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BEMIDJI – An 18-year-old woman who worked for a local convenience store is accused of illegally obtaining about $2,400 in fraudulent lottery winnings. Payton Lynzee Church has been charged with felony state lottery fraud, claiming a prize by fraud/deceit. She is scheduled to appear Monday in Beltrami County District Court before Judge Shari Schluchter. According to the criminal complaint:
MINNEAPOLIS (AP) — Xcel Energy has been granted a rate hike that will have the average customer paying $9 more per month starting in January. The Public Utilities Commission approved the interim rate hike on Thursday, the Star Tribune reported ( http://bit.ly/TXAs4V ). The overall increase is $250 million, or about 9 percent. The higher rate stays in effect while the PUC considers another increase of nearly 11 percent in 2013. Minneapolis-based Xcel serves 1.2 million customers in Minnesota.
BLUE EARTH, Minn. (AP) — A former Minnesota school bus driver accused of slapping a 6-year-old passenger has agreed to a deal with the prosecutor. Under the agreement, the prosecutor will dismiss the complaint against 72-year-old Jane Brooks if Brooks has no assault or disorderly conduction violations for a year. If Brooks fails, the prosecutor could reinstate criminal proceedings. Prosecutor Troy Timmerman tells the Sentinel of Fairmont that Brooks does not have to enter a plea or admit to any wrongdoing.
PORTLAND, Ore. (AP) — The gunman who killed two people and himself in a shooting rampage at an Oregon mall was 22 years old and used a stolen rifle from someone he knew, authorities said Wednesday. Jacob Tyler Roberts had armed himself with an AR-15 semiautomatic rifle and had several fully loaded magazines when he arrived at a Portland mall on Tuesday, said Clackamas County Sheriff Craig Roberts.
WASHINGTON (AP) — White people will no longer make up a majority of Americans by 2043, according to new census projections. That's part of a historic shift that already is reshaping the nation's schools, workforce and electorate, and is redefining long-held notions of race. The official projection, released Wednesday by the Census Bureau, now places the tipping point for the white majority a year later than previous estimates, which were made before the impact of the recent economic downturn was fully known.
WASHINGTON (AP) — Sen. Robert Menendez employed as an unpaid intern in his Senate office an illegal immigrant who was a registered sex offender, now under arrest by immigration authorities, The Associated Press has learned. The Homeland Security Department instructed federal agents not to arrest him until after Election Day, a U.S. official involved in the case told the AP. A Homeland Security spokesman, Peter Boogaard, said Wednesday that it was "categorically false" that the department delayed the arrest of Luis Abrahan Sanchez Zavaleta, 18, until after the election.
MINNEAPOLIS (AP) — Medical marijuana supporters face a tough challenge this legislative session in Minnesota, where Gov. Mark Dayton says he won't sign anything without the backing of law enforcement — and authorities say they're strongly opposed. Proponents say medical decisions should be left to doctors, not law officers. Tom Lehman, a lobbyist for marijuana use for the chronically ill, says Minnesota's proposal would have tight restrictions. He says advocates will try to sit down and with law enforcement.
HERMAN, Minn. (AP) — Minnesota's state archaeologist is investigating the disappearance of a pioneer cemetery near Herman. Scott Anfinson says he used Department of Natural Resources aerial photos and satellite mapping to confirm that the Boerner (BOHR'-nur) family cemetery was gone. Anfinson tells KFGO-AM he drove by the site recently and clearly could see the changes. Anfinson was notified not long after the cemetery's disappearance was reported to the Grant County sheriff.
LAS VEGAS (AP) — Las Vegas, land of the quickie wedding, is in the midst of a serious love recession, and chapels in a city accustomed to playing the numbers aren't about to let the latest money-making opportunity pass — Dec. 12, 2012. They are hoping the lure of a wedding license stamped with a once-in-a-century 12-12-12 will help boost revenue. Sin City's share of the weddings business has fallen by a third since 2004 as cities from New Orleans to New York have gotten into the elopement industry.
MINNEAPOLIS (AP) — A former money manager convicted in a Ponzi scheme is offering to pay victims $19 million in return for a lenient sentence. Jason "Bo" Beckman is facing a possible life sentence on 15 fraud and money-laundering charges related to a $194 Ponzi scheme run by a business associate. The fraudulent investment scheme bilked more than 700 people, mostly retirees.