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MINNEAPOLIS (AP) — A year after Josh Powell killed himself and his two sons in an explosive house fire in Washington state, his brother Michael has committed suicide. Kiirsi Hellewell, a friend of Josh Powell's estranged sister, said he jumped to his death from a Minneapolis parking garage Monday. The Hennepin County medical examiner's office confirmed Wednesday the victim was 30-year-old Michael C. Powell.
BRUSSELS (AP) — European Union nations on Wednesday called for more intensive testing of beef for a month to try to contain the food scandal in which horsemeat was sold as beef. The emergency meeting at EU headquarters included nations most affected by the horsemeat scandal that has swept through Europe. Ireland's Agriculture Minister Simon Coveney suggested the scandal could still still spread beyond Britain, Ireland, France, Romania, Poland and Sweden.
MINNEAPOLIS (AP) — Dik Bolger is a lifelong Minnesota Democrat, a gray-bearded baby boomer with a braid down his back whose Minneapolis printing company's plant displays work by local artists and sculptors. He backed Mark Dayton for governor, but his take on the Democratic chief executive's plan for new business taxes could be the voice-over for a Republican campaign commercial.
WASHINGTON (AP) — Michelle Obama on Wednesday gushed over the Oscar-nominated film "Beast of the Southern Wild," calling it one of the "most powerful and most important" movies in a long time in a ringing endorsement delivered less than two weeks before this month's Academy Awards ceremony. The first lady commented during a Black History Month workshop at the White House for about 80 middle- and high-school students from the District of Columbia and New Orleans. The movie was set in Louisiana.
NEW YORK (AP) — The Harry Potter books are getting a makeover. Scholastic Inc. announced Wednesday that new covers have been commissioned for U.S. trade paperback editions of J.K. Rowling's blockbuster series. The first new cover, for "Harry Potter and the Sorcerer's Stone," replaces Mary GrandPre's iconic sandy-colored design of Harry in flight with a purplish-blue street setting by graphic novelist Kazu Kibuishi. The GrandPre illustrations will still be used for hardcovers and mass market paperbacks.
LOS ANGELES (AP) — "Beasts of the Southern Wild" star Quvenzhane Wallis is an actress of talent, poise and maturity well beyond her years. She was only 5 years old when she auditioned and 6 when she played the part of Hushpuppy, a little girl of fierce strength and resourcefulness living with her daddy in a squalid slab of Louisiana swampland known as The Bathtub. She was just a regular kid from nearby Houma, La. — she'd never even acted before, and actually pretended to be a year older than she was to be considered.
ST. PAUL, Minn. (AP) — Minnesota's attorney general is seeking an immediate court order to stop an Excelsior company from selling any more small wind turbines to farmers. Attorney General Lori Swanson is making the request to stop sales while a lawsuit filed by her office against the company, Renewable Energy, makes its way through Hennepin County District Court.
MINNEAPOLIS (AP) — A 34-year-old man has been charged with murder in a shooting spree that left a 9-year-old Oakdale boy dead and two others injured. Washington County prosecutors charged Nhan Lap Tran of Oakdale with six counts Wednesday. Authorities say Tran shot at passing cars Monday evening, seemingly at random. Nine-year-old Devin Aryal was shot in the head and died.
MINNEAPOLIS (AP) — Fired Minnesota Senate aide Michael Brodkorb has been charged with drunken driving and other counts after a January crash that left him injured. Lilydale City Attorney Thomas Lehmann says Wednesday he has filed a complaint charging Brodkorb with four counts, including fourth-degree driving under the influence, a misdemeanor. He also faces a misdemeanor count of careless driving, and a petty misdemeanor count of wearing no seat belt.
KELSEY, Minn. (AP) — St. Louis County sheriff's deputies say a train-truck crash at a foggy railroad crossing has killed one person. Authorities say a 28-year-old man crashed into the side of a Burlington Northern Santa Fe train that was stopped at a crossing in Kelsey for mechanical trouble Wednesday. Sheriff's officials say the crash happened about 6 a.m. in foggy conditions. The crossing is marked only with a stop sign.