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If you're in the habit of pointing lasers at airplanes, investing your company's money in Iran's energy sector, making a fast buck by selling other people's life insurance policies, or operating a sex trafficking ring, listen up: You now face tougher consequences. If, on the other hand, you're prone to losing your cell phone, pursuing a veterinarian career in rural Minnesota, or want to pass that annoying driver ahead of you, take heart: Help is on the way. An assortment of new laws took effect in Minnesota on Aug.
RED WING, Minn. -- Steve Sviggum's path to the governor's mansion may have hit a roadblock. The Department of Labor and Industry commissioner's oversight of OSHA may qualify him as a federal employee -- a group forbidden to run for public office. "This was a curveball out of left field," the former House speaker and Kenyon Republican said Thursday. "I'm kind of suspended right now." While organizing his campaign, Sviggum was informed that his OSHA association might constitute federal employment, he told the Republican Eagle Thursday. Sviggum said he contacted the U.S.
MINNEAPOLIS -- Jammie Thomas-Rasset testified Tuesday in U.S. District Court that she could have settled her case with the Recording Industry of America by paying the record companies $5,000. The RIAA accuses her of downloading and distributing 24 copyrighted recordings on the KaZaA peer-to-peer file-sharing network.
Two novels merit your attention for your trip Up North, when rain is pounding down on the tin roof of your cottage and the fish haven't been biting for days. "Cutting for Stone," by Abraham Verghese (Knopf, $26.95). Recognize the author? He wrote a fine non-fiction book years ago that described his experiences as a medical doctor in Tennessee. "My Own Country" was nominated by the National Book Critics Circle for best non-fiction of 1994. Now the M.D. who teaches in the med school at Stanford, has made the difficult transition from non-fiction to fiction.
As the spread of the H1N1 novel influenza virus continues, the Minnesota Department of Health issued a list of recommendations Thursday to help reduce the likelihood of getting sick with flu: Cover your nose and mouth with your sleeve when you cough or sneeze. Clean your hands frequently and thoroughly, with soap and water or an alcohol-based hand cleanser. Clean your hands after shaking hands or having other close contact with other people -- before eating or preparing food, or touching your eyes, nose or mouth. Limit your contact with others who may be ill.
Steve Sviggum, a Kenyon Republican who represented southeastern Minnesota in the House of Representatives for more than 25 years, is contemplating a run for the governor's office. "I do have an interest," Sviggum said Wednesday evening when asked if he might be among candidates to succeed Gov. Tim Pawlenty, who announced Tuesday that he will not seek a third term. Sviggum, former Speaker of the House, currently serves in Pawlenty's cabinet as commissioner of the Department of Labor and Industry.
Snail changes rules for infested Winnie near Deer River, Minn. Anglers and boaters must adhere to stricter rules on Lake Winnibigoshish near Deer River because the lake has been designated "infested waters" under state regulations. The infested-waters designation was made May 7 because of an exotic species, the faucet snail, first found on the lake in 2007.
A longtime Lake Superior troller has caught what is believed to be the largest "lean" lake trout taken at the Duluth end of Lake Superior. Fishing from his wife's cousin's boat on Sunday afternoon, Tim Jezierski caught a lake trout that was 45 3/4 inches long and 31 inches in girth. Jezierski of Duluth kept the fish after a long and hard fight, but he couldn't weigh it. Don Schreiner, Department of Natural Resources area fisheries supervisor at French River, estimates the weight of the fish at between 35 and 40 pounds.
Gov. Tim Pawlenty left Democrats sputtering when he vowed to balance the state budget on his own, without the Minnesota Legislature. It was a move that changed the contours of the session's final days. Democrats may have miscalculated by sending Pawlenty a full slate of budget bills days ahead of Monday's deadline, leaving time to recraft spending packages or attempt overrides if he vetoed some.
A tree-killing insect that experts fear could wipe out millions of ash trees in the Northland has arrived in Minnesota. The Minnesota Department of Agriculture on Thursday said the emerald ash borer was found in St. Paul near the intersection of state Highway 280 and Interstate 94, the first confirmed sighting in the state. It came after a tree service suspected the insect Wednesday and called state officials. "We sent digital photos of the larvae to the [U.S.