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ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. (AP) — Organizers of a massive get-out-the-vote campaign that targeted Native American communities across the country are considering their efforts a success. The National Congress of American Indians led the push. The group pointed Thursday to U.S. Senate races in Montana and North Dakota, as well as a voter identification ballot initiative in Minnesota, where it says the Native American turnout made a difference. The Minnesota voter ID requirement failed.
ST. PAUL, Minn. (AP) — Republican lawmakers who refused to help Gov. Mark Dayton develop Minnesota's online health insurance marketplace while they hoped for a changing of the guard in Washington will now be on the sidelines while Democrats move ahead. Tuesday's results confirmed the federal health care law is here to stay. And with the Democrats winning control of the Minnesota Legislature, Dayton can continue moving forward with creating the state's health care exchange, a key requirement of the law.
BEMIDJI – A Bemidji man has been sentenced for shooting at the Bemidji Pioneer office building in early 2011. Edward Michael Halvorson, 38, currently serving a 64-month prison sentence on an unrelated weapons charge, was sentenced Wednesday to 12 months and one day in prison for felony reckless discharge of a firearm in a municipality, according to Annie Claesson-Huseby, chief assistant Beltrami County attorney, who prosecuted the case. He pleaded guilty to the charge last Friday.
NEW YORK (AP) — Best-sellers James Patterson and Ann Patchett will help lead a nationwide effort to spread the good words of books. Patterson and Patchett are the honorary chairs of the U.S. chapter of World Book Night, an international project for which hundreds of thousands of free books are handed out by volunteers. U.S. organizers announced Thursday that copies of 30 works would be distributed April 23, including Tina Fey's “Bossypants,” Ray Bradbury's “Fahrenheit 451” and Michael Lewis’ “Moneyball.”
WASHINGTON (AP) — Its place assured alongside Medicare and Medicaid, President Barack Obama's health care law is now in a sprint to the finish line, with just 11 months to go before millions of uninsured people can start signing up for coverage. But there are hurdles in the way. Republican governors who derided "Obamacare" will now have to decide whether they somehow can join the team. And the administration could stumble under the sheer strain of carrying out the complex legislation, or get tripped up if budget talks with Congress lead to scaling back the plan.
NEW YORK (AP) — A nor'easter blustered into New York and New Jersey on Wednesday with rain and wet snow, plunging homes right back into darkness, stopping commuter trains again and inflicting another round of misery on thousands of people still reeling from Superstorm Sandy's blow more than a week ago.
DULUTH, Minn. (AP) — High carbon monoxide levels sickened several people and caused an evacuation at an ice arena in Duluth. Fire officials continue to investigate the source of what they say were "dangerously high" CO levels at the Fryberger Arena Wednesday night. Emergency responders evacuated about 30 people. Elevated blood levels of carbon monoxide were found in eight people who complained of headaches and nausea. Only one person was taken to the hospital.
ST. PAUL, Minn. (AP) — Democrats newly in control of Minnesota's political power began a delicate dance Wednesday around Democratic Gov. Mark Dayton's long-held goal of raising income taxes on the top earners. A day after overturning GOP legislative majorities to gain full control of the state government for the first time in 22 years, DFL Senate caucus leader Tom Bakk predicted "a very difficult conversation" ahead about spending cuts and taxes. The state is behind on school aid checks, and budget watchers project a $1.1 billion deficit starting in mid-2013.
ST. PAUL, Minn. (AP) — Tribal members have a chance to tell federal regulators their concerns about nuclear waste storage at the Prairie Island power plant. The Prairie Island Indian Community says more safety measures are needed for the waste, which is stored in casks on a concrete pad. Tribal members live just blocks from the twin reactors along the Mississippi River in Goodhue County.
By ALAN FRAM, Associated Press