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WASHINGTON (AP) — Unions are shifting more of their political resources to state and local races this year as they try to head off passage of laws that could undermine bargaining rights, make it harder to organize or reduce their political muscle. Labor leaders say their top goal remains re-electing President Barack Obama, but several unions are redirecting their focus from the presidential and congressional campaigns to state and local races in dozens of states where they feel threatened.
MINNEAPOLIS (AP) — It might not be as expensive to renovate the Target Center as earlier projections suggested. When officials announced plans last year to fix up the 22-year-old Minneapolis building, the price tag was $150 million. When a Target Center "implementation committee" was created this summer, the cost was estimated at $135 million. Now city officials say the working cost is $100 million.
BERTHA, Minn. (AP) — Authorities in central Minnesota say a man apparently shot and wounded his significant other before fatally shooting himself. Todd County authorities responded Friday evening to reports of shots fired in Bertha. A sheriff's report says one person was injured and the suspected gunman is dead. A St. Cloud Times report says the victim was rushed to a Wadena hospital and later airlifted to the Hennepin County Medical Center for treatment. The sheriff's office says more details will be released Monday.
WASHINGTON (AP) — A little more than two weeks before Election Day, Republicans and Democrats alike say Medicare is working to their political advantage in campaigns for the White House and Congress. They can't both be right, and no matter which side is, this is one campaign clash with consequences extending well beyond Nov. 6.
MORGANTOWN, W.Va. (AP) — Drive through the coalfields of Central Appalachia, and signs of the siege are everywhere. Highway billboards announce entry to "Obama's No Job Zone," while decals on pickup truck windows show a spikey-haired boy peeing on the president's name. "Stop the War on Coal," yard signs demand. "Fire Obama." Only a few generations ago, coal miners were literally at war with their employers, spilling and shedding blood on West Virginia's Blair Mountain in a historic battle for union representation and fair treatment.
OCALA, Fla. (AP) — Vilinda York lies in her Florida hospital bed, facing a dry-erase board that lists in green marker her name, her four doctors and a smiley face. Also on the board is this: "Anticipated date of discharge: NOT YET DETERMINED." The 64-year-old contracted fungal meningitis after receiving three tainted steroid shots in her back. She's one of 284 people nationwide who are victims of an outbreak that began when a Massachusetts compounding pharmacy shipped contaminated medication. Twenty-three people have died.
MOUNT CLEMENS, Mich. (AP) — A Minnesota man has been found guilty of first-degree murder in the slaying of his 20-year-old stepdaughter. The Macomb Daily reports that a Macomb County Circuit Court jury in Mount Clemens deliberated about 30 minutes Friday before reaching its verdict against 47-year-old Rahim Alfetlawi.
DETROIT (AP) — The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration is investigating complaints that children have been trapped in Graco car seats because the buckles won't unlatch. The probe covers My Ride and Nautilus car seats from 2009 through 2011 made by Graco Children's Products Inc. of Atlanta, the safety agency said in documents posted on its website Friday.
MINNEAPOLIS (AP) — Officials have told school lunch programs across the country to check to see whether they have any Smucker's Uncrustables sandwiches that might contain peanut butter made by a New Mexico company that is being recalled because of potential salmonella contamination.
MINNEAPOLIS (AP) — A Hennepin County judge has ruled that guardians can't order their wards to be removed from life support. The right-to-die ruling in the case of Jeffers Tschumy is the first time such an issue has been addressed in a Minnesota court, according to the Star Tribune. More than 12,000 Minnesota residents are currently under guardianship. Last April, the 57-year-old Tschumy, who was mentally disabled, choked on food at a group home, could not be revived and was declared severely brain damaged with little hope for recovery.