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ST. PAUL - On the day Senate candidate Al Franken kicked off a recent campaign tour around Minnesota, Sen. Norm Coleman hopped a flight to Washington for his job on Capitol Hill. Yet as Franken was traveling the state to tout his Democratic candidacy, Coleman announced a TV advertising buy that blanketed much of Minnesota with a message highlighting the Republican senator's bipartisan knack for getting things done. Minnesotans already are seeing and hearing plenty from the candidates in this year's U.S.
A major step toward building a national nuclear waste repository has met with support from Red Wing leaders. The Department of Energy on Wednesday submitted its license application to build a facility at Yucca Mountain, Nev., where proponents hope to store spent nuclear fuel and radioactive waste. If accepted, the Nuclear Regulatory Commission will undertake what officials estimate will be a three-year licensing process. Local tribal and city leaders lauded the action. Prairie Island Indian Community Tribal Council President Ron Johnson called the application submittal "a gi
BENSON, Minn. -- Jason Boike's father started raising organic corn 11 years ago, convinced there had to be something better than supplying the commodities pipeline. "What we were doing, it didn't seem like you were getting anywhere,'' said Boike, who farms outside of Maynard in Chippewa County. Today they feel like they are getting somewhere, and so is their organic corn. It goes directly north to Benson, where it's fermented and distilled for vodka that will soon be available coast to coast. Prairie organic vodka is the latest entry into the ultra-premium vodka market.
ST. PAUL - Portraits of three former governors displayed in the Minnesota Capitol were vandalized Wednesday, but the state Historical Society said they can be repaired. Portraits of Jesse Ventura, Harold LeVander and Elmer L. Andersen were defaced with what appeared to be a marker. Bill Keyes of the Historical Society said a painting conservator will fix the "little, quick squiggles" left by a vandal. A red mark appears on the white shirt of Ventura in his portrait, which is among the most viewed in the Capitol.
ST. PAUL - Legislative leaders and Gov. Tim Pawlenty are studying how property tax changes would affect communities across the state, a complicated and time-consuming effort that appears likely to push any legislative session-ending deal into Thursday. The good news is they were back at the negotiating table Wednesday, after budget-balancing talks broke off late Tuesday. As it has in recent days, property taxes have been center stage in the talks. The governor wants a strict limit on how much local governments can raise property taxes.
ST. PAUL - State budget-balancing work dominates the Minnesota Legislature's final days, but this year much of the big news already is on the books - or failed. The story of Minnesota's 85th legislative session so far is marked by an at-times frenetic pace, a controversial veto override, some little-known legislation and garden-variety policy disputes. Some lawmakers, including Rep.
ST. PAUL - Senators said they were responding Monday to reckless residential mortgage lending practices when they approved a plan giving some homeowners facing foreclosure temporary reprieve. The Minnesota Senate passed 34-29 a bill allowing some mortgage borrowers on the verge of foreclosure a delay making payments of up to one year. The delay is meant to give them time to negotiate new mortgage terms and avoid foreclosure. "We are in a crisis the likes of which we have not seen since the Great Depression," said bill author Sen. Ellen Anderson, DFL-St.
ST. PAUL - Passenger air service in rural areas of the upper Midwest would not be harmed by a Northwest-Delta airline merger, but high fuel prices could affect service, a Delta executive said. Delta Air Lines President Ed Bastian, who appeared Monday before Minnesota lawmakers at the Capitol, said a reduction in service to small communities outside airline hubs such as the Minneapolis-St.
ST. PAUL - Minnesota lawmakers approved a plan Monday to pay survivors of last year's Interstate 35W bridge collapse. The House voted 127-5 for compromise legislation that stemmed from prolonged negotiations between the House and Senate. Senators followed with a 65-0 vote. Survivors of the Aug. 1 Minneapolis bridge collapse could seek payments up to $400,000 from a $24 million fund. Another $12.6 million fund is meant to help survivors with the most serious injuries. By seeking the compensation, survivors waive their right to sue the state. Rep.