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Gold Star license plates about to hit Minnesota roadways

ST. PAUL, Minn. (AP) -- Another Minnesota license plate with a patriotic tinge is making its debut.

Minnesota National Guard and Veterans Affairs officials planned to show off the "Gold Star Families" plates at the Capitol on Tuesday. Gov. Tim Pawlenty and first lady Mary Pawlenty were scheduled to attend along with family members of soldiers killed in action.

The plates were authorized by lawmakers this spring. They will be available free of charge to any surviving spouse or parent of a soldier who died while serving honorably in active service.

The law calls for them to be issued beginning Oct. 1.

The cost of producing them will be paid for out of the "Support Our Troops" license plate account. That is fed by an extra charge people pay to have that slogan on their vehicle's plates.