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Minnesota News Roundup: Minnesota man killed in train accident

A man was struck and killed by a train this morning (Fri) in the north Metro. Amtrak officials reported one of their passenger trains hit a man just after midnight in Fridley. The victim was pronounced dead at the scene, no other information has been released. An investigation is underway.

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Last year there were record levels of heroin deaths and overdoses in the Twin Cities area , and the sheriff of Hennepin County warned in a press conference yesterday (Thu) that the numbers could climb even higher this year. Sheriff Rich Stanek says it's not just a problem in one county, but statewide, and the number of heroin seizures went up by 78 percent between 2010 and 2011, and fatalities have also risen. Stanek says there has been an 85 percent increase compared to the previous year, and the statewide number is about 100 deaths in 2012. Minneapolis has been flooded by Mexican drug cartels with massive amounts of cheap heroin that is nearly pure, and former state chemical health director Carol Falkowski describes the supply as "limitless."

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A Minneapolis man has pled guilty to assaulting a woman after breaking into her home last year, but 43-year-old Nathan Jones says he doesn't remember forcing her into oral sex because he was high on a bunch of substances, including Xanax, ecstasy, and embalming fluid. Jones told the judge he believes he is guilty of first degree criminal sexual conduct because of the overwhelming evidence against him. That evidence includes D-N-A recovered from a knife left behind in the Minneapolis victim's home, which was matched to Jones. Jones has been convicted of rape in the past and is expected to be sentenced to 30 years in prison at a hearing in September.

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A Sturgeon Lake man has been charged with stalking, after investigators say he created a fake profile on an online dating site in order to follow his ex-wife. Dakota County Prosecutors say 36-year-old Brian Cornelius struck up an online friendship with his ex, who now lives in West St. Paul, and spied on her via webcam and once even convinced her not to attend a court hearing concerning an order of protection she intended to file against him. The ruse fell apart after the woman became suspicious when Corenelius started showing up at places she told the bogus "Aaron Carpenter" she would be, and "Carpenter" began saying things only Cornelius would know. He is charged with two counts of stalking in will be in court July 1.

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The head of the American Civil Liberties Union Minnesota chapter says it's appalling that the National Security Agency was able to get access to millions of Verizon customers' cellphone records ACLU's Charles Samuelson says up until the last Supreme Court decision, the U.S. always obtained warrants in individual cases. Samuelson says investigators need to demonstrate probable cause that a crime was committed in order to violate someone's privacy. Samuelson says the ACLU does support individualized warrants, but in this case there's no way all Verizon customers in the country posed a threat to national security. Verizon has been banned from discussing the matter.

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Embattled congresswoman Michele Bachmann says she's not going away, despite the announcement that she would not run for reelection. In an exclusive interview with Fox News Channel's Sean Hannity, Bachmann said she may run for another public office but gave no specific plans for her future. Hannity didn't ask about the investigations into alleged campaign finance violations connected to her 2012 presidential campaign. Bachmann stuck with predictable themes such as her ongoing criticism of the Affordable Care Act and the Obama administration. Hannity is a long-time Bachmann supporter, and in 2010 he and his wife gave $10,000 to Bachmann's political action committee, MichelePAC. The Federal Election Commission (FEC) has accused Bachmann of improperly using funds from that PAC to make under the table payments to presidential campaign aides.

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Saint Paul boosters have their mobile visitor center en route to this weekend's PrideFest in Milwaukee. The goal: pick up some wedding business from across the border when same-sex marriage becomes legal in Minnesota August 1st. Visit Saint Paul's Caroline Kirchgesler says Pridefest Milwaukee gives them a great chance to get in front of a lot of people and share why Saint Paul is the perfect destination for a wedding, a long weekend, or even a full-fledged vacation. Kirchgesler says Saint Paul's mobile visitor center will be stationed near the main gate at Milwaukee PrideFest.

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