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MINNESOTA NEWS: Suspicious deaths ... Courts' workloads rise ... Soldier's funeral ... more

Two suspicious deaths Police in St. Peter, Minn., along with state investigators, are looking into the suspicious deaths of two people whose bodies they found about 12 hours apart. Police said they went to a trailer park at 4 p.m. Saturday as par...

Two suspicious deaths

Police in St. Peter, Minn., along with state investigators, are looking into the suspicious deaths of two people whose bodies they found about 12 hours apart.

Police said they went to a trailer park at 4 p.m. Saturday as part of a missing person investigation and found the body of a 53-year-old man. At 4 a.m. Sunday, police discovered the body of a 22-year-old woman in nearby Kasota. Investigators said they believe the two victims were connected and their deaths are related.

The woman's 4-year-old child was found unharmed during the investigation.

Police don't believe there are any risks to the public and aren't seeking suspects. The Ramsey County Medical Examiner is doing autopsies to determine the victims' identity and cause of death.

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Courts' workloads rise

Minnesota's courtrooms were busier in 2008 than the year before. An annual report on the judiciary shows the state's district courts handled 27,000 more cases in 2008 than in 2007. All told, the caseload exceeded 1.9 million actions.

About 5,000 of the increase came in major civil case filings, such as personal injury and harassment. The number of major criminal cases actually fell by a few thousand.

Much of the boost is attributed to minor civil proceedings, such as conciliation court and implied consent actions for people suspected of driving while drunk. Parking, traffic and low-level assault crimes also saw an uptick.

Minnesota has about 315 judgeships, most at the trial court level.

Woodbury soldier's funeral

A Minnesota soldier killed in Iraq this month has been laid to rest in a solemn ceremony in Woodbury, Minn.

Spc. Daniel Drevnick, 22, was one of three Minnesota troops killed in an insurgent attack in Iraq on July 16.

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More than 200 members of Minnesota's Patriot Guard gathered Saturday to pay their respects to Drevnick.

Capt. Paul Rickert of the Minnesota National Guard said Drevnick was an excellent soldier who loved what he did. One pallbearer was Drevnick's father, a former state troope, whom Drevnick had hoped to emulate.

Allergic to Madison, Wis.?
An allergy foundation has ranked Madison one of the most challenging places to live for people with spring allergies. The Asthma and Allergy Foundation of America has ranked Wisconsin's capital the fourth-most challenging city in the U.S., up from 29th a year ago.

Factors that affect rankings include amount of seasonal pollen, volume of allergy medicine used per patient and the number of licensed allergists per patient.

The only other Wisconsin city in the top 100 was Milwaukee, which ranked 56th. Minneapolis was the lone Minnesota city, ranking 82nd.

Dr. Mark Moss, an allergist with the University of Wisconsin Health Hospital and Clinics, said Madison probably ranked high because ragweed grows especially well in Wisconsin.

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