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SLEEPY EYE, Minn. (AP) — A fire at a farm near Sleepy Eye in southern Minnesota destroyed a dairy barn and the livestock inside. The fire was reported around 1:30 p.m. Wednesday, and firefighters battled the blaze for at least three hours. The Journal of New Ulm reports that officials say the farm's owners, Ben and Jenny Fischer, reported losing approximately 20 to 25 cows, 20 embryos and an unknown number of calves and other equipment. The cause of the fire has not yet been released.
WASHINGTON (AP) — The Obama administration's chief environmental watchdog, EPA Administrator Lisa Jackson, is stepping down after a nearly four-year tenure marked by high-profile brawls over global warming pollution, the Keystone XL oil pipeline, new controls on coal-fired plants and several other hot-button issues that affect the nation's economy and people's health.
NEW YORK (AP) — The tastes of the reading public are turning digital. A Pew Internet Research Center survey released Thursday found that the percentage of Americans aged 16 and older who read an e-book grew from 16 percent in 2011 to 23 percent this year. Readers of traditional books dropped from 72 percent to 67 percent. Overall, those reading books of any kind dropped from 78 percent to 75 percent, a shift Pew called statistically insignificant.
ST. PAUL, Minn. (AP) — The state Department of Health is warning Minnesotans to be wary of scam artists selling water treatment systems. Officials have seen a rise in complaints about deceptive sales pitches for water treatment systems, following investigations of groundwater contamination in Washington County and elsewhere in Minnesota. The Health Department says in most cases, the systems are unnecessary and are being sold for thousands of dollars more than they were cost if purchased through a reputable water treatment company.
MADISON, Wis. (AP) — An agriculture organization is starting a mobile service that offers fresh fruits and vegetables to tribal reservations in northern Wisconsin and northern Minnesota. A Wisconsin Public Radio report says the project is sponsored by the Intertribal Agricultural Council. The aim is to give tribes access to foods that are fresher and more nutritious. Project leader Dan Cornelius says the program will also give farmers access to more customers.
MINNEAPOLIS (AP) — A federal report says the pilot of a plane that crashed in central Minnesota wasn't equipped or trained to fly in low clouds. Stuart Dahlberg, his wife Ivelisse Morillo, and his mother, Mae Dahlberg died when their single-engine Beechcraft Bonanza went down in a farm field near Glencoe, Minn. in March.
MINNEAPOLIS (AP) — Minneapolis police are investigating the apparent stabbing death of a woman. According to police, patrol officers were dispatched to a house around 3:40 a.m. Thursday after paramedics found the woman dead. The Hennepin County Medical Examiner is expected to investigate the exact cause of death. Police say there were no suspects in custody Thursday morning. Copyright 2012 The Associated Press.
CROSBY, Minn. (AP) — A 28-year-old man is accused of entering a Crosby house on Christmas Day and stealing their gifts. Crosby Police Chief Kim Coughlin says police responded to a residence after a report of a burglary in progress at 7:05 p.m. Tuesday. At that point the suspect ran out with Christmas presents in hand. The Brainerd Dispatch reports he was apprehended hiding near another home. Coughlin says some presents were recovered when the suspect dropped them while fleeing. Copyright 2012 The Associated Press.
WASHINGTON (AP) — When it comes to the nation's budget challenges, congressional leaders are fond of saying dismissively they don't want to kick the can down the road. But now, a deadline hard ahead, even derided half-measures are uncertain as President Barack Obama and lawmakers struggle to avert across-the-board tax increases and spending cuts that comprise an economy-threatening fiscal cliff. Congressional officials said Wednesday they knew of no significant strides toward a compromise over a long Christmas weekend, and no negotiations have been set.
BROOKLINE, Mass. (AP) — Author Dennis Lehane is offering an unusual reward for the person who finds his family's beloved missing beagle. Lehane says he'll name a character in his next book after whoever finds Tessa, who disappeared from the family's home in Brookline, Mass., this week. He says on his Facebook page that Tessa jumped a fence at the home, and even though she has been micro-chipped, she was not wearing her tags. Lehane says Tessa is "smart, fast, and immeasurably sweet."