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MINNEAPOLIS -- Mike Hatch showed up at the union hall pig roast wearing a business suit and purple tie. The state attorney general and DFL candidate for governor didn't appear dressed appropriately for the blue-collar event, but tradesmen of the International Brotherhood of Electrical Workers embraced him as one of their own. "Hey, Mike," they shouted as Hatch exited his Buick Century and started chatting with union members. That Hatch received an enthusiastic welcome from a labor union is not unexpected, as his gubernatorial campaign is backed by those groups heavily.
Driving deer is a good technique for deer hunters, but it is also can be pretty dangerous according to the Minnesota Department of Natural Resources and they are urging hunters to plan ahead to ensure safety. The DNR gave some examples of deer drive mishaps during last year's gun-deer hunt. A St. Francis man was wounded at Tamarac National Wildlife Refuge while retrieving a deer shot by his daughter. A group of nine hunters was making a drive nearby when a deer stood up and started running toward the man and his daughter. One of the hunters opened fire.
ST. PAUL -- The Minnesota governor's race apparently hinges on two issues -- education and health care. Major-party candidates Tim Pawlenty, Mike Hatch and Peter Hutchinson have spent lots of time discussing those issues. However, they don't always lay out specifics. When Republican Gov. Pawlenty and Democratic Attorney General Hatch sat next to each other talking to Forum Communications journalists recently, they avoided talking directly about the other's education proposals. "Funding for schools has gone up well into double digits on my watch," Pawlenty said.
As the nation continues its battle against terrorism, no one Monday night questioned whether the U.S. Coast Guard needs to have mounted machine guns on its Great Lakes vessels. But several wondered if live-fire training on the lakes was necessary, considering the potential hazards to the environment and wayward boaters. Conversely, a nearly equal number who spoke at the first hearing in Duluth on the Coast Guard training exercises endorsed the plan and said more details can be worked out to make it safer.
United Taconite hopes by the end of the week to re-fire one of its two iron ore pellet production lines, days after an explosion on Thursday killed a salaried electrical coordinator, sent two other employees to the hospital, and knocked out electrical power to the plant. Andrew Reed, 24, of LaPrairie, died when an electrical panel exploded in a motor control center. A Mine Safety and Health Administration investigation into the cause is ongoing, said Steve Richetta, MSHA district manager in Duluth.
HASTINGS, Minn. -- Peter Hutchinson crawled out of his press secretary's black Volkswagen Jetta, walked around the little brick building and walked through the front door. He greeted a few people inside, then headed for the studio of KDWA, a radio station serving the Hastings area on the southeastern tip of the Twin Cities metropolitan area. The "on the air light" lit at 11:12 a.m. and the Independence Party candidate began answering questions similar to ones he has heard since he got into the Minnesota governor's race early this year.
ST. PAUL -- The first time U.S. Rep. Jim Oberstar and challenger Rod Grams faced off this campaign season, it was not so much of a debate as an argument about who knows the most about the 8th Congressional District. Their appearance on Twin Cities Public Television's "Almanac" was so heated that the two continued to argue as they walked off the set.
ST. PAUL -- Publishers of the widely distributed Politics in Minnesota newsletter speculate on some commissioners Mike Hatch might appoint if he is elected governor, including making former Rep. Doug Peterson the agriculture commissioner. If not Peterson, a Madison resident, maybe former Rep. Ted Winter of Fulda would be the choice, the newsletter suggested. Retiring Rep. Connie Bernardy of Fridley heads the speculation list to be education commissioner, but Sen. Larry Pogemiller, a controversial figure, also is on the newsletter's list. Former Hatch challenger Sen.
ST. PAUL -- There is precious little agreement between the two main candidates for Minnesota's open U.S. Senate seat. And even when Mark Kennedy and Amy Klobuchar agree, it is hard to tell from their rhetoric. Take, for instance, their agreement on the need for conservation funding. Kennedy claims to be a conservation-minded congressman, while Klobuchar attacks him and his Republican allies for hurting the environment.
MINNETONKA, Minn. -- Mark Kennedy grabbed a cookie from a plate of treats and started working his way through the room. "Good to see you. Good to see you," he said to the 30-some residents of RidgePointe senior center gathered to hear from the Republican candidate for U.S. Senate. Kennedy, who represents Minnesota's 6th Congressional District, found himself among a mostly supportive elderly crowd in this Twin Cities suburb. "I think he's not out to mislead you," retired Dr. Vincent Winter said after talking with the candidate.