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BEVERLY HILLS, Calif. (AP) — In the animated feature film category at this year's Oscars, there's a film set in medieval Scotland, another that features old-school video game characters, one that relies heavily on dry British humor, while the other two take inspiration from the supernatural. It's not exactly kid stuff — and that's how the directors like it.
ST. PAUL, Minn. (AP) — An influential group of Minnesota senators is backing a five-year moratorium on sport hunting and trapping of wolves in Minnesota. The chief sponsor is Majority Whip Chris Eaton, DFL-Brooklyn Center. The co-sponsors include Minority Leader David Hann, R-Eden Prairie, Senate President Sandra Pappas, DFL-St. Paul, and Sens. David Senjem, R-Rochester, and Terri Bonoff, D-Minnetonka, according to a news release Thursday from Howling for Wolves.
LOS ANGELES (AP) — You know those tall, leggy beauties that normally carry the Oscar trophies so the stars can present them? They've been replaced this year by aspiring filmmakers. Six college students from across the country won a contest to help present the Oscar statuettes this year.
SIOUX FALLS, S.D. (AP) — A Minnesota company is looking to spread up to 19,000 tons a year of byproduct from the John Morrell hog processing plant in Sioux Falls across farm fields around South Dakota. The dried, treated wastewater byproduct currently goes to the landfill. On Monday, the Minnehaha County planning commission will take up a conditional-use permit application from Austin, Minn.-based Environmental Land Management, the Argus Leader reported.
ST. LOUIS (AP) — Parts of the nation's heartland awoke Thursday to more than half a foot of snow, as a large storm made its way eastward out of the Rockies, snarling traffic for morning commuters and allowing an army of children to trade pen and paper for shovel and sled, at least for a day. Winter storm warnings were issued from Colorado through Illinois, and many school districts cancelled classes ahead of time, in anticipation of the more than a foot of snow expected to fall in some places.
ST. PAUL, Minn. (AP) — A bill to open Minnesota voting booths two weeks before an election and allow voting on weekends is raising constitutional questions. A Senate elections committee debated Wednesday whether it would violate Minnesota's constitutional clause designating one election day. Minnesota is among a dwindling number of states without in-person early voting. The state's absentee voting process requires people to meet one of a handful of legitimate excuses.
ST. PAUL, Minn. (AP) — A state audit says that Minnesota law enforcement agencies need to tighten employee access to statewide databases to curb repeat abuse. The Office of Legislative Auditor released its audit Wednesday, reporting that 88 law enforcement officers improperly accessed driver's license data in 2012. The audit also found some misuse of the state crime database. The auditor recommends that law enforcement increase training and establish better controls for who can use the databases.
ST. PAUL, Minn. (AP) — A Republican state senator who supports legalizing gay marriage in Minnesota says he hopes to convince GOP colleagues to join him in abandoning the party's traditional stand on the issue. Sen. Branden Petersen of Andover says Wednesday he's a likely co-sponsor of a gay marriage bill to be introduced soon at the Capitol, as long as a few conditions are met. Chief among them, the Republican says he needs to make sure the bill leaves religious institutions exempt from performing same-sex marriages.
KANSAS CITY, Mo. (AP) — Kansas City officials say one of two people who were missing after an explosion destroyed a restaurant has been found but the search continues for a woman who worked there. Kansas City Fire Chief Paul Berardi said early Wednesday that a man who was reported missing was found at St. Luke's Hospital receiving treatment. He says there has been no sign of the female employee since the explosion Tuesday evening at JJ's restaurant on the Country Club Plaza.
WASHINGTON (AP) — A top executive of a Canadian company that has proposed an oil pipeline from western Canada to Texas says the project will have no measurable effect on global warming. Alex Pourbaix, TransCanada's president for energy and oil pipelines, said opponents of the proposed Keystone XL pipeline have grossly inflated its likely impact on emissions of greenhouse gases that contribute to global warming.