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MINNEAPOLIS (AP) — The campaign group trying to defeat the gay marriage constitutional amendment is getting ready to air its first TV commercial. Minnesotans United for All Families announced via Twitter Friday that its first ad would air in the next week. The group was not releasing further details Friday, but a Federal Communications Commission filing showed a $255,000 buy for a 30-second spot to air on six Twin Cities TV stations from Sept. 17-23.
Just a quarter of eighth and 12th grade students in the United States have solid writing skills, even when allowed to use spell-check and other computer word processing tools, according to results of a national exam released Friday. Twenty-four percent of students at each grade level were able to write essays that were well developed, organized and had proper language and grammar. Three percent scored as advanced. The remainder showed just partial mastery of these skills.
FARGO - North Dakota State University will reopen campus at 1 p.m. today after a bomb threat forced the evacuation off all university property across the city earlier this morning. Classes and full operation will resume at 2 p.m., university officials said in a statement on NDSU's website. Over the next hour, university police will be unlocking buildings, according to the statement posted over the noon hour. Students, faculty and staff may choose not to return if travel is a concern, the release said.
BOSTON (AP) — Mitt Romney is promising to reduce taxes on middle-income Americans. But how does he define "middle-income"? The Republican presidential nominee defined it as income of $200,000 to $250,000 a year. Romney commented during an interview broadcast Friday on ABC's "Good Morning America." The Census Bureau reported this week that the median household income — the midpoint for the nation — is just over $50,000.
NEW YORK (AP) — Stocks opened higher Friday, on track to record one of their best weeks since June, after the Federal Reserve stepped in again to help the disappointing economic recovery. Just after the opening bell, the Dow Jones industrial average was up 65 points at 13,605. The Dow rocketed higher by 206 points on Thursday after the Fed announcement and closed at a four-year high.
CAIRO (AP) — Angry demonstrations against an anti-Islam film spread to their widest extent yet around the Middle East and other Muslim countries Friday, as protesters smashed into the German Embassy in the Sudanese capital and security forces in Egypt and Yemen fired tear gas and clashed with protesters to keep them away from U.S. embassies.
ST. PAUL, Minn. (AP) — Dry conditions have Minnesota officials urging farmers to take precautions to avoid causing fires as they harvest their crops. The Department of Natural Resources points out that fires sparked by equipment in dry fields can spread rapidly and cause costly losses in crops and machinery.
MINNEAPOLIS (AP) — A lawsuit seeking to overturn Minnesota's current law against gay marriage is back before a Hennepin County judge who dismissed it months ago. In January, the Minnesota Court of Appeals overturned Judge Mary Steenson Dufresne's dismissal. On Friday, she's hearing motions in the case as it moves ahead, even as a statewide vote on gay marriage approaches in November. The lawsuit filed by three gay couples seeks to throw out the state's existing "defense of marriage" law. The amendment, if passed, would toughen that law by putting it in the constitution.
ORONO, Minn. (AP) — Two police vehicles have been destroyed by fire in Hennepin County. And, it's not the first time the police department has been the victim of apparent arson. Orono Police Chief Correy Farniok says officers returning to the station early Friday morning found a squad car and police SUV on fire. Farniok says an accelerant was found under the vehicles. Investigators are reviewing the police department's surveillance video. The chief says each vehicle is worth about $100,000 because of the special equipment and electronics.
WALKER – A 50-year-old Outing man was sentenced this week in Cass County District Court after pleading guilty to second-degree criminal sexual conduct. Roger Lynn Knode was ordered to spend five years in prison for having sexual contact with a person under age 13. In addition, Knode was ordered to pay a $10,500 fine, spend 10 years on conditional release and register as a predatory offender for life, according to a news release from the Cass County Attorney’s Office.