Minnesota holds special primary for late congressman’s seat
ST. PAUL, Minn. (AP) — Voters in southern Minnesota will choose candidates in a special primary next week. This is the first step in the process to fill the seat of Republican US Representative Jim Hagedorn, who died of cancer in February. GOP candidates on Tuesday’s ballot include Hagedorn’s widow, Jennifer Carnahan, former chairwoman of the Minnesota Republican Party. Other candidates include State Representative Jeremy Munson and former State Representative Brad Finstad. On the Democratic side, the approved candidate is former Hormel Foods CEO Jeffrey Ettinger. The winners will face off in a special election on August 9 to fill the remainder of Hagedorn’s term.
Minnesota budget deals remain elusive near end of session
ST. PAUL, Minn. (AP) — Common ground on several budget bills remains elusive as Minnesota lawmakers rapidly approach the end of the legislative session. Democratic House Speaker Melissa Hortman said Friday that tax commission chairs have made “fantastic progress” on a tax relief bill. But sticking points between committee chairs in most other areas — including health and human services, education and public safety — have forced leaders to get involved. Targets for allocating the state’s $9.25 billion budget surplus include $4 billion for tax relief, $4 billion for spending, and an additional $4 billion to leave in reserve.
BC FEDERAL COURT DISABILITY AWARD
Federal jury awards $111 million in MN personal injury case
MINNEAPOLIS, AP — A federal jury in Minnesota has awarded a college student more than $111 million in damages after finding that negligent care of his injured leg following surgery resulted in permanent disability. This week’s jury verdict, which could be one of the largest personal injury awards in the state, is the result of a 2019 lawsuit filed by Anuj Thapa, 25, against St. Cloud Orthopedic Associates in Sartell. . Thapa underwent surgery for a broken leg at St. Cloud’s CentraCare Hospital in 2017. He was left with a condition that occurs when excessive pressure builds up in a muscle group. According to trial testimony, Thapa has had at least a dozen leg surgeries since then and has permanent crippling injuries.
REGULATION OF CARBON DIOXIDE PIPELINES
MN Public Utilities Commission: CO2 pipelines should be regulated
ST. PAUL, Minn. (AP) — Minnesota utility regulators have decided that pipelines that carry carbon dioxide are unsafe and therefore subject to state approval. The Public Utilities Commission’s decision on Thursday relates to two proposed multibillion-dollar CO2 pipelines to cross Minnesota and transport waste from several ethanol plants in the Midwest. The commissioners interpreted a 1998 state law on pipelines carrying hazardous materials, including those carrying carbon dioxide. The ruling kicks off a rule-making process that could take a year. Actual approval of any CO2 pipeline could take months after that. The companies seeking to build the pipelines do not agree with the commission’s decision.
CLOSURE OF THE BUS FACTORY
Closing of a major manufacturer in northeastern North Dakota
PEMBINA, ND (AP) — One of the largest employers in northeast North Dakota will close later this year. New Flyer Industries, based in Winnipeg, Manitoba, is closing its charter bus and transit manufacturing plant in Pembina, located near the Canadian border. Pembina Mayor Mike Fitzgerald says the company was notified of the decision in a letter. The company told Fitzgerald it was having trouble finding qualified employees, which is a factor in its conversion to electric vehicles. KFGO radio reports that the location of the factory has also become an issue. New Flyer also has a plant in Crookston, Minnesota, about 100 miles from Pembina. The Pembina plant opened in 1963. Fitzgerald calls the decision “devastating” and says it will put more than 200 employees out of work.
Abortion Rights Religious Supporters Say God Is On Their Side
TUSCALOOSA, Ala. (AP) – The loudest voices in the abortion debate are often characterized by a stark religious divide, believers versus nays. But the reality is much more nuanced, both in an abortion clinic in Alabama and in the country surrounding it. The clinic’s staff of 11 – mostly black, deeply faithful Christian women – have no trouble balancing their work with their religion. And as the US Supreme Court looks set to dismantle the constitutional right to abortion, they are leaning on their belief that they will continue one way or another. God is on our side, they tell themselves. God will keep this clinic open.
A co-pilot injured when a duck hits a helicopter
ST. PAUL, Minn. (AP) — Authorities say a Minnesota State Patrol helicopter co-pilot was injured after being struck by a duck that ripped through the windshield of the plane returning from a call from law enforcement. The pilot was able to land safely. The incident happened shortly after 10 p.m. Wednesday when the helicopter was returning to St. Paul from being dispatched to Wabasha County. The patrol said the pilot of the Bell 407 helicopter was able to keep the helicopter aloft and land without incident at St. Paul Downtown Airport, where this patrol bases its flight operations. The injured co-pilot was wearing his helmet and had his visor down when he was hit. He was treated at a local hospital for a head injury and released.
National Guard to help with Northeast Minnesota floods
ST. PAUL (AP) — Minnesota Governor Tim Walz has activated the National Guard to help control record flooding in areas of northeastern Minnesota. Emergency management officials in St. Louis and Koochiching counties have asked for help dealing with flooding caused by heavy spring rains and rapid snowmelt across the Rainy River Basin. More rain is forecast for the coming days, which will likely push the levels of many lakes and rivers above their historic highs of 2014 and 1950. Record floods have been measured on the headwaters of Rainy River, including Lake Vermilion, and docks and boathouses suffered damage. on several lakes. Some residents put sandbags to protect their homes.
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