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Once again, Outside magazine has recognized what a lot of Duluthians already knew. That it's a great place to live if you like to play outdoors. Outside, with its circulation of 2.1 million, has named Duluth one of its "Best Towns" for 2007. Duluth was among 30 cities mentioned and among nine featured prominently in the August issue, which is on newsstands now.
What's flowing into the Mississippi River and where is it going once it gets there would be the focus of a study Rep. Ron Kind, D-Wis., wants the U.S. Geological Survey to undertake. A measure introduced by Kind called "The Upper Mississippi River Basin Protection Act " unanimously passed the U.S.
DULUTH -- As of Sept. 1, the University of Minnesota Duluth will not allow smoking on campus. The school will be the first higher education institution in the state to test out a smoking ban on its property. Minnesota State University-Moorhead approved a ban last spring that will go into effect in January. "I think we do want to be a leader in environmental health and safety," said Katherine Morris, UMD's director of health services.
Years ago, I was a regular on Steve Benson's Minnesota Public Radio talk show. Every week, we'd meet a different author coming through town. One day it turned out to be one of my favorite essayists, Roy Blount Jr. During the show Blount expressed the highest regard for Minnesota's Garrison Keller. Little wonder. The more I read of Blount, the more I think of Keller, our very own informal essayist par excellence. Blount, who has moved his body to the northeast where he is president of the Author's Guild, remains in my book the southern version of Keller.
A man is dead following a Saturday morning shooting in Duluth's East Hillside neighborhood. It is the first fatal shooting in Duluth this year. The shooting occurred around 3:40 a.m. at 927 E. Fifth St., which is kitty-corner from Portland Square Park. Duluth Police Lt. Peg Johnson said the man was found outside the house. Johnson said there was some kind of confrontation at the residence, but she didn't know how or if it was connected with the shooting. "It's quite complex," Johnson said.
A northwestern Minnesota state representative wants Gov. Tim Pawlenty to call a special legislative session to increase nursing home funding. There is no indication that will happen, but Rep. Kent Eken, DFL-Twin Valley, said it should be a priority. "The final (health care) bill signed by the governor did not even provide enough to cover inflation for our struggling nursing homes," Eken said. The lawmaker said nursing homes not only care for the elderly, but they provide jobs for rural residents. "Nursing homes are an important economic engine in our communities."
The Minnesota Senate's top transportation lawmaker is upset with the Minnesota Department of Transportation's decision not to take part in the Minnesota State Fair for the first time in 27 years. "The 'Great Minnesota Get Together' is an opportunity for people from all over the state to receive highway maps, along with up-to-date information on road conditions and construction projects," Sen. Steve Murphy, DFL-Red Wing, said. MnDOT officials say they are not going to the fair due to budget concerns.
City residents pay the bulk of presidential campaign costs, even though votes from rural America may decide the elections. The Daily Yonder, a Web publication of the Center for Rural Strategies, reports that "although 26 percent of Americans live in rural counties, they donated only 5 percent of the money contributed to all presidential candidates in the first quarter of 2007. Per capita, city dwellers gave six times more money to presidential campaigns than rural residents did." The center looks at presidential campaigns in light of how much influence rural voters have.
Invasion fought The U.S. House will debate a bill fighting invasive species. The House Transportation and Infrastructure Committee, led by U.S. Rep. Jim Oberstar of Minnesota, included the fight in a Coast Guard-related bill. It would help fight species such as zebra mussel and sea lamprey, Oberstar said. "I am through with academics who want another three-year research program, or a five-year research program, to study and look at and say 'my gosh that stuff is polluted. Goodness, look at those little critters in there, they're terrible,'" Oberstar said.
A Burnsville man was injured when the motorcycle he was driving struck a car which had stopped ahead of him in Wisconsin. The Pierce County (Wis.) Sheriff's Department said that Jerry Crone, 62, was driving a 2005 Honda northbound on Highway 63 at the intersection of 830th Street in the Town of Trenton, when he hit a car which had stopped to make a turn ahead of him. Authorities said that the 1999 Chevrolet car was driven by Lynn Riemann, 45, Austin, Minn. Crone was taken to the Fairview Red Wing Medical Center by the Red Wing Ambulance.