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Minnesota Gang and Drug Task Force officers and Bureau of Criminal Appreciation agents participated in a drug enforcement effort throughout the state from April 23 through 29, resulting in 161 arrests on drug related charges. The operation -- Operation Byrne Drugs II -- was a coordinated effort led by the National Alliance of State Drug Enforcement Agencies to focus on drug-related crimes and the importance of federally funded Byrne Justice Assistance Grant program in the day-to-day operations of drug enforcement.
The body of William "Bill" Fiebranz was recovered from the Mississippi River near Clearwater Wednesday. The 38-year-old Blaine man had been missing since March 29 when he failed to come home from his nationally acclaimed tackle shop in Fridley. Around 6:30 p.m. Wednesday, his body was recovered by the Wright County Sheriff's water pa-trol nearly three miles south of the Clearwater boat landing where his Silverado pickup was found through GPS tracking March 29. A paraplegic, Fiebranz's wheelchair was found about 100 yards from his truck, partially sub-merged about 15 feet from shore.
The Minnesota state auditor's office revealed Wednesday it won't pursue action against Duluth Mayor Herb Bergson for allegedly soliciting hundreds of free event tickets from organizers with whom the city had contracts. But instead of laying the ticket controversy to rest, deputy state auditor Celeste Grant's letter has raised further questions. In her four-page missive, Grant refers to a 2006 review her office performed on allegations that Bergson received free perks at the Monaco Air Duluth Airshow in July of that year.
Gov. Tim Pawlenty and Lt. Gov. Carol Molnau will celebrate the Minnesota Governor's Fishing Opener May 12 on Leech Lake. Chip Leer, one of the founders of "Fishing the WildSide," will guide Pawlenty and his wife, Mary. "I feel being asked to host the governor on opening day is a high honor, and with it comes quite the responsibility," Leer said. Al Maas, a guide in the Leech Lake area for more than 40 years, will guide Molnau. Maas was inducted into Minnesota Fishing Hall of Fame in 2000.
With a May 21 deadline for wrapping up work looming, there are signs of progress in the Minnesota Legislature. Some House-Senate conference committees are finishing work, sending budget bills to final votes. Each bill has passed in different versions in the Senate and House, and now the chambers are passing compromise bills. Negotiators on a bill funding many state government functions signed a deal to spend $551.7 million in the next two-year budget, about $30 million less than in the current budget.
RED WING, Minn. -- After two days, Nick Johnson of Elmwood, Wis., leads the Wal-Mart FLW Walleye Tour event on the Mississippi River with 39 pounds, 3 ounces. Richard Franklin of Bemidji, Minn., who caught 30 pounds, 5 ounces on Thursday alone, is second with 39 pounds.
Back in the 1970s, I received a phone call from the Style Section of the Washington Post. At the time I was teaching and doing a bit of freelance writing. The Style Section was a Big Deal, one of the leaders in the movement called "The New Journalism," of which I was trying to be a practitioner. Since then this movement has fallen into disfavor. In the story I'm about to tell, you'll discover why. What ensued was hilarious. The Style editor told me that he had read some of my work about upper Midwestern Scandinavians.