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AP-US-PRINCE-ESTATE

Final valuation of Prince’s estate set at $156.4 million

MINNEAPOLIS (AP) — The six-year legal battle over Prince’s estate is over. The Minneapolis Star Tribune reports that the parties to the pop superstar’s estate have pegged the value at $156.4 million. That dwarfs the estate administrator, Comerica Bank & Trust’s valuation of $82.3 million. The Internal Revenue Service in 2020 valued the estate at $163.2 million. The process of distributing the star musician’s wealth could begin in February. Prince died of a fentanyl overdose in 2016. He left no will. The estate will be almost evenly split between a New York music company and the three oldest of the music icon’s six heirs or their families.

COMPLAINT OMAR-CAMPAIGN

FEC dismisses campaign finance lawsuit against Rep. Omar

MINNEAPOLIS (AP) — The Federal Election Commission has dismissed a 2019 lawsuit against Representative Ilhan Omar of a conservative group alleging the Minnesota Democrat illegally spent campaign funds on her husband’s political consulting firm. The complaint from the Virginia-based National Legal and Policy Center asked whether Omar’s campaign paid Tim Mynett’s E Street group for personal travel expenses. In a unanimous decision, the commission found there was no reason to believe that Omar’s campaign “knowingly and willfully violated” federal law or regulation by “converting campaign funds to any use personnel” or “inappropriately reporting beneficiary information”.

CAMERAS IN THE COURTS

Panel assesses growing use of cameras in Minnesota courts

MINNEAPOLIS, AP — The Minnesota Supreme Court Advisory Committee on Criminal Procedure Rules met to discuss state court rules governing cameras in courts and whether to expand their use. The committee is made up of 20 judges, prosecutors and defense lawyers. Some panel members expressed hesitation on Friday to expand the use of cameras in courts. In June, Chief Justice Lorie Gildea asked the committee to study the matter and report back with recommendations by July 1 this year. Prosecutors on the panel expressed concern that the cameras would prevent victims and witnesses from coming forward if they were publicly associated with a case.

FIRE PENALTY

Rochester man gets 10 years in fatal pawnshop fire

ST. PAUL, Minn. (AP) — A federal judge has sentenced a Rochester man to 10 years in prison for fatal arson at a pawn shop during unrest related to the death of George Floyd. According to court documents, Montez Terriel Lee, 26, and several others broke into the Max It Pawn Shop in Minneapolis on May 28, 2020. Surveillance footage shows him pouring accelerator around the pawnshop and d ignite the accelerator on fire. The pawnshop was destroyed. Authorities found the body of a 30-year-old man in the rubble. U.S. District Judge Wilhelmina Wright handed down the sentence on Friday.

Bushmeat smugglers

Border agents seize bushmeat at Minneapolis airport

MINNEAPOLIS (AP) — U.S. Customs officials say they confiscated bushmeat multiple times in Minneapolis-St. Paul International Airport since December. WCCO-TV reported on Friday that Customs and Border Patrol agents seized more than 100 pounds of bushmeat from US citizens returning from Liberia. Travelers said on written and verbal statements that they had fish, but further inspection revealed both fish and bushmeat in the same package. State agriculture officials say bushmeat is raw or minimally processed meat from wild animals such as monkeys, cane rats, bats and other primates. Meat can cause infection in humans and spread the Ebola virus. Confiscated bushmeat has been destroyed.

DIVER ASSAULT

Duluth high school student charged with assault with diver

DULUTH, Minn. (AP) — A Duluth high school student has been charged with sexually assaulting a football teammate with a plunger. The Minneapolis Star Tribune reported that the 17-year-old defendant was charged in juvenile court on Friday with third-degree sexual assault. Both the boy and the victim were students at Proctor High School in September, according to police. Someone sent an obscene photo to a group of Proctor football players using the victim’s phone. The 17-year-old chased the victim after practice on September 7 and assaulted him with the plunger. Interviews with players revealed that a plunger was regularly used as part of “rude” behavior in the locker room. The assault led to the resignation of coach Derek Parendo in October.

CHILD KILLED

6-year-old child hit and killed on highway in Mille Lacs County

ONAMIA, Minn. (AP) — State Patrol says an individual struck and killed on a highway in east-central Minnesota was a 6-year-old girl. Patrol says the child was in the lanes of traffic when she was struck on Highway 169 around 11 p.m. Thursday near Onamia in Mille Lacs County. The soldiers identified the child as Unique Sincere Beaulieu. She was pronounced dead at the scene. Authorities had no information as to why the 6-year-old girl was on the freeway. A 48-year-old woman was driving the SUV that hit the girl.

WINTER-MIDWEST WEATHER

Heavy snow in the Midwest slows travel and closes dozens of schools

MINNEAPOLIS, AP — Heavy snowfall is spreading across a wide swath of the Midwest, where travel conditions have deteriorated and dozens of schools have closed or moved to online instruction. The National Weather Service issued a winter storm warning Friday for parts of Minnesota, the Dakotas, Iowa and Illinois, where forecasters expect up to 10 inches of fresh snow. The weather service tweeted that the snow would combine with gusty winds to produce slippery roads and reduced visibility. Forecasters say the fast-moving storm could make it difficult to travel through parts of the Northern Plains and upper Midwest into the central Mississippi Valley through Saturday morning.

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