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The first time Tenner and Roma Thompson met Alaska Governor Sarah Palin was on the road to the Anchorage airport. It was 1995, and the Thompsons, of Alexandria, were flying home after having spent two weeks in Wasilla, Alaska, while visiting their son, Kirk Thompson. Kirk had planned to see his parents off himself, but when he got tied up with work, Palin offered to help her friend out and give Roma and Tenner a lift. "Then, of course, she took us out to lunch," Roma said. "She wasn't mayor [of Wasilla] then, either, just a mother with a bunch of kids.
ST. PAUL - Between a dozen and two dozen speakers took to the podium each of the last three nights of the Republican National Convention, each trying to leave at least one quote in delegates' minds. Some succeeded. Some didn't. "You better look for the sun to rise from the west because it is going to shine from Arizona to Alaska," former presidential hopeful Mitt Romney said, referring to the home states of the GOP ticket of Sen. John McCain and Gov. Sarah Palin. Many of the speakers talked about Palin, who inserted needed energy into the St. Paul convention.
Despite the heroic efforts of a 52-year-old grandmother, a 3-year-old twin girl died in a Duluth Township fire Tuesday night. Sarah Johnson was dead at the scene of the fire, officials said. Her grandmother, Catherine Solem, was hospitalized with smoke inhalation and a leg injury after jumping out of a window. The other 3-year old twin, Heidi Johnson, and her 6-year-old brother, Alex Johnson, also were treated for smoke inhalation after being rescued by their grandmother. The fire at 1557 West Knife River Road was reported by a passerby at 10:39 p.m.
ST. PAUL - Minnesota Democratic convention delegates said they are united behind presidential candidate Barack Obama, but some Hillary Clinton backers took advantage of their last chance to formally express their support for the New York senator. Eight delegates threw their support behind Clinton during the presidential nomination roll call vote Wednesday; 78 other Minnesota delegates cast their votes for Obama. U.S. Sen.
ST. PAUL -- First-time delegate Tonya Sconiers compared a day at the Democratic National Convention to a meal. The Minnesota delegation's morning meeting featuring speakers from around the country is the appetizer, the Duluth woman said. "Then in the middle of the day you kind of have your dinner, which includes your vegetables," she said of meetings heavy on policy and issues. "Then in the evening you have your dessert," Sconiers said of the big-name speakers and raucous convention hall atmosphere.
BISMARCK -- A $1.27-billion expansion of the coal-fired Big Stone electric generating plant in northeastern South Dakota is the most prudent way to meet the need for more base load electricity for North Dakota customers of Otter Tail Power Co. and Montana-Dakota Utilities, regulators said Wednesday. The North Dakota Public Service Commission voted unanimously to approve the two companies' requests for "advance determination of prudence," which allows the company to charge customers for the expense of the plant.
Trout Unlimited's (TU) Twin Cities and Hiawatha chapters in conjunction with the Minnesota Department of Natural Resources are seeking volunteers to work on a restoration project on Hay Creek. Volunteers will be needed on August 16-17 and 23-24 to assist in making habitat improvements to the stream.
Minnesotans who intend to hunt deer this fall may want to start scouting their license-buying options now. The Minnesota DNR is reminding hunters that 2008 deer hunting licenses will be a departure from the past. "We've simplified license-buying and a number of regulations," said Dennis Simon, DNR Wildlife Section chief. "And because of that, we ask that hunters, during this transition year, familiarize themselves with those options now.
Searchers looking for a Mountain Iron man missing near Virginia found a man's body Thursday morning. But authorities don't believe the body is that of Dustin Damm - the man they were looking for. The body, which hasn't been identified, was that of a man approximately 5 feet 10 inches tall, weighing 175 to 185 pounds, with dark brown shoulder length hair, a small scar on the forehead, a scar on the left chin, a tattoo on the right wrist and missing the tip of the left index finger. Damm, 28, is 6 feet tall, weighs 150 pounds, and has brown eyes and a shaved head.
Many years ago a Star Tribune colleague and I co-published a book of stories that had earlier appeared in our newspaper. We were surprised to learn that the Twin Cities Reader, an "alternative" newspaper wanted to do a story about us and our new book. Surprised because the Reader never had much good to say about the biggest newspaper in town. Surprised and a bit worried. Was this going to be a hatchet job? A young reporter came to the newspaper, we drank coffee and talked. He took a few notes, but not many. He was a very hip guy and we wondered what he thought of us old fogies.