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Latest Minnesota news, sports, business and entertainment at 9:20 p.m. CDT

March 16, 2019 - 7:20 PM

WOMAN KILLED-CHILD ABDUCTED-THE LATEST

The Latest: Chief: Minnesota body apparently 2-year-old girl

MILWAUKEE (AP) — Milwaukee police Chief Alfonso Morales says a body found along a southern Minnesota highway is believed to be that of a missing 2-year-old girl whose father is accused of killing her mother in Milwaukee.

Morales told reporters Saturday that an off-duty public works employee saw something along Highway 218 north of Austin, Minnesota, as he was driving home Friday night. The chief says a child's body was found inside a blanket off the shoulder of the highway.

Morales says the body is believed to be that of 2-year-old Noelani Robinson. He says an autopsy has not been conducted yet, but authorities believe the girl "had been there for quite some time."

The girl's father, Dariaz Higgins, is accused of fatally shooting 24-year-old Sierra Robinson and wounding one of her friends Monday. Police arrested him Wednesday and say Higgins had been Robinson's pimp. Robinson had recently been living in Las Vegas.

SALTY MUNICIPAL WATER

Minnesota cities look to reduce chloride from water plants

(Information from: Minnesota Public Radio News, http://www.mprnews.org)

MORRIS, Minn. (AP) — Some Minnesota cities are grappling with how to reduce the amount of chloride being released from wastewater treatment plants into lakes and rivers, which can be toxic to fish.

Sara Heger is a research engineer at the University of Minnesota's Water Resources Center. Heger tells Minnesota Public Radio that home water softeners are often the reason municipal wastewater treatment plants release excess chloride.

Heger says there's no easy fix. Most treatment plants weren't designed to remove chloride from water, and it's often a difficult and expensive process.

The city of Morris is opening a new $18 million plant this spring, which will use lime and soda ash to centrally soften water before it's piped into homes and businesses. Residents will likely have to pay higher water rates to cover costs.

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UMINN-ANIMAL POLICY

Proposed University of Minnesota policy limits pets

(Information from: The Minnesota Daily, http://www.mndaily.com/)

MINNEAPOLIS (AP) — The University of Minnesota is considering a policy that would prohibit most pets from school buildings, as school officials work to ensure all students and employees are comfortable on campus.

Minnesota Daily reports that service animals for those with disabilities would still be permitted, but emotional-support animals would be banned from classrooms, labs and offices.

The proposed policy includes exceptions that permit animals that are used during instruction, animals that are receiving medical treatment on campus and animals serving as official NCAA mascots or participating in patriotic ceremonies.

University Services Chief of Staff Paige Rohman says animals can be a disturbance if they bark, lunge or go to the bathroom on campus. He says they are also problematic for people with allergies or for Muslims, who consider dog saliva unclean.

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WINTER WEATHER-FLOODING-THE LATEST

The Latest: Downstream Missouri River prepares for flooding

ST. JOSEPH, Mo. (AP) — As rivers and creeks in flooded eastern Nebraska and western Iowa crest Saturday, officials have begun looking downstream at likely flooding further south along the Missouri River.

The Jefferson City News-Tribune reports Missouri Gov. Mike Parson met with emergency management team members Friday to review and update flood-response plans. The Missouri Highway Patrol is preparing additional equipment, and swift water rescue personnel are on standby. The Missouri National Guard also has temporarily relocated the 139th Airlift Wing's C-130s from Rosecrans Air National Guard Base in St. Joseph as a precaution.

Some flooding of low-lying areas around the river in northwest Missouri had already been reported Saturday.

The National Weather Service says the Missouri River at St. Joseph reached nearly 26 feet on Saturday, about a foot below what's considered major flooding at the northwest Missouri city. But it's expected to crest Wednesday or Thursday at 29.3 feet — more than two feet above major flooding level.

PROJECT IGNITE LIGHT

Project says provides 'hope' for 16K abused, neglected kids

(Information from: KOVC-AM, http://www.newsdakota.com)

ROGERS, N.D. (AP) — Representatives say a project that provides backpacks to abused or neglected children entering the social services system has served more than 16,000 children in North Dakota, South Dakota and Minnesota since its launch in 2008.

KOVC-AM reports Project Ignite Light Founder Pebbles Thompson says the backpacks are called "Bags of Hope." The bags include fleece tie blankets, pyjamas, toothbrushes, books, flashlights, shampoo and other items.

Thompson says the project serves victims of extreme child abuse who are taken to child advocacy centres. The group aims to provide the children with the things they will need if they are not returning home.

Almost 4,000 cases of child abuse and neglect were reported in North Dakota in 2017.

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News from © The Associated Press, 2019
The Associated Press

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