24-Year-Old Woman Dies in Crash on Hwy 13: Pick of Our Patches

Our pick of recent Patch stories from around the south metro.


From Mendota Heights...

A 24-year-old Eagan woman was killed and another person injured in a fatal, two-car collision near Fort Snelling that took place just before 8 a.m. Friday, Minnesota State Patrol investigators say.

Taya N. Clifford, of Eagan, was driving a 2007 Mazda passenger car on Hwy. 13 when her vehicle was struck by a Dodge Caravan driven by 53-year-old Michael A. Klasen of St. Paul, according to the state patrol. The Pioneer Press reports that Clifford lost control of her vehicle, which spun into oncoming traffic and was broadsided by Klasen's van.

Police say Klasen was transported to Regions Hospital with minor injuries.  The accident took place near the intersection of Hwy. 13 and Interstate 494.

Significant snowfall snarled traffic and created dangerous traveling conditions for many Twin Cities commuters Friday morning. However, it is not yet known if the weather contributed to the crash on the border of Eagan and Mendota Heights.


From Inver Grove Heights:

District 197 Kindergarteners 'Take Teachers Home' With Pre-Recorded iPod Shuffles

For kindergarten students at District 197's five elementary schools, their classroom teacher's reading voice isn't limited to the school day.

With the "Take My Teacher Home" curriculum, ISD 197 kindergarten teachers program their students' iPod Shuffles to complement take-home packets.

"Each Kindergarten teacher in our district recorded themselves reading 15 different stories," said Somerset kindergarten teacher Kari Redding in a district video. "The students really benefit from hearing their own classroom teacher's voice."

As students listen to the recordings, they follow along in their books and participate in the alphabet activities.

The program was funded by the ISD 197 Educational Foundation.

"We are excited to be able to return funds to the district," Scott Van, the foundation's president, said. "This is exactly the type of project that we love to fund."

Redding said the program has paid dividends.

"We've especially noticed the students that came into kindergarten with very little knowledge of their letters and sounds have gotten a really big boost for using this program."


From Shakopee...

Stanley Crooks Talks Shakopee Mdewakanton Sovereignty, Canterbury Deal in Rare Interview Weeks Before Death

Stanley Crooks died in August 2012 after leading the Shakopee Mdewakanton Sioux Community for more than 20 years.

Just weeks before his death, he spoke to the "Native Report" magazine program of a Duluth television station, WDSE. (The interview with Crooks starts at the 17 minute, 40 second mark in the video.)

His interview touched on the tribe's sovereignty, its history and its deal with Canterbury Park.

"There's only one sovereignty, and it's the ability of a nation to create its own destiny," he says in the video. "As conquered people, we do have limited sovereignty."

When Crooks is asked, "Where do you go from here?" tears come to his eyes and emotion to his throat.

"As we have been able to reach out and help other tribes, it's a great feeling of accomplishment, and we certainly want to continue that," he replies. "We're one with the earth, and we need to maintain that going forward, and our children need to be taught and understand that: We'll always be Indian people."


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