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In the last election, a newcomer to political races challenged one of the longest serving representatives in the Minnesota Legislature's history. That rookie -- Kenyon resident Jeff Flaten -- received a surprisingly large number of votes in his favor. The DFLer hopes to piggyback on that success once again. He announced this week he'll run in 2008 against against fellow Kenyon resident Steve Sviggum, a longtime Republican incumbent. Sviggum represents District 28B.
Take a child fishing and you both can fish for free this weekend. That's the offer from the Minnesota Department of Natural Resources as part of Minnesota's Take-a-Kid Fishing Weekend. Minnesota residents can fish for free when accompanying an angler under age 16. "Most kids - and adults too - would love to go fishing if someone would take them," said Katie Kipka, DNR MinnAqua program supervisor. "Avid anglers and beginners alike can be that person.
LUVERNE -- A soldier with the 1-125th Field Artillery of the Luverne-Pipestone National Guard has been injured in Iraq. Specialist Andrew Hanson, the 21-year-old son of Jack and Felicia Hanson of Luverne, was patrolling and providing security in an unidentified area of Iraq at about 11:30 p.m. Monday (Iraq time) when the Humvee he was driving hit an improvised explosive device (IED). "As of this time, he is in Germany -- he arrived there this morning," his mother said on Wednesday. "His right leg is amputated below the knee, and his left leg is amputated at the knee.
ST. PAUL - Minnesota lawmakers sent a transportation funding package to Gov. Tim Pawlenty Monday, but aren't certain they have enough votes to overturn a promised veto. Both houses approved the budget bill, a House-Senate compromise that would use a 5-cent-per-gallon gasoline tax increase and other new revenue to fund roughly $7 billion of road and transit improvements over 10 years. Sen.
ST. PAUL - Supporters of a major South Dakota power plant said Minnesotans could lose out if lawmakers vote to delay the project. Provisions in a House energy bill passed last week would freeze construction of large energy plants for two years until the state devises a system for businesses to limit carbon dioxide they produce. That could delay the Big Stone II coal-fired power project near Milbank, S.D., said the project's communications manager - if an exemption granted in the House doesn't survive negotiations with the Senate. "We can't wait two years," Dan Sharp said Monday.
3M has agreed to pay over $13 million in grants and payments to the Minnesota Pollution Control Agency for the cleanup of perfluorochemicals (PFCS) at the 3M Cottage Grove, Oakdale and Woodbury Disposal sites. The MPCA Commissioner and 3M came to the negotiated agreement and consent order, but it still has to be approved by the MPCA Citizen's Board at its meeting May 22. The agreement states that 3M will pay the MPCA a total of $598,592 for past costs for the development of surface water quality criteria needed to establish cleanup standards for the 3M Cottage Grove site, samplings at other
GRAND MARAIS -- When U.S. Forest Service spokesman Mark Van Every began speaking at the 7 p.m. fire update meeting Sunday, he took great care to name as many lakes and other major landmarks as he could. He didn't do it for the 75 people in the room who could easily follow along with the map on display. He was doing it for crowds of people scattered all across the North Shore listening to independent radio station WTIP-FM 90.7, which has been carrying the daily meetings live.
Paul and Sheila Wellstone will be recognized as co-recipients of the 2007 Distinguished Minnesotan Award during 2 p.m. commencement ceremonies on Friday at Bemidji State University. First presented by Bemidji State in 1981, the Distinguished Minnesotan Award acknowledges the contributions of current or former residents of the state who have performed exemplary service to the people of Minnesota or the United States. The Wellstones perished on Oct. 25, 2002, in a plane crash near Eveleth, Minn., while Paul was campaigning for a third term in the U.S. Senate.
ST. PAUL - Minnesotans would enjoy more jobsite protections and housing programs would receive new state aid under a compromise lawmakers reached on an economic development funding bill. The $375 million finance bill, agreed to Thursday by a House-Senate conference committee, covers workforce programs, housing initiatives and even a program to lure movie production to Minnesota. Its next stop is final approval from both legislative chambers, expected today. The full House and Senate could debate the compromise today or Saturday.
With a May 21 deadline for wrapping up work looming, there are signs of progress in the Minnesota Legislature. Some House-Senate conference committees are finishing work, sending budget bills to final votes. Each bill has passed in different versions in the Senate and House, and now the chambers are passing compromise bills. Negotiators on a bill funding many state government functions signed a deal to spend $551.7 million in the next two-year budget, about $30 million less than in the current budget.