- Associated Press - Friday, April 25, 2014
Neighbor: Minnesota man fearful after burglaries

LITTLE FALLS, Minn. (AP) - A sheriff’s deputy testifying in the trial of a Minnesota man who killed two teens when they broke into his house on Thanksgiving Day 2012 testified Friday that the homeowner had told him just weeks earlier that he wanted to catch the people who had been burglarizing his home.

Morrison County Sheriff’s Deputy Jamie Luberts said he told Bryon Smith, of Little Falls, that if he happened to catch anyone, he should call authorities immediately, the Star Tribune reported.

Weeks later, Smith, 65, shot 18-year-old Haile Kifer and 17-year-old Nick Brady. He is on trial on charges of first-degree premeditated murder. Smith claims he was defending himself and feared for his life after several break-ins, but prosecutors say he waited for the teens, then went too far when he continued to shoot them after they were no longer a threat. Smith waited until the following day to ask a neighbor to call authorities.

Neighbor William Anderson testified that Smith came to his door after an Oct. 27 burglary appearing “severely” frightened. Anderson testified that Smith told him that burglary was “number five or six.”

The day after the shootings, Smith called Anderson, asking him to find him a lawyer. Anderson then alerted authorities.


Minneapolis to recognize Indigenous Peoples Day

MINNEAPOLIS (AP) - The City of Minneapolis will recognize the second Monday in October as “Indigenous Peoples Day” instead of Columbus Day.

The Minneapolis City Council and Mayor Betsy Hodges unanimously approved the resolution Friday. It takes effect this year.

The Star Tribune (https://strib.mn/1kdQ2oD) reports hundreds of people came to City Hall to commemorate the vote.

American Indian Movement co-founder Clyde Bellecourt calls the change “a long time coming.”

City clerk Casey Carl says the new holiday will be reflected on city messaging. That includes the official calendar of the City Council and committee meetings.


Senate votes to outlaw online lottery tickets

ST. PAUL, Minn. (AP) - The Minnesota Senate has taken a stand against the sale of lottery tickets through a website or gas-pump terminals.

By a voice vote Friday, senators moved to outlaw the practice that the Minnesota Lottery had already begun. It was as an amendment to a separate gambling regulation bill.

The lottery has faced bipartisan criticism for moving forward with the new sales portals without getting explicit legislative consent. This winter, the lottery launched virtual instant-play tickets to go along with subscription sales of tickets for draw games like Powerball.

Some lawmakers say they worry an online push will make the gambling more addictive or harm sales in convenience stores. Lottery officials argue the Internet sales enhance brand awareness and are done with strict controls. Gov. Mark Dayton hasn’t announced his position.


Minnesota Senate panel approves medical marijuana

ST. PAUL, Minn. (AP) - A Minnesota Senate committee approved on Friday a bill to legalize marijuana for medical purposes despite the opposition of Gov. Mark Dayton, law-enforcement officers and two state agency commissioners.

Chances of it becoming law remain uncertain. It stalled in the House last month and hasn’t moved since, although some members there hope to attach it as an amendment to other legislation.

The legislation would allow patients with maladies such as cancer, epilepsy and extreme chronic pain to use marijuana to alleviate their symptoms. Those patients would receive a card enabling them to buy medicinal marijuana from approved alternative treatment centers, which would grow the pot.

Sen. Scott Dibble, DFL-Minneapolis, the bill’s sponsor, tightened the legislation by specifying only licensed medical doctors and doctors of osteopathy would be allowed to prescribe marijuana. And he revised it to give Minnesota Health Commissioner broad powers in shaping the state’s medical-marijuana system.

The bill also would authorize a study to examine the medical effects of marijuana.

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