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The 2009 Minnesota Legislature, which begins at noon Jan. 6, may include a bit of election talk to go along with much discussion of how to solve the state's budget woes. Of course, the state's U.S. Senate race probably will not be decided by the time lawmakers return to St. Paul, so such talk only will be natural. "The 2008 election season brought forward some interesting electoral issues," Sen. Katie Sieben, DFL-Newport, said. "We will look at possible changes in election law that could make voting easier and more transparent for Minnesota voters.
The Minnesota Department of Employment and Economic Development is opening its unemployment insurance program Internet operation on Sundays through Jan. 18. The self-service system generally is closed for maintenance on weekends, but officials announced the site at www.uimn.org will be open 6 a.m. to 6 p.m. Sundays. "The slowdown in some sectors of the economy, combined with typical seasonal increases in unemployment, has meant that the unemployment insurance program is busier than normal," Economic Development Commissioner Dan McElroy said.
The 1,000 soldiers of the 34th Infantry Division embarking on a historic mission to Iraq this spring will add onto a long revered history. The Red Bulls, as they are more commonly known, have roots back to the Civil War. They started making a name for themselves during World War I in New Mexico. Created from National Guard troops of Minnesota, Iowa, the Dakotas and Nebraska the division was established in late summer 1917, four months after the United States entered World War One.
Merry Christmas! James Merrill (1926-95) grew up in the lap of luxury, the son of Charles Merrill, the founder of Merrill, Lynch. He went to all the right schools and taught at others, including the University of Wisconsin-Madison. And he grew to become one of the most respected poets of the last half of the 20th century, complex, sometimes formalist, sometimes not, a seer and a realist. He died of AIDS in 1995 and now Knopf is out with a hefty and handsome paperback edition of his greatest work. "James Merrill: Selected Poems," edited by J.D.
ST. PAUL - Minnesota's top elections board and its high court are considering what entity will decide the fate of the U.S. Senate race. Republican Sen. Norm Coleman's campaign wants the courts to decide whether a category of disputed ballots should be counted. Democratic challenger Al Franken's campaign argues that the state Canvassing Board should count the ballots. A Coleman attorney warned the Supreme Court on Wednesday that counting hundreds of disputed absentee ballots without strict rules could turn Minnesota into Florida, at least in terms of election recounts.
Police now believe a missing Minnesota 17-year-old last seen in Red Wing and the Wisconsin man she's believed to be traveling with may be in Texas. The Isanti County Sheriff's Office said Thursday that Christin Bernice Swenson's ATM card was used in Kilgore, Texas, and they have alerted the U.S. Border Patrol to be on the lookout for the pair.
Grandma's Restaurant Co. Inc. now can boast that its chicken wild rice soup is "the official soup of the Minnesota Wild." Brian Daugherty, the company's president, estimates the endorsement deal took about $20,000 to put together. "Hockey season and soup season go hand in hand," Daugherty said. The restaurant chain launched its frozen soup line three years ago, and it has been gaining traction in the grocery market lately, Daugherty said.
ST. PAUL - They should be considered, but not by us. That was the state Canvassing Board's message Wednesday when it turned down a request by Al Franken's campaign to include rejected absentee ballots in Minnesota's U.S. Senate recount. Jurists on the Canvassing Board said they lack authority to order rejected absentee ballots to be included. But board members also expressed concern some valid votes may not have been counted, and they indicated counties could be asked to sort through rejected absentee ballots in preparation for a probable court action.
BROOKLYN PARK, Minn. -- The biggest mystery in the agricultural community is who will become the new U.S. secretary of agriculture. It most likely won't be U.S. Rep. Collin Peterson, DFL-7th District, chairman of the U.S. House Agriculture Committee. "He would be great, though, we'd love to have Collin in there," U.S. Sen. Amy Klobuchar, DFL-Minn., said this weekend during an interview at the Minnesota Farm Bureau Federation's two-day annual meeting.
BROOKLYN PARK, Minn. -- Economic stimulus must include rural America, says U.S. Sen. Norm Coleman, who hopes to include provisions of his Rural Renaissance plan. "In times of economic challenge, the idea of commitment to infrastructure to provoke rural vitality, I think, is more important than ever," Coleman, R-Minn., said in an interview over the weekend at the Minnesota Farm Bureau's annual convention. Coleman wants to retool parts of his Rural Renaissance Act he introduced in 2005 with Sen.