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A year ago this month the Minnesota Department of Health released findings of low levels of perfluorochemicals (PFCs) once manufactured by 3M in the drinking water of Woodbury and six other east metro communities.
WILLMAR -- Federal interest-free financing has been approved for a wind generation project in Willmar. The Internal Revenue Service has approved $5 million in interest-free financing under the Clean Renewable Energy Bond program for half of the estimated $9.5 million to $10 million cost of two wind turbines for the Willmar Municipal Utilities. The CREB funding means interest will only be paid on about half of the money that will be borrowed and repaid with utility revenues to finance the project. "It is good news because that will then buy down our overall, long-term cost of producing this
A 10-cent hike in Minnesota's gasoline tax would cost an average rural Minnesotan about $60 a year. Not doing anything could cost $400 a year -- $200 in car maintenance and $200 in higher property taxes. So Minnesotans actually would save money with a higher gas tax, proffers a new report by Minnesota 2020, a progressive non-profit think tank in St. Paul. "There's no question that for northern Minnesota, we need additional investment in transportation," Matt Entenza, Minnesota 2020 founder and board chairman, said Wednesday.
Sure, I know. Noel Coward is a superficial fop. But he's a superb superficial fop. So when "The Letters of Noel Coward," Barry Day, ed. (Knopf, $37.50) arrived in the mail, I dove right into the correspondence to and from the guy who wrote about mad dogs and Englishman going out in the noonday sun. The collection is voluminous, with letters to and from George Bernard Shaw, T.E.
A state senator representing thousands of Minnesotans who were flooded earlier this year wants Gov. Tim Pawlenty to help. "I am asking the governor do what he can to strip away the red tape," Sen. Sharon Erickson Ropes, DFL-Winona, said. "It is Christmas season, so I would simply ask that he do what he can." But the first-year senator was not so kind in everything she said. "I wish he would show concern about our families who fall through the cracks, our farmers who have not gotten any help, who have thousands and thousands of dollars of fence line washed down the creek," she said.
ST. PAUL - Sonia Pitt become a familiar name as Minnesotans heard allegations that she bilked $26,000 as Minnesota Department of Transportation emergency manager, but few know much about her office. The small office Pitt directed until she was fired last month was not well known to taxpayers, legislators and even MnDOT officials. Pitt's controversy brought into public view an office that plans MnDOT's response to disasters. That includes flooding, disease outbreaks and other events such as the Aug. 1 Minneapolis bridge collapse.
Becker County Deputy Tim Haverkamp, 43, of rural Detroit Lakes has been charged with two gross misdemeanor hunting offenses -- transporting illegal big game and taking or possessing big game out of season. The charges follow a Department of Natural Resources investigation that was launched in October of 2006. It began on Oct. 14, when conservation officer Al Peterson was called out to a residence southeast of Ponsford, close to Highway 225, where a headless white tail buck was found. The large buck had a bullet hole in its neck. It was not tagged with a license of any kind.
ST. PAUL - The Minnesota Department of Transportation missed a self-imposed deadline to inspect all state bridges, but inspection officials say they will finish their work by next week. Inspectors from MnDOT and a private firm have finished inspecting most state-owned bridges in rural Minnesota. The remaining bridges to be inspected in the coming days generally are in the Twin Cities area, said Duane Hill, MnDOT's statewide bridge inspection program coordinator. MnDOT officials set a Dec. 1 deadline to inspect all state bridges. "We were really close to being done by Dec.
Minnesota bridge inspections since late July resulted in 15 "critical findings," such as cracks and corrosion. As a result, five bridges were closed - one temporarily - while other bridges have been fixed or have repairs pending. A sixth bridge closure is planned. The bridges are on: -- Highway 11 at Red River in Kittson County. Beam cracks at welds. Bridge temporarily closed for repair. -- U.S. 10 in Morrison County. Beam cracks at weld. Repaired. -- Highway 68 at Pike River in St. Louis County. Section loss of bottom chord increased. Bridge load rating lowered.
A woman who was raped at WE Fest has filed a civil suit in Becker County District Court seeking more than $300,000 in damages. The suit was filed Dec. 10 against Festivals and Concert Events (FACE), which puts on WE Fest. The suit was also filed against Security Specialists, which apparently provided security for the 2006 festival at which the rape occurred. The suit follows a criminal case: Eric Joseph Fanning, 45, of St. Cloud was sentenced to 10 years in prison Jan. 12 for raping the 22-year-old Stearns County woman who filed the civil suit. Her name was not disclosed in court papers.