SWC Bulletin Newsroom
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ST. PAUL - For 28 years, Jim Mulder has looked into his crystal ball and predicted how legislators and the governor will solve budget problems. Now, the Association of Minnesota Counties' executive director said, that crystal ball is dark. Mulder and other veteran budget-watchers are stumped as lawmakers prepare for the 2009 legislative session that begins at noon Jan. 6. No one knows how to fix a record state budget deficit that most predict will top $6 billion for a two-year budget lawmakers and the governor must write in the first half of 2009.
MONTEVIDEO -- Operating a 90-bed veterans home in Montevideo would create an additional $11.7 million worth of economic activity annually for a three-county area, a University of Minnesota Extension study shows. The report's authors presented the results of their study Monday to Montevideo City Council members. A community task force is putting together a proposal to the Legislature to build a home in the community.
Rich Kostynick Jr. says his dad isn't one to blow his own horn too loudly. So others are doing it for him. By all accounts, the elder Kostynick, who is from Detroit Lake ignored potential danger to help fellow passengers evacuate Continental Flight 1404 after it crashed and burned trying to take off from the Denver airport Dec. 20. Susan Kostynick was half asleep when she and her husband, Rich Kostynick Sr., settled in on the plane for the last leg of their journey to visit their son, Timothy, in Houston, Texas, for Christmas. She said the takeoff seemed rough from the start.
ST. PAUL - A new leader emerged Friday in Minnesota's U.S. Senate race, but new electoral wrinkles kept the outcome unknown. Democrat Al Franken pulled ahead of Sen. Norm Coleman for the first time after the state Canvassing Board completed a four-day review of roughly 1,500 ballots challenged by the campaigns during the statewide recount. The board's exhaustive review - it eyed challenged ballots for voter intent - gave Franken a lead of around 260 votes out of 2.9 million ballots cast.
Carissa Bordthauser had her sights set on murder at Red Wing High School, Goodhue County prosecutors allege. The 16-year-old is charged with first-degree attempted murder following a Nov. 18 attack at Red Wing High School. She allegedly stabbed a male student in the neck with a knife, but was pulled away without inflicting serious injury. But a juvenile petition filed Nov.
ST. PAUL - Election officials around Minnesota this morning started the final week of the state's historic U.S. Senate recount. Officials at many of the state's 107 recount sites have completed their part of the 2.9-million-ballot recount. Two counties begin the hand recount today; another four start Wednesday. Secretary of State Mark Ritchie set a Friday deadline for all ballots to be recounted. But Minnesotans still will not know for at least three weeks whether Republican Norm Coleman or Democrat Al Franken will be their next senator.
ST. PAUL - Minnesota's U.S. Senate recount became even murkier Monday as both candidates could claim the lead. Democratic challenger Al Franken took his first lead in the raw vote, but two heavily Republican Twin Cities-area counties have yet to begin their recounts. Republican U.S. Sen. Norm Coleman stretched his lead in a more accurate way to look at the recount totals. The secretary of state's office reported Monday night that 91 percent of the ballots had been recounted.
When President-elect Barack Obama announced plans last month for a huge job creation effort by the federal government, U.S. Rep. Jim Oberstar was already there. Oberstar is chairman of the House Transportation and Infrastructure Committee, which has readied legislation to make $45 billion available to states for road, bridge, aviation, maritime and water-sewer projects. His plan would allow states to pick the projects to be funded without congressional earmarks.
ST. PAUL -- Farmers who suffered crop losses due to the July 30 wind storm that struck west central Minnesota will be eligible for low-interest emergency loans from the federal Farm Service Agency. U.S. Agriculture Secretary Edward Schafer designated Lac qui Parle, Big Stone, Chippewa, Swift and Yellow Medicine counties as agricultural disaster areas, Gov. Tim Pawlenty's office announced Monday. A loss assessment report provided by Lac qui Parle County documented the extensive damage to corn and soybean crops by the storm.
Minnesota Power's Taconite Ridge wind farm isn't producing nearly as much electricity as anticipated in recent months, with seven of the 10 wind turbines shut off for repairs. The $50 million project, built on 450 acres of land overlooking U.S. Steel's Minntac mine, came fully online early this summer. But this fall, inspectors with the turbine manufacturer discovered defects in seven of the wind turbines' blades.