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Motorcycle Crash Near Sauk Center Monday Left Driver With Serious Injuries

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08/24/2016 - 2:15 PM

A Sauk Center man is left with serious injuries after a Tuesday accident when his motorcycle was hit by a car he was trying to pass.

The Minnesota State Patrol says 21-year-old Alex Marthaler was riding his motorcycle north following two cars on Highway 71 near Sauk Center just before 11 p.m. Marthaler tried to pass the two cars in front of him when the middle car, driven by 32-year-old Rocio  Ruiz-Gomez, also moved to pass. Marthaler lost control, collided with Gomez’s car and ended up in the ditch.

Gomez and her passengers had no apparent injuries and Marthaler suffered serious injuries.

Waite Park Apartment Fire Monday Is Believed To Be Arson, Public Help Needed In Finding Suspects

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08/24/2016 - 1:00 PM

Authorities suspect an apartment fire in a Waite Park complex Monday was arson.

The Minnesota Department of Public Safety State Fire Marshal Division says the tenants of Sundial apartments called 911 a little after 11 a.m. to report a fire spreading through the second floor hallway. Many were forced to jump out their second and third floor windows to safety and others were rescued by ladders.

Several people were taken to the St. Cloud Hospital for their injuries.

The Waite Park Police Department is encouraging anyone with information to call the Minnesota Arson Hotline at 1-800-723-2020. A reward of up to $5,000 is available for any tips that lead to an arrest. Tips can be submitted online HERE. Callers can remain anonymous by request.

Photo courtesy Arson Hotline.

Man Charged With Murder And Other Charges In Kidnapping Of 5-year-old Girl From Her Home Saturday

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08/24/2016 - 9:00 AM

Man Charged With Murder And Other Charges In Kidnapping Of 5-year-old Girl From Her Home Saturday
25-year-old Zachary Todd Anderson

MINNEAPOLIS (AP) - A 25-year-old man has been charged in the abduction, sexual assault and death of a 5-year-old girl from central Minnesota.

Authorities say Zachary Todd Anderson kidnapped Alayna Ertl early Saturday from her home in Watkins, about 70 miles northwest of Minneapolis. Alayna's body was found later that day.

Anderson was charged Tuesday with murder, criminal sexual conduct, kidnapping and motor vehicle theft.

Anderson, a family friend, was spending Friday night at the Ertl family's house. Alayna was last seen when she was put to bed around 2 a.m. Saturday. She and Anderson were gone by morning.

He was found hours later at his family's cabin near Motley, about 80 miles to the north. Authorities say he provided information that led them to Alayna's body.

Anderson most recently lived in Coon Rapids.