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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.

(Copyright 2014 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.)

State Patrol Using New Tactic to Catch Distracted Drivers

(ABC 6 News) -- Law enforcement is cracking down on distracted driving this week, using tactics that have never been used in our area before.

In the first three days of the distracted driving extra enforcement, preliminary numbers show more than 130 tickets have been issued statewide for texting while driving.

We road along with the Minnesota State Patrol Monday. Where it’s more than just law enforcement helping to curb the problem.

Texting while driving, or any type of distraction, isn't so easy for law enforcement to catch in action. "If we don't see them using the phone or see what they’re doing in that vehicle, unless they admit the violation to us, it's difficult for us to say this is what happened,” said Lt. Heath Dienger, Minnesota State Patrol.

Visiting Teacher Gives Albert Lea Students Lesson in International Relations

(ABC 6 News) -- It’s a real-life case of international relations.

"This is my first time in class experience in another country," David Goodchild told us.

There was a long-awaited greeting on the white board in Mark Nechanecky's fourth grade classroom. It said “Mr. Goodchild has arrived.”

"We've traveled here to see what really happens on the ground," teacher David Goodchild said.

When Albert Lea elementary school teacher Mark Nechanicky was accepted into the Fulbright International Teacher Exchange, he waited two years for a foreign match. British teacher David Goodchild became that match.  It came around the same time of the federal government sequester.

"So after 67 years they've canceled the program," Mark Nechanicky explained.

Over $57,000 Raised in the Austin-Albert Lea March of Dimes

Over $57,000 raised in the Austin-Albert Lea March of Dimes. -

(ABC 6 News) -- The Austin-Albert Lea March of Dimes Walk was held at Torge's in Austin today.

More than two hundred people participated and raised over $57,000.

The money goes to efforts in educating mothers on information about healthy pregnancy, premature and healthy babies.

Money raised also used in pushing for legislation for newborn screening tests and other bills concerning mothers and babies' health.

This is the first of five March of Dimes Walk in our area. The next ones are in Rochester on April 26, Rice and Steele Counties on May 3, Red Wing on May 4 and Winona on May 17.

Obama Praises Lawmakers For Raising Minimum Wage

Obama Praises Lawmakers For Raising Minimum Wage

ST. PAUL, Minn. (AP) - President Barack Obama is praising Minnesota lawmakers for raising the state's minimum wage.

In a statement, Obama says Minnesota joins a growing number of states, cities, counties and businesses that have taken action to "do the right thing for their workers and their citizens."

Obama also is urging Congress to follow Minnesota's lead and raise the federal minimum wage.

Minnesota lawmakers gave final approval Thursday to a bill that pushes the state's hourly rate to $9.50 by 2016 and enables automatic increases in the future.

The bill now goes Gov. Mark Dayton, who promises to sign it.

(Copyright 2014 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.)