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SEAGULL LAKE -- Strong west winds fanned life back into the Ham Lake fire Tuesday, pushing it into new areas, torching pine trees and filling the Gunflint Trail air with smoke as thick as storm clouds. At least one additional building burned Tuesday near the end of the Gunflint Trail. "We had a lot of fire activity today in the residential area, and we lost at least one additional structure, apparently an outbuilding," Mike Martin, a U.S. Forest Service spokesman, told reporters at an 8:30 p.m. briefing near Gunflint Lake. "The local fire departments had a lot of saves today. ...
Mike Olson was repairing a deck for his dad, Erling, on Monday afternoon in Thief River Falls, when he came across a sight could have come straight from "Little Red Riding Hood." Olson was replacing the 2-by-8 studs that hold the decking and said he already had been working under the deck about 20 minutes, pounding away with a sledge hammer. That's when he realized he wasn't alone. "I cocked my head back, and I saw those two eyes looking at me," Olson said. "I got out real fast." The younger Olson had encountered what appeared to be a gray wolf.
ST. PAUL - Most Minnesota college students would face single-digit tuition hikes under a higher education funding package legislators passed Tuesday, but it is opposed by Gov. Tim Pawlenty. The budget bill with $361 million in new spending for higher education, including to the University of Minnesota and Minnesota State Colleges and Universities systems, passed on the strength of Democratic support on mostly party-line votes in both houses.
LAKE WILSON -- They've known since early March, but were told they couldn't say anything until the June issue of Redbook magazine hit newsstands across the country. Well, the Redbook issue isn't out yet in the Midwest, but Greg and Jodi Gillette received a copy in their mailbox Monday declaring Greg the winner in the magazine's 2007 Hottest Husband contest. "It's supposed to be on newsstands May 15," said Jodi Gillette Monday night.
In trees, on the water and soaring overhead -- birds of all sizes, colors and varieties will be on display this weekend at the annual Great River Birding and Nature Festival. The event runs May 11-13 in communities around Lake Pepin. Presented by volunteers from Mississippi Valley Partner communities, the festival is endorsed by the Audubon Society as a unique educational experience to connect people with nature.
ST. PAUL - Some Minnesota legislators see uncollected taxes as low-hanging budget fruit, but the state's top revenue official said much of what they are envisioning is a mirage. Revenue Commissioner Ward Einess said he and others caution lawmakers not to set goals too high when deciding to clamp down on uncollected taxes. On Monday, his Republican boss, Gov.
Minnesota DNR says its time to conserve water Lots of hot weather and a continuing drought has the Minnesota Department of Natural Resources urging Minnesotans to conserve water. "Periods of drought are a regular part of the Minnesota climate," said Kent Lokkesmoe, director, DNR Division of Waters. "The duration of a drought cannot be predicted with any degree of certainty." He added that conserving water will minimize impacts on surface water and ground water. "Wise and efficient use of water is everyone's responsibility," Lokkesmoe said.