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NEW YORK (AP) — How bad is this flu season, exactly? Look to the children. Twenty flu-related deaths have been reported in kids so far this winter, one of the worst tolls this early in the year since the government started keeping track in 2004. But while such a tally is tragic, that does not mean this year will turn out to be unusually bad. Roughly 100 children die in an average flu season, and it's not yet clear the nation will reach that total.
MINNEAPOLIS (AP) — A study finds that cyclists and drivers may be almost equally at fault when bikes and motor vehicles collide, at least in Minneapolis. Bikers' actions contribute to 59 percent of the 270 bike-motor vehicle collisions that the city averages annually, compared to 64 percent for drivers, according to a new analysis of 10 years of crash data presented to the City Council on Tuesday, the Star Tribune reported. Sometimes the investigating officers faulted both sides.
MINNEAPOLIS (AP) — Prince has booked six last-minute shows at a Minneapolis jazz club this week in which he'll audition for a new drummer and host a jam session. The singer-songwriter musician will play two "sound check" shows Wednesday night, two jam session shows Thursday night and two shows Friday simply billed as "surprise." Tickets went on sale Tuesday morning.
SYRACUSE, N.Y. (AP) — The former media director for Syracuse University's athletic department has pleaded not guilty to charges he secretly made locker room videotapes of male athletes. Roger Springfield was arraigned Tuesday morning in Onondaga County Court on four counts of unlawful surveillance. He was released on his own recognizance and ordered to return to court Jan. 22.
AUSTIN, Texas (AP) — An international education initiative for students to design, build and operate miniature race cars will be part of the 2013 Formula One weekend in Texas. Organizers on Tuesday announced plans for the F1 in Schools World Finals to be held in November in Austin. Officials with Circuit of The Americas says it's the first time the education and engineering event will take place in the United States. The 2012 World Finals were in Abu Dhabi.
ST. PAUL, Minn. (AP) — A Department of Natural Resources employee accessed the driving and motor vehicle records of about 5,000 Minnesotans without authorization, the agency said Tuesday. The employee is no longer employed by the DNR, the agency said in a statement. DNR spokesman Chris Niskanen said he couldn't say whether the employee was fired. The DNR has asked the Bureau of Criminal Apprehension to investigate, but no criminal charges have been filed so far.
NEW YORK (AP) — Children who survived last month's shooting rampage at Connecticut's Sandy Hook Elementary School have recorded a version of "Over the Rainbow" to raise money for charity. Twenty-one children from Newtown, Conn., sang the song Tuesday with singer-songwriter Ingrid Michaelson on ABC's "Good Morning America." Most of them are current and former students of the school where 20 first-graders and six staff members were killed.
OLD WESTBURY, N.Y. (AP) — Being chained as a 10-year-old for more than two weeks in a coffin-size box in a suburban New York dungeon was, Katie Beers says 20 years later, "the best thing that happened to me" because it allowed her to escape a life of abuse. On the 20th anniversary of her ordeal, Beers has co-written a book with a television reporter who covered her kidnapping. "Buried Memories: Katie Beers' Story" (Title Town Publishing) has a happy ending.
CLOQUET, Minn. (AP) — The Fond du Lac Band of Lake Superior Chippewa is investigating why a 3-year-old boy was left on a bus for about three hours in freezing temperatures. Brooklyn Wait says her son, Ty Stiffarm, was treated at a hospital in Cloquet after he was found on the Fond du Lac Head Start bus Monday.
MANKATO, Minn. (AP) — A Mankato woman is charged with arranging the beating of her husband by two men with aluminum baseball bats. Prosecutors say 24-year-old Ashley Stillwell had an argument with her husband over bills on Jan. 8, left the house and returned with the two men.