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The state would get extra federal money by passing a bill protecting people who turn in companies defrauding the government under a new bill. Also, the watchdog himself would get a financial benefit, a percent of the recovered money. Rep. Andrew Falk, DFL-Murdock, said in this time of a budget deficit, every dollar that can be recovered should be sought. Attorney Brian Wojtalewicz of Appleton, who also has an Alexandria office, said there are about 200 federal cases nationwide dealing with the government being defrauded.
ST. PAUL - An electric transmission project in western Minnesota can go forward - with conditions aimed at protecting ratepayers and the environment -- state regulators decided Thursday. The Minnesota Public Utilities Commission voted unanimously to approve a large-scale power line project that would distribute electricity from the proposed Big Stone II coal-fired power plant in eastern South Dakota.
A 29-year-old Redby woman has been missing since Saturday, her mother said Wednesday. Charlotte Clark said her daughter, Barbara Crystal (King) Ortiz, walked away from her home, half a mile west of Redby in the McBride area, to hitchhike to Bemidji Saturday on County Road 15. She was last seen near County Road 32 East. "She's a vulnerable adult," Clark said. "She's in serious need of medication and she needs to be hospitalized. ... She has mental health issues. At times she does not know who she is." Ortiz gave birth to a baby Dec. 28.
The record has been broken again. Unfortunately, it is a record the Dakota County Sheriff's Office would rather not break. In 2008, the civil division of the office handled 2,064 home foreclosures, an increase of 506 from 2007's 1,558 foreclosures. That number, too, was a record, up 694 in 2006. The number of foreclosure sales in the county has grown each year since 1999, but not nearly at the pace of the last several years. In 1999, there were 194 foreclosure sales. The number actually decreased to 159 in 2000, but the numbers have been increasing every year since then.
Usually the Dakota County road maintenance crews go out 30 to 33 times during the winter season to take care of the roads, but this year that number is already up to 28. But this has not been a usual season so far, according to Jim Bell, Dakota County transportation maintenance supervisor. Bell, a 35-year-veteran of Dakota County Transportation Department, describes the times he sends out the crews to clear snow and sand and/or salt as "events." This year's season began Nov. 12, with the vast majority of "events" in December. "We've already have had 23 events," Bell said.
Janice Goodger's body was as cold as Dr. Chris Delp has ever seen - so cold that it seemed Goodger couldn't possibly survive, especially at age 64. Instead, Goodger will walk back into St. Luke's Hospital in Duluth for a simple checkup today, just days after an "amazing" medical journey to the brink of death and back, said Delp, an emergency room physician at the hospital. "I'm not aware of anyone at this age to have survived [being so cold] and to have done this well," Delp said.
ST. PAUL -- Al Franken entered halftime of Minnesota's U.S. Senate race in the lead, but Norm Coleman is hoping for a come-from-behind victory. Coleman, whose term as senator ended Saturday, is going to court in his bid to win the drawn-out race and a second term. A statewide recount took two months; Coleman's chief attorney said a legal case could take two more months. "Minnesotans deserve 100 percent confidence that their senator was fairly elected by all the people," Coleman said Tuesday while surrounded by supporters urging him to keep fighting.
An Afton man was charged Monday with two counts of second-degree criminal sexual conduct for an incident involving two of his juvenile granddaughters. Washington County Sheriff's deputies arrested Richard Allen Balsimo, 62, at his Afton residence on Thursday, Dec. 11. He was taken into custody without incident and was held over the weekend at the Washington County Jail in Stillwater pending the charges. Each of the charges, which were filed by the Washington County Attorney Monday morning, carries a maximum of 25 years in prison and a $35,000 fine.
Superior police arrested two Minnesota men after standoff on Ogden Avenue early this morning. At about 12:15 a.m. this morning an officer from the Superior Police Department was flagged down by a female in the 1800 Block of Ogden Ave. The female reported to the officer that a man at her apartment, 1809 1/2 Ogden Ave., had been severely beaten by another male in the apartment. As the officer approached the residence he encountered a male armed with an ax. He quickly retreated into the apartment.
Lawrence E. "Larry" Weatherly, age 73, of Rosemount died Dec. 2, 2008, at his home. Lawrence was born Oct. 17, 1935, in Minneapolis to Everell and Louise (Pollock) Weatherly. Larry was a 1953 graduate of Hastings High School and served in the U.S. Army from January 1954 to 1956. He married Mary Frandrup Sept. 27, 1958, in Vermillion. He was owner of Weatherly Trucking, hauling milk until his retirement in 1998, as well as farming near Coates. Lawrence was preceded in death by his parents and brothers, Donald and Clarence Weatherly.