Don Davis has been the Forum Communications Minnesota Capitol Bureau chief since 2001, covering state government and politics for two dozen newspapers in the state. Don also blogs at Capital Chatter on Areavoices.
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ST. PAUL -- Minnesota farmers are donating $115,000 worth of pork and cheese to food shelves around the state, taking the money out of funds that generally promote agriculture sales. In a time when pork and dairy industries are hurting as bad as they ever have, some say the largely symbolic effort could be a turning point. Soybean, pork and dairy groups joined Gov. Tim Pawlenty and Hunger Solutions Minnesota Friday to announce the cheese and pork donation, which will be handed out at food shelves statewide.
ST. PAUL -- Roy Jensen returned to the Minnesota House Friday to be honored as the oldest retired state lawmaker. "It's the first time I've been back in all these years," the 100-year-old lifelong Willmar-area resident said. Jensen, who served in the House 1951-54 and is thought to be the oldest living ex-lawmaker, received a standing ovation from a couple dozen other former lawmakers gathered for an annual mock legislative session where they debated issues like they did when they served. Former state House Speaker Martin Sabo, also a long-time member of the U.S.
ST. PAUL -- The news release begged the question: Why spend up to $40 million on roadway congestion relief in the Twin Cities and only up to $5 million on improving safety of rural roads, where 70 percent of traffic fatalities occur? It is a natural question from a reporter whose work goes to 20 newspapers outside the Twin Cities. "I knew you were going to ask that question, Don," Gov. Tim Pawlenty responded. The governor quickly moved to quell any hint of urban favoritism, saying transportation spending is pretty evenly divided between the Twin Cities and the rest of Minnesota.
ST. PAUL -- Relations between American Indian tribes and the federal government have turned around since Barack Obama became president, tribal leaders said Thursday night after a two-day St.
ST. PAUL -- Google says its new telephone service now reaches nearly everywhere, after some rural lawmakers and telephone giant AT&T complained that it blocked calls to rural America. In paperwork filed with the Federal Communications Commission Wednesday, Google said that fewer than 100 U.S. telephone numbers are off limits to Google Voice. Earlier this month, AT&T and some lawmakers charged Google with ignoring rural Americans when it blocked numbers in small towns.
ST. PAUL -- Minnesota health officials confirmed two more deaths from H1N1 flu Wednesday as more schools report flu outbreaks and the number of people hospitalized continues to rise. While the Health Department will not provide specific identifications, the family of Oliver Franklin Finley, 11, of Hastings reported he died of H1N1.
ST. PAUL -- Minnesota transportation officials want more private companies to pay part of the construction bill for highway projects. Transportation Commissioner Tom Sorel Tuesday said his department is working on a formal method for the state and private companies to work together to fund projects such as interstate exchanges. Gov.
EAGAN, Minn. -- If a product dreamed up by an 11-year-old boy and manufactured in a 900-population community known as the Moose Capital of the North can successfully be shipped around the world, other small Minnesota businesses could do the same. That was the message Monday from Glen Brazier, Mattracks founder and chief executive officer, to a couple hundred small business officials.
ST. PAUL -- Flu-stricken Minnesotans are finding a shorter wait for medical advice when they call a state hotline. "The wait times have improved," Buddy Ferguson of the Minnesota Health Department said Friday afternoon. "Right now, it is looking like two to four hours for a nurse to get back to you." On Thursday, there were reports that Minnesota FluLine operators told callers they may not receive return calls for up to 13 hours. And many who called the line heard busy signals.
ST. PAUL -- A darling of conservative media will not run for president in 2012. U.S. Rep.