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A plan designating March 29 as Vietnam Veterans Day in Minnesota awaits final legislative action. Bill author Sen. Dan Skogen, DFL-Hewitt, recently won approval from the Senate Agriculture and Veterans Committee, which sent it to the floor for a final vote. A companion bill awaits final passage in the House, where Rep. Larry Howes, R-Walker, authored the measure. Howes said Vietnam War veterans never received a proper welcome home.
A House-Senate conference committee could meet soon to negotiate a compromise plan to compensate victims of the Interstate 35W bridge collapse. The Senate on Thursday approved its version of a compensation fund, setting aside $25 million for bridge collapse victims, but limiting an individual's payment to $400,000. A House bill spends $40 million and does not cap what a bridge collapse victim can be paid from the state. In exchange for accepting the state payment, a victim would waive the right to sue the state.
ST. PAUL - The much-publicized foreclosure crisis affects all of Minnesota, although experts say those outside the Twin Cities area apparently face issues other than the now-famous subprime concern. For counties away from the Twin Cities, the foreclosure situation is a mixed picture, said Chip Halbach, Minnesota Housing Partnership executive director. For instance, Halbach said, Iron Range communities in northeastern Minnesota are seeing a burst of economic activity, and the housing market there is robust.
The Minnesota Department of Natural Resources is seeking watercraft inspector interns for this year's boating season. Inspectors are stationed at public accesses on lakes and rivers infested with invasive species such as Eurasian watermilfoil and zebra mussels.
WILLMAR -- Jose Hildalgo Lopez, who is here illegally from Honduras, has been sentenced to serve 86 months in prison for assaulting a woman July 3 in Willmar. When his sentence is completed, he will be deported to Honduras. "There is a (Bureau of Immigration and Customs Enforcement) hold on him and he will be deported," said Connie Crowell, first assistant Kandiyohi County attorney. Lopez had originally faced four felony charges for stabbing, strangling and raping a woman during a domestic assault at his home.
The Washington County Attorney's Office charged a Woodbury man Thursday with drug-related crimes after police found more than two dozen pot plants and several bags of cocaine in his home. Earl Paul Gray Jr., 22, faces charges of first degree possession of 25 or more grams of cocaine and fifth degree sale of marijuana. Gray also faces charges of obstructing the legal process for resisting arrest, a criminal complaint stated. St. Paul police made the arrest Tuesday, March 4 at Gray's town home on Courtly Alcove. According to the criminal complaint, in January St.
A 21-year-old Farmington man faces four felony charges of malicious punishment of a child after admitting to police he "snapped" while caring for his landlords' 10-month-old baby. According to a complaint filed in the Dakota County Attorney's office the child's parents brought their son to the hospital Feb. 21 because his arm seemed stiff.
ST. PAUL - Minnesota income taxpayers and military veterans could benefit from a tax bill lawmakers passed Thursday and rushed to Gov. Tim Pawlenty for his approval. The bill puts Minnesota in line with new federal tax policies and includes other measures that were part of a larger, controversial tax package Pawlenty vetoed last year. Democratic-Farmer-Laborites, who control the Legislature, said it was important to get the bill to Republican Pawlenty as soon as possible.
In "The Senator's Wife," (Knopf, $24.95) novelist Sue Miller is in top form as she plumbs the depths of two women who have become neighbors in a small New England college town. First comes Meri, a 30-something newlywed, married to a college professor, who is taking his first tenure track job. Meri comes from a poor family, has worked as a journalist, isn't sure she wants to buy a house, isn't sure just how she feels about her husband or him her, except when they're in bed. They've rented half of a charming two family home.
Minnesota is much farther along than North Dakota when it comes to making sure its high school graduates are ready for college or the workplace, according to a report by Achieve Inc. Minnesota will have high school standards and graduation requirements in place that meet college and workplace expectations in 2008, Achieve reported in "Closing the Expectations Gap." Minnesota is now in the process of choosing or creating a readiness test for high school students.