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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.
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 -- 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.
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.
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.
Lock and load: Come Monday, Duluth will become the first community to host a public hearing on the Coast Guard's controversial plans to conduct live-fire arms training on the Great Lakes. Odds are that the Coast Guard will face some pointed questions. Duluth Mayor Herb Bergson has been one of the most outspoken critics of the Coast Guard's proposal to designate training areas where crews can take target practice on the water with machine guns. He has voiced concerns that lead in the spent ammunition could pose an environmental hazard. "Do they need training? Sure they do," Bergson said.
OneOne employee died this afternoon as a result of an explosion and fire at the United Taconite processing plant in Forbes, about five miles southwest of Eveleth. The United Taconite worker was working on an electrical panel at the time of the explosion, St. Louis County Sheriff Ross Litman said. His name was not released pending notification of relatives. The explosion is being investigated by the U.S. Office of Mine Safety and Health Administration, the Occupational Safety and Health Administration, United Taconite and the St.
Steven Van Keuren may have cut the phone and security system lines outside Teri Lee's West Lakeland Township home before he broke in and shot Lee and her friend to death. Van Keuren, 48, is under 24-hour guard at Regions Hospital, where he has been since his arrest for the murders of Lee, 38, and Tim Hawkinson Sr., 47. He was officially charged with second degree murder when the documents were filed Wednesday, Oct. 10, 17 days after Van Keuren apparently broke into Lee's home in the early morning hours of Sept.
"The Broken Branch," by Thomas E. Mann and Norman Ornstein (Oxford, $26) can attach itself to the mid-term elections coming up and sell some books. The branch that has been broken, according to the authors is Congress. When once this august body debated issues, paid attention to committees, etc., it now resorts to political bickering. First the Dems controlled Congress for a decade, then the Republicans came roaring back in 1994. And that's where the rubber hit the road and politics, the authors say, replaced deliberations for the good of the country.
The Minnesota State Colleges and Universities system is looking ahead to 2007 and its every-other-year budget battle in the Legislature; and its sales pitch will be the system returns $3.5 billion a year to the state's economy. "Of the $3.5 billion return, about $2.4 billion is from enhanced productivity of Minnesota workers who received degrees or training at our colleges and universities. And our graduates do not make just a one-time addition to the state's economy; they continue to contribute throughout their working lives," Chancellor James H.