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WILLMAR -- A special legislative session could be held in the next couple weeks, according to Wilmar area legislators. Or it could not. "We are preparing for a special session," said Rep. Al Juhnke, DFL-Willmar. "There's no question we need a special session ...
WORTHINGTON -- U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) plans to fight the lawsuit filed on behalf of 10 Worthington Swift & Co. workers, according to ICE spokesman Tim Counts. Yet, the opposition seems secure in the knowledge their case will hold up. "The lawsuit has no merit," Counts said Thursday. "We will fight it vigorously in a court of law, and we will continue to enforce the nation's immigration laws." "We're fairly confident with what we have," countered Gloria Contreras Edin, executive director of Centro Legal Inc., which filed the civil suit Tuesday in U.S. District Court.
An Apple Valley, Minn., man was pronounced dead at Spooner Hospital by the Washburn County (Wis.)Coroner, Karen Baker. According to a news release from Washburn Sheriff Terry Dryden, deputies were dispatched to Big Bass Lake around 4 a.m. Sunday to respond to a possible drowning in Minong. Jason Lee Ehrnreiter, 33, and several others were diving or swimming off a private dock, when Ehrnreiter apparently dove off a dock in shallow water and drown. Attempts to revive him were unsuccessful. Alcohol appears to be a contributing factor, according to the report.
Mike Chase and a Kenyon citizens' group were given the brush Thursday by the Minnesota Public Utilities Commission. The PUC unanimously declined Chase's request that commissioners reconsider a permit they approved for a new nine-turbine wind farm in Kenyon and Cherry Grove townships. Goodhue County residents, many of whom drove an hour to St. Paul and took a day off work, were not given the chance to speak. "It was flat-out rude," said Chase, president of Citizens for Environmental Rights and Safety.
The Minnesota Department of Natural Resources' pheasant index remains near its highest level in 20 years, thanks to favorable weather and habitat conditions. The pheasant index (107 birds per 100 miles of survey driven this year) topped 100 for the third consecutive year. Minnesota's pheasant season is Oct. 13 - Jan. 1. The daily bag limit is two roosters with a possession limit of six. Shooting hours are 9 a.m. to sunset. In each of the past two years, hunters harvested nearly 600,000 roosters, the most since 1964.
Amtrak trains stop in Red Wing twice a day. Freight trains travel the same lines here at several times that frequency. This week, however, silence has fallen over Red Wing's regulary rumbling rails. Railroad traffic heading into Red Wing -- and points beyond -- has drawn to a halt after storms wreaked devastation on the Winona area over the weekend.
Lots of lake trout earmarked for stocking in Lake Superior now may be belly-up in the Mississippi River. Last weekend's flooding in southeastern Minnesota flooded the Crystal Springs Hatchery near Altura, Minn., sweeping away thousands of juvenile lake trout, said Darryl Bathel, coldwater production supervisor for the Minnesota Department of Natural Resources in Duluth. About 172,000 of the young lake trout at the hatchery were to be stocked next spring in Lake Superior. "Of that, I do not know what's left," Bathel said. "We assume most of them died.
Lake Superior has plunged to a record low for the month of August, this week surpassing the previous August low-water mark set in 1926. After a long decline that has mirrored the Northland's worst drought in half a century, the mean level of the lake dropped to 600.4 feet above sea level, surpassing the previous August low mark of 600.5, said Carl Woodruff, hydraulic engineer for the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers Detroit District. It's the first record set during the lake's current downturn. The lake probably will stay in or near record-low territory through autumn and into winter.
Cottage Grove resident John Kriesel appears in a new commercial put out by advocacy group Freedom's Watch supporting keeping forces in Iraq. Kriesel was injured by an improvised explosive device in December while serving in Iraq as a sergeant in the Minnesota National Guard. Kriesel lost both his legs, and now uses prosthetics. Kriesel was treated at Walter Reed Army Medical Center in Washington D.C. for his injuries, and underwent more than 25 surgeries.
With continental populations of many species of ducks at or near record highs, the Minnesota Department of Natural Resources has established a 60-day duck season for this fall and increased the daily bag limit to six ducks. The mallard bag limit will remain unchanged from last year, including only one hen, and the canvasback daily limit will be increased to two, according to a DNR news release. "While continental duck populations look very good, this year's hunting success is by no means assured," DNR Commissioner Mark Holsten said in a prepared statement.