Minnesota news in brief at 7:58 p.m. CST

Monday, January 20, 2014

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MINNEAPOLIS (AP) - The Minneapolis-St. Paul Airport is eyeing a major expansion of gambling with a plan to sell Minnesota Lottery tickets on about 2,500 electronic tablets installed in a concourse in the main terminal.

Airport spokesman Patrick Hogan said Monday that the plan airport officials are recommending could get a vote as early as next month by the Metropolitan Airports Commission. It was first reported by the Star Tribune.

The proposal came from OTG Management, a New York-based company that operates food and beverage concessions at the airport. The company already has about 2,500 iPads attached to tables throughout Concourse G at the main terminal. Travelers use those devices to order food and beverages, check flight times and browse the Internet, but Hogan said they can be easily adapted to sell Powerball and Mega Millions tickets along with electronic versions of scratch-off games.

The airports commission was to vote to approve the expansion at a recent meeting, but tabled it out of concern the expansion might bite into existing lottery sales at the airport. Currently, the nonprofit Airport Foundation operates a kiosk in the airport’s main shopping area that sells Powerball and Mega Millions tickets and scratch-off games; and about a dozen vending machines throughout the airport that sell scratch-off games.

“We just want to make sure that nothing we do negatively impacts the foundation, and that we know what we’re getting into with this,” said Paul Rehkamp, a commission member from Marshall.

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Dayton calls for honoring King by reaching out

ST. PAUL, Minn. (AP) - Inequality persists in American society, Gov. Mark Dayton said Monday, and he called on individuals to honor the legacy of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. by changing that.

Dayton spoke to about 800 people at a forum at the Minnesota History Center sponsored by the Council on Black Minnesotans, Minnesota Public Radio reported.

“We can choose a path of reaching out to those who are disadvantaged, who are cut off, who don’t have hope and opportunity, or we can turn away in silence,” Dayton said. “We can reach out to stand up against injustice and the violence and hatred that still infects our society, or we can turn away with indifference.”

The keynote speaker was U.S. Rep. Keith Ellison, the state’s first black congressman, who renewed his call for an increase in the minimum wage.

“These low-wage workers that I’m talking about - this low pay and this burgeoning debt, which is literally squeezing the middle class - is not what Martin Luther King had in mind,” Ellison said.

Copyright 2014 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

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