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Sunday, March 24, 2013

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Entertainment,Travel

DULUTH, Minn. (AP) — Duluth is expanding its oversight of the growing market for vacation rentals and is requiring homeowners to apply for permits if they want to rent out their properties to tourists.

The city's rules reflect a consensus reached by a statewide task force that studied the burgeoning vacation rental market, the Duluth News Tribune reported Sunday (http://bit.ly/WPhizbhttp://bit.ly/WPhizb ). The focus was to ensure that vacation home rentals are a safe lodging alternative, managed and regulated on a level playing field with other lodging options.

Vacation rentals differ from traditional lodgings such as motels in that renters take a key and are basically on their own. They're offered few services, if any, and managers are often off-site.

Joel and Joy Johnson made a bit of history this month when the Duluth Planning Commission approved a permit for their duplex on Park Point, a narrow sand spit between Lake Superior and the Duluth-Superior harbors, which they offer for short-term guests. They were the first on a growing list of owners applying for permits.

It means $1,000 more in fees, but Joel Johnson said something needed to be done.

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ROSEVILLE, Minn. (AP) — The run-up to Saturday night's Powerball drawing generated over $3 million in prizes for Minnesota players and earned the state more than $5.4 million.

A ticket sold in New Jersey is worth $338.3 million, but Minnesota State Lottery officials say the run that started Feb. 9 generated some big returns for Minnesota.

A ticket sold in Hennepin County for Saturday's drawing has won $1 million. Another $1 million ticket was sold in McLeod County for the March 6 drawing. Six tickets sold during the run won $10,000, and thousands of tickets won smaller prices.

The state's proceeds include $3 million for the general fund, $1.4 million for the Environment and Natural Resources Trust Fund, and nearly $500,000 apiece for the Game and Fish Fund and the Natural Resources Fund.

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MINNEAPOLIS (AP) — Minneapolis police have made an arrest in a fatal hit-and-run incident.

A woman was struck shortly after 1 p.m. Saturday in north Minneapolis. She died later at North Memorial Medical Center in Robbinsdale. Her name has not yet been released.

Officers found an unoccupied suspect vehicle near the scene.

Sgt. Stephen McCarty says homicide investigators later identified and questioned a suspect. The 24-year-old was booked into the Hennepin County Jail just after noon Sunday on suspicion of criminal vehicular homicide.

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ST. PAUL, Minn. (AP) — Authorities say a fatal fire in St. Paul was caused by unattended cooking.

Firefighters responded to smoke coming from a duplex just after 12:45 a.m. Sunday. They put out the fire quickly and found an unresponsive 31-year-old man in a back bedroom. He died at Regions Hospital.

A Fire Department statement says the food he was cooking caught fire and the blaze spread to the kitchen cabinets, producing large amounts of smoke and gutting the kitchen. The man was home alone at the time. His name has not been released.

The St. Paul Pioneer Press reports (http://bit.ly/Zh65Y6http://bit.ly/Zh65Y6 ) unattended cooking is the leading cause of building fires in Minnesota. It's the first fire death in St. Paul this year. It's been just over a year since the last one.

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