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MINNESOTA NEWS ROUND-UP: Fergus Falls man pleads not guilty in nephew's murder

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news Ellsworth, 54011
Ellsworth Wisconsin 126 S. Chestnut St. 54011

FERGUS FALLS, Minn.  --  A Fergus Falls man has pleaded not guilty to second-degree murder in the drug-related killing of his nephew. 

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Sixty-five-year-old Michael Allen Burris is charged in the May 2012 shooting death of Scott Burris from Ottertail.  His defense attorneys say Burris will claim it was self defense and he was intoxicated.  They also filed a motion to suppress several items of evidence.  The trial is expected to begin in September.  His son, Michael Kyle Burris, pleaded not guilty to helping his father dispose of the body. 

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A 22-year old man  has been arrested in connection with the armed robbery of the Northview Bank in Barnum on Thursday. The Carlton County Sheriff's Office says the man walked into the bank about 3:35 p.m. brandishing a handgun and demanding money from the teller. The suspect is being held in the Carlton County Jail pending formal charges.

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Veterans in Kandiyohi, Renville, Chippewa, Mcleod, Stearns, Lac Qui Parle and Yellow Medicine counties are eligible for money if their homes were damaged in June flooding in Minnesota. The Minnesota Department of Veterans' Affairs says they will reimburse veterans for damages related to the storms up to one-thousand dollars. The application deadline is August 31st. Some items that qualify for the grant money include major appliances, building materials, rental costs for equipment, shelter costs, licensed contractor costs and insurance deductibles.  For more information contact your county veterans' services officer.

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Governor Dayton has named his 16 appointees to a task force that will work on a plan to implement the use of medical marijuana in Minnesota.  The members come from law enforcement, health care, substance abuse and other backgrounds.  Four lawmakers will join the group, as will the commissioners of three state government agencies.  The 23 member Task Force on Medical Cannabis Therapeutic Research was developed by the 2014 Minnesota Legislature as part of its bill that authorized the limited use of medical marijuana.  It's expected the state's program will be ready for its first patients on July 1st next year.

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The books won't be closed on the state budget for Fiscal Year 2014 until mid-August, but the latest numbers are encouraging.  The latest quarterly budget update by the Minnesota Office of Management and Budget indicates overall state revenues were $235-million higher than predicted during the three-month period that ended June 30th. Individual income tax payments were almost two-percent higher than expected, and general sales tax collections were slightly above projections.  For the fiscal year, the report says the state took in about $19.2 billion, which was almost $170-million above the level predicted in February's forecast. That works out to a 7.3-percent increase in the state's general fund revenues when compared to fiscal year 2013.  State officials caution the report is preliminary.

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A car that was swept away by floodwaters near Oxbow Park near Byron nearly three weeks ago has finally been located.  The Olmsted County Sheriff's Department says the 2006 Ford Mustang was spotted by a park employee Monday and removed from the Zumbro River last night.  It was found about 100 feet from where its teenage driver and passenger escaped just before it disappeared in the roaring water of the flooding river on the south side of the park. The driver apparently took a wrong turn while heading through the park the night of June 20th.  Besides being full of sand, a fishing lure was found snagged on the car.  

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