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Minn. roundup: Finalists named for Princess Kay of the Milky Way; teacher dies while on running race along North Shore

2017 finalists for Princess Kay of the Milky Way are, front, from left: Ashley Warren, Abby Hopp, Rebecca Schubert, Shelby Campbell, Quinci Scherber and Margaret Socha. Back, from left: Anna Broll, Jessaca Zuidema, Emily Annexstad, Gina Holdvogt, Samantha Traxler and Madelin Lindahl.

Finalists named for Princess Kay of the Milky Way

ST. JOSEPH, Minn. — Twelve finalists, who will compete for the title of Minnesota's 64th Princess Kay of the Milky Way, were announced Sunday night, May 21.

More than 50 dairy princesses, representing counties across the state, participated in a weekend leadership workshop at the College of St. Benedict in St. Joseph.

The finalists were selected based on their passion for dairy and their communication skills.

The 12 women will have their likenesses carved in blocks of butter during the 2017 Minnesota State Fair.

The finalists include: Jessaca Zuidema from Kandiyohi County, Ashley Warren from Meeker County, Emily Annexstad of Nicollet County, Anna Broll of Carver County, Shelby Campbell of Wright County, Gina Holdvogt of Stearns County, Abby Hopp of Fillmore County, Madelin Lindahl of Chisago County, Quinci Scherber of Hennepin County, Rebecca Schubert of Benton County and Margaret Socha of Wright County, Samantha Traxler of Le Sueur County;

The Midwest Dairy Association manages the program.

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Minnesota man may have fallen off bluff into Mississippi after police chase

ST. PAUL—Crews searched by boat and by air Monday for a man who ran toward a Mississippi River bluff after St. Paul officers pulled him over, according to the police department.

Later on Monday, a body was found in the river, near the Ford Dam, but officials cautioned that it was too soon to say if the body was that of the fleeing motorist.

Police did not know whether the man in that case went in the river, Sgt. Mike Ernster, a St. Paul police spokesman, said earlier in the day.

The situation began when officers saw a sport-utility vehicle driving fast early Monday but lost sight of it. Soon after, about 1:30 a.m., they saw the vehicle again "prowling" an alley. Police followed him and the driver pulled the SUV off the road and onto a walkway and then ran, Ernster said. He went into the woods toward the river bluff and disappeared. It's a steep drop to the river.

"Officers were concerned the male had possibly not known the area and ran off the river bluff, and they searched the area for him in case he was trapped or injured," Ernster said. Two other people were in the SUV when the driver ran.

The Minnesota State Patrol helicopter joined the search for the driver, using infrared, police said. St. Paul and Minneapolis firefighters also used boats to check the river.

After sunup Monday morning, the State Patrol helicopter and St. Paul firefighters searched again but did not find the man. About 4:45 p.m. Monday, officials were notified about the body in the river.

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Minnesota home of man charged in kidnapping, carving 'snitch' in teen's chest damaged in fire

WRENSHALL, Minn.—A far northeast Minnesota home that was the site of an alleged kidnapping and assault last week was severely damaged in a fire early Monday, the Carlton County Sheriff's Office reported.

Several callers reported the fire at the two-story residence near Wrenshall, about 25 miles southwest of Duluth, at about 1:20 a.m., according to a news release. Deputies and the Wrenshall Fire Department arrived to find the home engulfed in flames and were able to protect a propane tank located a few feet from the residence.

No one was home at the time of the fire, the sheriff's office reported.

Authorities last week charged 21-year-old Scott Kendrick Lindgren, a resident of the address, with seven felony counts related to a May 15 incident at the home.

Lindgren and accomplices allegedly held a 17-year-old Duluth teen against his will, tying him to a chair and carving the word "snitch" into his chest. Lindgren remained jailed on Monday.

Sheriff Kelly Lake said the cause of the fire remains under investigation with the State Fire Marshal's Office, making it too early to speculate as to whether it was related to the events of a week prior.

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Minnesota teacher dies while on running race along North Shore

LUTSEN, Minn.—A 41-year-old Eagan High School teacher died while competing in a Cook County trail race on Saturday.

Jon Mathson was running in the 25-kilometer Superior Spring Trail Race when he collapsed on the trail in the vicinity of Lutsen Mountains resort just before 11 a.m., the Cook County Sheriff's Office reported Monday.

"Our hearts go out to the family of Mr. Mathson, the Superior Spring Trail Race community, and our first responders for this shocking and difficult loss," Sheriff Pat Eliasen said in the news release.

Mathson was a three-time finisher of the race. A group of responders, including nurses and an off-duty deputy, attempted to revive him.

The cause of death has not yet been determined, and an autopsy will be conducted, authorities said.

Race officials posted a message on the race website that noted, "We lost a member of our trail running community." It described Mathson as a science and chemistry teacher at Eagan High School, and said he was survived by his wife, Becky, and a 2-year-old son, Dylan. A GoFundMe online fundraising campaign has been established to help the family; it had raised more than $30,000 as of Monday afternoon.

This year's Superior Spring Trail Races — 25K and 50K events — drew more than 500 runners to the North Shore. The race, which starts and finishes at Caribou Highlands Resort, was first held in 2003.

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