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Minnesota News Roundup: Senators debate union bill for 14 hours and counting

ST. PAUL -- Minnesota state Senators have been burning the midnight oil; so far there has been more than 14 hours of debate over the bill that would unionize in-home daycare providers and some other small businesses. One amendment hotly debated would have prohibited union dues from being used for political expenses or contributions. Republican Senator David Senjem of Rochester says allowing that is just not right, and, "Frankly, is just virtually undemocratic." But D-F-L Senator Sandra Pappas says the prohibition is beyond the scope of the legislature, and because the dues are determined by the workers themselves, "They should have the right to determine what they want to do with them." The amendment failed on a close vote. Debate on the bill continues.


Just twelve days after portions of Minnesota broke a snowfall record, temperatures across much of the state pushed into record territory yesterday. The National Weather Service in Chanhassen says it was 98 degrees in the Twin Cities, which was a record high for the date, and the hottest ever temperature reached so early in the year. It was 102 in St. James, and 100 in Albert Lea. It was a much different story in areas where large lakes are still partially ice covered and along Lake Superior, where a cool breeze drifted in. It was only 45 degrees for a high yesterday (Tue) in Duluth Harbor.


Thousands cheered on the front lawn of the State Capitol Tuesday as Governor Dayton signed a same-sex marriage bill into law. The governor thanked Minnesotans who voted to defeat, as he put it, "a very destructive constitutional amendment" -- and he thanked lawmakers for writing what he termed the latest chapter in John F. Kennedy's "Profiles in Courage." Nick from Owatonna says "it's nice to finally not feel like a second-class citizen in this state and know that we are equal just like everybody else." Kyle Hanson from Minneapolis, there with his husband, John Stumme, and children Cynthia and Henry, said he feels "overwhelming joy and happiness" for his family. The couple was married in California and Stumme says "we'll do whatever we have to do to get married here in Minnesota too."


What does the legalization of same sex marriage in Minnesota mean for those that have already married in other states that recognized gay marriage much earlier? OutFront Minnesota Executive Director Monica Meyer says Iowa made it legal for same sex couples to wed more than four years ago...and couples that have married there won't have to do it again. When the law takes effect August 1st, Minnesota will recognize the marriages of any couples who wed in the 11 other states that previously legalized same sex marriage, or in countries where gay marriage was already legal.


A Minneapolis man is accused of murdering another man in front of a young woman and four small children, and then pointing the gun at them, ordering them to tell police the shooting was accidental. 52-year-old Eddie Hubbard is charged with second-degree intentional murder and two counts of second-degree assault, accused of shooting Jeremiah Curtis in the abdomen with a shotgun. 23-year-old Kristi Lynn Squires told police that Hubbard shot her boyfriend in a bedroom, while she pleaded with him to put down the gun. After he fired the fatal shot, Squires told officers that Hubbard pointed the gun at her and said she better, "Tell the police it was an accident." The children present range in age from one month to four years.


A West St. Paul woman is accused of burning her 7-year-old son's face with a clothes iron and hitting him in the face with a belt. 25-year-old Nachelle Haggins was charged with malicious punishment of a child, after the alleged abuse was reported when the boy went to school with a burn on his face and told school officials it was done as punishment after he misbehaved. Haggins claims the boy was injured when he fell while playing with other children, but investigators say the shape of the burn mark was consistent with a clothing iron being pressed against his skin. The child abuse charge can mean up to one year in prison and a $3,000 fine upon conviction