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ST. PAUL -- An influx of dedicated state tax revenue leads outdoors enthusiasts to believe a logjam of Minnesota natural resources projects will begin to free up this year. State lawmakers are completing work on two outdoors spending packages that would pump tens of millions of dollars into conservation projects around the state. Both are paid for outside the traditional state budgeting process and are protected by the Minnesota Constitution.
ST. PAUL - Minnesota legislators are a month away from their deadline to send all tax and budget bills to Gov. Tim Pawlenty, but there is a doubt whether Minnesotans understand the state faces a serious budget problem. Assistant Senate Majority Leader Tarryl Clark, DFL-St. Cloud, said senators are receiving few public comments about the budget, indicating the public does not understand the problem. Sen. LeRoy Stumpf, DFL-Plummer, added: "I'm not sure we get it yet. ... This is sinking in slowly." The size of the problem is historic.
A Scott County judge sentenced Michael John Anderson, 20, to life in prison without parole on Wednesday for the 2007 slaying of Katherine Ann Olson, a 24-year-old Cottage Grove native, according to published reports. Anderson was convicted Tuesday of first-degree murder in the murder of Olson, whom he lured to his parents' Savage home in October 2007 posing as a woman in search of a babysitter on Craigslist.org. He then shot Olson in the back and left her body in the trunk of her car at a Burnsville park. District Judge Mary Theisen delivered the sentence required by law for a first-degree
FARGO, N.D. -- A portable wall system that shielded troops in Iraq and Afghanistan from bullets is being used to hold back floodwaters from the Red River. At least one city official believes the results will be the same. "I think it's going to be a lifesaver," Al Weigel, Fargo's director of operations, said Monday as volunteers worked to help protect the city from what's predicted to be record flooding. The latest projection from the National Weather Service has the Red cresting in Fargo at 40 feet early Friday.
Millions in federal stimulus money for an international physics laboratory in Northeastern Minnesota will create more than 60 construction jobs this spring. A May 1 groundbreaking is scheduled for a lab near the Ash River, 40 miles southeast of International Falls. The building and three-mile long road is part of the neutrino experiment begun in 2005 by the Department of Energy's Fermi National Accelerator Laboratory outside Chicago. "You put 60 jobs in northern St. Louis County like that, and it has a really big impact on rural communities," said John Schadl of U.S. Rep.
Gary Pederson had worn his fingers raw and bloody on the ice, but he just couldn't manage to pull himself out of the frigid waters of Lake Superior. Pederson, 66, had gone through the ice of the big lake March 16 near Cornucopia when his all-terrain vehicle plunged through a patch of rotten ice. But he's alive today thanks to his eventual rescue by five other Lake Superior anglers and subsequent medical attention. A retired machinist from Foxboro, Pederson was in the water for 40 to 45 minutes, according to the estimates of other anglers.
ST. PAUL - Minnesota senators tentatively approved requiring children younger than 8 years old to use booster seats or other forms of safety restraints. Senators will be asked to give the measure formal approval later, after a preliminary 41-22 vote Monday. The House has not acted on the measure. The bill requires children ages 4 to 8, and up to 4-foot-9, must be restrained appropriately. Sen.
ST. PAUL - The first request came in Thursday: 50,000 sandbags were needed in northwestern Minnesota's Clay County and Oakport Township. In the days since, state officials received pleas for dozens of electric generators, boats, water pumps and more than 1 million sandbags from communities along the flooding Red River. State agencies have provided nearly all of the equipment and staffing sought and Public Safety Department officials were ready Monday to activate a full-blown emergency operations center in St.
As we get further into March, we search for signs of the coming spring. The vernal equinox is March 20, about two weeks away. We see changes happening long before and after this date. Sometimes we look hard to find a spring sign. Restless with cabin fever, we might go out driving in quest of something that looks more spring-like than what we see at home. Searching the roadsides, we discover a bouquet of pussy willows that we take home to make us feel better about this month.
Kalee Guenther doesn't need to picture her audience in their underwear. That would just make her laugh. Besides, when she gets up on stage or in front of a crowd of people, she's completely at ease. "I like the fact that I can express myself through music," said the 15-year-old singer/songwriter. "I think it's cool that I can project that in front of an audience and not be afraid." Guenther, the daughter of Kevin and Jen Guenther of Alexandria, discovered the natural musician within when she was about 10 years old. "I was always seeing people on TV playing guitar," she said.