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ST. PAUL - An electric transmission project in western Minnesota can go forward - with conditions aimed at protecting ratepayers and the environment -- state regulators decided Thursday. The Minnesota Public Utilities Commission voted unanimously to approve a large-scale power line project that would distribute electricity from the proposed Big Stone II coal-fired power plant in eastern South Dakota.
A fire started by a wood-burning stove in a Denmark Township barn caused an estimated $75,000 in damage Sunday, Jan. 11. The call came into the Hastings Fire Department shortly after 5 p.m. when a passerby called 911 after seeing flames coming from the barn at 13328 Norell Ave. When firefighters responded to the scene, there were flames in the first and second stories of the three-story barn, Hastings Fire Chief Mike Schutt said. Firefighters worked for almost six hours to get the blaze under control.
The scoping study, a major hurdle in the planning process for a new Highway 61 bridge in Hastings, has been completed and identifies four bridge types, with alignments, that will move forward in the design process. Those bridges include a twin box girder bridge (similar to the Wakota bridge in Newport), a single arch bridge (similar to the existing bridge), a rehabilitation of the existing bridge next to new arch bridge, and a single cable supported bridge. The four bridge types had already been identified earlier in the scoping study process, but the alignments were not.
Janice Goodger's body was as cold as Dr. Chris Delp has ever seen - so cold that it seemed Goodger couldn't possibly survive, especially at age 64. Instead, Goodger will walk back into St. Luke's Hospital in Duluth for a simple checkup today, just days after an "amazing" medical journey to the brink of death and back, said Delp, an emergency room physician at the hospital. "I'm not aware of anyone at this age to have survived [being so cold] and to have done this well," Delp said.
ST. PAUL -- Al Franken entered halftime of Minnesota's U.S. Senate race in the lead, but Norm Coleman is hoping for a come-from-behind victory. Coleman, whose term as senator ended Saturday, is going to court in his bid to win the drawn-out race and a second term. A statewide recount took two months; Coleman's chief attorney said a legal case could take two more months. "Minnesotans deserve 100 percent confidence that their senator was fairly elected by all the people," Coleman said Tuesday while surrounded by supporters urging him to keep fighting.
Ardella Marlys (Olson) Leslie, 60, of Cottage Grove, Minn. passed away Sunday, Dec. 28, 2008 after a courageous battle with cancer at Woodwinds Health Campus. A funeral service, officiated by Pastor Dan Delich, will be held Saturday, Jan. 3, 2009 at the Bethel Baptist Church in Sun Fish Lake. Interment Fort Snelling National Cemetery. The Wise Family Funeral Home ( www.wisefamilyfh.com ) is in charge of the arrangements.
Superior police arrested two Minnesota men after standoff on Ogden Avenue early this morning. At about 12:15 a.m. this morning an officer from the Superior Police Department was flagged down by a female in the 1800 Block of Ogden Ave. The female reported to the officer that a man at her apartment, 1809 1/2 Ogden Ave., had been severely beaten by another male in the apartment. As the officer approached the residence he encountered a male armed with an ax. He quickly retreated into the apartment.
An Afton man was charged Monday with two counts of second-degree criminal sexual conduct for an incident involving two of his juvenile granddaughters. Washington County Sheriff's deputies arrested Richard Allen Balsimo, 62, at his Afton residence on Thursday, Dec. 11. He was taken into custody without incident and was held over the weekend at the Washington County Jail in Stillwater pending the charges. Each of the charges, which were filed by the Washington County Attorney Monday morning, carries a maximum of 25 years in prison and a $35,000 fine.
Speculation has surfaced in recent days that the financially distressed Minneapolis Star Tribune could be sold to one of several buyers, including Forum Communications Co. (the parent company of this newspaper), which publishes The Forum in Fargo, N.D. "Not true," William C. Marcil, chief executive officer of Forum Communications, said Thursday. "We are not interested in buying the Minneapolis Star Tribune or St. Paul Pioneer Press, period." The Forum was mentioned as a possible Star Tribune buyer in a column that appeared Wednesday in the online newspaper MinnPost.com.
ST. PAUL -- News of a $5.3 billion state budget deficit could hit nearly every Minnesotan with program cuts or increased costs. Or it could be an opportunity to shrink state government. Or, more likely, it could be a combination of the two. It will be months before Minnesotans know how the record deficit will affect them. Gov.