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Vaccines for Kids

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An increasingly large number of Minnesota parents are opting out of vaccines for their children, according to


A new Associated Press analysis shows that Minnesota has the third highest rate of skipping out on required immunizations in the United States at 6.5 percent, reported 5 Eyewitness News.

Many parents have opted out of immunization for their children due to religious, medical or philosophical reasons.

Patsy Stinchfield, Director of Infectious Disease at Children's Hospitals and Clinics in Minnesota, told 5 Eyewitness News that even one family opting out of immunizations could be harmful to an entire community if they would happen to then contract that disease for which they opted out for the shot.

However, Stinchfield reminded 5 Eyewitness News that the majority of parents are taking the responsibility to obtain the immunizations for their children.

Cargill cuts 2000 employees

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In the midst of the lowest United States unemployment rate since March 2009, a Minnesota-based company has recently laid off 2,000 employees, according to Kare 11 News.

Cargill is a food and agricultural giant with headquarters in Minnesota that employs 138,000 people worldwide and has declined the opportunity to comment on the situation.

Recently laid off employees told Kare 11 that this letting go of workers has been widespread in the company during this holiday season, beginning on the first of the month.

Employees had to sign a confidentiality form stating that they wouldn't speak publicly about what happened, and Cargill has yet to release a statement about its recent activities.

The Library

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The Library bar in Dinkytown is your cliche college campus bar, according to the Minnesota Daily.

The Library bar, located off of Fourth Street on the edge of Dinkytown, attracts a lot of attention from college students looking for cheap drinks and loud music, reported the Daily. reported that the Library bar is usually full of "party animals of the fratty type".

While some students are all about this type of atmospere, the Daily reported that not everyone was smiling at the Dinkytown hot spot.

"There are too many bros here. And all the music sucks," University of Minnesota student Jennifer Maes told the Daily. "I get why people come here, but I can't stand it."

Amsterdam Bar and Hall

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A new music venue that also doubles as a restaurant has been attracting a lot of attention from the indie rock crowd in St. Paul, according to the City Pages.

The new music venue is called the Amsterdam Bar and Hall, and its restaurant menu includes a variety of unique foods, reported City Pages.

The owners of the joint pulled inspiration from the city of Amsterdam's flag, which displays three red X's, a theme which is seen throughout the new club in St. Paul.

According to the Star Tribune, the Amsterdam Bar and Hall had a good turnout on its opening night.

They reported that St. Paul mayor Chris Coleman was also there celebrating his birthday, which was a good sign for the city's addition because he'll likely keep them around.

Ban on gay marriage poll

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Marginally more Minnesotans oppose rather than support next year's constitutional amendment to ban same-sex marriage, according to a recent statewide poll by St. Cloud State University, reported the Pioneer Press.

The survey showed that 47 percent of people polled do not support defining marriage as between one man and one woman, while 44 percent support the proposal.

Kare 11 reported that the issue will be on the 2012 ballot, which was decided after an intense six-hour debate.

The survey had a margin of error of plus or minus 5 percentage points and surveyed 626 randomly selected Minnesota residents by phone.

The survey also reported several results about peoples' perceptions about Barack Obama's performance thus far and about their predictions for the next presidential election.

Minnesota Poll: Blended solution has support

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Many Minnesotans would like to balance the state's budget with a combination of tax hikes and spending reductions, according to a new Star Tribune Minnesota Poll.

The state budget deficit has been a particularly prevalent problem since the government shutdown last summer, reported My Fox 9, after Gov. Mark Dayton didn't pass a budget before the July 1 deadline.

According to the poll, 63 percent of people surveyed said they prefer a mixture of higher taxes and service reductions to balance the $5 billion projected deficit for the budget, while only 27 percent say they want to do so just through cuts.

The survey results were based on 565 landline and 241 cellphone interviews conducted May 2-5.

Blogger Karl Bremer

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58-year-old Karl Bremer has become a very popular anti-Michele Bachmann blogger over the past few years, according to the Pioneer Press.

The Stillwater native has opposed Bachmann since her term as a conservative state representative and has found all sorts of new fuel against her now that she's running as a Republican presidential candidate.

Bremer gets material from events like the Palin-Bachmann rally in Minneapolis in November of 2010, reported by the Minnesota Daily.

Bremer told the Pioneer Press that he believes Bachmann will drop out of the race after the Iowa caucuses on Jan. 3.

Back in 2010, the Daily reported about how Bachmann focused on repealing health care reform. These are the kinds of things that Bremer uses in his anti-Bachmann blogs.

He told the Pioneer Press that he would like to stop writing about Bachmann, but that it has been enjoyable and amusing.

Joe Mauer

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Joe Mauer isn't your typical professional athlete.

The Star Tribune reported that the Twins baseball player is a friendly, down-to-earth young man who is enjoying playing ball professionally in the same state where he grew up.

The City Pages voted him Best Twins Player and reported that the hometown hero has received awards like the Silver Slugger and the Golden Glove, even as the catcher on the team.

Mauer attended Cretin High School in St. Paul as a teenager where he played football, basketball and baseball and was eventually signed to the Twins.

The Star Tribune said that Mauer enjoys spending time with his friends and family in a cabin up north when he isn't in his St. Paul condo.

For now, he is focusing on improving his game and trying to remain under the radar as he gains popularity among baseball fans.

2 Rochester women convicted in Somali terror funding case

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Two Rochester women were convicted of conspiring to funnel money to a terror group in Somalia, according to the Pioneer Press.

The two women were 35-year-old Amina Farah Ali and 64-year-old Hawo Mohamed Hassan.

WXOW News reported that Hassan is also facing two counts of false statements to the FBI.

The Somali terrorist group was called Al Shabaab, and the prosecution had several wire tapped conversations between the group and the two women as well as evidence of money transfers between the parties.

According to the Pioneer Press, the U.S. designated al-Shabaab a foreign terrorist organization in 2008.

Neither woman testified during the two-week trial.

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