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ST. PAUL - A flood of transportation funding and property tax-relief hopes overshadowed the reason Minnesota lawmakers met in special session Tuesday night - to help southeast Minnesotans affected by deadly floods. In the end, however, it appeared only an obscure elections-related bill would pass along with the disaster bill. Democratic-Farmer-Labor Party lawmakers gave up on their desire for property tax relief by 8 p.m. Tuesday after it became apparent they could not work out a deal with Republican Gov. Tim Pawlenty. "There will be another day," Rep.
ST. PAUL - Three Minnesota senators lined up at the ornate door leading into the Senate chamber early Wednesday, forming a reception line thanking their colleagues for supporting a disaster relief bill. Slightly more than eight hours after they convened in special session Tuesday night, legislators headed home after passing a $157 million aid package for southeastern Minnesota.
When the Swenson-Lee family returned to their Minnetonka home after a week's vacation in Florida, their home wasn't there anymore, but thousands of people were standing near their lot awaiting the family's arrival. In place of the old 2,300 square-foot home stood a massive, 5,600 square-foot home with three garages, seven bedrooms, five bathrooms and amazing decking and landscaping. The family was the recipient this past week of a brand new house, from basement to rooftop, from the ABC show "Extreme Makeover: Home Edition." Hundreds of volunteers, contractors and builders worked for 106 hou
Cleanup of downed trees and debris caused by high winds and rain that swept through the area early in the week has progressed faster than anticipated. As a result, Fort Snelling Park Manager Bob Piotrowski announced that the park reopened Thursday, in time for the Labor Day weekend. "Park buildings and facilities, picnic shelters and the visitor center will be open for public use," said Piotrowski. "Thankfully we received some great assistance from other state parks as well as the airport that borders the park.
Two men armed with handguns broke into a house on the 3400 block of East First Street in Duluth on Thursday morning, bound the wrists of a mother and her son and searched the home before fleeing into a nearby wooded area, police said. Police went to the scene after getting a 911 call from the mother at 8:46 a.m. and began to search the area, but as of Thursday night no one had been apprehended, Duluth police said. The suspects were described as white and wearing hooded sweatshirts, turtlenecks and sunglasses to cover their faces.
A 28-year-old Morris man faces multiple charges of having sexual contact with a person under the age of 13. Gerald Lee Thorstad Jr. has been charged in Stevens County District Court with four counts of first-degree criminal sexual contact with a person under age 13. According to the complaint against Thorstad, he had various sexual relations with the victim on July 1, 2007, July 8, 2007, Aug. 1, 2007 and Aug.
A Frazee man pleaded not guilty Thursday to accusations that he tried to hire a hit man to paralyze or kill his estranged wife. David Wayne Steffen, 48, planned to pay the hit man - who was actually an undercover agent posing as a hit man - $5,500 to paralyze his wife and $12,000 "if she croaks." Steffen's voice was barely audible as he pleaded not guilty to the Class B felony charge of soliciting B felony aggravated assault. The charge stems from a series of taped conversations Steffen, 30702 Pleasant View Road, had with an undercover Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives spe
Steve Sviggum likes to say he has gone from legislator to regulator. After 29 years in the Legislature, the Kenyon Republican was appointed commissioner of the Minnesota Department of Labor and Industry in June by Gov. Tim Pawlenty. The transition has been significant, Sviggum said Wednesday in an interview with the R-E. "In the Legislature, I voted on and advocated for workers' compensation and workers' safety issues," he said.
FALCON HEIGHTS, Minn. - A group of farmers and chefs were talking food at the Minnesota State Fair, but deep-fried snacks were not the topic of conversation. Instead, the discussion focused on how some family farms around the state have changed their growing methods and are increasingly marketing to local stores and restaurants rather than to larger distributors. Jim VanDerPol's family adopted so-called sustainable livestock and dairy farming methods in 1999.
Gov. Tim Pawlenty has officially proclaimed Aug. 31 as Bald Eagle recovery day in Minnesota. Because of the successful recovery of the Bald Eagle in the U.S., it has been removed from the endangered species list. A ceremony to celebrate this success is planned for 10:30 a.m. Friday at the DNR Volunteer Outdoor Stage at the Minnesota State Fair. The governor; Mark Holsten, DNR commissioner; U.S. Sen. Amy Klobuchar and State Sen.