Minn. roundup: Insurance company refunding $315,000 to Minnesota drivers

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Auto insurance company refunding $315,000 to Minnesota drivers

ST. PAUL—More than 1,600 Minnesota drivers will be receiving refunds from Farmers Insurance Exchange after the insurance firm was accused of unfair pricing practices.

The Minnesota Commerce Department examined Farmers Insurance Exchange's pricing practices and found that the company had been charging renters higher auto rates than homeowners, the agency said in a statement released Tuesday.

It is illegal in Minnesota to set auto insurance rates based on residential status.

Farmers Insurance Exchange has agreed to issue around $315,317 in refunds and credits to the 1,620 policyholders identified, according to the Commerce In addition, the company will pay a $75,000 penalty and discontinue the pricing policy that favored homeowners over renters, the agency statement said.

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Second powerful storm in days rips through Douglas County

ALEXANDRIA, Minn. — For the second time in six days, tornado sirens sounded Monday night as a severe thunderstorm rumbled through Douglas County.

There were several reports of trees and branches that were blown down, prompting Carlos Creek Winery to request volunteers Tuesday to help with cleanup.

The Douglas County area was under tornado warnings starting at about 6:40 p.m. Monday and several CodeRed alerts advised residents to seek shelter from the thunderstorm. The storm produced sheets of heavy rain. Flooding from up to 3.2 inches of rainfall was reported near Brandon.

Weather spotters reported rotation in the threatening clouds but there were no confirmed reports of a tornado touching ground.

At the height of the storm, about 950 Runestone Electric Association members were without electricity.

A big storm caused significant tree and property damage in Douglas County on July 11.

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Brainerd area 8-month drug investigation results in 28 arrests

BRAINERD, Minn.—A nearly eight-month-long investigation into the sale of narcotics in Crow Wing County by the Lakes Area Drug investigative Division resulted in 28 people being charged for various drug offenses, Crow Wing County Sheriff Todd Dahl reported Tuesday, July 19..

During the investigation, LADID agents conducted numerous controlled buys of narcotics which led to a total of about 320 grams of meth, 19 grams of psilocybin mushrooms, 9 grams of heroin, and four firearms being purchased.

LADID agents worked closely with the Crow Wing County Attorney's Office to coordinate the cases involved.

Those charged through the investigation ranged in age from 19 to 59.