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19-year-old from southeastern Minnesota named Princess Kay

FALCON HEIGHTS, Minn. (AP) – A 19-year-old college student from southeastern Minnesota has been crowned the 63rd Princess Kay of the Milky Way.

Goodhue County representative Haley Hinrichs of Goodhue received the honor Wednesday evening at the Minnesota State Fairgrounds. She’ll serve as the official goodwill ambassador for more than 3,000 Minnesota dairy farm families.

Hinrichs attends Iowa State University, where she’s pursuing a degree in agriculture education with an emphasis in communications.

County dairy princesses from across Minnesota competed for the Princess Kay title.

Meghan Skiba of Cambridge, representing Isanti County, and Morgan Krause of Buffalo, representing Brown County, were runners-up.

Hinrichs’ first official duty will be sitting in a rotating cooler on opening day of the Minnesota State Fair to have her likeness sculpted in a 90-pound block of butter.

Alaska identifies first case of H5N2 bird flu

ANCHORAGE, Alaska (AP) — The bird flu strain that wiped out millions of turkeys and chickens in the Midwest last year has been found in Alaska for the first time.

State health officials say a positive sample of a highly pathogenic H5N2 strain of avian flu came from a mallard duck. It was among wild bird samples collected during a banding project at a Fairbanks area waterfowl refuge earlier this month.

Officials say the U.S. Department of Agriculture will boost surveillance efforts in the Lower 48 and notify authorities in Mexico and Canada since wild birds migrate south from Alaska.

The avian flu outbreak led to the deaths of 49 million chickens and turkeys in 15 states last year.

Redfield Energy helps pump free ethanol at Sturgis rally

Redfield Energy participated in free fuel happy hours at the Sturgis Motorcycle Rally earlier this month.

From 1 to 4 p.m. Aug. 8-10, the Renewable Fuels Association pumped free 93 octane, 10-percent ethanol blend at the Buffalo Chip Campground.

The association used the event to educate consumers regarding ethanol fuel in motorcycles.

The general perception is that ethanol is bad for motorcycles, according to information from Renewable Fuels Association.

“The perception is wrong, and one that deserves attention,” the news release said.

According to the Renewable Fuels Association, every motorcycle manufacturer that sells products in the U.S. notes in owner’s manuals that ethanol blends up to 10 percent are safe for motorcycles.

Dana Siefkes-Lewis, chief administrative officer at Redfield Energy, attended the rally and contributed to the Renewable Fuels Association’s efforts.

–– Staff reports

3 tribal colleges in South Dakota get USDA grant funding

HURON, S.D. (AP) – The U.S. Department of Agriculture is providing $429,000 in grants to three tribal colleges in South Dakota.

The funding will help the colleges upgrade infrastructure, buy equipment and improve educational facilities.

Rural Development Under Secretary Lisa Mensah says education is one of the best investments that can be made in the future of rural America.

In South Dakota, Oglala Lakota College in Kyle will get $143,000 to fix a generator and make renovations on campus; Sinte Gleska University in Mission will get $143,000 for a security system improvement; and Sisseton Wahpeton College in Sisseton will get $143,000 to be spent on student housing.