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STILLWATER, Minn. -- A second victim has died as a result of an accident Sunday night when an SUV plunged into the St. Croix River at the Stillwater Marina. Authorities say that an Indian woman named Rohini Krishnamurthy, 27, died Tuesday afternoon. Early Monday, Mohanraj Pothiraj, 28, of India, died as a result of the same incident. Two other women - Deepa Veluswamy, 25; and Kalai Selvi Vijaya Kumar, 25, both also of India - were rescued and remained hospitalized at Regions late Tuesday.
ST. PAUL - Glen Menze says U.S. Rep. Collin Peterson has sold himself as fiscally conservative to his western Minnesota constituents, but his record in Congress does not reflect that. Menze, a Starbuck accountant and former farmer, announced Tuesday he will try to knock off Peterson in the November election. Menze said he will challenge the Detroit Lakes Democrat on fiscal issues and his positions on federal farm policy.
A plan to spend more than $6 million to help fight bovine tuberculosis is nearing a final Minnesota House vote. Gov. Tim Pawlenty and leaders of the DFL-controlled Legislature are working on a spending package as part of the state's efforts to eliminate the presence of bovine TB, a disease found in northwestern Minnesota cattle herds and deer. The Ways and Means Committee on a voice vote sent the bill to the House floor Monday as top lawmakers stressed the importance of tackling the bovine TB problem. The bill by Rep.
With five fatalities reported so far this year, state conservation officers with the Minnesota Department of Natural Resources remind all-terrain vehicle operators to apply safety first when operating their machines. "The public's perception is that most ATV fatalities and accidents involve youths, but that's really not the case," said Capt. Mike Hammer, DNR Enforcement Education Program coordinator.
Supporters of same-sex relationships applauded a bill senators approved 43-22 Thursday that allows local governments to decide whether employees' health-care benefits extend to same-sex partners. Republican lawmakers opposed the measure, saying Minnesota needs a uniform definition of who qualifies as a dependent. Sen. Steve Murphy, DFL-Red Wing, said allowing cities, counties and school districts to provide those benefits attracts skilled workers. He said lawmakers often talk about the wisdom of local officials. "Let's prove it," he said. "Let's give them this ability."
Senators voted Thursday to toughen state laws related to dangerous dogs. The Senate bill does not address specific dog breeds, such as pit bulls, but it prohibits people convicted of certain crimes from owning dogs. It also outlines when a dangerous dog can be killed by animal control. The bill passed 66-1. A similar bill remains under consideration in the House.
Senators tried, but failed, Thursday to withdraw Minnesota from the federal No Child Left Behind education law. "We want to take back our schools; this is about local control," said Sen. Geoff Michel, R-Edina. Sen. LeRoy Stumpf, DFL-Plummer, said Education Secretary Margaret Spellings has said she would strip federal funding from states that back out of No Child Left Behind. Some say that could mean over $200 million less for Minnesota schools.
Senators may have set a record Thursday when they voted on more than 100 bills. The Senate passed 103 mostly minor bills in swift succession and usually with near-unanimous support. That probably represented the most votes taken in one day in decades, said Ric Almer, who works for a Senate department that closely tracks legislation. "I don't recall ever having that many (votes)," said Almer, a 30-year employee. The work slowed considerably after that succession of votes, when senators took up their state budget-balancing bill.
ST. PAUL - The Senate passed a tax bill Thursday that would kill Gov. Tim Pawlenty's key rural economic development initiative, after rural senators tried, but failed, to resurrect the program. On Wednesday, senators preliminarily voted for the bill, and by a single vote decided to leave a provision that would kill the Jobs Opportunity Buildings Zones program.