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MINNESOTA NEWS ROUND-UP: Ventura defamation trial under way in federal court

ST. PAUL - Former Minnesota Governor Jesse Ventura's defamation lawsuit against the widow of slain "American Sniper" author Chris Kyle is getting under way in federal court. 

Ventura alleges that Kyle, who is regarded as the deadliest sniper in U.S. history, defamed him in his best-selling book.  In 2012 Kyle gave his version of an alleged bar fight with Ventura to Bill O'Reilly.  Kyle claimed that Ventura was bad mouthing the war, President Bush and America so he hit him and Ventura went down.  Ventura claims the fight never happened.  Kyle and a friend were killed in February 2013 at a Texas gun range.  Kyle's widow, Taya Kyle, is now the defendant in Ventura's case.


Military veterans looking for jobs, attending job interviews or skills training, or looking for new housing in Minnesota are eligible for three free nights at any Hilton Hotel in Minnesota.  Minnesota is part of a pilot program along with three other states that is providing free hotel accomodations to vets searching for jobs outside the regions where they live.  According to Hilton Hotel Worldwide, the average hotel stay in Twin Cities metro is $200 per night. 


A Princeton woman is dead after an ATV accident Monday afternoon near Emily.  The Crow Wing County Sheriff's Office says the 36-year-old drove through a large puddle of water and the ATV rolled on top of her.  The woman was riding with her boyfriend who was driving another four-wheeler. Investigators say the victim was not wearing a helmet.  Her body was sent to the Ramsey County Medical Examiner's Office for an autopsy.  


A Zimmerman man was sent to the hospital last night when an illegal firework exploded in his hand.  The Sherburen County sheriff says 33-year-old Jeffrey Vane had severe injuries to his left hand and minor injuries to his right hand and face.  A witness told investigators the aerial firework had a short fuse and Vane was attempting to light and throw it when it exploded.  The fireworks were reportedly purchased in North Dakota.  


Self-serve beer vending machines at Target Field are highlighting the issue of automation in the hospitality industry.  Dan McElroy of the Minnesota Restaurant Association says the increase in automated services is most prevalent in what he calls "order entry" and is being driven by several factors.  He says some younger guests don't want to wait for a server to come and take their order and they are very happy doing it with technology. He adds that there also is increasing price pressure for a variety of reasons and an increase in the availability in automated options.  Mclroy says he thinks ordering preferences won't break down along generational lines because many older people are comfortable using technology. 


Around 15,000 people are in Minneapolis for the 2014 Shriners Imperial Session (7/6-10).  Melvin Tennant, president of Meet Minneapolis Convention and Visitors Association, says the economic impact to the area is around $34-million.  Tonight the Shriners will hold the Imperial Parade starting at 7:30 in Minneapolis.  There will be nearly 200 parade units including clowns, motor cars, bands, motorcycles and antique cars. This is the fourth time the Shriners have held their convention in Minneapolis.