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MINNESOTA NEWS ROUNDUP: Gov. Dayton says he will sign medical marijuana bill soon

News Ellsworth,Wisconsin 54011 http://www.piercecountyherald.com/sites/default/files/styles/square_300/public/field/image/Mark%20Dayton_2.jpg?itok=tQdY7KDG
MINNESOTA NEWS ROUNDUP: Gov. Dayton says he will sign medical marijuana bill soon
Ellsworth Wisconsin 126 S. Chestnut St. 54011

ST. PAUL -- Governor Dayton will be signing legislation legalizing medical marijuana within the next few days.  He spoke to reporters yesterday to wrap up a session that was called to eliminate outdated laws and clarify others.  More than one-thousand outdated laws were undone. The governor noted he's not sure yet whether or not he will sign a bill to ban online lottery sales.

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A St. Paul woman is headed to prison for her role in the murder of her husband last summer.  A Ramsey County jury convicted 25-year-old Heather Horst of aiding and abetting first and second degree murder and conspiracy to commit both first and second degree murder.  Brandon Horst was shot through the right eye while he slept on August 5, 2013, and his wife was convicted of plotting his murder.  She offered friend Aaron Allen 100-thousand dollars to kill her husband, and Allen testified against Horst at her trial.

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MetLife and Transamerica will have to be more aggressive notifying people when they can claim life insurance benefits, under an agreement reached with the state.  Commerce Commissioner Mike Rothman says if a deceased had both an annuity policy and life insurance, the companies would pay the annuities but not automatically pay the life insurance if the beneficiaries did not request it.  Rothman says now Transamerica and MetLife are required "to proactively and affirmatively reach out to the beneficiaries, so that those people can get the money."  For more information, contact the Minnesota Department of Commerce.

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Crews are continuing to search for a 21-year-old Coon Rapids man swept away by the current in the St. Croix River on Sunday night while trying to rescue his eleven-year-old nephew.  Toufue Vang was unable to reach Calvin Yang, who was saved by Ken Hawj of St. Paul after Vang was carried off.  The search has been hampered by fast currents in the river in Chisago County. 

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The D-N-R's goal of zero deaths on Minnesota waters this Memorial Day weekend was dashed by two apparent drownings on the Saint Croix (CROY) and Mississippi Rivers.  Water safety specialist Kara (KARE'-uh) Owens says so far this year Minnesota has six confirmed drownings with a seventh person still missing, compared to ten at this time last year.  Owens says you should always wear a life jacket any time you are near a lake, river or stream.  The good news is there were zero boating fatalities in Minnesota over the holiday weekend.  

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A judge has sentenced a man from Kindred, North Dakota -- just across the border from Barnesville -- to 30 days in jail plus he'll have to make presentations on the dangers of texting and driving.  21-year-old Nicholas Milbrandt pleaded guilty to negligent homicide.  He was going at least 90 miles an hour and texting when he ran into the back of Royce Rodacker's car last August on I-94 west of Fargo.  Milbrandt's sentence may include speaking at schools and broadcast public service announcements.

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Thousands of area kids are preparing to graduate from high school in the next few weeks.  That means college, and big bills that come with it, are next.  Tomorrow (Thursday) is national "5-29 Day," referring to the I-R-S code for college saving.  It's to call attention to the importance of saving money for post-secondary education.  Robert Stern, program manager for the Minnesota College Savings Plan, says you can start a college savings plan for as little as $25.  Stern says the average account has around $18,000 in it, well below the expected cost of a four-year degree.  The plan is flexible, you can put in a lump sum when you want, or have money deducted from each paycheck.  For more information, or to set up an account, go to the website - mnsaves.org.

