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ST. PAUL -- Most Minnesotans agree the state's water needs to be cleaned up. They support parks, trails and the wide variety of arts programs found around the state. On Nov. 4, Minnesota voters decide whether to put their money where their mouth is by raising sales tax 0.375 percent via a constitutional amendment that keeps the increase in place for 25 years. Then-Sen. Bob Lessard of International Falls launched a constitutional amendment effort to improve hunting and fishing opportunities 10 years ago.
ST. PAUL - Minnesota voters on Tuesday narrowed 16 U.S. Senate candidates down to the three who were favored all along. Comedian Al Franken beat attorney Priscilla Lord Faris and five others in the Democratic-Farmer-Labor Party primary, and Sen. Norm Coleman trounced token challenger Jack Shepard on the Republican side. Dean Barkley whipped six other Independence Party candidates. "The battle begins," said Coleman, who took more than 90 percent of the vote in his contest, adding that voters will have a clear choice between himself and Franken.
From the picture window of his Hawk Ridge home overlooking Lake Superior, David Wheat thinks back more than 40 years, when he stood atop another prisoner's shoulders to peer out a barred cell window. For several months Wheat communicated through makeshift sign language with another airman being held in a cell perpendicular to his own. Next week, Wheat will see that person again in St.
ST. PAUL - Minnesota Gov. Tim Pawlenty will not be John McCain's running mate. Instead, it appeared Alaska Gov. Sarah Palin would be the pick. National media began to report at mid-morning McCain picked the 44-year-old Alaskan would be introduced at an 11 a.m. speech in Dayton, Ohio. Palin is the first and youngest governor of Alaska, but had only been mentioned as a dark horse running mate possibility. Like Palin, most Americans had not heard of Pawlenty.
A new poll shows Barack Obama's Minnesota lead is shrinking. The Democratic presidential candidate a month ago held a 12-point lead over Republican John McCain. Rasmussen Reports says that has fallen to a 46 percent to 42 percent advantage. Other polls also show the Minnesota race tightening. The poll shows McCain's strength among fellow Republicans is growing stronger, while Obama's Democratic support dropped slightly. One of the issues that continues to surface is that apparently Gov.
Despite continued low county numbers and an overall decline in the state's abortion rate last year, concerns are rising about women who are undergoing the procedure - and it's because of their age. Overall, 222 fewer abortions were performed in Minnesota in 2007 than in 2006, according to an annual report recently released by the state health department. But the numbers among teenagers during the same period essentially held flat, with four fewer abortions than in 2006.
Good news: Fewer Minnesota workers were hurt on the job in 2006 than at any time over the previous 10 years. Bad news: That same year the state's workers' compensation system cost businesses $1.7 billion, more than ever before.
A few years back I read that not too many decades ago, New York Harbor was one of the richest and busiest seaports in the world. These days its chief activity is shipping out crushed cardboard packing boxes. The cardboard packing boxes had arrived earlier in New York full of television sets manufactured in Japan. How sad. One fellow who would probably find it sad is Joseph Mitchell, who loved to write about old New York. Mitchell grew up in North Carolina and moved to New York in 1929.
Democrat Al Franken said he needed to tell Minnesotans what he sees as the truth about U.S. Sen. Norm Coleman during a Senate forum, so he went on the attack early in their first face-to-face meeting. Just 22 seconds into the FarmFest forum, Franken blasted Coleman. Franken was not in the friendliest of territories. At one point, he asked whether those in the audience -- mostly farmers -- liked what has been going on the past few years.
U.S. Rep. Collin Peterson, a Democrat who serves a vast area of western Minnesota, invited presidential candidate Barack Obama to southwest Minnesota's FarmFest, but Obama declined. Peterson said: "I gave my advice to them as I did with Nancy Pelosi." But Obama campaign officials rejected the invitation. Two years ago, he invited soon-to-be House Speaker Pelosi to the ag event, which won her over to Peterson's work on a new farm bill. Peterson had hoped an Obama visit would do the same if Obama is elected president.