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MINNESOTA NEWS ROUNDUP: Today will be the calm before the storm weather-wise

CHANHASSEN, Minn. -- Today (Fri) really is the calm before the storm -- or storms. Forecasters with the National Weather Service in Chanhassen say after a brief warmup today (Fri), central and southern Minnesota will take a one-two punch this weekend from two clipper systems moving in. Those regions are expected to see 3-to-5 more inches of snow tonight (Fri) through Sunday, and the second storm on Sunday is expected to produce blowing snow and blizzard conditions. Temperatures will head back below zero Sunday night through Wednesday.

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State Senator Kathy Sheran is calling for fast action to restore safety and calm at the state hospital following a deadly assault by on patient on another. The Chair of the Minnesota Senate Health and Human Services Committee is also calling for a comprehensive investigation into the assault. Sheran took state senators through the security hospital in Saint Peter late last year on the senate bonding tour, and it was pointed out that bonding money being requested would change the layout of the hospital units so that staff could better keep an eye on the patients. Currently the patient rooms are up stairs and around corners, out of sight of the hospital staff much of the time.

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A Dakota County Grand Jury has indicted a Hopkins man with the death of a 4-year-old boy. 26-year-old William Warr faces four murder counts in the beating death of Kee'ntay Peterson in Burnsville last June. The victim was the son of Warr's girlfriend, who had taken out a protection order against him that covered herself and her children. Bail has been set at $750,000 dollars.

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State officials are expecting additional money from Washington for low-income heating assistance, and are doubling the potential grant for those who heat with propane because of high prices and the brutal cold. State Commerce Commissioner Mike Rothman the possible grant for other fuels is up to 500 dollars, but they're increasing that to a thousand dollars for people who use propane. Rothman says people who need help should contact the state Commerce Department. He expects crisis payments could be available as early as next week. Rothman notes the additional federal funding will also allow the state to help more low-income people who heat with fuels other than propane.

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A fine and six-month suspended jail sentence for a Moorhead woman who admitted she was drunk last fall while caring for three children at her home daycare. Fifty-four-year-old Jayne Cote (KO'-tee) pleaded guilty to one count of child neglect and endangerment, and two other charges were dismissed. Prosecutor Lori Conroy says they're satisfied with the outcome. The defendant said she recently completed treatment and hasn't had a drink since last October.

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Charges are pending against a man accused of prompting the lockdown of an elementary school in Edina earlier this week. The man got inside Countryside Elementary School on Wednesday without checking in and is accused of going so to get away from police. The man was arrested the same day on accusations that he broke into two homes near the school. The lockdown was lifted after the suspect left the building.

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The 2013 Minnesota Minimum-Wage Report says there are more than 1.57 million hourly workers in Minnesota, and 83-thousand of them make 7-25 per hour or less. Labor and Industry Commissioner Ken Peterson says minimum-wage workers are not who you might think: 90 percent have a high school diploma and 58 percent have at least some college. The report also shows 40 percent of minimum-wage workers are older than 24, and women are more likely than men to be paid minimum wage.

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Vikings V-P Lester Bagley told lawmakers Thursday the team is "probably within a week or two" of finalizing an agreement with the U-of-M on capital improvements at T-C-F Bank Stadium so the Vikings can play there for the next two seasons. Outside temperatures prompted a question from State Representative Joe Atkins: Will the stadium be warm enough? Bagley responded planned improvements include weatherization issues and heating elements in the stadium.

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 Current and former NFL players sing the national anthem in a new Met Life Stadium ad welcoming fans to the site of Super Bowl 48 Minnesota Vikings wide receiver Greg Jennings sings a couple lines, beginning with "and the rockets' red glare." Jennings is being praised for his vocal performance. The Denver Broncos and Seattle Seahawks play for the NFL title February 2nd in New Jersey.

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A Newport woman has been charged with murder in the drug overdose death of her husband. 44-year-old Jennifer Johnson told police the night that her husband died last March that he drank several beers before she filled up a syringe and gave him 30-40 milligrams of her methadone. Washington County Attorney Pete Orput calls it, "Yet another example of the results caused by the recklessness of those in the drug culture." Johnson is charged with murder in the 3rd degree. If convicted she could be sent to prison for up to 25 years.

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Minnesota saw an increase in the number of schools reporting probable flu outbreaks last week and overall flu activity is still rated as widespread, but there are some indications the current flu season may have peaked. The weekly flu activity update from the Minnesota Health Department shows there were 10 probable outbreaks reported by schools and five confirmed outbreaks in nursing homes last week. At the same time, the number of flu-related hospitalizations dropped 40% from the previous week and the percentage of people coming into clinics seeking care for influenza-like symptoms was lower for a third straight week.

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