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ST. PAUL - Some Minnesota lawmakers and health-care reform advocates say an ill state budget does not have to delay remedies to a troubled health-care system. As the 2008 legislative session opens today, top Democratic-Farmer-Labor Party lawmakers and the Pawlenty administration say they believe some improvements to the health care system are possible this year.
United States Steel Corp. will unveil plans today to embark on the largest and most costly expansion of an Iron Range taconite operation in 29 years. The company aims to invest more than $300 million in its Keetac plant in Keewatin. It plans to boost pellet production by 60 percent and hire 75 people, bringing the operation's full-time work force to 475 and its annual production capacity to 9.6 million tons. Keetac currently produces about 6 million tons of iron ore pellets per year. With the expansion, U.S.
The Wadena-Deer Creek High School One-Act play "In Memoriam: Voices of the Innocent" featured famous American tragedies such as Columbine and 9/11.
Historian A.K. Sandoval-Strausz has written a fascinating study of hostelries in "Hotel: An American History" (Yale University Press, no price). It's his theory that Americans, not Europeans, set the standards for hotels in the 19th century due to several outside forces, including political. In the course of this scholarly book, general readers will be fascinated with individual hotels they may have stayed in or wanted to stay in or were refused entry to. You don't hear about Statler Hotel these days, but 50 years ago magazines were full of ads for the Statler chain.
Mayor Sandy Shiely questioned the need for a new crosstown route through southern Cottage Grove Wednesday after Washington County officials presented the findings of a transportation study. The city/county study assessed future traffic needs in an area lacking a Washington County road, officials said, and determined an east-west corridor would need to be a county road based on traffic projections, said Joe Lux of the Washington County transportation division.
Americans and Canadians will have to show proof of citizenship at the border between the two countries beginning Jan. 31 unless, in the words of Sen. Byron Dorgan, U.S. homeland security officials exercise some "common sense." Dorgan, D-N.D., during an appearance Friday at the Fargo-Moorhead Visitor's Center, urged federal officials to suspend new rules requiring a birth certificate, passport or other proof of citizenship when crossing the border. "It's quite clear we're going to have a mess on the northern border," Dorgan said in a news conference.
Lakes Moses and Aaron in northern Douglas County in west central Minnesota have a few more walleyes swimming in them, thanks to the Millerville Sportsmen Club. Members of the club stocked the lakes with about 3,400 fingerlings earlier this month. Members overseeing the effort on Lake Moses included Norb Lenarz, George Davis, Steve Klug, Bill Suchy, Bernie Suchy, Dennis Hingtgen, Chuck Carlson, Willie Woida and Wally Schiele. The club worked with the Department of Natural Resources on the stocking effort. The fingerlings should grow to keeper size in about three years.
Long-awaited snowy fields are beckoning snowmobilers to hit the trails within the state. Here's a short list of Minnesota snowmobile facts: Snowmobilers have more than 20,000 miles of trails to ride, including about 18,000 miles of club trails and 2,000 miles of Minnesota Department of Natural Resources trails. About 273,000 snowmobiles are licensed in the state. About $8.4 million in Grant-In-Aid money is disbursed to snowmobile clubs statewide each year to reimburse them for trail maintenance and grooming. Some of that is for capital improvements, such as bridges.
ST. PAUL - Some Minnesota political heavyweights believe the state's system for deciding legislative and congressional district boundaries is broken. The current system that leaves the job to the Legislature allows incumbent lawmakers to "seek their own constituencies, as opposed to the constituencies seeking their public servants," former Republican Gov.
WILLMAR -- Federal interest-free financing has been approved for a wind generation project in Willmar. The Internal Revenue Service has approved $5 million in interest-free financing under the Clean Renewable Energy Bond program for half of the estimated $9.5 million to $10 million cost of two wind turbines for the Willmar Municipal Utilities. The CREB funding means interest will only be paid on about half of the money that will be borrowed and repaid with utility revenues to finance the project. "It is good news because that will then buy down our overall, long-term cost of producing this