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ST. PAUL - Three judges are handling the U.S. Senate election trial, but county election workers are not done with their part in the prolonged race. The historic election trial started Monday with claims from Norm Coleman's lawyers that ballots were not treated equally around Minnesota and some were counted when they should not have been. The first day of the trial ended with the judges saying they were not confident in some of the Coleman campaign's evidence and would need counties to produce original documents.
A Grand Rapids woman says her son was among four Americans killed when two U.S. helicopters crashed in northern Iraq. Ruth Windorski of Grand Rapids says she learned Monday that her 36-year-old son, Philip Windorski Jr., was among those killed in the single deadliest incident for U.S. troops in four months. Philip Windorski grew up in Grand Rapids and was recently stationed out of Fort Drum, New York. His mother says Windorski was a couple of years away from retirement, but planned to re-up. She says he was on his third tour of Iraq.
The state would get extra federal money by passing a bill protecting people who turn in companies defrauding the government under a new bill. Also, the watchdog himself would get a financial benefit, a percent of the recovered money. Rep. Andrew Falk, DFL-Murdock, said in this time of a budget deficit, every dollar that can be recovered should be sought. Attorney Brian Wojtalewicz of Appleton, who also has an Alexandria office, said there are about 200 federal cases nationwide dealing with the government being defrauded.
ST. PAUL - An electric transmission project in western Minnesota can go forward - with conditions aimed at protecting ratepayers and the environment -- state regulators decided Thursday. The Minnesota Public Utilities Commission voted unanimously to approve a large-scale power line project that would distribute electricity from the proposed Big Stone II coal-fired power plant in eastern South Dakota.
A 29-year-old Redby woman has been missing since Saturday, her mother said Wednesday. Charlotte Clark said her daughter, Barbara Crystal (King) Ortiz, walked away from her home, half a mile west of Redby in the McBride area, to hitchhike to Bemidji Saturday on County Road 15. She was last seen near County Road 32 East. "She's a vulnerable adult," Clark said. "She's in serious need of medication and she needs to be hospitalized. ... She has mental health issues. At times she does not know who she is." Ortiz gave birth to a baby Dec. 28.
The record has been broken again. Unfortunately, it is a record the Dakota County Sheriff's Office would rather not break. In 2008, the civil division of the office handled 2,064 home foreclosures, an increase of 506 from 2007's 1,558 foreclosures. That number, too, was a record, up 694 in 2006. The number of foreclosure sales in the county has grown each year since 1999, but not nearly at the pace of the last several years. In 1999, there were 194 foreclosure sales. The number actually decreased to 159 in 2000, but the numbers have been increasing every year since then.
Usually the Dakota County road maintenance crews go out 30 to 33 times during the winter season to take care of the roads, but this year that number is already up to 28. But this has not been a usual season so far, according to Jim Bell, Dakota County transportation maintenance supervisor. Bell, a 35-year-veteran of Dakota County Transportation Department, describes the times he sends out the crews to clear snow and sand and/or salt as "events." This year's season began Nov. 12, with the vast majority of "events" in December. "We've already have had 23 events," Bell said.
Janice Goodger's body was as cold as Dr. Chris Delp has ever seen - so cold that it seemed Goodger couldn't possibly survive, especially at age 64. Instead, Goodger will walk back into St. Luke's Hospital in Duluth for a simple checkup today, just days after an "amazing" medical journey to the brink of death and back, said Delp, an emergency room physician at the hospital. "I'm not aware of anyone at this age to have survived [being so cold] and to have done this well," Delp said.
ST. PAUL -- Al Franken entered halftime of Minnesota's U.S. Senate race in the lead, but Norm Coleman is hoping for a come-from-behind victory. Coleman, whose term as senator ended Saturday, is going to court in his bid to win the drawn-out race and a second term. A statewide recount took two months; Coleman's chief attorney said a legal case could take two more months. "Minnesotans deserve 100 percent confidence that their senator was fairly elected by all the people," Coleman said Tuesday while surrounded by supporters urging him to keep fighting.
Gordon Hennen, age 65, of Farmington and formerly of Hastings, died early Friday morning at the Trinity Care Center in Farmington. Gordy was born March 2, 1943, the son of Lillian (Rother) and Erven Hennen in Hampton, Minn. He attended school in Hastings and was a graduate of Hastings High School. Gordy worked 35 years for the Minnesota Department of Transportation in the maintenance department. He loved to hunt, fish and spend time gardening, but Gordy's greatest love was anything that involved his grandchildren. He was a member of St.