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MIDLAND, Texas (AP) — Cheered by a flag-waving crowd, the parade float carrying wounded military veterans was inching across the railroad tracks when the crossing gates started coming down. And then, seemingly out of nowhere, a freight train came bearing down, its horn blaring. Four veterans died in the Thursday collision, and sixteen other people were hurt. For some of the war heroes who managed to jump off the flatbed truck just in time, training and instinct kicked in: They rushed to aid their injured comrades.
By PATRICK CONDON, Associated Press Writer
BEMIDJI – Holiday Gifts for Kids, a project by the United Way of the Bemidji Area, has begun is annual effort to collect holiday gifts for are needy children. The program assists parents and guardians who are financially unable to give their children holiday gifts. To register for the program as the parent or guardian, visit www.unitedwaybemidji.org , or pick up a registration form at Bi-CAP HeadStart, Beltrami County Public Health (WIC) Office or at First National Bank of Bemidji. The registration deadline is Dec. 7.
BARNESVILLE, Minn. (AP) — A teenager who posted his support for same-sex marriage online has been denied a Catholic rite of passage at his northwestern Minnesota church, his family said. Shana Cihak said her 17-year-old son, Lennon, wasn't allowed to be confirmed at Assumption Church in Barnesville last month after posting a Facebook picture of himself with a political sign he altered to oppose the marriage amendment on Minnesota's ballot. Voters on Nov. 6 rejected the constitutional amendment to ban gay marriage.
PLYMOUTH, Minn. (AP) — Gov. Mark Dayton is not retreating from his vow to fight the Minnesota Vikings if they try to charge new big fees to season ticket holders to help fund the new football stadium. Dayton says Thursday that he believes the team was not forthright about the possibility of hefty personal seat license charges when the stadium bill was moving through the legislative process.
ST. PAUL, Minn. (AP) — Minnesota's unemployment rate held steady last month even as the state lost 8,100 jobs. The state Department of Employment and Economic Development said Thursday that October's seasonally adjusted jobless rate remained at 5.8 percent, well below the national unemployment rate of 7.9 percent.
NEW ORLEANS (AP) — BP said Thursday that it will pay $4.5 billion in a settlement with the U.S. government over the massive 2010 oil spill and will plead guilty to felony counts related to the deaths of 11 workers and lying to Congress. The figure includes nearly $1.3 billion in criminal fines — the largest such penalty ever — along with payments to several government entities.
ST. PAUL, Minn. (AP) — Minnesota must fortify a languishing environmental oversight board and make it easier for the public to follow the review process, according recommendations in a new report produced for Gov. Mark Dayton. The Environmental Quality Board includes the heads of nine state agencies and four citizens. Over the years its staff has shrunk and it lacks the resources to fulfill its mandate of working on issues that go beyond the purview of a single agency, Minnesota Public Radio reported Wednesday ( http://bit.ly/UGA5HW ).
BRUSSELS (AP) — In the three years since the European debt crisis began, millions of people have taken to the streets and gone on strike to protest government budget cuts and tax increases. But as the latest wave of protests erupted in several countries Wednesday, austerity continues strong. People are not shy with their opinions. ___ WHY DO THEY KEEP STRIKING IN THE HARDEST-HIT COUNTRIES?
The fate of a tax credit that advocates say is needed to maintain tens of thousands of wind energy jobs will be decided during high-stakes, last-minute negotiations between President Obama and House Republicans over fiscal issues, officials said Tuesday.