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NEW YORK (AP) — Peter Jackson's "The Hobbit" led the box office with a haul of $84.8 million, a record-setting opening better than the three previous "Lord of the Rings" films.
ASKOV, Minn. (AP) — Minnesota troopers say a pedestrian who was struck by a car in Pine County has died. A KARE-TV report says the accident happened Sunday about 8:30 p.m. on an icy road near Askov. The State Patrol says the car was traveling west of Highway 23 near Interstate 35 when the man was struck. The victim was identified as 23-year-old Ryan C. Lockart of St. Paul. He was taken to a Duluth hospital, where he died. The 71-year-old driver was not taken to a hospital.
MINNEAPOLIS (AP) — Caribou Coffee is being taken private by a German holding company in a deal valued at about $340 million. The coffee chain, which has 610 locations in the U.S. and overseas, said Monday that it will continue to operate as an independent company with its own brand and management team once the buyout by Joh. A Benckiser Group GmbH closes. The German investment firm had also purchased a majority stake in Peet's Coffee & Tea Inc. earlier this year.
ST. PAUL, Minn. (AP) — Authorities investigating last month's shooting death of a Cold Spring police officer plan to announce a reward of up to $100,000 for information in the case. The Minnesota Bureau of Criminal Apprehension has scheduled a news conference for Monday at 1 p.m. A news release says officials will offer the reward in hopes that someone comes forward with information that helps solve the case.
ROSEVILLE, Minn. (AP) — Minnesota gambling regulators have approved a new vendor for the electronic gambling games that are being counted on to help pay the state's share of a new Vikings stadium. The Gambling Control Board on Monday made e-tab Manufacturing LLC of St. Paul the second vendor approved to offer electronic pulltab games in Minnesota.
CATEURA, Paraguay (AP) — The sounds of a classical guitar come from two big jelly cans. Used X-rays serve as the skins of a thumping drum set. A battered aluminum salad bowl and strings tuned with forks from what must have been an elegant table make a violin. Bottle caps work perfectly well as keys for a saxophone.
NEWTOWN, Conn. (AP) — A grieving Connecticut town braced itself Monday to bury the first two of the 20 small victims of an elementary school gunman and debated when classes could resume — and where, given the carnage in the building and the children's associations with it. The people of Newtown weren't yet ready to address the question just three days after the shooting at Sandy Hook Elementary School, and a day after President Barack Obama pledged to seek change in memory of the children and six adults ruthlessly slain by a gunman packing a high-powered rifle.
By JOCELYN NOVECK, Associated Press
By JOHN CHRISTOFFERSEN, Associated Press NEWTOWN, Conn. (AP) — Investigators tried to figure out what led a bright but painfully awkward 20-year-old to slaughter 26 children and adults at a Connecticut elementary school, while townspeople sadly took down some of their Christmas decorations and struggled Saturday with how to go on.
UH-MAY, Mexico (AP) — Amid a worldwide frenzy of advertisers and new-agers preparing for a Maya apocalypse, one group is approaching Dec. 21 with calm and equanimity — the people whose ancestors supposedly made the prediction in the first place. Mexico's 800,000 Mayas are not the sinister, secretive, apocalypse-obsessed race they've been made out to be.