Dayton ups amount of surplus he's willing to spend
ST. PAUL, Minn. (AP) - Gov. Mark Dayton says he's willing to devote another $100 million of a budget surplus to spending on pressing needs above his previous proposal.
Dayton said Thursday he made the offer to top lawmakers "in the spirit of accommodation." Earlier, Dayton had proposed $165 million in spending from Minnesota's $1.2 billion projected surplus.
The governor's move puts him closer to levels in bills approved by the Democratic-led Legislature.
Dayton says he wants some of the extra allocations spent on broadband infrastructure expansion, additional prison staffing and court-ordered psychological examinations of sex offenders. Some would also compensate for cost-of-living raises to personal caregivers and for propane price relief adopted earlier this session.
Dayton has also asked lawmakers to dedicate $100 million more for rainy-day reserves and $100 million for tax relief.
Teens' autopsy photos shown in Minn. murder trial
LITTLE FALLS, Minn. (AP) - A medical examiner testifying in the case of a Minnesota man who killed two teens when they broke into his home says they were shot a total of nine times, with some shots at close range.
Byron Smith's trial continued Thursday as prosecutors showed autopsy photos of 18-year-old Haile (HAY'-lee) Kifer and 17-year-old Nick Brady. Smith faces first-degree premeditated murder charges. He says he shot the teens in self-defense.
Dr. Kelly Mills with the Ramsey County Medical Examiner's Office testified that Brady was shot three times, Kifer six times.
Mills also says Brady tested negative for drugs and alcohol. Kifer's toxicology tests showed the presence of a substance in cough medicine, as well as a marijuana metabolite that Mills says had no hallucinogenic effects.
Lawyers release church official's deposition
ST. PAUL, Minn. (AP) - Lawyers for alleged victims of sexual abuse by priests say a former top official in the St. Paul-Minneapolis archdiocese denied and minimized the problem.
The lawyers released a video deposition Thursday from the Rev. Kevin McDonough, the archdiocese's former vicar general. McDonough handled any complaints of abuse.
In the video, McDonough acknowledges that he chose not to talk to St. Paul police looking into some allegations. He also acknowledged declining to be interviewed by a panel set up by the archdiocese to review its procedures. McDonough says most of his actions had been documented and he didn't feel the need to defend his record.
Attorneys released a similar deposition earlier this week from Archbishop John Nienstedt. They say they will go to court to seek more time with both men.
2 GOP Senate candidates say rival evading stands
ST. PAUL, Minn. (AP) - Two Republicans competing for Minnesota's U.S. Senate nomination are accusing a leading GOP contender in the race of ducking tough questions.
St. Louis County Commissioner Chris Dahlberg says investment banker Mike McFadden is insulting voters with evasive answers on health care, immigration, guns and other topics. State Sen. Julianne Ortman says McFadden hasn't given straight answers. The three candidates are vying to face Democratic Sen. Al Franken in November.
Dahlberg criticized McFadden at a news conference Thursday. Ortman weighed in later. McFadden spokesman Tom Erickson says the campaign is focused on Franken and says Republicans should avoid "beating each other up."
Dahlberg and Ortman won't press on if someone else is endorsed at the party's May state convention. McFadden intends to run in an August primary no matter what.
New swine facility draws students, funds into SD
PIERRE, S.D. (AP) - College students and dollars are flowing into South Dakota from neighboring Iowa and Minnesota, boosting the state's swine industry.
Industry groups from outside the state have pledged hundreds of thousands of dollars toward a new $5.5 million swine facility at South Dakota State University.
The Legislature earlier this year gave final approval and a $3 million blessing to the project.
The SDSU dean of agriculture says the donations indicate a broad network of alumni supporters in the region.
Dusty Compart is a junior at SDSU studying animal science. The Minnesota native says he chose SDSU over other swine programs in neighboring states. He says the program he is enrolled in is presenting new opportunities for students while other schools are trimming their offerings.
Suspended Cooke apologizes for kneeing Barrie
ST. PAUL, Minn. (AP) - Minnesota Wild left wing Matt Cooke has apologized for the knee-to-knee hit on Colorado Avalanche defenseman Tyson Barrie.
Cooke drew a seven-game suspension from the NHL for the hit that knocked Barrie out of action for 4-6 weeks.
Cooke addressed reporters Thursday after taking part in the Wild's pre-game skate prior to Game 4. He did not take questions, standing behind a podium, staring somberly straight ahead and speaking deliberately for about 90 seconds.
Cooke said he did not intend to injure Barrie, a collision on the open ice Cooke said was a case of him playing his physical style and focused only on finishing his check.
Replacements schedule hometown show for September
ST. PAUL, Minn. (AP) - The Replacements will bring their long-awaited reunion concert to the Twin Cities this fall.
The hometown gig is scheduled Sept. 13th at Midway Stadium in St. Paul with tickets going on sale May 3.
The band which originally formed in Minneapolis in 1979 is considered one of the pioneers of alternative rock. The Replacements reformed in 2012 with founding members Paul Westerberg and Tommy Stinson to produce a benefit record for former guitarist Slim Dunlap, who had suffered a stroke.
That eventually led to some select live festival performances with new additions David Minehan and Josh Freese.
The Midway event will be the first full headlining show since the band's free concert in Chicago's Grant Park on July 4, 1991.
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