HIGH-TECH BINGO Rollout of high-tech bingo delayed in Minn. (Information in the following story is from: Star Tribune, http://www.startribune.com) ST. PAUL, Minn. (AP) – Minnesotans will have to wait at least another month before electronic bingo games debut at bars and restaurants. The Minnesota Gambling Control Board on Tuesday delayed approval of the first electronic “linked bingo” game. The game would link players at multiple locations. Gambling Control Board executive director Tom Barrett tells the Star Tribune the game did not win board approval because it has not yet been certified as meeting state game standards. Electronic bingo games, along with electronic pulltabs, were approved by the Legislature last year to boost charitable gambling revenues to pay for the new Minnesota Vikings stadium. Manufacturers say the high-tech bingo games will have far bigger prizes than the video pulltab games that were launched in September, and potentially could generate considerable revenue for the state.
DEADLY CRASH-CHARGES Driver charged year after crash killed 2 in Minn. (Information in the following story is from: Austin Daily Herald, http://www.austindailyherald.com) AUSTIN, Minn. (AP) – An Elkton man is charged with driving drunk at about 120 mph when he crashed a Cadillac and killed two friends near Austin a year ago. Forty-four-year-old Jason Fredrickson was charged Tuesday in Mower (MOH’-ur) County with six felony counts of criminal vehicular homicide. According to the complaint, Fredrickson drove a 2009 Cadillac STS into a ditch Feb. 25 while Jake Moe and Luke Unverzagt, both 32 and from Austin, were passengers. Both Unverzagt and Moe were thrown from the car and died. Fredrickson broke his ankle. A State Patrol reconstruction says the car went airborne, snapped a utility pole and stopped after hitting a tree and another pole. Sheriff Terese Amazi says the car was “obliterated.” The Austin Daily Herald reports Fredrickson is due in court March 21.
STATE EMPLOYEE CONTRACTS Dayton signs bill giving state employees raise ST. PAUL, Minn. (AP) – Gov. Mark Dayton has signed a bill giving tens of thousands of state employees a 2 percent raise. Dayton signed the bill on Tuesday. It earlier passed both the House and Senate, both controlled by Democrats. The contract includes the first raise in more than three years. It covers about 35,000 employees from seven different working groups, including the American Federation of State, County and Municipal Employees Council 5 and the Minnesota Association of Professional Employees. The new deal will expire June 30. Dayton says he will push to include same-sex domestic partnership benefits in the next contract.
BANK ROBBERY-RUSH CITY Suspect sought in Rush City bank robbery RUSH CITY, Minn. (AP) – Authorities are looking for a man who robbed a bank in east-central Minnesota. The Chisago (chis-SAH’-goh) County sheriff’s office says the man walked into the Northwoods Bank of Minnesota in Rush City early Tuesday afternoon, told the teller he had a gun and demanded cash. The suspect handed the teller a plastic grocery bag and fled with an undisclosed amount of money. Authorities describe the suspect as a white man, about 5 feet, 7 inches tall and weighing about 220 pounds. The suspect vehicle is a black two-door compact car.
DISCRIMINATION LAWSUIT-GAYLORD Suit alleges Minn. police violated woman’s rights ST. PAUL, Minn. (AP) – A federal lawsuit accuses Gaylord police, the Sibley County sheriff’s office and others of violating a woman’s constitutional rights when she was detained last year. The American Civil Liberties Union of Minnesota filed the lawsuit on behalf of Jesus (hay-SOOS’) Mendoza Sierra of Gaylord. The suit alleges Sierra’s rights were violated when police and deputies took her into custody and interrogated her in March 2012. Sierra was detained after the driver of the car she was a passenger in was arrested. But the ACLU says Sierra was never charged. The lawsuit alleges that officers assumed Sierra was in the U.S. illegally. The suit says Sierra was released only after officers took her to her home to look at her immigration documents. Sibley County Attorney David Schauer had no comment Tuesday.
WIFE DISMEMBERMENT-MINNESOTA Minn. man indicted in wife’s dismemberment ST. PAUL, Minn. (AP) – A St. Paul man accused of dismembering his wife now faces a first-degree murder charge. A Ramsey County grand jury Tuesday indicted 35-year-old Steven Roger Johnson on charges of first-degree murder and second-degree intentional murder. Johnson was previously charged with second-degree murder in the death of his wife, 32-year-old Manya Jewel Johnson. Charges allege Steven Johnson fatally shot and dismembered his wife in their home Jan. 6 after she said she planned to leave him and take their son. The complaint alleges Johnson placed her remains in plastic bins and stored them in a friend’s garage in White Bear Lake. The complaint says the friend alerted police after Johnson told him what he’d done. Johnson is scheduled to appear in court Wednesday. His attorney had no comment.