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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.
Secretary of State Mary Kiffmeyer didn't inform facilities such as veterans' homes of a new election law, and the result is some Minnesotans could have a tough time voting Nov. 7, her main opponent said. Mark Ritchie, a Democrat, said at a Capitol news conference last week that the secretary failed to tell the facilities about an Oct. 17 deadline they must meet if employees intend to vouch for residents planning to register to vote at the polls.
The Independence Party candidate for Minnesota governor, Peter Hutchinson, says Gov. Tim Pawlenty is lying about Hutchinson's positions on issues. Pawlenty says Hutchinson wants a government-run health-care system. Hutchinson said that is not what he wants. Instead, the former school superintendent and state finance commissioner said, he wants dramatic cuts in bureaucratic costs and to entice Minnesotans to take better care of themselves.
A week before she disappeared, 5-year-old Leanna Warner exhibited strange behavior. Chris and Kaelin Warner of Chisholm hope that revealing new information about the days before their daughter's disappearance on NBC's "Maury" show Wednesday morning will bring new leads in the three-year-old case. "We're hoping with this that it will bring to light the way she was acting before she left," said Kaelin.
Charges against two people arrested in a Stillwater methamphetamine bust have been dropped, and they are presumed to be returning to their homes, according to their attorneys and court documents. U.S. District Court Judge Arthur J. Boylan dismissed charges against Brenda Vidrio-Espinoza and Lombardo Legoretta-Velasquez on Sept. 26. A reason for the dismissal was not stated. Five other suspects remain in custody and await trial. All were arrested in a raid on a Stillwater home on Aug. 28.
ST. PAUL -- Mary Kiffmeyer says she has established an impressive eight-year record as Minnesota's top elections official, but her main opponent argues she has developed a less-flattering reputation. Kiffmeyer, a Republican seeking a third term as secretary of state, said she has dramatically improved the office since first elected in 1998. She cites the implementation of new election laws and addition of modern vote-counting equipment and she takes partial credit for an increase in voter turnout.
Allete Inc. will pay the Fond du Lac Band of Chippewa roughly more than $4 million over the next 29 years for Minnesota Power's hydroelectric operations in the St. Louis River's watershed. Allete owns Minnesota Power. The effort to restore wild rice in the region is one of the projects that will benefit from the agreement.
ST. PAUL -- The candidates for Minnesota's top elections official each has his own strategy to sell the state's younger generation on the importance of casting a ballot. Increasing voter turnout among young adults is one of several issues separating the candidates running to be the next secretary of state. Secretary of State Mary Kiffmeyer, a Republican, said a cornerstone issue of her eight years in office has been to increase civic participation among younger Minnesotans.