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After Deadline: Score one for the 'good news' column

I don't often get to write about good news in my role as the public safety reporter; mostly, it's about crime and crashes and fires.

It was a pleasant surprise, then, when about a month ago, I heard from a woman whose dirt bike had been stolen , along with her nephews' 4-wheeler, overnight July 18 in the Eyota-Dover area.

The dirt bike was found in a yard in northwest Rochester, an arrest was made in connection with the theft, and Amanda Bedtke couldn't have been happier.

"I'm writing to you because you never hear how people get their stolen property back unless it's of huge value," Bedtke said in an email, "But to me a $4,000 dirt bike is huge … Being outside riding my bike with my nephews is the world to me; to have someone … just take it from me is beyond any words that I can express."

She has to pay to repair the damage done to her bike, and for additional security, but she's thankful.

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"With everything going on in the world … I couldn't thank those police officers enough," Bedtke wrote. "This was a small incident, compared to what they deal with on a daily basis, but I'm one grateful person."

The four-wheeler was also recovered. — Kay Fate

Tough job

The next time you feel inclined to complain about your job, consider a couple of things members of the Minnesota State Patrol dealt with Saturday:

About 11:15 a.m., they responded to a five-car chain reaction crash on Interstate 35 north of Medford. Though only one person sustained injuries, there were 15 people involved — including a 3-year-old, a 1-year-old and an infant.

The officers are required to document everyone's information, connect them with the correct vehicle and deal with the usual chaos and emotions involved with a crash. Huge job.

About four hours later, the State Patrol was sent to a rollover crash involving a fire engine on Interstate 35W in Blaine.

Two men, 23-year-old James Shelifoe and 25-year-old Alan J. Swartz, both of Baraga, Mich., were killed. Seven others were injured, some seriously.

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The truck belonged to the Beartown Firefighters , a Michigan-based wildland firefighting team managed by the Keweenaw Bay Indian Community in cooperation with the Bureau of Indian Affairs. The nine men aboard were on their way to fight a wildfire in Utah .

That's a heavy burden for all rescuers involved. — Kay Fate

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