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NEW YORK (AP) — The late "Peanuts" creator Charles Schulz was once so infatuated with a young woman 23 years his junior he sent her dozens of romantic letters and drawings of his beloved cartoon characters. Many of the themes of that correspondence made it into his daily comic strips at the time. Now those love notes from 1970-1971 are being offered for sale at Sotheby's in New York by the family of Tracey Claudius, who the auction house says is ill at her home near Philadelphia. It's estimated the notes will fetch $250,000 to $350,000 at the Dec. 14 auction.
MINNEAPOLIS — A 34-year-old man accused in the fatal shooting of a police officer in a small central Minnesota city was released from custody Tuesday after authorities determined they did not have enough evidence to file charges. The investigation into the killing of 31-year-old Officer Tom Decker in Cold Spring continues, and authorities were still looking for the 20-gauge shotgun that is believed to be the murder weapon, officials said.
OSAKIS, Minn. (AP) — Authorities in central Minnesota say a 73-year-old man who was found unconscious near his tractor has died. A KBRF-AM report says Douglas County deputies responded to an emergency call Tuesday evening to an address near Osakis. A family member found Douglas Rutten unconscious and injured on the ground. Deputies say it's not clear whether Rutten fell off the tractor and was injured, or if he had a medical issue that caused him to fall before getting on the tractor. He was declared dead at the scene.
MINNEAPOLIS (AP) — The two grand-prize-winning Powerball tickets were sold in Arizona and Missouri, but seven tickets sold in Minnesota qualified as nice consolation prizes State lottery officials say one ticket sold in Minnesota matched all five numbers but not the Powerball. That ticket is worth $1 million. Six other tickets matched four of the five numbers along with the Powerball. Each of those tickets is worth $10,000.
By MATT VOLZ, Associated Press HELENA, Mont. – After nearly 17 years of courtroom arguments, congressional negotiations and Indian Country bickering, hundreds of thousands of Native Americans could see the first payments of a $3.4 billion U.S. government settlement by the end of the year, plaintiffs’ attorneys said this week.
ST. PAUL, Minn. (AP) — A Ramsey County judge has denied a request from prosecutors who wanted tougher charges against a woman accused of trying to suffocate her 5-month-old son. Katie Elaine Lewis of Hutchinson is charged was charged in June with third-degree assault, child endangerment and domestic assault by strangulation. Prosecutors say hospital surveillance video shows her using her fingers to press her baby's nose shut until he went limp.
ST. PAUL, Minn. (AP) — A St. Paul man who pleaded guilty to helping coordinate an extensive drug-smuggling operation has been sentenced to 21 years in federal prison. Jesus Mendoza pleaded guilty last year to charges of conspiring to distribute drugs and aiding money laundering. Prosecutors say the 45-year-old arranged for cocaine, methamphetamine and marijuana to be driven or flown to Minnesota from as far away as California. The U.S. Attorney's office says some of the proceeds were used to buy cars, property and an airplane.
NEW YORK (AP) — Bye-bye Black Friday. So long Small Business Saturday. Now, it's Cyber Monday's turn. Cyber Monday, coined in 2005 by a shopping trade group that noticed online sales spiked on the Monday following Thanksgiving, is the next in a series of days that stores are counting on to jumpstart the holiday shopping season.
Traders came back to work on Monday after the Thanksgiving weekend to the same old worries about the fiscal cliff and the European debt crisis. The stock market fell in midday trading as Washington lawmakers and business groups bickered over the proper rates for taxing and spending. In Europe, leaders tried to cobble together another bailout loan for Greece. The Dow Jones industrial average was down 91 points at 12,919 as of noon. The Standard & Poor's 500 was down eight at 1,401 and the Nasdaq composite index slipped seven points to 2,960.
LITTLE FALLS, Minn. (AP) — The home of a Minnesota man held in the shooting deaths of two teenage cousins has been burglarized at least once before. Byron David Smith of Little Falls told police he shot 18-year-old Haile Kifer and 17-year-old Nicholas Brady during a break-in Thursday. But authorities say his actions exceeded reasonable self-defense and plan to charge him Monday. Smith's brother, Bruce Smith, tells the Star Tribune it was the eighth burglary at Byron Smith's home in recent years.