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ST. PAUL - Health officials are responding to the first probable case of the swine flu in Minnesota and cautioning that there will be confirmed cases of the new flu strain in the state. The case was detected in a woman affiliated with schools in Cold Spring, in central Minnesota.
ST. PAUL - Mitch Jasper worries about the fate of his small town and others like it, should state lawmakers cut spending to nursing homes and other care facilities. Nursing homes often are the largest employer in a small town, said Jasper, mayor of Jackson in southwestern Minnesota.
A wag of my acquaintance once said that word processors are ruining the art of biography. He explained that it's so easy to type on them (no carriage return, no worries of hyphenation, etc.), that "if Moses had one, there'd be 17 commandments rather than 10." In some ways it's true. Back in the 18th century, Dr. Samuel Johnson wrote wonderfully perceptive and readable biographies of writers like Richard Savage in about 50 modern-day pages. But even before the advent of the word processor the modern taste for detail led to biographers piling more and more detail into their work.
ST. PAUL - Hospitals take a funding hit while most nursing homes are protected. Low-income Minnesotans keep their government-subsidized health insurance while some doctors lose state aid for treating the poor. Facilities caring for patients with long-term illnesses lose some state support while more children are eligible for public-supported health insurance. Those are among trade-offs offered in similar, but competing, health-care and human services proposals lawmakers approved Monday.
ST. PAUL - Norm Coleman wants the state's highest court to reverse his U.S. Senate election loss. The former Republican senator appealed to the Minnesota Supreme Court Monday, hoping it will overturn a special judicial panel's ruling that declared Democrat Al Franken the winner. Coleman's key claim is that the disparate ways absentee ballots were handled by local election officials in the Nov. 4 election violated the U.S. Constitution.
ON LAKE SUPERIOR, NEAR THE FRENCH RIVER -- The big rainbow had put up a strong fight, but now Tom Hultquist thought maybe he had lost it. Duluth's Hultquist, fishing from shore on Lake Superior near the French River on Wednesday, was dealing with a shore-fishing hazard.
ST. PAUL -- An influx of dedicated state tax revenue leads outdoors enthusiasts to believe a logjam of Minnesota natural resources projects will begin to free up this year. State lawmakers are completing work on two outdoors spending packages that would pump tens of millions of dollars into conservation projects around the state. Both are paid for outside the traditional state budgeting process and are protected by the Minnesota Constitution.
ST. PAUL - Minnesota legislators are a month away from their deadline to send all tax and budget bills to Gov. Tim Pawlenty, but there is a doubt whether Minnesotans understand the state faces a serious budget problem. Assistant Senate Majority Leader Tarryl Clark, DFL-St. Cloud, said senators are receiving few public comments about the budget, indicating the public does not understand the problem. Sen. LeRoy Stumpf, DFL-Plummer, added: "I'm not sure we get it yet. ... This is sinking in slowly." The size of the problem is historic.
A Scott County judge sentenced Michael John Anderson, 20, to life in prison without parole on Wednesday for the 2007 slaying of Katherine Ann Olson, a 24-year-old Cottage Grove native, according to published reports. Anderson was convicted Tuesday of first-degree murder in the murder of Olson, whom he lured to his parents' Savage home in October 2007 posing as a woman in search of a babysitter on Craigslist.org. He then shot Olson in the back and left her body in the trunk of her car at a Burnsville park. District Judge Mary Theisen delivered the sentence required by law for a first-degree
FARGO, N.D. -- A portable wall system that shielded troops in Iraq and Afghanistan from bullets is being used to hold back floodwaters from the Red River. At least one city official believes the results will be the same. "I think it's going to be a lifesaver," Al Weigel, Fargo's director of operations, said Monday as volunteers worked to help protect the city from what's predicted to be record flooding. The latest projection from the National Weather Service has the Red cresting in Fargo at 40 feet early Friday.