The placid patches of grass under the purview of the Minnesota Department of Transportation have become a subject of controversy. Ditches near locally maintained roads could be owned by private landowners or other entities, but the ones adjacent to state and federal highways are controlled by MnDOT. On one side of the conflict lies MnDOT, which wants to respect the habitat wild ditches create for animals, in particular pollinator insects like threatened butterflies and bees. On the other, farmers want to mow the ditches to create hay for livestock.
Senate Majority Leader Paul Gazelka has made a political career out of being a pinch hitter for Republicans in Minnesota and likely owes much of his success to a key character attribute. Gazelka, 58, holds fundamental beliefs, but tries not to let them obstruct the path to getting things done in St. Paul. First steps His initiation in politics was his first run for office in 2004, when he ran to replace Minnesota Rep. Dale Walz. Gazelka said Walz, a Republican from Brainerd, asked him to run in his stead.
Jeff Johnson is bringing a heavy dose of populism to the Republican primary for Minnesota governor. The now-51-year-old Hennepin County Commissioner captured the Republican primary win last time, in 2014, but failed to beat incumbent DFL Gov. Mark Dayton in the general election. Like last time, Johnson is focusing his 2018 campaign messaging on curbing what he believes is government overreach.
Brainerd High School students and the community at large sat down Friday to hear how Bob Uppgaard helped make sure U.S. troops had enough supplies with which to kill Nazis. Uppgaard, 94, was the featured speaker at the annual Veterans Day ceremony inside the high school gymnasium. At age 19, Uppgaard joined the U.S. Navy Construction Battalions, more commonly known as the Seabees. His experience during World War II was extremely rare: he served in both the European and Pacific theaters of the conflict.
Senate Majority Leader Paul Gazelka commented Friday he didn't think it likely new sexual harassment allegations against more state senators would surface. Gazelka, a Republican from Fairview Township, was reacting to the sexual harassment allegations against Sen. Dan Schoen, DFL-St. Paul Park, which came to light Wednesday. Sexual harassment at the Capitol was something all lawmakers should fight against, regardless of political party, he said.
Janet Baril knows a lot about her brother Donald Baer's time in the U.S. Army before and during the Korean War. She knows what unit he was in: K Company, 3rd Battalion, 34th Infantry Regiment, 24th Infantry Division. She knows his prewar assignment: guarding the ammunition dump at Camp Mower, Sasebo, Japan. She knows what day he went to Korea: July 2, 1950.
Former Crosby mayor Jim Hunter was fined and given a cease and desist order by the state in October. Hunter, who was charged with felony assault and theft by swindle earlier this year, resigned his position as mayor in August. The charges stem from a con Hunter allegedly ran involving the sale of his business, Buy Sell Trade in Crosby.
The Brainerd City Council Monday signaled their support for allowing microdistilleries and cocktail rooms within city limits.
Essentia Health's decision to only allow voluntary patients in its Grace Unit at St. Joseph's Medical Center in Brainerd has drawn noteworthy flak from the Twin Cities. A top state official and a University of Minnesota academic both criticized the move in a Star Tribune article Thursday, saying it was unfair to patients involuntarily committed by the justice system to get mental health care.
The Minnesota Department of Natural Resources plans an unprecedented dragnet of staff this deer opener weekend in north-central Minnesota to catch signs of chronic wasting disease. The effort follows the discovery of a CWD-positive deer at a deer farm in Merrifield last year. The contagious disease involves harmful prions, or infectious agents, attaching themselves to a deer's central nervous system, causing lesions to form on the brain. The disease is terminal, with death occurring anywhere from several days to a year later.