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MINNESOTA NEWS ROUNDUP: O.J.'s former girlfriend a no-show for jail

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MOORHEAD, Minn. – The ex-girlfriend of former football star O.J. Simpson has failed to report to jail as ordered by a Clay County judge on Friday to begin serving a 34-day sentence on a burglary and drug possession conviction.

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Judge Steven Cahill denied a request by Christie Prody, 38, at her Friday sentencing in Clay County court to have until the weekend was over before reporting to jail because her mother had to work and she had no one to care for her 2-year-old daughter.

Cahill denied the request and ordered Prody to report to the Clay County Jail by 7 p.m. last Friday to begin serving a 45-day sentence on second-degree burglary and fifth-degree possession of drugs, both felonies. Prody was given credit for 11 days already served, as well as 10 years of probation.

Prody pleaded guilty in May after being accused in April 2012 of breaking into a Moorhead couple’s home to steal drugs. Court documents say Prody worked for the couple for several months as an in-home care assistant.

Clay County jail officials confirmed Monday morning that Prody was not in their custody.

Lt. Chad Hagen, in the Warrants Division of the Clay County Sheriff’s Department, said he expected a warrant to be issued for Prody’s arrest.

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The man accused of murdering two teens last Thanksgiving at his rural Little Falls home was in court yesterday (Mon). Byron Smith was charged in November with two counts of second-degree murder for the deaths of Little Falls teens Nicholas Brady and Haile Kifer. Prosecutors say he admitted to shooting them after they allegedly broke into his home. Smith's lawyers told the court their client would wait until an August hearing to enter a plea in the case. The judge also granted the prosecution more time to gather information concerning Brady and Kifer's past juvenile criminal history to turn over to Smith's legal team. Smith will be back in court on August 30 for a lengthier omnibus hearing. 

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An astounding 44 cats have been removed from a house in Gilbert, and police say there may still be more inside. Officers served a search warrant on the home, after a neighbor called to complain about the number of cats roaming the property. Police won't speculate on the exact number of cats that may be removed when all is said and done. They say the owner of the house is cooperating. 

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The contract for two new Vikings stadium parking garages has been awarded. The Minnesota Sports Facilities Authority and Ryan Companies reached a basic agreement on Monday and the final details still must be worked out. Officials say that the agreement moves forward a 400-million-dollar redevelopment plan, which includes two new 20-story office towers, 300 apartments and a new park. 

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One of Minnesota's biggest attractions is about to get larger. Construction will start this fall on a quarter-billion-dollar addition to the Mall of America? north side that will include up to 50 new shops, a new food court, new atrium and hotel. Once the projects are complete, the mall will double in size. 

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Minnesota's corn crop is behind this year, but it looks like it will still be knee-high by the Fourth of July. The weekly crop report from the U.S. Department of Agriculture says corn statewide grew an average of 7 inches last week, and is now about 17 inches tall. Meteorologist Brad Rippey says that has come amid, finally, some favorable weather. Seven inches is still far below last year's maximum height of 47 inches and the average of 32 inches. The poorer conditions are in the wettest areas of Minnesota and Iowa.

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