- Associated Press - Wednesday, June 4, 2014
Bachmann backs Few for SC schools superintendent

COLUMBIA, S.C. (AP) - Former Republican presidential candidate and Minnesota Rep. Michelle Bachmann has endorsed Sheri Few for South Carolina schools superintendent.

Bachmann says in a statement that Few will take South Carolina’s public schools from federal overreach and replace Common Core standards with free market concepts like vouchers and tax credits for private school parents and those who choose homeschooling.

Few managed Bachmann’s 2012 presidential campaign in South Carolina and is an abstinence-only sex educator and anti-Common Core activist from Lugoff.

Few is among eight Republican candidates vying for the state’s top education post.

The primary is June 10.

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Fire forces evacuation of Owatonna High School

OWATONNA, Minn. (AP) - Owatonna High School had to be evacuated after fire broke out in the school’s auditorium.

The fire started in the auditorium curtains around 12:30 p.m. Wednesday. Sprinklers went off and contained the fire, which was quickly extinguished by firefighters.

Owatonna Fire Chief Mike Johnson says no one was hurt. Fire and water damage was limited to the stage and auditorium, but part of the school’s lower level had smoke damage.

The Owatonna People’s Press (https://bit.ly/1nPWerQhttps://bit.ly/1nPWerQ ) reports all the students were safely evacuated. Officials decided to cancel the school day shortly after the evacuation.

Authorities don’t know what caused the fire. The State Fire Marshal’s office will help investigate.

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Experts: Sex offender should be freed from program

MINNEAPOLIS (AP) - A federal judge overseeing a lawsuit that claims the Minnesota Sex Offender Program is unconstitutional has ordered the state to show why one man should not be “immediately and unconditionally” released, after experts said there is little evidence to suggest he is a risk.

It is believed to be the first time experts have recommended that anyone in the state’s sex offender treatment program be freed since U.S. District Judge Donovan Frank appointed the panel to evaluate whether patients are receiving appropriate treatment.

According to Frank’s ruling, the experts unanimously recommended on May 18 that the patient should be released. The experts’ report is under seal, but Frank cites it throughout his order.

The experts found that the patient, whom Frank identifies as E.T., was committed to MSOP at age 19 due the sex offenses he committed between the ages of 10 and 14, and has no adult criminal history. It appears he completed sex offender treatment before he was placed at MSOP and it is “unlikely that he requires additional intervention in this regard,” the experts found.

Frank’s order did not elaborate on details of the patient’s case, including how long he has been in the program.

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ACLU drops lawsuit over All-Star game ordinance

MINNEAPOLIS (AP) - The American Civil Liberties Union of Minnesota has dropped a lawsuit challenging a Minneapolis ordinance limiting other events around the time of next month’s Major League Baseball All-Star game, the ACLU said Wednesday.

The group sued on May 8 on behalf of organizers of a one-day festival that fell within the original 15-day period, arguing the limits were unconstitutional restrictions on free speech. But soon after the lawsuit was filed, the City Council shortened the window of time surrounding the July 15 game during which other events in the city can be limited.

The original ordinance, adopted in February, said the city wouldn’t issue permits between July 5 and July 20 in an area that includes downtown Minneapolis, without additional MLB approval.

The ACLU sued on behalf of organizers of a July 19 festival to commemorate the 80th anniversary of a deadly Teamsters strike. In 1934, Minneapolis police shot striking truckers, killing two.

On May 9, the City Council shortened the so-called “clean zone” limits from 15 days to seven, ending July 16.

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