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(AP) Minnesota legislators have no floor sessions scheduled Wednesday, leaving the field clear for high-level talks between Gov. Mark Dayton and leaders on the key issues standing in the way of a session finish. The GOP-controlled House approved a tax bill Tuesday that would give property tax relief to businesses. It's one of their top priorities, but Dayton's opposed to the bill because it would tap budget reserves to pay for the relief. Meanwhile, the struggle over a Vikings stadium plan took a detour when Republican leaders came forward Tuesday with a stadium plan that would drop the roof and fund it with general-fund dollars instead of expanded gambling. Dayton, the Vikings and other supporters of the main bill say it's a non-starter.
(AP) Authorities in eastern Minnesota say first responders are dealing with a new and dangerous phenomenon chemical suicide. Washington County Sheriff's Cmdr. Brian Mueller says his department dealt with its first case over the weekend. A person had committed suicide by mixing household chemicals in a bucket, creating a deadly gas. The body of a man from Prescott, Wis., was found in a car in Point Douglas Park. Mueller says when first responders arrived they detected a faint smell of chemicals and called St. Paul hazardous materials squad. He says more training is needed for first responders because they ``may not know what they're walking into when they open the car door.'' Mueller says the haz-mat squad has dealt with similar incidents in the Twin Cities metro area.
(AP) Wisconsin wildlife officials say another survey has turned up no sign of a deadly bat disease. White-nose syndrome causes bats to wake up during hibernation and quickly deplete their energy stores. Federal wildlife officials estimated in January the disease has killed as many as 6.7 million bats in the eastern United States and Canada.
The state Department of Natural Resources conducted a survey of more than 100 potential hibernacula in the winter of 2010-11 and found to traces of the disease. DNR officials say a survey of 114 sites this past winter found no sign of the disease, either. But they remained convinced the disease is bound to appear sometime.
(AP) Storms packing high winds and windshield-shattering hail have rumbled across central Minnesota, but no serious damage or injuries are reported. National Weather Service meteorologist Byron Paulson says a brief tornado touchdown was reported Tuesday near Brooten in west-central Minnesota, but there was no significant damage. Paulson say hail measuring 1.75 inches shattered windshields in Albany in central Minnesota. Winds whipped up to 60 mph or better in Benton County. Another round of storms is possible Wednesday afternoon and evening across southern Minnesota and western Wisconsin.