MPR News AM Update: Army will probe fatal MN helicopter crash

A woman in a uniform speaks in front of a microphone.
Brig. Gen. Sandy Best speaks during a press conference Thursday about the deaths of three National Guard soldiers in a helicopter crash.
Paul Middelstaedt for MPR News

Good morning and welcome to the weekend. Here’s what you need to know to start your day.

A colder start for this weekend. Twin Cities will see steady daytime temps around 20 with nighttime lows around 15. Up north, there’s a chance of snow. The south will be mostly sunny. Greater Minnesota highs range from 18 to 24, with overnight lows between 12 and 18. More on Updraft. | Forecast

Three soldiers are dead following a helicopter crash near St. Cloud. Gov. Tim Walz says a comprehensive investigation will take place and will include Army investigators from Alabama. A Minnesota Army National Guard helicopter called mayday shortly after taking off from St. Cloud for a “maintenance test flight” and was found hours later in trees by a field near Kimball, Minn.

If you’ve seen more coyotes near the Twin Cities, you’re onto something. The urban coyote population is growing and a recent attack on a suburban family’s dog has caused some fear over the dangers coyotes pose to pets. While such attacks are rare, there are some ways pet owners can deter an aggressive coyote.

Get ready for conflict over Minnesota’s $1.3 billion projected budget surplus. Republicans say the surplus means there’s room for more tax cuts. Democrats aren’t sold: “I don’t think there’s a big appetite for a major tax bill this year,” says DFL House Majority Leader Ryan Winkler.

Why are the rivers different colors? That question came from MPR News listener Patricia from Red Wing. We answered it, and the short version is: it depends which river you’re talking about. For example, the Minnesota River looks darker than the Mississippi where they meet near Fort Snelling State Park in St. Paul because the Minnesota is sediment-heavy, while the Mississippi is clear through most of the state. Head to the story for more.

And if you have a question like Patricia’s … pitch it here for our Ask a ‘sotan newsletter and series. Your curiosity just might influence a future story.

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