- Associated Press - Friday, July 18, 2014
DNR: Invasive carp found in Mississippi River

COTTAGE GROVE, Minn. (AP) - The Minnesota Department of Natural Resources says invasive carp have been found in the Mississippi River near Cottage Grove.

The agency says commercial fishermen under contract with the DNR netted two adult invasive carp in Pool 2 Thursday.

One was a bighead carp weighing about 40 pounds. The other was a silver carp - known for jumping out of the water when disturbed - that weighed about 20 pounds.

The DNR says bighead and silver carp had not been found this far north in the Mississippi River.

DNR regional fisheries manager Brad Parsons says the discovery is “disappointing but not entirely unexpected.” He says the discovery does not necessarily mean a breeding population of invasive carp exists within Pool 2. But he says both fish were females that contained eggs.

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Man pleads guilty in straw gun-buying scheme

MINNEAPOLIS (AP) - A Robbinsdale man has pleaded guilty in what federal authorities call a scheme to have straw purchasers buy guns for people who are barred from having them.

The U.S. Attorney’s office says 21-year-old Keniko Bland pleaded guilty Thursday to one count of illegally receiving a firearm by a person under indictment. Bland was indicted along with four co-defendants in May.

Last November, Bland was charged in Hennepin County with terroristic threats and was therefore barred by federal law from receiving a firearm or ammunition.

Prosecutors say in February, Bland got a co-defendant to buy him a .40-caliber semi-automatic pistol, a 15-round magazine and two boxes of ammunition.

Bland faces a potential maximum penalty of 10 years in federal prison and a supervised release term of three years.

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Groundbreaking held for Winona Bridge

WINONA, Minn. (AP) - After years of planning, groundbreaking was held Friday for a new Winona Bridge crossing the Mississippi River.

The ceremony was held where the new bridge will enter Winona from Wisconsin. Minnesota U.S. Sen. Amy Klobuchar and U.S. Rep. Tim Walz were among those attending.

Weather permitting, construction on the $162 million project will begin next week.

The new bridge will be built to the north of the existing bridge and then crews will rehabilitate the existing bridge. That will give Winona four lanes of traffic crossing the bridge on Highway 43 over the Mississippi.

The Winona Daily News (https://bit.ly/1rxLuwvhttps://bit.ly/1rxLuwv ) reports the construction company was chosen early on and was able to help plan and design the project.

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Minneapolis legalizes ride-sharing apps Lyft, Uber

MINNEAPOLIS (AP) - The Minneapolis City Council on Friday voted to legalize on-demand ride-sharing services Lyft and Uber, despite concerns from the taxi industry.

By a nearly unanimous vote, council members approved new ordinances to legalize so-called “transportation network companies.”

California-based Lyft and Uber essentially allow people to act as chauffeurs of their own vehicles, connecting with passengers through smartphone apps. They cannot pick up passengers who hail them on the street, but unlike taxi companies are free to raise rates.

Council member Jacob Frey, who sponsored the ordinance, said more transportation options will help people give up their cars.

“This ordinance takes some excellent steps towards adding to the cornucopia of transportation options that we have,” Frey said.


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