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The area already may have seen round one of what may be a very active day weather-wise. The National Weather Service in Chanhassen, Minn., reported that a band of strong storms swept through the region from 2 - 4:30 a.m. Tony Zaleski, a forecaster with the National Weather Service said that hail was reported across Dakota County with Coates getting one and three-quarter-inch hail. In Wisconsin one and a quarter- inch hail was reported in Hammond. "There was more hail out there, it just wasn't seen," Zaleski said. A wind advisory for the area has been issued for the region beginning at 10
LITCHFIELD -- More than 1,000 family members, friends and community members filled the Litchfield Civic Arena Wednesday for a send-off ceremony for most of the 117 members of the 849th Mobility Augmentation Company of the Minnesota Army National Guard. "We know that, while you don't wear the uniform, you serve too," Gov. Tim Pawlenty told the capacity crowd of families.
LUVERNE -- A soldier with the 1-125th Field Artillery of the Luverne-Pipestone National Guard has been injured in Iraq. Specialist Andrew Hanson, the 21-year-old son of Jack and Felicia Hanson of Luverne, was patrolling and providing security in an unidentified area of Iraq at about 11:30 p.m. Monday (Iraq time) when the Humvee he was driving hit an improvised explosive device (IED). "As of this time, he is in Germany -- he arrived there this morning," his mother said on Wednesday. "His right leg is amputated below the knee, and his left leg is amputated at the knee.
ST. PAUL - Minnesota lawmakers sent a transportation funding package to Gov. Tim Pawlenty Monday, but aren't certain they have enough votes to overturn a promised veto. Both houses approved the budget bill, a House-Senate compromise that would use a 5-cent-per-gallon gasoline tax increase and other new revenue to fund roughly $7 billion of road and transit improvements over 10 years. Sen.
ST. PAUL - Supporters of a major South Dakota power plant said Minnesotans could lose out if lawmakers vote to delay the project. Provisions in a House energy bill passed last week would freeze construction of large energy plants for two years until the state devises a system for businesses to limit carbon dioxide they produce. That could delay the Big Stone II coal-fired power project near Milbank, S.D., said the project's communications manager - if an exemption granted in the House doesn't survive negotiations with the Senate. "We can't wait two years," Dan Sharp said Monday.
GRAND MARAIS -- When U.S. Forest Service spokesman Mark Van Every began speaking at the 7 p.m. fire update meeting Sunday, he took great care to name as many lakes and other major landmarks as he could. He didn't do it for the 75 people in the room who could easily follow along with the map on display. He was doing it for crowds of people scattered all across the North Shore listening to independent radio station WTIP-FM 90.7, which has been carrying the daily meetings live.
Paul and Sheila Wellstone will be recognized as co-recipients of the 2007 Distinguished Minnesotan Award during 2 p.m. commencement ceremonies on Friday at Bemidji State University. First presented by Bemidji State in 1981, the Distinguished Minnesotan Award acknowledges the contributions of current or former residents of the state who have performed exemplary service to the people of Minnesota or the United States. The Wellstones perished on Oct. 25, 2002, in a plane crash near Eveleth, Minn., while Paul was campaigning for a third term in the U.S. Senate.
ST. PAUL - Minnesotans would enjoy more jobsite protections and housing programs would receive new state aid under a compromise lawmakers reached on an economic development funding bill. The $375 million finance bill, agreed to Thursday by a House-Senate conference committee, covers workforce programs, housing initiatives and even a program to lure movie production to Minnesota. Its next stop is final approval from both legislative chambers, expected today. The full House and Senate could debate the compromise today or Saturday.
Minnesota Gang and Drug Task Force officers and Bureau of Criminal Appreciation agents participated in a drug enforcement effort throughout the state from April 23 through 29, resulting in 161 arrests on drug related charges. The operation -- Operation Byrne Drugs II -- was a coordinated effort led by the National Alliance of State Drug Enforcement Agencies to focus on drug-related crimes and the importance of federally funded Byrne Justice Assistance Grant program in the day-to-day operations of drug enforcement.
The body of William "Bill" Fiebranz was recovered from the Mississippi River near Clearwater Wednesday. The 38-year-old Blaine man had been missing since March 29 when he failed to come home from his nationally acclaimed tackle shop in Fridley. Around 6:30 p.m. Wednesday, his body was recovered by the Wright County Sheriff's water pa-trol nearly three miles south of the Clearwater boat landing where his Silverado pickup was found through GPS tracking March 29. A paraplegic, Fiebranz's wheelchair was found about 100 yards from his truck, partially sub-merged about 15 feet from shore.