- Associated Press - Sunday, November 8, 2015
Minnesota couple say wind turbines disrupt their lives

SARGEANT, Minn. (AP) - A couple in southeastern Minnesota say wind turbines next to their 10-acre property are disrupting their lives as well as their scene view.

In addition to the noise of the turbines, Kathy and Dan Blanchard believe the windmills are disrupting their television signals.

The Blanchards live just outside Sargeant Township in Mower County. There are about 10 wind turbines near their property.

“I’m all for wind energy,” Kathy Blanchard told the Post-Bulletin (http://bit.ly/1kiY8Bohttp://bit.ly/1kiY8Bo ), “but we had to make some changes. Plus, there’s no compensation to us. Not many people are happy, especially residents underneath these windmills … much of the farmland is owned by people who don’t live here anymore.”

The Pleasant Valley Wind Farm project, led by Renewable Energy Systems America, has added a substation near the couple’s home. Kathy Blanchard says original environmental assessments indicated the couple’s property would be 1,200 feet away from the substation. But two weeks after that initial assessment was submitted, she says the substation location was changed to 950 feet away.

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St. Thomas pulls off trick 2-point conversion

ST. PAUL, Minn. (AP) - St. Thomas was able to pull off a trick play on a 2-point conversion on the way to an 80-3 romp over Carleton.

A first-quarter touchdown run by Jordan Roberts gave the Tommies a 6-3 lead Saturday. Kicker Paul Graupner ran onto the field for what appeared to be a point-after-touchdown attempt.

Instead, Graupner rolled out to his right after the snap went to holder Charlie Dowdle. After faking a pitch-out to Graupner, Dowdle flung the ball no-look style behind his back toward the end zone, where Matt Christianson made the two-handed catch among Carleton defenders.

St. Thomas coach Glenn Caruso told WCCO-AM (http://cbsloc.al/1QnjtFHhttp://cbsloc.al/1QnjtFH ) his team practiced the play “all week.”

The win assured the Tommies of the MIAC championship and an automatic bid to the NCAA Division III playoffs.

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Federal standards keep young pilots from manning drones

GRAND FORKS, N.D. (AP) - Megan Halek could be the best unmanned aircraft pilot coming out of the University of North Dakota’s highly regarded aviation program this year: She’s aced a training program and has enough air experience to fly private jets worldwide.

That won’t be enough to land her dream job, flying the Predator drone for the U.S. Customs and Border Protection.

Though she would enthusiastically take on a job that currently falls to federal pilots who’d mostly rather be up in the air, she’s more than 1,300 hours short of the federal agency’s required actual flight time and doesn’t have the proper flying certificate.

“The CBP has their standards, and rightly so. They’re looking for qualified people,” said UND aviation professor John Bridewell, who is Halek’s faculty adviser. “But at some point you have to question if there’s a tradeoff between someone who simply has hours and this particular certificate versus someone who has capabilities and wants to be there.”

Officials said they are looking at changing their hiring practices - especially since the majority of its pilot workforce is made up of baby-boomer federal agents that must retire at 57- but could not discuss specifics. Other agencies that fly drones, like some branches of the military, have less strict guidelines. Loosening the rules also could give students a stable, well-paying job out of college, rather than flying with regional airlines.

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Minnesota hunter shot, wounded on opening day of deer season

HOLLOWAY, Minn. (AP) - Authorities in western Minnesota say a hunter was accidentally shot and wounded on the opening day of the state’s firearms deer season.

The Swift County Sheriff’s Office says 36-year-old Robert Schlieman (SHLEE’-mun) of Detroit Lakes was shot just after noon Saturday while deer hunting north of Holloway.

Authorities say a deer ran between other hunters that Schlieman was hunting with. One of the hunters thought the deer was far enough away and started shooting at the deer.

One of the slugs struck Schlieman in the abdomen. He was flown to St. Cloud Hospital and was in stable condition.

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