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Wednesday, March 26, 2014

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Dayton splits with health commissioner on e-cigs

ST. PAUL, Minn. (AP) - After Gov. Mark Dayton publicly broke with his Health Department commissioner over the extent of regulation needed on electronic cigarettes, lawmakers took a step Wednesday toward removing a proposed ban on indoor use in public places.

To the dismay of some public health advocates, Dayton came out against legislative efforts to lump e-cigarettes in with conventional cigarettes by barring their use in public buildings and most businesses. His comments directly contradict Health Commissioner Ed Ehlinger’s testimony at a Senate committee meeting Monday.

“After we came down pretty hard on smokers last session, that’s probably enough for this biennium,” Dayton told the Minneapolis Star Tribune, referring to tobacco tax increases last year. “We did enough to smokers last session.”

Dayton said he would sign a bill to restrict children’s ability to buy e-cigarettes and to keep the product out of schools, but he would likely oppose making them subject to the indoor air law.

A bill that would have done both was awaiting a Senate vote, but it was pulled back to the committee stage where the parts Dayton objected to could be stripped. Sen. Jim Metzen, DFL-South St. Paul, said it made sense to “capitulate a little bit to the governor’s wishes and keep the e-cigarette bill alive.”

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Restaurant hack leads to credit card fraud

FAIRMONT, Minn. (AP) - Fairmont police have received hundreds of reports of credit and debit card fraud since a local restaurant’s computer was hacked.

Since early last week, police in the southern Minnesota town have received more than 200 reports of credit and debit cards being used to make fraudulent purchases in at least 13 states, including Texas, Arizona and New York.

Police say all the cards have been linked to a Fairmont restaurant, El Agave. Officials believe a point-of-sale hack took place at the restaurant.

Authorities say the restaurant was unaware of the hack and is cooperating with the investigation. Police say there is no evidence that any restaurant employees took part in the hack.

KTOE-AM (http://bit.ly/1dOo7Gs) reports the U.S. Secret Service has joined local authorities in the investigation.

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Snowy owl injured in DC now in rehab in Minnesota

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