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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Minnesota voters will have more say about who runs for president this fall than ever. State branches of presidential campaigns are springing up in the wake of politically exciting caucuses in Iowa and a primary in New Hampshire. Most candidates will only fly over Minnesota en route to places like California and New York, states much richer in national convention delegates, but when Democrats and Republicans attend caucuses Feb.
ST. PAUL -- State government should focus on helping unemployed workers, not trying to stimulate the economy for a short-term gain, one of the Upper Midwest's most prominent economists says. "I don't think our record to eliminate recessions is very good," Art Rolnick, senior vice president and director of research at the Minneapolis Federal Reserve Bank, said in an interview.
ST. PAUL - A design error in the Minneapolis bridge that collapsed Aug. 1 prompted Minnesota officials to look at the original plans of 59 similar bridges. The $500,000 re-evaluation follows Tuesday's preliminary report blaming gusset plates that connect bridge beams for the Interstate 35W bridge collapse. Bridges Minnesota officials gave priority status for the re-evaluation include U.S. 63 over the Mississippi River at Red Wing, U.S. 61 over the Mississippi River at Hastings, and the Blatnik Bridge in Duluth.
ST. PAUL - A federal report clears Minnesota bridge inspectors in the Aug. 1 Minneapolis bridge collapse. While National Transportation Safety Board officials said they do not yet know exactly why the Interstate 35W Mississippi River bridge collapsed, they pointed fingers to undersized gusset plates that connected large I-beams. NTSB Chairman Mark Rosenker said in Washington today that the plates were too small for the bridge.
MINNEAPOLIS - Minnesota voters will have more say about who runs for president this fall than ever. State branches of presidential campaigns are springing up in the wake of politically exciting caucuses in Iowa and a primary in New Hampshire. Most candidates will only fly over Minnesota en route to places like California and New York, states much richer in national convention delegates, but when Democrats and Republicans attend caucuses Feb.
ST. PAUL -- Twin Cities residents who took a record 77 million bus rides last year can thank their rural cousins for providing an increasing amount of the fuel. Soybean fields that dot the Minnesota landscape from Canada to Iowa more and more are the source of an oil that when mixed with diesel fuels the buses. More big-city residents are taking the bus each year, thanks to skyrocketing gasoline costs.
ST. PAUL -- Buying a "certified" used car in Minnesota actually will mean something starting Tuesday. That is when a new law begins to regulate what car dealers can call a certified car. It is part of a "car owners' bill of rights" lawmakers passed last spring, and something consumer activists and car dealers both like. "The term 'certified' was used liberally and probably loosely in the industry," Scott Lambert of the Minnesota Automobile Dealers Association said.
ST. PAUL -- All state highway bridges have been inspected since the Aug. 1 Minneapolis bridge collapse, missing by three weeks Gov. Tim Pawlenty's deadline. Seventeen of more than 4,000 bridges needed repairs or other actions after the inspections, Minnesota Department of Transportation officials said Friday. Pawlenty originally said he wanted all 13,026 Minnesota bridges to be inspected.
ST. PAUL -- A Minneapolis-based law firm will lead what is described as a Watergate-like investigation into the Minnesota Department of Transportation. "We need people who are highly skilled in the art of extracting information," Sen. Steve Murphy, DFL-Red Wing, told the Senate Rules Committee Wednesday before it voted along party lines to approve the request. The committee gave $250,000 to the probe, which will be added to a like amount from the House. The $500,000 will go to Gray Plant Mooty law firm, which once employed Democratic Sen.
ST. PAUL -- Those behind a nationally recognized program helping to smooth soldiers' return from combat on Wednesday earned honors from the state. "None of it happens without a team of hundreds or even thousands," Gov. Tim Pawlenty said before pinning awards on 22 civilians and military personnel, including Lt. Col. Chris Fritz and his wife, Cherie, of Red Wing. Minnesota's Beyond the Yellow Ribbon campaign has become "the national standard for troops returning from war," Gen. Joe Kelly said during a Wednesday ceremony. Major John Morris of Afton, the Minnesota National Guard's No.