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Come Monday, the value of a Duluth home probably will be less than it was the week before. For the first time in at least three decades, the city assessor's office is lowering residential property values by 3 percent across the board, marking a reflection in the city's slumping home sales. "I'm about to give the mayor and the budget office a little bit of a decrease in the property tax base, probably for the first time in 30 years," said John Gellatly, the city assessor.
ST. PAUL - State officials are ramping up their Red River Valley flood assistance and asking the federal government for similar efforts. As northwestern Minnesota communities fought rising floodwater amid rain and a snow storm, Gov. Tim Pawlenty on Wednesday sought an expedited federal disaster declaration. Pawlenty sent a letter to President Barack Obama asking for a speedy disaster declaration for the Red River Valley region.
Marilyn T. Christenson, age 61 of Rosemount, died March 17, 2009. Service, officiated by Pastor David Tiarks, 1 p.m. on Saturday, March 21 at Good Shepherd Lutheran Church, 151 E Cty Rd 42, Burnsville, with interment in Lebanon Cemetery. Visitation 1-1/2 hour prior to the service at the church. Memorials preferred to the Lupus Foundation, American Cancer Society, or the American Heart Association. Arrangements by Henry W. Anderson Mortuary, 952-432-2331, www.obit.Henry.W.Anderson.com
Sports, restaurants and graphic novels make a variety of good reads. Baseball is getting underway, so for a behind-the-scenes look could I suggest "Under the March Sun: The Story of Spring Training," by Charles Fountain (Oxford University Press, $24.95)? Northeastern University journalism professor Fountain has finally told us the story of how spring training got started about 100 years ago. It was definitely a shoestring operation, designed to work the winter fat off overindulgent Sultans of Swat from both leagues.
Dora Klem, age 104 of Rosemount, Minn., died March 9, 2009. Services Saturday, March 14 at 11 a.m. at Good Shepherd Evangelical Lutheran Church, 151 E. Country Rd. 42, Burnsville, officiated by Pastor David Tiarks. Visitation one hour prior to the service at the church. Arrangements by Henry W. Anderson Mortuary, 952-432-2331, www.obit.HenryWAnderson.com
Rules to mandate automatic fire sprinklers in new homes constructed after Jan. 1, 2011, will be delayed, the state Department of Labor and Industry says. In a decision announced Monday in a letter to code officials, design professionals and contractors, the state agency cited four criteria in its decision not to move forward with the adoption of the 2009 building code recommendations that include the mandatory sprinkler provision.
WALKER - The counselor who forced a camper to engage in sexual activities with him June 25 at Camp Olson near Longville was sentenced Feb. 23 in Cass County District Court to 25 years supervised probation. Spencer Olin Krum, 20, of Eugene, Ore., had pleaded guilty Dec. 29 one count of felony second-degree criminal sexual conduct while in a position of authority over a victim age 13 to 15. Judge John P. Smith convicted Krum at the Feb. 23 sentencing hearing, ordered him to pay $207 costs and $700 restitution and gave him credit for 120 days already served.
ST. PAUL - Some University of Minnesota Duluth hockey fans may be able to purchase alcoholic beverages next season, thanks to a bill introduced in the Minnesota Legislature. It has yet to be heard by a committee in either house. Sen. Yvonne Prettner Solon, DFL-Duluth, would add the Duluth Entertainment Convention Center to a short list of institutions that can sell alcohol at events. Others include Biwabik's Giants Ridge Recreation Area and the new TCF Bank Stadium at the University of Minnesota Twin Cities.
A Stillwater man will serve two years in prison for his role in a conspiracy to prevent a federal judge from doing her job. John Howard Pelton, 67, was one of three Twin Cities men convicted in October of one count of conspiracy to impede an officer and one count of obstruction of justice in U.S. District Court. In addition to his prison term, Pelton was sentenced Monday to 24 three years of supervised release. Another of the convicted, Frederick Ogan Bond, 63, of Champlin received the same sentence.
ST. PAUL - Judges in the Senate election trial want county officials' help. The court on Thursday ordered 63 counties and some cities to examine roughly 1,500 uncounted absentee ballot envelopes to determine whether voters mistakenly placed voter registration cards in the envelope. The order was a first step toward possibly adding a large group votes in the Senate election tally, but the court's order did not say any of the ballots would be counted as part of the trial. Norm Coleman is challenging Al Franken's 225-vote recount victory in the trial, which is wrapping up its fifth week.