- Associated Press - Saturday, May 2, 2015
Hundreds gather for funeral of slain Minnesota boy

MINNEAPOLIS (AP) - Hundreds of people gathered for the funeral Saturday of a slain 10-year-old boy whose body was found in the Mississippi River.

There were more people than chairs Saturday at Shiloh Temple in north Minneapolis for Barway Collins’ funeral, according to KARE-TV (https://kare11.tv/1DSjGaohttps://kare11.tv/1DSjGao ).

Representatives with the church said they had the capacity to seat 1,500 people.

Many attending never met Barway and more than 18 people and organizations were listed on the program to pay tribute, including Sheriff Richard Stanek.

“This little boy touched every one of our lives, including mine,” Stanek said. “Thank you to the mothers, friends and others who searched for Barway. You never gave up hope and request for the truth.”


Bird flu virus raises questions scientists working to answer

DES MOINES, Iowa (AP) - It’s been five months since the H5N2 bird flu virus was discovered in the United States, and producers have lost 21 million birds in the Midwest alone. Yet, researchers acknowledge they still know little about a bird flu virus that’s endangered turkey and egg-laying chicken populations that supply much of the nation.

Scientists at the U.S. Department of Agriculture, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and other federal agencies are puzzled by the H5N2 virus’ spread - even amid heightened biosecurity measures - and apparent lack of widespread deaths in largely unprotected backyard flocks.

“At this point, we don’t know very much about these viruses because they’ve only recently been identified,” Dr. Alicia Fry, the CDC’s leader of the influenza prevention and control team, said. “We’re following the situation very closely because this is something we’re continuing to understand.”

The current H5N2 virus surfaced last winter in Canada and was first identified in the United States in early December, when it was found in a wild bird on the West Coast. This spring, the virus was found in poultry operations in eight Midwest states, forcing commercial producers to kill and compost millions of turkeys and chickens in Iowa, Minnesota and elsewhere.

Scientists speculate that perhaps rodents or small birds, seeking food, tracked the virus into barns. Maybe it’s the work of flies, as the bird flu virus has been found on the insects in a Pennsylvania outbreak in 1983 and in Japan in 2004. The USDA’s chief veterinarian even floated the idea last week wind may be blowing dust and feathers carrying the virus from the barnyard into buildings through air vents.


Children’s Museum of Southern Minnesota opens in Mankato

MANKATO, Minn. (AP) - The Children’s Museum of Southern Minnesota has finally opened after a decade of planning and fundraising.

The doors first opened Friday after construction began last year on the permanent $5-million dollar home in Mankato.

“We wanted someplace where a parent could come in, and if they have more than one child, they’re able to pretty much see everywhere,” said Linda Frost, an early childhood parent who co-founded the museum with Mary Jo Hensel. “

Frost said the museum is still trying to raise another $400,000 to finish a water exhibit.

Last summer, just as construction was getting underway, widespread flooding destroyed almost all of the museum exhibits in storage and insurance didn’t cover the damage. So they had to replace all of the hands-on exhibits.


Mankato area law enforcement cite 61 for underage drinking

MANKATO, Minn. (AP) - Mankato area law enforcement cited more than five dozen people during an underage drinking bust.

The Free Press reports (https://bit.ly/1GQniQAhttps://bit.ly/1GQniQA ) 61 people ranging in age from 18 to 20 were cited at Jerry Dutler’s Bowl and the attached Rumor’s Lounge in Mankato Wednesday.

The newspaper reports police had warned staff if previous reports of underage drinking were true law enforcement would step in.

Mankato Commander Jeremy Clifton says those accused told police they drank before arriving, had someone they knew get it for them or purchased alcohol on their own in the bar.

The business had provided arm bands to distinguish underage people.

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