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Minnesota News Roundup: Final weekend of "Click It or Ticket" campaign

Minnesota law enforcement is highlighting the importance of buckling up, going into the final weekend of the "Click It Or Ticket" campaign. State Traffic Safety Director Donna Berger says seat belts keep you safely inside the car -- and notes that over half the people killed in traffic crashes who aren't buckled up are ejected from their vehicles. Berger says teens and young adults under 25 represent one-third of those fatalities. In a rollover crash the vehicle will often run over an ejected motorist.


Three Minnesota counties -- Hennepin, Ramsey and Washington -- will accept marriage license applications from same-sex couples beginning June 6th, even though the new state law doesn't go into effect until August 1st. Hennepin County Auditor/Treasurer Mark Chapin says they wanted to open up the application process now, so paperwork can be completed and same-sex couples who choose to be married August 1st can do so on that date. Chapin says they don't have numbers, but have seen a lot of excitement and are expecting higher-than-normal volume of applications. He says people can make appointments on-line if they want to avoid a wait.


Two Minnesota Salvation Army volunteers trained in emotional and spiritual care leave today (Fri) to spend two weeks in Oklahoma. Spokeswoman Annette Bauer says they'll have one-on-one time with tornado victims and "let them talk to us" about their fears and frustrations, which she says is therapeutic. Bauer says so far the Salvation Army in Minnesota has raised over 400-thousand dollars for Oklahoma tornado relief.


The month now ending was a rainy one across most of Minnesota. State Climatologist Greg Spoden says the southeastern part of the state especially got a lot of rain, and some counties will set new monthly total records. Spoden says some areas received well over 10 inches of rain in May. The good news: Only three-percent of Minnesota's landscape remains in severe drought.


The Independence Party holds its state convention tomorrow (Sat) at Saint Cloud State University, and delegates will vote on whether to drop the party's current prohibition on accepting PAC money. Independence Chairman Mark Jenkins says a number of I-P members support eliminating the ban, but also want to make sure voters know the PACs' names and how much money they gave. I-P state delegates will also decide whether the party supports legalizing marijuana, and they'll elect a state chairman and director.