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MINNESOTA NEWS ROUNDUP: State revenues exceed February forecast

ST. PAUL -- The latest quarterly budget update by the Minnesota Office of Management and Budget indicates overall state revenues were 235-million dollars higher than predicted during the three-month period that ended June 30th.  The quarterly report says individual income tax payments were almost two-percent higher than expected, and general sales tax collections were slightly above projections for the three-month period.  For the fiscal year, the report says the state took in about 19.2 billion, which was almost 170-million dollars above the level predicted in the revenue forecast released in February. That works out to a 7.3-percent increase in the state's general fund revenues when compared to fiscal year 2013.  State officials caution the report is preliminary and the books on fiscal year 2014 won't be closed until mid-August.


Members of the Olmsted County Sheriff's Department Dive Team assisted the Rochester Police Department in recovering a woman's body from Silver Lake on Thursday.  A spokesman for the Rochester Police Department says the body of an adult female was spotted in the lake shortly before 4 p.m. and was recovered about two hours later. There were no signs of trauma on the body, and at this point, foul play is not suspected. The identity of the woman has not been released.  The discovery of the body in the lake came a couple hours after Rochester Police issued an alert requesting assistance in locating a missing woman, but officials would not say if the two cases are connected.  


A farmer from rural Moorhead is suing an aerial pesticide applicator for allegedly dousing him with dangerous chemicals.  Lawyers for Carsten Thomas says their client was "drenched" by an airplane that sprayed pesticides for Moorhead-based Ag Spray, Inc.  In a lawsuit filed in Clay County District Court, Thomas says he was sprayed in July, 2011 while driving a roofless four-wheeler on a county road.  The complaint says the chemicals caused Thomas to vomit blood and suffer from dizziness, fatigue, and a swollen face for several weeks -- and continues to suffer from uncontrollable shaking.  Court documents also say the company paid a fine for the incident and admitted violating Minnesota pesticide laws.  Thomas is asking for at least 50-thousand dollars in damages. 


The owner of "The Last Place On Earth" is scheduled to be sentenced next month following his conviction for selling misbranded synthetic drugs last year in Duluth.  Jim Carlson was convicted last September on 51 of the 54 federal charges he was facing.  His business has since been shut down.  Sentencing is set for August 14th. 


 A member of the Lincoln Stars hockey team accused of using a minor to make a sex video in Moorhead appeared in court Thursday.  19-year-old Thomas Carey is charged with using a  minor in a sexual performance, possession of child porn and distributing child pornography.  Defense Attorney Bruce Quick says when the facts come out, the perception of the case will be "vastly different".  Prosecutors say Carey and 19-year-old teammate Brandon Smith made the video in a Moorhead motel room in February.  Carey was released on condition that he avoids contact with the victim and makes future court appearances.


 Today marks the first opportunity for fans to get involved in the festivities surrounding the Major League Baseball All-Star Game.  The FanFest opened this morning at the Minneapolis Convention Center and will be open daily through Tuesday.  The FanFest is a festival of baseball, with famous players there signing autographs.  Tickets for FanFest can be purchased on site.  For more information on the event, log on to all star game dot com  The Futures Game and Celebrity Softball game are slated for Sunday at Target Field.  The Home Run Derby is set for Monday night, while the 2014 All-Star Game itself happens on Tuesday night.