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A Benton County judge has set bail for two men charged in the shooting death of a Foley man.  Bail was set at one-million dollars for 25-year-old Travis McKinney and 24-year-old Joshua Smith's bail was set at 500-thousand dollars.  The two are allegedly involved in the shooting death of 31-year-old Jamie Wylie, who went missing in December.  Wylie's body was found in late March behind an east St. Cloud business.  According to the criminal complaint, McKinney shot Wylie once in the hip and once in the neck and facial area.  It's believed Smith was on a methamphetamine binge and had become upset with Wylie who had been staying with the suspects.  Smith allegedly thought Wylie had become obsessed with a woman he knew and feared the other man might stalk her or sexually assault her.  Smith also believed Wylie was a snitch.  McKinney faces second degree murder charges.  Smith has been charged with aiding and abetting second degree murder. 

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A Duluth man faces charges following a violent home invasion earlier this month.  The Duluth Police Department says Tommy Ray Morgan Senior is charged with first degree burglary, assault and robbery.  According to authorities, Morgan forced his way into a home and demanded the resident's valuables.  When the victim resisted he allegedly hit her in the face with a glass vase, severely cutting and bruising her.  Prior to his arrest, Morgan was on intensive supervised release for a previous arrest, which required that he wear a G-P-S bracelet.  Investigators tracked Morgan down to purchases he made with the victim's credit cards.  They also determined from the G-P-S tracking company that he had been inside the victim's home at the time of the home invasion.  He cut the bracelet off the next day.

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A St. Michael man will get a new trial after the state Court of Appeals ruled that the introduction of his previous criminal history unfairly prejudiced the jury.  Paul Welle was a personal trainer who was convicted of first-degree manslaughter and unintentional second-degree murder in the death of Dale Anderson of Duluth outside the Powerhouse Bar in Proctor in 2011.  Welle had punched the 60-year-old man during an argument outside the bar, and Anderson fell, hit his head, and later died.  During the trial Welle's lawyer claimed he acted in self defense.  Appellate judges determined that the admission of three prior assaults constituted "impermissible character evidence."

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A Moorhead woman has been sentenced to 10 years in prison in the stabbing death of a Fargo man.  26-year-old Rolandas House was killed in what police believe was a drug-related murder, and 22-year-old Tamara Clapper is one of four people charged in the March 14 death.  Nineteen-year-old Wade Garrett of Fargo admitted to stabbing House multiple times and was sentenced earlier to 24 years in prison.  Clapper's sentence was part of a joint recommendation by her lawyer and Cass County prosecutors.  Her father and brother are also charged in the case.

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A Goodhue County man was killed in a tractor accident.  Sheriff's deputies say 56-year-old Larry Betcher of Northfield was found Friday under a tractor in a field about six miles west of Lake City.  Investigators say it looks like Betcher was driving down a hill when the front wheel hit an embankment and the tractor flipped over on top of him.

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A 78-year-old woman is hospitalized after her car crashed into an animal hospital in Cottage Grove yesterday (Tue).  Police say it's not clear whether the woman had a medical emergency or simply confused the brake and gas pedals.  A customer sitting in the animal hospital's front lobby when the crash occurred was not hurt.

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A former state lawmaker hoping to block the planned construction of a new Minnesota Senate office building did not make yesterday's (Tue) deadline to post an $11 million surety bond, meant to protect taxpayers from financial losses that could occur if construction is delayed and ex-Representative Jim Knoblach loses his fight.  The Court of Appeals demanded the bond last week, saying without the financial guarantee the case would be dismissed.  Knoblach is planning to file a formal appeal with the state Supreme Court.  Knoblach is suing to stop construction because he believes lawmaker's approval of the building was illegal because it was part of a bill requiring a simple majority not a super majority like other capital projects.

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Rochester police continue to investigate a large fight that broke out early Saturday at an apartment complex in the city.  Responding officers found three people had been stabbed during the brawl.  The three male victims, ages 17, 19  and 20, were taken to the hospital and two underwent surgery.  Police later arested 21-year-old Mohamed June and 20-year-old Mohamed Ahmed.  Investigators believe there was a large party at the complex and the fight broke out when unwanted guests showed up.  The melee involved between 30 and 40 people, who were fighting both inside and outside the building.

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