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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ST. CLOUD, Minn.—No link has emerged between terrorist groups and the man who stabbed nine people in a St. Cloud mall Saturday night, Sept. 17. St. Cloud Police Chief Blair Anderson told reporters Monday that he will let the public know quickly if investigators find a connection between the suspect in the stabbings, identified by fellow Somali-Americans as Dahir Anad, and terrorist groups such as ISIS. An ISIS-related news agency called Anad a soldier of the organization, but did not indicate he had prior contact with it.
ST. PAUL—Minnesota is about to increase its campaign warning about the dangers of painkillers known as opioids. State officials also plan to work with medical and pharmaceutical professionals about the risks of overprescribing the drugs. The state announced Monday it is receiving $2.5 million from the federal government to fight heroin and prescribed pain killers such as morphine, codeine, methadone, OxyContin, Percocet, Vicodin, Fentanyl and buprenorphine. Federal and state officials say dependence on those drugs is increasing.
ST. PAUL—A group of American Indians whose ancestors rescued whites during an 1862 Indian war want to collect on a federal government promise of a 12-square-mile tract in west-central Minnesota. The six people, seeking the land for about 20,000 Mdewakanton Sioux Indians, on Wednesday asked the U.S. Supreme Court to take up the issue. They have fought the federal government and people who settled the land since 2003, with the high court rejecting earlier requests to consider a related case.
FALCON HEIGHTS, Minn.—First it was an effort to keep agriculture runoff out of the state's waters by the use of plant buffers, then last week it was a restriction on the use of some pesticides. Many of Minnesota's farmers and farm organizations are not happy with Gov. Mark Dayton, who began both efforts without what farmers say was adequate consultation. Many say they agree with Dayton's desire to clean up pollution and protect bees, but disagree with how he approaches agriculture-related issues.
FALCON HEIGHTS, Minn.—Minnesota leads the country in its Beyond Yellow Ribbon program to help military personnel, veterans and their families, and state leaders used the State Fair to celebrate. "Companies and communities have shown immense support," Maj. Gen. Rick Nash, Minnesota National Guard's adjutant general, told hundreds gathered at the Minnesota State Fair Tuesday to celebrate the military.
FALCON HEIGHTS, Minn.—People in line complained too few shuttle buses were scheduled. A political party chairman complained about members of another party. Lines built quickly, and well before lunch, at the most popular food concessions. And then there was Ryan Hinkeldey. "It's awesome," the Windom 4-H member said as he led his 2-year-old Holstein cow back to the barn.
ST. PAUL—Minnesotans will not get tax cuts and will not see road and other public construction projects begin after the governor and legislative leaders failed to agree on a special session agenda. "I've concluded ... I am not going to call a special session," Democratic Gov. Mark Dayton said Thursday afternoon following a negotiations session that produced no agreement on a divisive Twin Cities light rail construction proposal.
ST. PAUL—Turnout in Tuesday's Minnesota primary election likely will be spotty, as there are relatively few contests this year. The only statewide race will pare three Supreme Court candidates down to two, although six U.S. House primary races are on the ballot along with contests for 28 of the 201 legislative seats. Statewide officials such as governor and attorney general are not up for election in 2016. And neither U.S. senator is on the ballot. Still, the state's top election official says people should vote.
ST. PAUL—Minnesota's minimum wage rises Aug. 1 and several new laws will hit the books. The state's large employers must pay at least $9.50 an hour, while smaller businesses will be required to pay $7.75. Training and youth wages also must be at least $7.75. In 2018, Minnesota minimum wages begin rising annually to match inflation. Monday is the first increase in three years as part of a 2014 law Democratic Gov. Mark Dayton signed after a Legislature controlled by his party passed it. The minimum wage's first increase under the law was to $8 an hour in 2014.
It wasn’t political, says Klobuchar