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MINNESOTA NEWS ROUND-UP: Winter weather returns to the state

CHANHASSEN, Minn. - Winter weather is making a return to Minnesota.  The National Weather Service in Chanhassen says the northern tier of counties stretching across Minnesota are under a winter weather advisory until Wednesday evening, with up to five inches of snow expected today and more possible over the next several days.

The Rochester area is expected to get several inches of snow over the next few days, and later in the week overnight windchills as low as 20 below.  Southwest Minnesota may see freezing rain today (Mon) and tonight, followed by light snowfall, and bitter windchills to end the week.

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A 22-year-old Anoka man remains missing after two weeks.  Anoka Police and the Minnesota Bureau of Criminal Apprehension posted a missing alert on Saturday as they search for Kevin Casserly.  He has not been in contact with any family, friends or coworkers and his car was found with all his belongings inside in Anoka.  According to family members, Casserly  has struggled with drug addiction before but they don't think he's off the wagon.  He is white, six-feet-one, and weighs around 150 pounds with brown  hair, brown eyes and a chipped front tooth.

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A person who led police on an eight-mile car chase in St.  Paul on Friday night is still hospitalized after being shot by police.  St.  Paul Police on Sunday identified the officers involved as Darin McDonald and Michael Tschida.  The suspect was shot three times and is expected to be  charged with fleeing police once doctors clear him for release.  Officers  tried to pull the man over for a traffic violation, and during the chase a  passenger got out of the vehicle and ran off.

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Congressman Tom Cole (R-Oklahoma) says the rollout of the affordable care act is going to be an unfolding disaster for President Obama.  Speaking yesterday (Sun) on ABC's "This Week," the Oklahoma Republican said while there will be some winners under Obamacare, there will be millions of losers too.  Cole says rates will be going up, people who like their insurance will be losing it and  as things unfold Obamacare "Will be an unmitigated political disaster for the president." Minnesota U.S. Representative Keith Ellison (DFL-Minneapolis) countered saying he thinks Democrats will continue to hold the line and won't support more delays.  The Minnesota Democrat said there have been healthcare nightmares for decades and that down the road people will be able to get medical care and not worry about being  dropped from insurance plans.

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There's a court hearing in Saint Paul this morning (930am) regarding the release of a list of Catholic priests in Minnesota who are accused of sexually abusing minors.  On November 11th, Archbishop John Nienstedt (NINE'-sted) said with the court's permission, they'll disclose the names of priests currently living in the archdiocese "who we know have substantiated claims against them."  Victims' attorney Mike Finnegan says the 2009 court order in question blocks him, colleague Jeff Anderson and victims from publicizing a list of 33 priests accused of molesting children -- but Finnegan contends that order does *not* apply to the archdiocese.  The archdiocese contends they need the court's permission.

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Trial begins today for an Apple Valley man indicted on first- and second-degree murder charges in the deaths of his wife and her unborn child (12/2).  Thirty-seven-year-old Roger Holland is accused of strangling Margorie Holland, also 37-years-old, in their townhome on March 7th.  Holland initially called police to report his pregnant wife was lying at the bottom of the stairs and was not breathing.  The medical examiner later determined Margorie died of strangulation, not a fall down stairs.  The criminal complaint say she sent Roger a text the night before saying she intended to divorce him.  The trial is expected to last three weeks. 

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State Fire Marshal Jerry Rosendahl is retiring this week after ten years as Minnesota's top fire official - and a 40-year career in public service (12/3).  Rosendahl has overseen an increase in fire education programs and a downward trend in fires and fatalities.  Rosendahl says a lot factors are involved in bringing fire statistics down including fire/building codes and smoke alarms.  Former Elk River Fire Chief Bruce West will replace Rosendahl effective on Wednesday.

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U.S. Senator Amy Klobuchar (DFL-Plymouth) is optimistic a Farm Bill will be passed soon.  Klobuchar is on the conference committee and says if a bill isn't passed by the end of this year it could also be done as part of a budget deal in January.  But she says details need to be negotiated by people on the agriculture committee from farm states who understand the repercussions of making one change or another instead of people in a back room on the budget committee who don't know about farm policy.  Klobuchar says the Senate Farm Bill reduces the deficit by $24 billion, strengthens crop insurance, eliminates direct payments and supports dairy producers -- and she says it has strong energy and conservation measures.  The big disagreement between the Republican-controlled House and the Democrat-controlled Senate is over food stamps.

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Cyber Monday offers online shoppers a second chance at finding holiday bargains.  It can also be an opportunity for scammers to take advantage of frazzled shoppers.  Dan Hendrickson with the Minnesota Better Business Burueau warns that if a deal seems too good to be true, it probably is.  He says fake sites spring up this time of year in an effort get victims' credt card numbers. Hendrickson says once the fake site has your credit card number the damage is done.  He advises you check with the Better Business Bureau ahead of time to see if a site is trustworthy. 

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The Minnesota Department of Commerce is urging parents to check their lists twice this holiday season--their toy safety lists--that is.  The department regulates consumer toy safety along with a federal commission.  Commerce Commissioner Mike Rothman says you can get the latest info on hazardous toys and product recalls at the department's Consumer Help Line by calling 800-657-3602 or online at mn-dot-gov-slash-commerce.  (mn.gov/commerce) 

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Marshall, Fergus Falls and Mountain Iron are the locations as state education officials set up three more "Centers of Excellence" to provide assistance to teachers at schools where students are struggling.  Education Commissioner Brenda Cassellius says the entire state will benefit if we can eliminate transportation barriers for teachers in rural Minnesota.  Regional centers to provide support to teachers were established earlier in Thief River Falls, Saint Cloud and Rochester.

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A Minnesota man says he stole a truck because he was being chased by zombies.  Officials with the "Minneapolis Star Tribune" report that Garrett Hurlbut stole a delivery truck belonging to the newspaper as its driver was delivering the paper to a convenience store in Apple Valley.  Police quickly caught up with Hurlbut after he ditched the truck several blocks from the store.  He apparently told officers that he had been "running from zombies" when he stole the vehicle.  Hurlbut was found to have a blood alcohol level of more than twice the legal limit.  After being taken to the hospital, he was charged with vehicle theft. 

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