Minnesota roundup: Eagles sometimes can't fly away like other birds when feeding on roadway carcasses; Hunter, 65, found dead near deer stand; plus 4 more state news stories
ST. PAUL—Motorists are urged to watch for eagles on roadways this time of year as an increase in deer activity leads to more road-killed deer for the birds to feed on.
The Minnesota Department of Natural Resources said while crows feasting on carcasses on roadways usually simply fly off, it's a different situation for eagles.
The DNR said eagles can "over eat" and become too heavy to fly until they digest their meal. Eagles can also suffer from neurological issues if they are exposed to lead in the carcass of the animal they are eating. When this happens, eagles become disoriented and do not know to fly off when a car is approaching.
"When deer are particularly active, we tend to get calls about eagles that are injured or killed by vehicles or sick and dying from lead poisoning," said Christine Herwig, DNR northwest region nongame specialist. "If you see a dead deer on the road and can safely move the deer off the roadway, this improves the safety of other motorists and wildlife."
Hunter, 65, found dead near deer stand
EMILY, Minn. — A 65-year-old hunter was found dead Saturday, Nov. 19, near a deer stand in Ross Lake Township.
The St. Louis Park man was found lying in snow a short distance from the stand, east of Emily, by a friend and reported it to the Crow Wing County Sheriff's Office at 3:47 p.m. Saturday.
Foul play is not suspected and it was suspected the man had a medical emergency, according to the Sheriff's Office.
The man was transported to the Ramsey County Medical Examiner's Office for an autopsy. The name of the man has not been released.
The town of Emily is about 35 miles northeast of Brainerd.
Pedestrian dies from injuries in Duluth crash
DULUTH, Minn.—A 33-year-old woman died from her injuries Sunday after she was hit by a car in downtown Duluth early Friday morning, authorities said.
The Duluth Police Department responded to a report of a person struck by a vehicle in the area of Third Avenue East and Third Street just before 6 a.m., police spokesman Ron Tinsley said. Officers determined that the woman had been hit by a car driven by a 51-year-old man, and the woman was transported to a local hospital where she died Sunday.
Neither person's name was officially released Sunday night, and Tinsley said the incident remains under active investigation.
Man dies after vehicle collides with deer, rolls
CROOKSTON, Minn.—An East Grand Forks man died Sunday night, Nov. 20, after the vehicle he was driving struck a deer and rolled in Polk County.
According to a report released by the Polk County Sheriff's Office:
The crash happened about 6:22 p.m. on Polk County Road 23 north of 150th Street Northwest in Brandt Township.
A car driven by Jason K. Johnson, 42, was northbound on the county road when the vehicle struck a deer before going into the ditch and rolling over.
Johnson was pronounced dead at the scene.
The crash remains under investigation.
Alcohol detected in driver of SUV that fatally struck man
LAPORTE, Minn.—The driver of a SUV that struck and killed a man near Laporte early Sunday had alcohol in his system, the Minnesota State Patrol reports.
Bradley H. Smith, 30, was driving a GMC Acadia eastbound on Highway 200 in Hubbard County when the vehicle struck 45-year-old Luke Prescott of Princeton shortly after midnight.
Prescott was standing on the shoulder of the road after walking away from a vehicle that had just gone off the road, the State Patrol said.
The collision killed Prescott.
Smith, is from Laporte, was not injured. An updated incident report reports the State Patrol detected alcohol in Smith's system but didn't disclose his blood-alcohol concentration at the time of the collision.
Laporte is 25 miles southeast of Bemidji.
Insurance rates spur talk of special session
ST. PAUL—Talk of a Minnesota special legislative session to deal with soaring individual insurance policy rates continues, even as the 2017 regular session is just six weeks away.
Gov. Mark Dayton said on Monday, Nov. 21, that he plans on Tuesday to unveil a new proposal about how to deal with policy costs. He earlier suggested an instant rebate to people buying individual policies who do not qualify for federal subsidies. About 5 percent of Minnesotans buy individual policies.
Dayton said he will make his announcement with Commissioner Myron Frans of Minnesota Management and Budget and some legislators.
In the meantime, telephone wait times at the MNsure state-run insurance sales agency dropped "to two seconds" over the weekend, the governor said.
When 2017 enrollment began on Nov. 1, some people could not get through on the phone because of what Dayton called "robocalls" that he said were attacking the system. He said he has not been updated on a state investigation into who instigated the automated calls that he said were designed to crash the MNsure telephone system.
On Monday, MNsure announced 28,475 people had enrolled in policies since Nov. 1, and there were 621,892 visits to MNsure.org.