Forum News Service
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ST. PAUL -- Minnesota would not consider fantasy sports games to be gambling under legislation advancing this week. A bill by Rep. Tim Sanders, R-Blaine, would allow Minnesota to join other states that specifically exempt fantasy games from gambling laws. Other than the state lottery, the only legal gambling Minnesota allows is in American Indian casinos.
ST. PAUL -- Minnesota public sector union leaders smiled Tuesday when they received word that the U.S. Supreme Court preserved a major source of cash for organized labor. The case brought by non-union public school teachers in California had targeted fees that many states force non-union workers to pay to unions in lieu of dues. The money is used to fund collective bargaining and other activities.
ST. PAUL -- The Northstar commuter rail from downtown Minneapolis stops in Big Lake because lawmakers did not think the state had enough money to stretch it 27 more miles to St. Cloud. Rep. Jim Knoblach, R-St. Cloud, wants to expand the line to his community and Tuesday introduced a bill to do that. The legislation requires the state to begin talks with BNSF Railway Co. for the extension. It sets the existing St. Cloud Amtrak station as the destination.
ST. PAUL -- Legislation would allow local governments to host in-person absentee voting seven days before an election, with Minnesotans placing votes in a ballot box instead of going through a more complex application process that now is required. The bill by Rep. Denny McNamara, R-Hastings, would give each county the option of using the new or traditional absentee method.
ST. PAUL -- A person's financial support to a former spouse could be ended or changed when the ex moves on to another significant other under a bill Minnesota lawmakers are considering. The bill from Rep. Peggy Scott, R-Andover, would add a provision to make the changes when the person receiving the support begins living with another person. The person paying support would need to provide proof of the co-habitation to a court.
FERGUS FALLS, Minn.--Negotiation teams from the Fergus Falls teacher's union and the School Board have reached a tentative agreement on a two-year contract after months of high-profile, divisive bargaining, a School Board official said. The tentative deal calls for a 6.51 percent increase in salary and benefits for teachers, School Board Chairman Matt Lemke said, a figure slightly higher than what the School Board previously offered.
ST. PAUL -- Tears flowed as Elle Williams recounted her experience with "revenge porn." "My testimony will never fully allow you to feel the fear I am feeling," the 21-year-old Prior Lake woman Tuesday told the Minnesota House public safety committee while urging lawmakers to outlaw the practice.
ST. PAUL -- The names of 16 priests accused of sexual abuse while working at the Diocese of New Ulm were released Tuesday morning. The law firm of Jeff Anderson & Associates and the Diocese of New Ulm jointly disclosed the names of 16 men during a news conference Tuesday morning in St. Paul. The men were mutually identified as being credibly accused of sexual abuse of a minor while they were assigned as priest.
WATSON, Minn. --The former mayor of Watson will undergo a mental evaluation to determine his competency to proceed in four pending criminal cases against him. District Court Judge Dwyane Knutsen ruled last week that Joseph Mark Rongstad, 34, will be examined on an outpatient basis by the Minnesota Department of Forensic Services. Further court dates have been cancelled pending a report to the court If Rongstad is found mentally incompetent, criminal court proceedings could be suspended.
LITTLE FALLS, Minn. — Five children were placed in protective custody after authorities arrested two women and confiscated 14 grams of methamphetamine in Little Falls last week.