Minnesota officials are concerned about an increase in snowmobile fatalities.

Last winter, 10 riders were killed in snowmobile crashes, up from five fatalities the year before. So far this winter, three riders have died and others have had close calls, including snowmobiles that have gone through the ice. Earlier this month, a snowmobiler hit and critically injured a man who was walking on an ice-covered lake.

Minnesota Department of Natural Resources officials recommend:

• Stay on marked trails, making it less likely a rider will strike an obstacle or trespass onto private property. Check trail conditions.

• Don’t drink and ride. Drinking plays a role in about 60% of fatal crashes.

• Don’t speed. Many serious fatal crashes occur when a speeding snowmobiler loses control or strikes an object.

• Be careful on iced-over lakes and ponds. It takes a depth of at least 5 to 7 inches of new, clear ice to support a snowmobiler and rider.

• Take a safety course. It’s required for those born after 1976 and recommended for everyone.

For additional safety tips, go to mndnr.gov/snowmobiling/safety.html.

Mary Lynn Smith


Community invited to Beatles exhibit

The public has just two days left to see a Beatles exhibit at the historic Chateau Theatre in Rochester free of charge.

The theater is hosting the Magical History Tour: A Beatles Memorabilia Exhibition and related programming.

Destination Medical Center (DMC) is supporting an initiative called Chateau on Us, with free admission on Monday and again on Jan. 6 from 10 a.m. to 8 p.m. Tickets to the Beatles exhibit on other days are $15 for adults, $13 for seniors, military and college students, and $8 for children ages 6 to 18.

The theater is at 15 SW. 1st St.

St. Paul-based Exhibits Development Group is running the theater and booked the Beatles show to mark its renovation and recent reopening.

The exhibition is a collaboration between EDG and Peter Miniaci & Associates Collective; it has no association with the Beatles or Apple Corps Ltd. Memberships to the Chateau Theatre cost $30 to $100 a year. Members save on tickets and receive other benefits, such as early entry to exhibitions.

DMC is a Mayo Clinic-driven initiative to attract investment in health care, medicine and research. The project will spend billions of private dollars and $585 million in public money over 20 years.

Dan Browning