- Associated Press - Friday, March 14, 2014
Woman, 22, arrested in girl’s exposure death

BEMIDJI, Minn. (AP) - Bemidji police say a female relative has been arrested in the death of a 6-year-old Bemidji girl who died from exposure to the frigid weather last month.

Police Chief Mike Mastin says the 22-year-old Bemidji woman was arrested and booked Friday on suspicion of second-degree manslaughter and felony neglect of a child.

Law officers and emergency medical personnel were called Feb. 27 to a weather-related medical emergency at a Bemidji apartment building. They found a girl, identified Friday as Mercedes Mayfield, unresponsive. She was pronounced dead at the scene.

The Ramsey County medical examiner’s office confirmed the girl died of hypothermia.

Early morning temperatures in the Bemidji area the day the girl was found were 27 degrees below zero with a wind chill of 40 below.

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Lottery’s venture into online sales fuels backlash

ST. PAUL, Minn. (AP) - A month after instant “scratch-off” Minnesota Lottery ticket sales went live on the Internet, the pioneering venture faces a high-powered threat at the Capitol.

The Senate leaders of both parties and tax committee heads in both chambers are seeking a one-sentence change in state law to permanently turn off the new portal for gambling. Among other issues, lawmakers are upset that lottery officials introduced the games without seeking their approval through explicit legislation allowing it.

A bill forcing the change gets an initial committee hearing next week, and Senate Majority Leader Tom Bakk predicted there are sufficient votes in the full Senate to pass it.

Lottery Director Ed Van Petten told The Associated Press this week he has been meeting with lawmakers in an attempt to allay concerns and has kept Gov. Mark Dayton’s office apprised of developments. Dayton hasn’t evaluated the legislative proposal, his spokesman said.

“We’re taking it seriously,” Van Petten said of the threat.

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Man charged in fatal shooting near Sartell mall

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