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Several years ago, the chair of the University of Minnesota Journalism Department felt me out about whether or not I would like to join its faculty as a writing teacher. I replied that sounded great, thinking about its famous grads, like Harry Reasoner, Eric Severaid, Max Shulman, et al. "Good," said the chair. "It'll be a tough sell, getting you accepted by the department?" How so, I asked. "You don't have any publications," he replied. "I most certainly do.
It's time to roll out several summer reading books, including Lisa Gardner's "The Neighbor" (Bantam, $25). South Boston has always fascinated me, ever since movies like "Good Will Hunting" and "Mystic River." Gardner ("The Killing Hour)" sets her new novel in the world of the "Southie." A housewife, Sandra Jones, from South Boston turns up missing, leaving behind only a four-year-old daughter and her husband, Jason, who seems determined to destroy evidence of his wife's existence. Detective Sgt. D.D.
A home was destroyed by fire Saturday morning in Denmark Township. A call came into the Hastings Fire Department shortly before 5 a.m. Saturday, May 16, that the house at 12736 S. 110th St. was on fire. According to Hastings Fire Chief Mike Schutt, when they arrived on the scene, there was heavy fire in the front porch and on the first and second stories. The fire was under control by 6:30 a.m., but not in time to save the house. The cause of the fire is still being investigated, but it is known it started inside a wall. No one was injured as a result of the fire.
NEW LONDON -- As people started checking in early Friday morning at Sibley State Park for a weekend of camping, the office staff there received an urgent email about the emerald ash borer that will affect all visitors at every state park. The notice gave firm instructions for park personnel to question overnight visitors about whether they had firewood with them. Campers will be asked to voluntarily give up unapproved wood and exchange it for certified bundles of wood that's for sale at the parks. If they don't, they could risk confiscation and a citation by a conservation officer. The oth
A wag of my acquaintance once said that word processors are ruining the art of biography. He explained that it's so easy to type on them (no carriage return, no worries of hyphenation, etc.), that "if Moses had one, there'd be 17 commandments rather than 10." In some ways it's true. Back in the 18th century, Dr. Samuel Johnson wrote wonderfully perceptive and readable biographies of writers like Richard Savage in about 50 modern-day pages. But even before the advent of the word processor the modern taste for detail led to biographers piling more and more detail into their work.
The annual inspection of the Highway 61 bridge in Hastings will cause some delays from April 27 through May 10. Traffic on the bridge will be reduced to one lane from 9 a.m. to 2:30 p.m., Monday through Friday on those dates. During the inspection, flaggers will control traffic flow across the bridge. Inspection activities will be cancelled in the event of high winds or inclement weather.
ON LAKE SUPERIOR, NEAR THE FRENCH RIVER -- The big rainbow had put up a strong fight, but now Tom Hultquist thought maybe he had lost it. Duluth's Hultquist, fishing from shore on Lake Superior near the French River on Wednesday, was dealing with a shore-fishing hazard.
ST. PAUL -- An influx of dedicated state tax revenue leads outdoors enthusiasts to believe a logjam of Minnesota natural resources projects will begin to free up this year. State lawmakers are completing work on two outdoors spending packages that would pump tens of millions of dollars into conservation projects around the state. Both are paid for outside the traditional state budgeting process and are protected by the Minnesota Constitution.
ST. PAUL - Minnesota legislators are a month away from their deadline to send all tax and budget bills to Gov. Tim Pawlenty, but there is a doubt whether Minnesotans understand the state faces a serious budget problem. Assistant Senate Majority Leader Tarryl Clark, DFL-St. Cloud, said senators are receiving few public comments about the budget, indicating the public does not understand the problem. Sen. LeRoy Stumpf, DFL-Plummer, added: "I'm not sure we get it yet. ... This is sinking in slowly." The size of the problem is historic.
A 26-year Hastings man was sentenced April 8 in federal court for holding up a TCF Bank in Cottage Grove Sept. 25, 2008. U.S. District Court Judge Richard Kyle sentenced David Michael Cheney to 30 months in prison and three years of supervised release on one count of bank robbery. Cheney was indicted Oct. 20, 2008, and pleaded guilty Nov. 17. According to his plea agreement, Cheney admitted he took $5,712 from a bank teller. According to a Federal Bureau of Investigation affidavit, at approximately 11 a.m. Sept. 25, a man handed a note to a teller that read, "This is a robbery.