- Associated Press - Monday, February 24, 2014
Smaller class sizes part of St. Paul teacher deal

ST. PAUL, Minn. (AP) - St. Paul teachers have won agreements on lowering class sizes and hiring more support staff in their tentative contract agreement.

The St. Paul school district and the teachers union released details of the two-year agreement Monday.

Minnesota Public Radio News (http://bit.ly/1bHgPbVhttp://bit.ly/1bHgPbV ) reports teachers will get a 2.25 percent raise in the first year and a 2 percent boost in the second year, with a bit more for veteran teachers. That will cost the district $22 million over two years.

The deal was reached last week after a 24-hour mediation session, averting a strike authorization vote.

Teachers and the school board will vote on the tentative agreement next month. The executive board of the teachers union is recommending teachers vote to accept the agreement.

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Salmonella sickens nearly 2 dozen in Minnesota

MAPLE GROVE, Minn. (AP) - Minnesota health officials say nearly two dozen people were sickened by a salmonella outbreak at an Old Country Buffet in Maple Grove.

One diner had to be hospitalized for about two weeks.

A Minnesota Department of Health spokesman tells the Star Tribune (http://strib.mn/OvhZ09http://strib.mn/OvhZ09 ) the outbreak affected people who ate at the restaurant in late January, particularly on Jan. 25.

The department says a total of 23 diners got sick.

In a statement, Old Country Buffet, a unit of South Carolina-based Ovation Brands, says it is working closely with the health department to determine what caused the outbreak’s cause. The company says it’s also bolstering food safety training.

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GOP’s Zellers won’t run for re-election to House

ST. PAUL, Minn. (AP) - Republican Kurt Zellers, a former House speaker now running for governor, will not run for another term in the House.

Zellers announced his decision Monday. He has represented the Twin Cities suburbs of Maple Grove and Osseo in the state House since 2003.

Last year, Zellers launched a bid to challenge Democratic Gov. Mark Dayton this November. He’s one among a crowded field of Republicans seeking to unseat Dayton, and Zellers’ plan to run in August’s Republican primary would have complicated a simultaneous state House re-election bid.

The Maple Grove resident is a former Republican media strategist who shifted into lawmaking. He served as House speaker in 2011 and 2012, but returned to the rank and file after his party lost its majority in the 2012 election.

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5 Things to know about Minn. legislative session

ST. PAUL, Minn. (AP) - Minnesota lawmakers flock back to the Capitol on Tuesday for a legislative session expected to run 12 weeks at most.

Having set the two-year budget last year, lawmakers face a shorter list of legislation they must consider this time. And it’s always easier to get in the way of proposed laws than to enact them.

Here are five things to know about the session:

1. IS FRIDAY PAYDAY?

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