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A Minnesota non-profit organization aiming to give every child the best start in life is sharing data on the well-being of children in the state. On Wednesday, Children's Defense Fund Minnesota held a community forum at Bemidji State University's American Indian Resource Center highlighting its latest report on the well-being of Minnesota children and its legislative efforts. Minnesota is the top state in the nation in terms of the well-being of children, according to Kids Count, a national and state-by-state effort to track the status of children in the United States.
ST. PAUL - Soldiers returning from overseas have a new weapon to fight mental health problems they may encounter while settling into civilian life. The Minnesota National Guard will take part in a pilot program to "embed" mental health counselors in 22 armories around the state, mostly in the Twin Cities area and western Minnesota, officials said Wednesday. Minnesota is doing a good job assisting 2,600 National Guard troops who recently returned from the Iraq war and other overseas deployments, Gov. Tim Pawlenty said.
The Minnesota Department of Transportation is seeking additional spending authority following the collapse of the Interstate 35W bridge in Minneapolis. If a legislative panel does not give the department authority to spend more than it had planned for 2008, MnDOT officials say about $140 million in road and bridge projects around the state may be delayed so that the Minneapolis bridge reconstruction can move forward. MnDOT district engineers have submitted a preliminary list of projects that could be delayed if funding is not available.
Two books about politics for your consideration this month. Thomas Mallon, author of "Dewey Defeats Truman" and six other novels is out with a book about the McCarthy Era -- Joseph not Eugene. It's called "Fellow Travelers" and involves the gay life and politics in Washington, D.C. Tim Laughlin, a recent Fordham grad, devout Catholic and gay person comes to Washington as an intern at a newspaper. At a cocktail party thrown by Tailgunner Joe, he meets a State Department official Hawkins Fuller and falls in love with him.
Stillwater Police arrested a Stillwater woman on a drunk driving charge Thursday afternoon after she attempted to pick up her three young children at Lily Lake Elementary School in Stillwater. The 37-year-old tested at .27, more than three times the legal limit for alcohol intoxication, in a preliminary breath test a police officer administered. The results to a follow-up urinalysis were pending. She was being held at Washington County Jail awaiting a charge of second degree DWI.
3M is investing in its Alexandria facility and it announced plans this week to expand the existing abrasive manufacturing operations at the Alexandria site.
A dwindling number of hunters in Minnesota have Department of Natural Resources officials coming up with new ways to get more people involved in hunting. DNR officials say they are reducing several barriers to hunting in the hopes of getting would-be hunters off the fence and into fields and forests. "Nationally, Minnesota ranks fifth in terms of hunting participation," said Dave Schad, DNR Fish and Wildlife Division director. "Currently, 13 percent of the population hunts.
ST. PAUL - Gov. Tim Pawlenty and top lawmakers were closer to settling terms of a special legislative session to aid flood-stricken southeastern Minnesota, but Friday could not agree how to pay for some of the relief. The Republican governor and leaders of the DFL-controlled Legislature were odds over whether to borrow funds for some of the flood relief or to pay with cash. They are scheduled to resume discussions Monday morning, with the possibility of a special session next week.
When Wayne Boniface got done with the intruder, he had no cover. The suspect ran from the home carrying less than he came with. A lot less. Wayne and Kathie Boniface returned from a dinner at a Duluth neighbor's home Thursday night to find a burglar in their house. Kathie Boniface asked the burglar who he was? "I'm with the FBI and you are blowing my cover,'' the burglar said. When Wayne Boniface got done with the intruder, he had no cover. The suspect ran from the home carrying less than he came with.