Don Davis has been the Forum Communications Minnesota Capitol Bureau chief since 2001, covering state government and politics for two dozen newspapers in the state. Don also blogs at Capital Chatter on Areavoices.
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Flying a small drone around a bridge may be safer and less costly than traditional ways of inspection, with Minnesota officials planning more tests to gauge their usefulness. After a summer drone test, next up will be a fall test that will include inspecting the state's longest bridge, the 7,975-foot John A. Blatnik Bridge in Duluth.
Many rural Americans compare providing high-speed Internet connections to the years when telephones and electricity were moving into rural areas. "To me it is the rural electrification of this era," Sen. Al Franken, D-Minn., told experts on the subject he gathered Thursday in St. Paul. "If you go to rural Minnesota ...
Communications is a key in preventing and battling oil train disasters, two U.S. senators learned last week from public safety officials. A forum convened by U.S. Sens. Al Franken of Minnesota and Tammy Baldwin of Wisconsin, both Democrats, produced requests for railroads to communicate better with officials and the public and to allow public safety personnel to better communicate via radio with each other. Much of the discussion followed the lines of what Minnesota Gov.
Scott Walker has outlasted Tim Pawlenty as a presidential candidate, but there are similarities between the two and some wonder if Walker's campaign is doomed. The well-known online Slate magazine asks if Walker is Tim Pawlenty 2.0. Writer Jamelle Bouie wrote what others have thought. "He's not a firebrand and he doesn't alienate ordinary Americans," Bouie wrote about Walker.
Temperatures have dipped into the 40s and even the 30s, in northern Minnesota. Ducks and geese are beginning their annual migration south. Leaves are just beginning to turn. "We are there," Badger farmer John Burkel said about fall. For many like Burkel, it is not about the pretty autumn colors or the arrival of football. This year, at least, his thoughts turn to whether he has increased biosecurity on his farm enough to avoid another avian flu outbreak like the one that resulted in nine million turkey and chicken deaths on 108 Minnesota farms from March to June.
The trooper who has been the Minnesota State Patrol's face in western Minnesota faces charges of driving 94 miles per hour in a 55 zone. Sgt. Jesse Grabow has served as public information officer, but his duties will be handled by other troopers during an internal investigation into the April incident. Grabow authored an Ask a Trooper column that ran in the Wadena Pioneer Journal along with other area newspapers. Patrol Capt.
Put yourself in a politician's shoes: There is no way you would want to cast a vote to release sex offenders from a prison-like facility. But if a federal judge ordered you to do it, that could be a different story. Someone else is to blame. U.S. District Court Judge Donovan Frank, a former St. Louis County prosecutor who has dealt with sex offender cases, gave politicians a scapegoat and way out of a constitutional conflict when he handed down a ruling saying the Minnesota Sex Offender Program violates the U.S.
Proposals by some insurers for large health insurance premium increases upset key politicians. "The proposed rate increases from Minnesota's health insurers are outrageous, given that our state's health care costs have been increasing by only 3 percent," Democratic Gov. Mark Dayton said. "They underscore the need for a rigorous review of those proposed rates by the Minnesota Department of Commerce before they become final on Oct. 1." Rep.
Minnesota Gov. Mark Dayton has vetoed legislation funding state programs ranging from education to the parks, setting up a special legislative session and launching preparations for a potential partial government shutdown. On Saturday, Dayton vetoed spending bills for agriculture, environment, jobs, economic development and energy.
The Minnesota Legislature ended early Tuesday amid shouts of "crooks" and "shameful," with plenty of confusion mixed in, as lawmakers failed to finish everything they wanted to do in 2015. A special legislative session is expected after Gov. Mark Dayton's promised veto of an education funding bill. Lawmakers passed all the must-do spending bills for a $42 billion, two-year budget, but did not complete a public works funding bill or legislation to fund outdoors and arts projects. Legislative leaders declared the session, which began Jan.