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ST. PAUL - Peter Hutchinson brought two supporters dressed as ducks to the Capitol Wednesday as he accused his major opponents of ducking debates. "The people of Minnesota are being cheated out of the opportunity to interview their candidates," Independence Party governor candidate Hutchinson said of GOP Gov. Tim Pawlenty and Mike Hatch, state attorney general and DFL candidate for governor. Shortly after Hutchinson's comments, Gov. Tim Pawlenty's campaign released a list of five more debate invitations he has accepted.
Two people were found dead and a third shot by sheriff deputies at a West Lakeland home early Friday morning. The Washington County (Minn.) Sheriff's Office reported that a member of the countywide special response, or SWAT team, had shot a man suspected of breaking into a home in the 12400 block of 9th Street North. Sheriff Steve Pott reported that deputies arrived at the home at about 4:30 a.m. Sept. 22 after an emergency call from a neighbor's home.
Polar bears in Greenland, mink in New York, alligators in Florida, ducks in Utah and loons across North America are just some of the animals showing up with elevated levels of mercury in their systems. In some cases, the mercury levels are so high that the animals aren't able to reproduce at their usual rate, and in a few cases the mercury is killing animals outright. These findings were unveiled Tuesday in a report from the National Wildlife Federation and other groups that are calling for tougher state and federal standards to cut mercury pollution.
FARGO, N.D. -- A forensic psychiatrist said Alfonso Rodriguez Jr. suffers from anxiety disorder, but refuted claims of post-traumatic stress from early childhood sex abuse. Dr. Steven Pitt told jurors Tuesday that Rodriguez also has paraphilia traits showing abnormal or deviant sexual behavior, including fantasies of humiliation and force. The findings, he said, are based on a five-hour interview last month with Rodriguez - convicted in the kidnapping and killing of Dru Sjodin - and after reviewing the repeat sex offender's crimes.
ST. PAUL - Minnesota's two major U.S. Senate candidates found little agreement on health care Tuesday night during a debate focusing on elderly issues. While Democrat Amy Klobuchar called for allowing self-employed Americans and small business owners to buy into a federal government health insurance program, Republican Mark Kennedy said a government solution like that would not work. "We need to put patients and doctors in charge," Kennedy said. Individuals who buy health-care insurance should receive tax credits, Kennedy said.
For 10 years or more, Alfonso Rodriguez Jr.
Several days of cooler, damper conditions may be the beginning of the end for both the Gunflint Trail fires and, just maybe, the summerlong drought. The Famine Lake and Redeye Lake fires continue to burn but have not advanced out of their weekend perimeters, fire officials said Monday, allowing officials to end a partial evacuation. Cook County Sheriff Mark Falk Monday afternoon lifted the evacuation and road closure that spurred many people to leave the mid-portions of the trail on Friday.
A steady drizzle and high humidity Sunday continued to keep two Gunflint Trail area wildfires from growing, and fire officials are hoping for more of the same. The damp weather has kept the Famine Lake and Redeye Lake fires in check for two days after they raged out of control on Thursday and part of Friday, when they threatened to cross the Gunflint Trail, spurring a partial evacuation. The forecast for continued damp and cooler weather has fire officials confident they can bring in more ground and air crews to keep the fires from growing much beyond their current perimeters.
STILLWATER -- Two passengers died and the driver was rescued from a car that went off the Stillwater Lift Bridge Sunday afternoon into the St. Croix River, after traveling across the bridge from Wisconsin. Phyllis Maitrejean, 73, of Stillwater, was a passenger in the 1987 Oldsmobile Regency, as was Debra Schmit, 46, of Sleepy Eye.
ST. LOUIS PARK, Minn. - Rep. Jeff Johnson charges that his main opponent for attorney general made political hay out of Alfonso Rodriguez's 2003 arrest and in the process violated lawyers' ethics. In the first Minnesota attorney general race debate among the three major candidates, Johnson said Lori Swanson and her boss, Attorney General Mike Hatch, openly criticized the state Corrections Department for releasing Rodriguez, who a federal jury found guilty of kidnapping and killing college student Dru Sjodin.