Group spends $2M lobbying for gay marriage
ST. PAUL, Minn. (AP) - The group that pushed Minnesota lawmakers to legalize gay marriage invested more than $2 million in its successful lobbying effort.
Minnesotans United for All Families leader Richard Carlbom disclosed the figure Wednesday to The Associated Press.
That amount should rank Minnesotans United at or near the top of legislative lobbying this year if history is any guide. The Minnesota Chamber of Commerce and Xcel Energy are the only entities to recently surpass $2 million in a single year, and some of that includes lobbying state utilities regulators.
The Minnesotans United money fueled personal lobbying, phone banks and television commercials. The group used 14 lobbyists.
Gay marriage advocates went from narrowly defeating a constitutional amendment to ban same-sex marriage last fall to winning the new law in mid-May.
1 child dead, 1 missing in Minn. park landslide
ST. PAUL, Minn. (AP) - Officials say one child is dead and another is unaccounted for after a gravel slide in a St. Paul park.
The children were at the park near the Mississippi River as part of a school field trip when the slide happened early Wednesday afternoon.
Two other children were rescued. Authorities say the ground is soft after several days of rain.
OBIT-TEEN CANCER SONG
Minn. teen whose farewell song became web hit dies
LAKELAND, Minn. (AP) - A Minnesota teenager whose farewell song became a YouTube sensation has died after a fight with bone cancer.
Zach Sobiech died Monday at his Lakeland home. His mother, Laura, said on the CaringBridge website that he was surrounded by his family and girlfriend.
The 18-year-old was diagnosed with osteosarcoma in November 2009. When he learned last year he didn't have much longer to live, his mother suggested he write farewell notes to his loved ones. Instead, he wrote music.
His farewell song, "Clouds," has received more than 4 million views on YouTube in just two weeks. The song is on iTunes, with proceeds going to the Zach Sobiech Osteosarcoma Fund.
Zach's family is declining interviews but said in a statement they felt blessed by Zach's "amazing presence" in their lives.
Minn. judge pleads guilty to DWI, seeks retirement
ST. PAUL, Minn. (AP) - A Dakota County judge has pleaded guilty to DWI after his Christmas Eve arrest in St. Paul.
Judge Michael Sovis of Apple Valley pleaded guilty Wednesday to third-degree driving under the influence. Another DWI count was dismissed.
Sovis was arrested Christmas Eve after hitting several parked cars in St. Paul. Court documents show his blood-alcohol level was 0.28%, more than three times Minnesota's legal limit of 0.08.
Sovis' attorney, David Ayers, announced in court that the 64-year-old judge has asked Governor Mark Dayton to grant him a medical disability retirement.
Ayers told the St. Paul Pioneer Press after the hearing that Sovis is "incredibly remorseful."
Ayers says due to other medical issues, Sovis does not intend to go back to work as a judge. He declined to elaborate.
Minn. man indicted for having Molotov cocktails
MINNEAPOLIS (AP) - A federal grand jury has indicted a western Minnesota man for allegedly possessing Molotov cocktails and a pipe bomb.
Twenty-4-year-old Buford Rogers of Montevideo was arrested earlier this month in what the FBI has called a thwarted terror plot.
But Tuesday's indictment does not include any terrorism charges. Rogers was indicted on one count of possessing two Molotov cocktails, one count of possessing two black powder and nail devices, and one count of possessing a pipe bomb.
Rogers also was indicted on one count of being a felon in possession of a firearm, a Romanian assault rifle. Rogers has a 2011 conviction for burglary and is not allowed to have a firearm.
The FBI has said it stopped a terror attack that was in its planning stages, potentially saving lives.
Hibbing kicks off annual Dylan Days this week
HIBBING, Minn. (AP) - The northeastern Minnesota city of Hibbing kicks off its annual celebration of Bob Dylan this week.
Dylan Days 2013 features music, poetry and a singer-songwriter contest.
The 3-day festival opens on Friday, the day Dylan turns 72. On Saturday there will be a Dylan Days bus tour of Hibbing, where the folk-rock star grew up and graduated from high school.
Other events Saturday include the cancellation of a postal stamp featuring a limited edition Dylan Days image that can be used on memorabilia or mail.
Duluth, where Dylan was born, has been holding is annual Dylan Fest since last weekend. This year the two organizing groups are working together to provide the North Country Dylan Celebration, 10 days of coordinated activity in northern Minnesota.
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