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ST. PAUL, Minn. (AP) — Minn. Gov. Mark Dayton will undergo spinal surgery next week at Mayo Clinic in Rochester. Dayton's office announced Friday that the operation is being done to relieve a constriction in the governor's lower back, known as stenosis, and to fuse a vertebrae in the same area that is shifting out of alignment. The procedure will take place on Dec. 27. Dayton has been walking with a noticeable limp in recent months. Spokeswoman Katharine Tinucci said that's due to pain from stenosis. She said he's otherwise in generally good health.
NEWTOWN, Conn. (AP) — The chiming of bells reverberated throughout Newtown on Friday, commemorating one week since the crackle of gunfire in a schoolhouse killed 20 children and six adults in a massacre that has shaken the community — and the nation — to its core. Gov. Dannel P. Malloy gathered with other officials in rain and wind on the steps of the Edmond Town Hall as the bell rang 26 times in memory of each life lost at Sandy Hook Elementary School. The gunman also killed his mother before the massacre, and himself afterward.
WASHINGTON (AP) — The nation's largest gun-rights lobby called Friday for armed police officers to be posted in every American school to stop the next killer "waiting in the wings." The National Rifle Association broke its silence on last week's shooting rampage at a Connecticut elementary school that left 26 children and staff dead. "The only thing that stops a bad guy with a gun is a good guy with a gun," the group's top lobbyist, Wayne LaPierre, said at a Washington news conference.
WASHINGTON (AP) — President Barack Obama on Friday will nominate Sen. John Kerry as his next secretary of state, a senior administration official said, making the first move in an overhaul of his national security team heading into a second term. If confirmed, Kerry would take the helm at the State Department from outgoing Secretary Hillary Rodham Clinton, who has long stated her intention to leave early next year. Kerry, a longtime Massachusetts senator, is expected to be easily approved for the Cabinet post by his Capitol Hill colleagues.
NEW YORK (AP) — From his toy-cluttered Brooklyn apartment, the man in the red suit was making his list and checking it twice. But he made no distinction between naughty or nice: Every child on it would receive a gift from this Santa Claus.
By MICHAEL MELIA, Associated Press Writer NEWTOWN, Conn. (AP) — While the people of Newtown do their best to cope with loss and preserve the memories of their loved ones, another class of residents is also finding it difficult to move on: the emergency responders who saw firsthand the terrible aftermath of last week’s school shooting.
BEMIDJI – A 24-year-old Pennington woman will serve more than 30 days in jail on a charge of abusing a young girl. Deanna Antonia Beaudreau was sentenced Monday for felony third-degree assault, past pattern of child abuse. She was given a stay of adjudication; successful completion of her probation will result in a misdemeanor conviction.
MINNEAPOLIS (AP) — A Minnesota college football coach who was cleared of child porn charges is fighting a suspension, his union said Thursday, although neither it nor the university would say what prompted the punishment or shed light on his prospects for reinstatement.
BEMIDJI – A 40-year-old Hill City woman has been sentenced for stalking a man with whom she’d had an affair. Rhonda Jean Hjelden was sentenced Dec. 10 by Beltrami County District Judge John Melbye for gross misdemeanor stalking. She was given a one-year jail sentence with 362 days stayed for one year. She was ordered to serve three days in jail, pay or work off a $500 fine, pay $160 in fees and serve one year of probation.
TURTLE LAKE, Wis. (AP) — Nine workers were sent to a hospital after chemical fumes prompted an evacuation of a western Wisconsin plant. Barron County Sheriff Chris Fitzgerald says his office was notified about 11:30 a.m. Thursday of the evacuation at the Sanmina plant in Turtle Lake. Fitzgerald says three chemicals were mixed together, producing fumes. He says 60 employees were evacuated, and nine were taken to a hospital with minor respiratory problems.