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Cyber Safety During Online Purchases

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A recent survey conducted by the National Retail Federation revealed results showing that the average person will do 36 percent of his or her shopping via the internet, Kare 11's Diana Pierce reported.

Dan Hendrickson from the Better Business Bureau recommended some tips to avoid fraud and bogus purchases, and general habits consumers should embrace during the holiday season, provided by Kare 11.

Be cautious about sites that display quality graphics and low deals; "If it is too good to be true -it is, and you want to get out of there fast," Hendrickson said.

In addition, avoiding general search terms in search engines, and using common, known retail outlets to search for gifts will ensure safety. Also, check the privacy statements, look for the security lock during the act of a purchase made online, and always take note of the confirmation number that should be provided after a purchase.

On behalf of all consumers during the season of giving, keeping up to date with statements and balances, and avoid fishing : an email that claims to be from the credit card company and requests an account number due to an error during the online purchase.

Know consumers' rights; "After 30 days of an order online, you have the right to cancel and demand a refund," Hendrickson said.

Minnesota Deer Hunter Deaths for 2011

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Minnesota's 16 foot height restrictions for elevated deer stands was vacated this 2011 deer hunting season, so safe-tactics such as safety harnesses, haul ropes, and non-slip grips should not be underestimated, Mike Hammer of the Department of Natural resources explained to the Star Tribune.

Hunting related deaths have occurred four times during the firearm season of this year, which is two more than that which occurred the previous; the most since four deaths that occurred during the 2006 hunting season, according to the Star Tribune.

"It highlights the fact that a lot of people fall from elevated stands,'' Hammer said. "If you fall from a stand, chances are you will get hurt.'' Provided by the Star Tribune.

Arthur Joseph Knafla of Maple Grove, age 84, died the morning of the start of the firearm season in St. Louis County after lighting a propane heater from his partially enclosed deer stand; after his clothes caught on fire he fell from his stand, according to Outdoor News.

Outdoor News explain when members of Gene A. Berthiaume's deer hunting party, a St. Paul man of age 72, found Berthiaume dead beneath his deer stand in Saum on opening day; the cause assumed to be a fall from the stand.

Near Outing Minn., a man from Sartell, age 51, died on Sunday opening weekend after falling from his stand, receiving a fatal wound that resulted from his gun discharging, according to Cass County Sheriff Tom Burch, provided by Outdoor News.

In Brunswick Township the Kanabec County Sheriff's Office found a 15-year-old boy from Mora whose gun fired a shot into his inner leg while holding it between his legs, trying to take off his jacket, the Star Tribune Reports.

Casinos, Racinos, and e-Pulltabs

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Some say that no tax increases but a great deal of income for the state could be achieved through modernized gambling strategies, but Minnesotans fear an increase in crime rate and gambling addiction as a negative result.

The state of Minnesota could gain $40 million a year from e-pulltabs, and a recent state fiscal analysis report says that a racino could bring in $130 million a year, in addition to an increase of jobs that would result from video slot machines at Minnesota race tracks, according to the Star Tribune.

"If people want to spend their money gambling, it should be up to them," Paul Landvice, 54-years-old and a meat cutter said, provided by the Star Tribune.

In 2010, ten states took on new gambling tactics; Pennsylvania legalized table games, New York now participates in a multistate lottery, Ohio will invest in four new casinos, and the State of Iowa has private casinos, racinos, and tribal casinos. The American Gambling Association says that 15 states have commerical casinos and 13 states of racinos, the Star Tribune reported.

Debi Seifert, who sells pulltabls at Rail Station Bar and Grill in Minneapolis, claims that 12 years ago she would sell $5,000 for pulltabs a night, but today $1,000 a night is a steady rate.

Welfare and Drug testing contoversy

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The new law that took effect in July that requires applicants to pay for a drug test that would determine their eligbilty for welfare assisstance, has been denied by nearly 1,600 applicants without the requirement of a reason why, according to the New York Times.

A lawsuit brought against Luis Lebron, a navy veteran with a 4-year-old-son, resulted in the dismissal of the case due to the Florida Judge's belief that it infringes forth amendment guarantees.

Lebron is "happy that the judge stood up for me and my rights and said the state can't act without a reason or suspicion," he said, according to the Star Tribune.

Drug testing was also mandated for new state workers, though it was suspended when the American Civil Liberties Union contested the policy. Both sources explain that Florida is the first state to enact such a law, with the exception to Michigan's attempt that failed a decade ago.

"This potential interception of positive drug tests by law enforcement implicates a far more substantial invasion of privacy than in ordinary civil drug testing cases," Federal Judge Mary Scriven said, according to the Star Tribune.

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