Dad ‘ecstatic’ to have girls home

The father of two Minnesota girls found safe after being missing for more than two years says the family is “ecstatic” the teenagers are back home. Gianna and Samantha Rucki of Lakeville, now 16 and 17 respectively, hadn’t been seen in public since April 2013 after disappearing in a custody dispute. Police with a search warrant found the girls at a horse farm in western Minnesota on Wednesday.

The girls’ father, David Rucki, thanked authorities for finding the girls. In a statement Friday, he called it “a very emotional time for all involved” and asked for privacy for the family. The girls’ mother, Sandra Grazzini-Rucki, was arrested last month in Florida but had declined to provide information on the girls’ whereabouts to investigators. She remains in jail.


St. Louis County

Man, 53, killed in ATV crash

A 53-year-old man has died in an all-terrain vehicle crash in northeastern Minnesota.

The St. Louis County Sheriff’s Office was called to the crash Friday night in rural Clinton Township. Authorities say Frank Kalata, from the town of Iron, was operating a four-wheel ATV when he lost control and rolled the machine.

Kalata was thrown from the ATV and suffered severe head injuries. He was flown to a Duluth hospital, where he was pronounced dead.



Snow swoops in on state, region

Wintry weather finally made an appearance across the Midwest on Saturday, with snow canceling hundreds of flights in Chicago and causing travel delays in several states.

Parts of northern Minnesota saw flurries, and residents prepared for their first light snows, but the state missed the brunt of Friday and Saturday’s storm.

In the Duluth area, residents faced a chilly weekend. Saturday brought snow flurries, and the National Weather Service expected a high of about 12 degrees overnight into Sunday, when there is a 40 to 50 percent chance of snow showers and gusty winds Sunday afternoon.

Chicago’s O’Hare International Airport had 5.4 inches of snow by Saturday morning. Southeastern South Dakota got up to 18 inches of snow on Friday. The storm system dumped from 3 to 20 inches of snow across parts of Iowa, Wisconsin, Illinois and Indiana.

Associated Press, STAFF