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ST. PAUL - The U.S. Senate recount got off to a rough start Monday in one northwestern Minnesota county, which reported it had found dozens of previously uncounted ballots and temporarily lost track of a handful more. One of 10 sites statewide to start recounting votes Monday, Becker County officials said that they earlier misplaced 61 valid ballots, which are expected to be counted for the first time today as part of the recount. Plus, the county initially came up four votes shy in the recount of one polling location, compared to the number of voters recorded having cast a ballot.
ST. PAUL - Transportation experts say states reviewed bridge policies after the Interstate 35W bridge collapse, but wonder if the issue will be a national priority long after this week's findings from a collapse investigation. Minnesota officials, a bridge expert studying the collapse and transportation-minded lawmakers said the state has improved its bridge inspections and understanding of bridge design and safety following the Aug.
Powerful military nation decides its time to teach a lesson to small Moslem nation, certain that its people will welcome the enlightened country's victory over outmoded religious country whose time had come and gone centuries before. Strangely, the little Moslem nation didn't take kindly to the incursion from Big Brother and threw the big guy for loss after loss. Does this sound familiar? Of course. Only problem is that the countries about which historian Paul Strathern writes in his new book are 19th century countries, France and Egypt.
ST. PAUL - Democrats maintained control of the Minnesota House, but would have to wait this morning to see how big a majority they will hold for the next two years. It appears like they would fall short of the veto-proof majority they sought. With incomplete returns, Republicans said it looked like they would net a loss of one or two seats. House Speaker Margaret Anderson Kelliher, DFL-Minneapolis, said she expected it to be today before Minnesotans knew the breakdown of the House. "I feel really good about this," she said.
ST. PAUL - The candidates likely will spend more than $30 million on Minnesota's U.S. Senate race. That's just the half of it - literally. Republican Sen. Norm Coleman and his Democratic challenger Al Franken have raised more than $32 million, but experts predict that much also could be spent by outside groups trying to influence the Nov. 4 election. The candidates' prolific fund-raising - Franken leads all candidates across the country; Coleman is fourth - makes Minnesota's contest the most expensive of the country's 35 Senate races this year.
ST. PAUL - Al Franken suggested he and Republican Sen. Norm Coleman agree on gun rights. "I support the 2nd Amendment," Franken said. "I don't think we're any different on this." Coleman shot that down. "That is a stunning statement," he told the Democrat during a Friday night debate among Minnesota's three major candidates for U.S. Senate. Coleman, locked in a tight battle with Franken, said his main opponent got a failing grade from the National Rifle Association and has suggested limiting gun ownership.
Minnesota's children, guaranteed by the State Constitution to an education, also deserve a right to access to affordable health care, says a coalition of children's advocacy groups. And that includes affordable child care for working parents and living-wage jobs to support families. There are 87,500 families living in poverty in Minnesota, said Carole Specktor, legislative and advocacy director, said at a recent forum on economic issues facing working families held at the Bemidji Boys & Girls Club. "The majority are working and trying to achieve self-sufficiency," she said.
ST. PAUL - More than just the "big three" are seeking Minnesota's U.S. Senate seat, although the "other two" are mostly invisible. Two far lesser-known candidates will appear on the Nov. 4 ballot with Republican Sen. Norm Coleman, Democrat Al Franken and the Independence Party's Dean Barkley. Voters also can pick either Charles Aldrich of the Libertarian Party or the Constitution Party's James Niemackl. Both minor-party Senate candidates advocate for a smaller federal government and say the Iraq war should end and U.S. troops should be brought home.
State officials say Minnesota is getting $144.5 million from the federal government to help low-income residents pay heating bills. The amount is nearly double what the state received last year. It's the state's share of the federal Low-Income Home Energy Assistance Program. The program helps low-income people pay their heating bills through grant money paid directly to the utility company on behalf of the customer. Individual grants will average about $500.
The Hastings bridge will be down to one lane from 9 a.m. to 2:30 p.m., Oct. 13 and 14 for a routine inspection. The inspection is being done as a follow-up to the recent repair project, to check the contractor's work on the bridge. Traffic on the bridge will be restricted to one lane on those days, like it was during this summer's repair project.