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Minnesota Army National Guard Sgt. Hiedi Allen, a mother of three stationed in Iraq, started out her time there keeping track of other soldiers awards. Now the Cottage Grove resident has gotten a big one of her own -- The Bronze Star Medal for "exceptionally meritorious conduct." Although Allen is a Human Resources Sergeant, when her brigade's mission changed she volunteered to serve as a driver for convoy escort teams while at the same time reorganizing her own department so that they could keep processing awards in her absence.
One person is confirmed dead after a small plane broke through the clouds Friday and crashed into a cornfield in Leon Township. The Goodhue County Sheriff's Office received the call at about 2:18 p.m. Friday from a man who witnessed the plane's descent into the cornfield off 100th Avenue, one mile west of U.S. 52. Paul Gram, who rents a house on the property, said he heard the plane before seeing it break through the clouds.
Army Pfc. Anthony "Tony" Hebert of Lake City died Thursday in Iraq. Hebert, 19, was the son of Robert and Laurie Hebert. A 2005 graduate of Lincoln High School, he was known for working hard in class and playing hard on the golf course. "He was just a real classy kid," said Steve Randgaard, who coached Hebert on the varsity Tiger golf team. The Defense Department hadn't released any official information on the circumstances of Hebert's death as of press time, but his former teammates said the first report indicated Hebert died in a roadside bombing. He apparently was one of five U.S.
Xcel Energy officials are gearing up to make a case that Minnesota's electricity needs require a massive expansion of transmission lines. The project would extend new high-voltage transmission lines from the Twin Cities to Rochester, approximately 150 miles. Xcel officials anticipate the line would head south through Hampton on its way to Rochester, though they won't rule out a second option that would run lines east to the Prairie Island nuclear plant. Utility officials will present their case - possibly by July - to the state's Public Utilities Commission. Notices to be sent
WILLMAR -- The Willmar Planning Commission has upheld its previous denial of a conditional use permit for a biomass pelletizing plant in northeast Willmar. The City Council on June 4 had asked the Planning Commission to reconsider its denial of the permit sought by Earth Tech Energy of Shoreview for the proposed biomass plant. The commission's decision is final, said Bruce Peterson, director of planning and development services.
ST. PAUL -- There is a special guest list of nearly 50,000 Minnesotans for the upcoming dedication of a new World War II memorial. Organizers are trying to round up the state's World War II veterans and their families to attend the June 9 ceremony dedicating the memorial located on the Capitol Mall. John Polley, whose Army service from 1942-45 took him from North Africa to Norway, plans to be there.
ON THE GUNFLINT TRAIL -- The Ham Lake fire may have blackened 36,000 acres along the Gunflint Trail. But it couldn't get the walleyes. Thanks to the efforts of firefighters, Mike Berg's Seagull Creek Fishing Camp near the tip of the trail survived the fire. Now, Berg's guides and others along the upper Gunflint Trail are back on the water, putting their clients in touch with Saganaga Lake's trophy fish. Any concerns about the state of the lake's walleyes were dispelled when Berg set the hook on his first walleye of the season last weekend.
Policymakers agreed on the need to get federal help for businesses and residents near northeastern Minnesota's Gunflint Trail after last month's fire, but they don't agree on who deserves the credit once the aid was announced. Many of those policymakers sent news releases demanding that federal agencies do more to help fire victims. Once it came, they did not hesitate to plug their roles in the action. U.S. Sen.
It's not often that Minnesota Gov. Tim Pawlenty and Planned Parenthood find a common cause, but they did when the Republican signed a bill into law last month. He signed the "prevention first initiative," which is designed to help prevent unintended pregnancies. "Strong family planning makes good sense from both a fiscal and a social perspective," said Planned Parenthood Minnesota, North Dakota, South Dakota President Sarah Stoesz. "For every dollar that is spent on family planning services to women in need, a savings of $3.80 is realized the following year.