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MINNESOTA NEWS ROUND-UP: Buhl man hurt in snowmobile accident

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VIRGINIA, Minn. - A Buhl man is hospitalized in Duluth after suffering serious injuries in a snowmobile crash Monday afternoon on a trail in Virginia. 

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Police say the 32-year-old man was tossed from the machine and struck a power pole.  He was transported by helicopter to St. Luke's Hospital for treatment of head injuries.  The victim's name and condition are not immediately available. The crash is still under investigation.  

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A security breach that compromised hundreds of debit and credit cards in Becker County has been traced to Lakes Liquor in Detroit Lakes.  Customers who used a card at the store between October 27th and November 25th may be affected.  Information involved customer names, credit or debit card numbers, the card's expiration date and security code.  People should check their credit report, review account statements and contact the bank that issued the card to check for suspicious or unusual activity.

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USDA's Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service has issued its annual permit to allow a team of reindeer to join the jolly old elf on his Christmas Eve travels to Minnesota and the rest of the country.  Peter Merrill of USDA-APHIS says a permit is necessary for anyone bringing a live animal into the U.S.  He says Santa or any applicant has to tell then when they're coming, where they're entering the U.S, what they're bringing and how long they're going to be in the country.  The permit also allows Santa's reindeer to be certified and properly identified.

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Minnesota children can keep an eye on Old Saint Nick's journey around the globe tonight (Tue).  For more than 50 years, the North American Aerospace Defense Command (NORAD) has been tracking Santa on Christmas Eve and providing up-to-date information about Santa's whereabouts.  U.S. Army Capt. Ruth Castro says NORAD uses the latest technology to pin down the exact location of the reindeer-powered sleigh.  She says the military's infrared radar can detect Rudolph's red nose.  Trackers can find Santa's whereabouts online at noradsanta.org.  And this year, tracking is also available on smart phones, Facebook, Twitter and YouTube, or by calling 1-877-HI-NORAD.

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Thirty Somali workers walked off their jobs in Rochester after they were told to stop religious practices, or leave -- but the company insists problems were solely related to food safety.  The workers say that at first they were told they could no longer wash before prayer, and then they were told they could no longer pray at all. That's when 30 of them walked out.  KAAL TV is reporting that Reichel Foods say the problem was over sanitation, not religious practices, and they worked with Somali community leaders to find a solution  They are arranging for a room for the workers to pray in, which will also help the company uphold sanitation regulations.  All 30 workers were offered their jobs back.  The Minnesota Department of Human Rights says Reichel Foods has no discrimination cases on their record.

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Minnesota-based a cappella group Home Free is the winner of NBC-TV's "The Sing Off" competition.  The Mankato natives took first place last night (Mon) and won a recording contract, plus $100,000.  Home Free also announced a new video posted on their Facebook page which is set entirely in Mankato.  The vocal band is on tour with a stop this weekend in Fort Lauderdale, Florida.    

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