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Girl, 11, killed after bullet goes through home window

MINNEAPOLIS (AP) -- An 11-year-old girl, playing at her family's computer with her 6-year-old sister, was struck and killed by a bullet that came through the window of their home.

The shooting occurred shortly after 3 p.m. Friday. The girl died a short time later at Hennepin County Medical Center.

The girl's identity wasn't released by authorities.

Police were unsure how many people were involved in the shooting and whether they were on foot or in a car. A caller to police dispatchers said at least six shots were fired, though neighbors gave conflicting accounts.

Nothing indicated the girl's home was the intended target, police said.

"This is a terrible tragedy, and these are cowards who have done this," Chief Robert Olson said outside the home. "Somebody needs to come forward and help us solve this case so we can identify who the killers of this child are."

School bus driver scolded for distributing Bibles

JACKSONVILLE, Fla. (AP) -- A school bus driver has been given a letter of discipline for distributing Bibles to students on her bus.

After picking up students from Merrill Road Elementary School, the driver pulled out of the school driveway and stopped at the corner.

A man approached the bus and through a window handed the driver Bibles to be distributed to students, said Donna Alosa, regional manager for First Student, the bus contractor that employs the driver. The company did not release her name.

Alosa said the driver thought the man was with the school and accepted the books. Students sitting near the driver said they wanted the Bibles, and she gave them out, she said.

"It all happened so fast that she didn't pay attention to what she was giving out, and that was wrong," she said.

She said a letter condemning the incident was placed in the driver's file last week and no other disciplinary actions would be taken.

Miami-Dade vote well-run but costly, monitor says

MIAMI (AP) -- The independent monitor that Miami-Dade County hired to assess its performance in this month's election says the process was well-run but cost twice as much as normal.

"The financial and human resources applied to the Nov. 5 election made the election one of the most expensive per voter in the United States," the Center for Democracy said.

On Election Day, Miami-Dade mobilized nearly 3,500 county employees, including police, to ensure voters could cast their ballots without delay. That cost the county an estimated $3 million, double the normal expense.

The Washington, D.C.-based center said the county could save money by better training elections staff and working with the manufacturer of its touch-screen voting machines to ensure the devices are set up efficiently.

County commissioners hired the nonpartisan center after the Sept. 10 primary, when problems with new machines and poll-worker training, particularly in Miami-Dade and Broward counties, delayed results for the Democratic gubernatorial primary for a week.

FAA finds no violations in hiring of Wellstone pilots

MINNEAPOLIS (AP) -- The Federal Aviation Administration said it found no violations after reviewing hiring practices at the company that provided the pilots involved in the crash that killed Sen. Paul Wellstone.

The review of Aviation Charter was sparked by media reports of background problems with one of the pilots.

Richard Conry, a convicted felon who exaggerated his flying experience when he was hired in April 2001, was the chief pilot on the Oct. 25 flight that killed Wellstone and six others.

Aviation Charter managers said Conry told them he had flown 400 to 500 hours as a co-pilot on American Eagle ATR twin-turboprop airplanes. Conry trained for four months in 1990 to be a co-pilot for American Eagle, but he resigned while still a trainee.

The FAA said a previous employer is prohibited from providing background information that is older than five years, unless it is related to a license suspension or revocation.

Conry was convicted of felony mail fraud after leaving American Eagle. Aviation Charter owner Roger Wikner has said he never would have hired Conry if he had known of the conviction.

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