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REDWOOD FALLS, Minn. - Farmers in 56 Minnesota counties will be eligible for low-interest loans to help recover from this summer's drought, but that type of aid could have little impact in the state. U.S. Agriculture Secretary Mike Johanns on Tuesday began his visit to Farmfest, an agriculture trade show in southwestern Minnesota, by announcing 24 Minnesota counties were designated federal agriculture disaster areas.
A report released Tuesday may have you running away from Lake Superior beaches, but the official in charge of testing the waters in Duluth said the report is highly misleading. "It wasn't well put together," said Heidi Bauman, program coordinator with Minnesota Pollution Control Agency's beach monitoring program. The National Resources Defense Council's "Testing the Waters: A Guide to Water Quality at Vacation Beaches," listed Minnesota among the five worst states in the country for failing to meet national health standards for bacteria at popular swimming beaches. Minnesota got that rankin
Dustin Carlson of Hermantown and Bob Benson of Chetek, Wis., won the Minnesota Muskie Tournament Trail event on July 20-21 at Lake Vermilion. The two anglers won a combined $6,000, along with rods and reels, Carlson said. Carlson and Benson caught two muskies, 51 inches and 41 inches long, on Friday, the first day of the tournament, then came back to catch muskies of 41 and 41½ inches the second day.
The 22-year-old woman who fell to her death from the Ninth Street bridge in Duluth Friday has been identified as Elizabeth Marie Benrud of Goodhue, Minn. Benrud, a 2007 graduate of the University of Minnesota Duluth, fell about 100 feet into Chester Creek around 11 a.m. Friday.
ST. PAUL - A new batch of student test results show Minnesota children are coasting along when it comes to math and reading skills. Likewise, policymakers are maintaining familiar positions as they debate the best way to boost student achievement. In the second year of the statewide MCA-II test, students overall showed little considerable gain or drop in proficiency, according to the state Department of Education. Most Minnesota students in grades 3-8 are tested in math and reading.
ON BIRCH LAKE -- Surrounded by the deep-blue waters and lush shoreline of a northern Minnesota lake, Dan Olson and two fellow drillers toiled last week inside a small metal enclosure in 92-degree heat. "Sweaty," was how Olson described working conditions inside the massive drill rig atop 7,000-acre Birch Lake near Babbitt. "It's what they call the weight-control plan." In coming years, hundreds of workers could be sweating in copper, nickel and precious metals operations in Northeastern Minnesota. Franconia Minerals Corp.
ST. PAUL - An agriculture policy debate often defined by regional differences took on a decidedly partisan tone Thursday in Congress. As the U.S. House began debate on a new five-year farm bill, Republicans decried the last-minute addition of a tax provision while Democrats claimed opponents were trying to stall progress on legislation that had garnered the backing of more than 100 farm, energy and conservation groups. Months in the making, the $286 billion bill grew increasingly controversial in the hours leading up to the debate.
Campfires will be restricted in the 1999 blow-down area of the Boundary Waters Canoe Area Wilderness beginning at 7 p.m. Friday. After that, campfires, charcoal or wood-burning camp stoves will be allowed only between the hours of 7 p.m.
An 86-year-old Red Wing man drowned Tuesday morning while fishing alone at park in downtown Red Wing. The man was later identified as Howard Korsten. Authorities said Korsten was standing on a spot known as Levee Wall when he fell into the river. The concrete area is pitched toward the water and has no railing. Friends of Korsten told police they became concerned after spotting his fishing gear on the wall but saw nobody around. They ran to the site and found their friend unresponsive in the water.
MINNEAPOLIS - Benji Wilebski's birthday's been a grand slam. Benji, who turns 9 today, got a chance to manage the Minnesota Twins Tuesday night, discussing strategy and the starting lineup with regular Twins Manager Ron Gardenhire. Picking the starting lineup was the only thing on which they didn't see eye to eye. "I switched (Michael) Cuddyer and (Justin) Morneau around," Benji said after the two of them exchanged lineups with the umpires and Detroit Manager Jim Leyland just before the game began.