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THIEF RIVER FALLS, MINN. - Steve Lappegaard spent Thanksgiving Day thinking about his daughter Gina Anderson, who went missing two months ago today. Now, he looks back on Thanksgiving with regret. "I still have guilt of not being as thankful as I should have been," said Lappegaard, his voice choking with emotion. "Here I'm missing Gina and, ah, I should have just been thankful for Jill and still having my Jack," said Lappegaard, referring to Jackie Pagel, 29, his middle daughter, and Jill Lappegaard, his youngest. Jill, 22, died Dec.
Minnesota has recorded its first culture-confirmed case of influenza for the 2008-09 season in a 39-year-old man from Chisago County. The man's illness was caused by the A (H1) strain of the virus, the Minnesota Department of Health reported Friday, Dec. 12.
A family has been found for the newborn boy left anonymously at a Fergus Falls hospital Monday. The family will care for the baby and likely will be his adoptive parents pending adoption proceedings, said Otter Tail County Social Services Supervisor Brad Vold. Vold said Wednesday that the county is pursuing termination of parental rights for the child's biological parents before the adoption proceedings begin. He would not identify the prospective adoptive parents or say where they live.
"Delicate" probably wouldn't be the first word one would use to describe something the size of a backyard swimming pool that weighs about as much as 14 Hummers. Now picture a crane hoisting that thing 50 feet into the air and sliding it into a tight-fitting frame. Does "delicate" come to mind now? On Wednesday morning, a revolutionary power source arrived in Hastings and was painstakingly lifted onto the barge that will become its new home.
ST. PAUL - Al Franken no longer can be considered the potential 60th vote. A runoff election Tuesday in Georgia left Minnesota with the only unresolved U.S. Senate race this year - and Franken hoping to be Senate Democrat's 59th vote, not the critical 60th that would allow them to block GOP filibusters. The Southern race was important beyond Georgia because Democrats needed to win there and to see Franken beat Republican U.S. Sen. Norm Coleman in Minnesota's recount in order to reach that 60-vote threshold. But the Georgia victory by GOP Sen.
ST. PAUL - The country's economy could worsen if the federal government sends aid to financially hurting states, Minnesota Gov. Tim Pawlenty warned Tuesday after meeting with the in-coming president. "It is gravely concerning, the amount of money being thrown at this problem," Pawlenty told reporters, predicting harmful inflation due to federal deficit spending. "The states should substantially fix their own problems," the Republican governor told a reporter in Philadelphia, where he and other governors met with president-elect Barack Obama.
ST. PAUL - Students increasingly want Internet-based classes, so Minnesota colleges should expand those opportunities, Gov. Tim Pawlenty said. The Minnesota State Colleges and Universities system has agreed to work toward a Pawlenty goal that by 2015, 25 percent of all credits earned at MnSCU campuses will come from online courses. Students are encouraged to take more online courses, and the MnSCU system will be asked to make additional online classes available.
Expect the presidential race to be closer than the double-digit lead Barack Obama has shown in Minnesota, the state's Democratic-Farmer-Labor Party chairman said. "I saw one commentator say it is buyers' remorse," Chairman Brian Melendez said. However, the chairman said he has not seen evidence of such remorse in Minnesota. "Obama has a pretty committed base here." A fear among Democrats is Obama supporters at the last minute will wonder if they picked the right candidate.
Secretary of State Mark Ritchie said his office is prepared for possible recounts following Tuesday's election. Ritchie, the state's top elections official, said it is possible races could end up within a difference of 0.5 percent, the threshold that triggers an automatic state-paid manual ballot recount. There was little public attention paid to a Supreme Court race recount in the September primary. Ritchie predicted that would be different if U.S. Senate race results prompt a recount. "It'll be jammed," he said.
ST. PAUL - A comment Barack Obama made to Time Magazine has upset Republican farmers, who use it as proof he does not understand agriculture.