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<div> 550 Cited For Texting And Driving During Crackdown</div>

ST. PAUL, Minn. (AP) - The Minnesota Department of Public Safety says law enforcement officers across Minnesota cited 550 people for texting while driving during a recent 10-day crackdown on distracted driving.

The enhanced enforcement campaign by more than 400 departments this month also netted nearly 1,400 citations for failing to wear a seat belt and more than 400 citations and arrests for driving with a revoked or suspended license.

State Patrol Lt. Eric Roeske tells the Star Tribune some drivers think they can multi-task. Besides texting, Roeske says drivers were distracted by shaving, applying makeup, reading newspapers, using their laptops and eating.

DPS says distracted driving contributed to about 17,500 crashes last year. Sixty-eight people lost their lives and more than 8,000 were injured.


Classmates Urge District to Not Expel Honor Roll Student

(ABC 6 NEWS) -- It's a challenge that could have a far-reaching impact on one student's future, and set a precedent in a school district's policies.

On Monday, students and community members rallied in support of a high school junior who admittedly violated one of those policies.

"I've never got in trouble before," Alyssa Drescher told us.

But last week, that changed.

“It was Tuesday, and the drug dogs came in," Alyssa Drescher explained.

Her dad Rick picked up the story, "She normally doesn't bring her purse to school but last Tuesday she brought her purse to school."

“And smelled perfume in my locker and they found my pocket knife, which I forgot," Alyssa Drescher said.

“Three inch pocket knife was found inside her purse, inside her locker. It wasn't on her person, she wasn't showing it," Rick Drescher added.

Klobuchar Visits Lou-Rich to Talk Manufacturing Jobs

(ABC 6 News) -- With a shortage of skilled laborers across the country, state leaders are focusing on the future.

Thursday, Senator Amy Klobuchar D-Minn. toured the Lou-Rich plant in Albert Lea.

The senator was learning more about the plant's unique apprenticeship program to train high school students for the manufacturing industry.

"Suddenly our country is making things, we're exporting to all kinds of countries, and business is picking up, and especially in minnesota. that means we need workers to fill jobs and we need people to get trained with the skills so they can fill those jobs,"

The program actually pays high school students to work while they earn credit toward graduation.

Sexually Transmitted Diseases On Rise In Minnesota

Sexually Transmitted Diseases On Rise In Minnesota

ST. PAUL, Minn. (AP) - State health officials are concerned that Minnesotans aren't getting the message about safe sex and about testing and treatment for sexually transmitted diseases.

The Minnesota Department of Health on Wednesday reported the rate of sexually transmitted diseases in Minnesota rose 10 percent from 2012 to 2013.

But the increases were much higher for some diseases, with syphilis up 64 percent and gonorrhea up 26 percent.

The Star Tribune reports there were a record 18,724 cases of chlamydia in Minnesota in 2013, a 4 percent increase from the year before.

State health commissioner, Dr. Ed Ehlinger, says untreated STDs can have serious health consequences.

Since most STDs don't show symptoms, Ehlinger says it's important for sexually active people to get tested each year or when involved with a new partner.

Local Attorneys Named as Candidates for Third Judicial District

(ABC 6 News) -- There are currently two open judicial position in Minnesota's Third District Court, and the number of candidates recommended by the Commission on Judicial Selection is down to four.

Erin Felten is an attorney and shareholder at Patton, Hoversten & Berg, P.A., where her practice consists of family law, child protection, probate, employment law, corporate matters, and criminal defense of misdemeanor through felony charges. Previously, she was an associate at Olup & Associates, L.L.C., and, prior to that, was an associate at Adams, Rizzi & Sween, P.A. Ms. Felten currently serves as a volunteer attorney with Southern Minnesota Regional Legal Services and is a member of the Women’s Leadership Initiative of the Mower County United Way.

MNsure Chooses Deloitte as Lead IT Vendor

MINNEAPOLIS (AP) - Minnesota's online health insurance marketplace has chosen Deloitte Consulting LLP as its main information technology vendor to overhaul its troubled website and computer systems, citing Deloitte's record of success in other states.

MNsure spokeswoman Jenni Bowring-McDonough says the exchange's contract with Deloitte is worth $4.95 million and will run for nine months. Details of Deloitte's plans will be presented to MNsure's board of directors Wednesday afternoon.

New York-based Deloitte was one of the original bidders for the contract to build the exchange, but Deloitte wanted $20 million more than the state was willing to pay. The contract went instead to Reston Va.-based Maximus Inc.

Technical problems marred the launch of the exchange last October and persisted for months, frustrating thousands of health insurance shoppers.

April 15 Not Much of a Deadline for Most Taxpayers

WASHINGTON (AP) - The calendar shows April 15, but if you haven't even started on your federal tax return don't fret. If you're due a refund, April 15 isn't much of a deadline at all.
The Internal Revenue Service doesn't like to talk about it, but penalties for filing late federal tax returns apply only to people who owe money. The penalty is a percentage of what you owe. If you owe nothing, 5 percent of nothing is ...nothing.
But it doesn't make much sense for anyone to file late. If you are owed a refund, why wouldn't you want it as soon as possible? And if you have unpaid taxes, the late fees add up quickly.
The IRS says about three-fourths of filers get refunds.

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