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MINNESOTA NEWS ROUND-UP: Investigation continues into tragic car accident in St. Louis Park

ST. LOUIS PARK, Minn. -   Authorities continue to investigate after a car plunged into a St. Louis Park pond Thursday, leaving two children dead and three others in serious condition.

Twenty-three-year-old Marion Guerrido, mother of three of the children, was driving and was able to get out of the vehicle safely.  State Patrol Lieutenant Eric Roeske confirms Guerrido did not have a valid driver's license.  Roeske says it's not yet clear what caused the vehicle to go into the pond.  Roeske says it could be several weeks before the investigation is complete. 

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Former Vice President Walter Mondale says President Kennedy's assassination 50 years ago today was perhaps the saddest single moment in American history.  Mondale, who was Minnesota attorney general at the time, says his secretary came in and told him the news she had heard on the radio and "we just sat there.  There was nothing we could do."  Mondale says he doesn't think he's ever been more depressed.  Mondale says he has never believed Kennedy was the victim of a conspiracy.  He says the Warren Commission report was flawed and helped keep the conspiracy-theory people at work.  But former Governor Jesse Ventura says the Kennedy assassination *was* a conspiracy, and lays out 63 reasons why he thinks so in his new book, "They Shot Our President."  Ventura wraps up his book-signing tour tonight in Saint Cloud.

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Authorities have identified the woman killed in a two-vehicle crash Thursday morning near St. Joseph.  The Stearns County Sheriff's Office says a car driven by 90-year-old Marcella Cheeley of Cold Spring was struck on the driver's side by a semi hauling a heavy load of sand  Cheeley died at the scene.  The semi driver, 58-year-old Aaron Birr of Eden Valley, was injured when the tractor tipped over and lost its load.  He was transported to St. Cloud Hospital.  The crash remains under investigation. 

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Congressman Keith Ellison (DFL-Minneapoilis) has introduced a bill to eliminate tax loopholes and subsidies that support the oil, gas and coal industries.  Ellison is sponsoring the End Polluter Welfare Act of 2013 as House and Senate negotiators look for ways to lower deficits.  It would remove tax breaks, close loopholes, end taxpayer-funded fossil fuel research, and prevent companies from escaping liability for spills or clean-up costs.  Those subsidies are expected to cost taxpayers more than 100-billion dollars in the next decade.  Ellison says "we need to invest in the American people by creating good jobs and ending cuts to food assistance instead of throwing tens of billions of dollars at one of the biggest and most profitable industries in the world."  

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Sarah Palin signed copies of "Good Tidings and Great Joy: Protecting the Heart of Christmas" at the Mall of America last evening.  The former Alaska governor's new book calls on readers to defend and openly celebrate the joys of their Christianity, and say to one another "Merry Christmas!".  Palin received the vice presidential nomination at the 2008 Republican National Convention in Saint Paul.  

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