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ST. PAUL - Minnesota's two major U.S. Senate candidates found little agreement on health care Tuesday night during a debate focusing on elderly issues. While Democrat Amy Klobuchar called for allowing self-employed Americans and small business owners to buy into a federal government health insurance program, Republican Mark Kennedy said a government solution like that would not work. "We need to put patients and doctors in charge," Kennedy said. Individuals who buy health-care insurance should receive tax credits, Kennedy said.
For 10 years or more, Alfonso Rodriguez Jr.
Several days of cooler, damper conditions may be the beginning of the end for both the Gunflint Trail fires and, just maybe, the summerlong drought. The Famine Lake and Redeye Lake fires continue to burn but have not advanced out of their weekend perimeters, fire officials said Monday, allowing officials to end a partial evacuation. Cook County Sheriff Mark Falk Monday afternoon lifted the evacuation and road closure that spurred many people to leave the mid-portions of the trail on Friday.
STILLWATER -- Two passengers died and the driver was rescued from a car that went off the Stillwater Lift Bridge Sunday afternoon into the St. Croix River, after traveling across the bridge from Wisconsin. Phyllis Maitrejean, 73, of Stillwater, was a passenger in the 1987 Oldsmobile Regency, as was Debra Schmit, 46, of Sleepy Eye.
ST. LOUIS PARK, Minn. - Rep. Jeff Johnson charges that his main opponent for attorney general made political hay out of Alfonso Rodriguez's 2003 arrest and in the process violated lawyers' ethics. In the first Minnesota attorney general race debate among the three major candidates, Johnson said Lori Swanson and her boss, Attorney General Mike Hatch, openly criticized the state Corrections Department for releasing Rodriguez, who a federal jury found guilty of kidnapping and killing college student Dru Sjodin.
A steady drizzle and high humidity Sunday continued to keep two Gunflint Trail area wildfires from growing, and fire officials are hoping for more of the same. The damp weather has kept the Famine Lake and Redeye Lake fires in check for two days after they raged out of control on Thursday and part of Friday, when they threatened to cross the Gunflint Trail, spurring a partial evacuation. The forecast for continued damp and cooler weather has fire officials confident they can bring in more ground and air crews to keep the fires from growing much beyond their current perimeters.
ST. PAUL -- Minnesota state auditor candidates often talk same-sex marriage and lowering taxes rather than number crunching. The focus on big, and often partisan, issues in this election makes some people question whether the "taxpayers' watchdog" is really favoring the entities they audit and the political parties they represent. The state needs a fair and unbiased person to fill the position, so the candidates' focus is worrisome, Hamline University professor David Schultz said.
Blaze orange will be the fashionable color for Minnesota small game hunters, according to the Minnesota Department of Natural Resources. "You can't take small game unless a visible portion of at least one article of clothing above the waist is blaze orange, except when hunting wild turkey, migratory birds, raccoons or predators, or when hunting with nontoxic shot or while trapping," said Capt. Mike Hammer, DNR education program coordinator.
Dean Fries of Culver has been refining his grouse hunting strategies for more than 20 years in the North Woods. He hunts over his own line of Gordon setters. Here are some of his tactics. Especially early in the season, if your dog points a bird, get to it quickly, ``or (the bird) will run another 20 feet and you only hear the flush,' Fries says. ``It's important to aggressively get out in front of the dog and flush the bird.' Instead of approaching from behind a dog on point, Fries likes to arc around in front of the dog and work back toward it.
Dean Fries can't wait for the grouse opener. While a lot of hunters wait for the leaves to fall, Fries will be out there with his Gordon setters on opening day and the next four days. Ruffed grouse season opens Saturday in Minnesota and Wisconsin. ``Most people really miss the boat,' says Fries, who lives in Culver. ``That's one of the best weekends of the year. You see lots of birds and get lots of points (from dogs).' Birds are usually still clustered in family units early in the season. ``You walk in on points and you can get a brood of five, six, seven birds. That's fun,' Fries says.