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ST. PAUL, Minn. (AP) — Some Minnesota schools are moving toward a new grading system that swaps F's and A's for 1's and 4's. Several districts are already piloting standards-based grading, which focuses on whether a student has mastered material and makes grading more consistent from teacher to teacher. It generally grades students on a 1-to-4 scale: from "does not meet" to "exceeds" standards.
ST. PAUL, Minn. (AP) — An audit finds that taxpayer-funded health care plans for low-income Minnesotans collected $207 million more than planned between 2002 and 2011. The Star Tribune reported Friday that the extra revenue for health care providers that contract with the state through MinnesotaCare and Medical Assistance allowed them to post a 2.4 percent profit, which is twice the amount set by the state.
MINNEAPOLIS (AP) — The National Weather Service will provide more detailed severe weather warnings beginning Monday in 14 states, including Minnesota and Wisconsin. Forecasters say the more descriptive information is aimed at getting people to safety sooner when severe weather approaches. The expanded warnings have been tested in Kansas and Missouri and will be expanded to a dozen other states.
DULUTH, Minn. (AP) — Prosecutors in St. Louis County are trying to convince a judge that there's enough evidence for a teenager to stand trial for murder. The 17-year-old boy is charged in a juvenile delinquency petition with bludgeoning and stabbing 27-year-old Bryan Starnes at the victim's Duluth residence earlier this month. An autopsy showed a Starnes wounds were caused by a hammer and a knife-like instrument.
DULUTH, Minn. (AP) — Duluth residents will be able to watch the first ocean liner of the year sail into the harbor. A ship christened "The Federal Hunter" was expected to dock in Duluth on Friday afternoon, beating the previous record for an ocean-going boat's arrival by three days. It also beats the record set for the type of boat — called a saltie —by more than a week.
ST. PAUL, Minn. (AP) — With a foot or more of snow still blanketing most of northern Minnesota, the snowmobiling season may extend into April for the first time in many years. The Department of Natural Resources says state trails will remain open on public land while weather and snow conditions permit. But grant-in-aid snowmobile trails will close for the season on April 1, when permits with private landowners expire.
ST. PAUL, Minn. (AP) — Minnesota officials are proposing to essentially double the wholesale price of water for the state's largest users. The plan by Gov. Mark Dayton and the Department of Natural Resources would increase water fees for more than 7,000 water permit holders statewide that use more than 1 million gallons annually. That includes municipalities, but the St. Paul Pioneer Press reports it's unclear if that increase would be passed along to homeowners.
MINNEAPOLIS (AP) — The Minnesota Vikings are getting a makeover. The team announced on Thursday that it will unveil its new uniforms at the draft party on April 25. The Vikings have been working with Nike on a redesign to their purple look.
ST. PAUL, Minn. (AP) — Gov. Mark Dayton is a grandfather for the first time. The governor announced on his Facebook page Thursday that his son Eric and daughter-in-law Cory are parents of a newborn son. Hugo Benjamin Dayton was born at 12:57 p.m. on Wednesday and weighed in at seven pounds, 10 ounces. Dayton, who is 66, wrote that the baby is healthy and that his mom is doing very well.
NEW YORK (AP) — Young adult author John Green has written an introduction for a book about the teen cancer victim to whom he dedicated his best-selling novel "The Fault in Our Stars." Penguin Young Readers Group announced Thursday that it will publish "This Star Won't Go Out: The Life and Words of Esther Grace Earl" in early 2014. Along with Green's introduction, the book will compile writings and sketches by the girl from Quincy, Mass., known for the YouTube video journal about her terminal illness.