneapolis-based Xcel Energy Inc. says there was no risk to the public or employees from the condition that led to the shutdown Sunday morning. The company says the unit was shut down in response to a turbine trip caused by low oil pressure.

Plans are underway to make repairs and return the unit to service.

During outages, Xcel Energy purchases electricity from the Midcontinent Independent System Operator or other utilities or increases electricity production at its other plants to ensure an adequate power supply for customers.

The two reactors at Prairie Island generate 1,076 megawatts of electricity, enough to power nearly 1 million homes.

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Woman dies after fall in old Minneapolis grain elevator

MINNEAPOLIS (AP) - A woman has died after falling off a ladder at an abandoned Minneapolis grain elevator.

KMSP-TV (http://bit.ly/1KV8Tnohttp://bit.ly/1KV8Tno ) reports the woman was exploring the Bunge Tower, a vacant grain elevator in Minneapolis’ Como neighborhood, when she fell off a ladder, crashed through a wooden floor and plummeted into a 30-foot steel bin Saturday night.

A Minneapolis Fire Department technical crew pulled the woman out around 10:30 p.m. It took an hour and a half for rescuers to bring the woman down the 10-story building, a rescue complicated by rain. She was taken to Hennepin County Medical Center, but the fire department says she died from her severe injuries. The woman’s name has not been released.

In 2006, a 20-year-old University of Minnesota student died when she fell from the same elevator.

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Boy accidentally shot by father in central Minnesota dies

AITKIN, Minn. (AP) - Authorities say a 14-year-old boy has died after he was accidentally shot in the neck by his father in central Minnesota.

The Aitkin (AY’-kin) County Sheriff’s Office says Dawson Vanportfliet of Aitkin died Thursday after being flown May 31 to Hennepin County Medical Center in Minneapolis.

The sheriff’s office says his father, 37-year-old Dennis Vanportfliet, was cleaning a pistol when it fired, hitting the boy.

Authorities say the shooting “is believed to be an unintentional discharge,” but it remains under investigation.

Dawson was finishing up eighth grade at Aitkin High School. The Star Tribune (http://strib.mn/1Gt5njd) reports he was a Boy Scout and participated in martial arts.

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