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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DES MOINES, Iowa -- Key Iowa Republicans got to know Tim Pawlenty in a speech Saturday night that some considered the kickoff of his campaign in the first state to pick its presidential favorite. The Minnesota governor made no mention of his potential presidential candidacy, but harshly attacked President Barack Obama and other Democrats.
ST. PAUL -- Tim Pawlenty's Iowa presidential caucus performance, if he runs for the White House, may hinge on whether he can hitch his star to the right Iowa governor candidate and how he deals with the hot-button gay marriage issue. While the Minnesota governor is billed as keynote speaker at Saturday night's Republican Party dinner in Des Moines, the real interest of GOP activists will be on their state's 2010 governor's race and conservative social issues, not the 2012 presidential campaign that most observers expect Pawlenty to enter. First-term Democratic Gov.
ST. PAUL -- Roy Jensen returned Friday to the Minnesota House to be honored as the oldest retired state lawmaker. "It's the first time I've been back in all these years," the 100-year-old lifelong Willmar-area resident said. Jensen, who served in the House from 1951 to 1954 and is thought to be the oldest living ex-lawmaker, received a standing ovation from a couple dozen other former lawmakers gathered for an annual mock legislative session where they debated issues like they did when they served. Former state House Speaker Martin Sabo, also a longtime member of the U.S.
ST. PAUL -- Relations between American Indian tribes and the federal government have turned around significantly since Barack Obama became the president, tribal leaders remarked Thursday after a two-day St.
ST. PAUL -- Minnesota health officials confirmed two more deaths Wednesday from 2009 H1N1 flu, or swine flu as it is also known, as more schools report flu outbreaks and the number of people hospitalized continues to rise. While the Health Department will not provide specific identifications, the family of Oliver Franklin Finley, 11, of Hastings reported he died of swine flu. He had other health problems. Also, Mike Milbrath, 54, a south central Minnesota hospital administrator who had no other health conditions, died in Mankato.
ST. PAUL -- It was a rough summer for Alyssa Courneya. The young Alexandria woman did not know where she would go to school this fall. Then, near the end of summer, she received the news she wanted to hear: A federal Pell college grant was headed her way, meaning she could continue her studies at the College of St.
ST. PAUL -- Flu-stricken Minnesotans are finding a shorter wait for medical advice when they call a state hotline. "The wait times have improved," Buddy Ferguson of the Minnesota Health Department said Friday afternoon. "Right now, it is looking like two to four hours for a nurse to get back to you." On Thursday, there were reports that Minnesota FluLine operators told callers they may not receive return calls for up to 13 hours. And many who called the line heard busy signals.
ST. PAUL - Callers to Minnesota's new flu hotline reported no answers, busy signals and long waits today as the Health Department said three more people died from H1N1 flu. The deaths were in Martin, Steele and Freeborn counties, all in southern Minnesota. Two were children younger than 7, while the Martin County death was a woman in her early 60s. The three died within the past two weeks, but the department waited for medical confirmation that H1N1, also known as swine flu, was the cause. With today's report, 10 Minnesotans have died of the pandemic flu, with 611 others hospitalized.
ST. PAUL -- Operators are standing by to answer calls from feverish, coughing and achy Minnesotans. What Minnesota health officials call the country's first statewide flu help line that can prescribe medicine launched Wednesday at (866) 259-4655. Minnesota FluLine, open 24 hours every day indefinitely, was established to give Minnesotans who think they have the flu a place to call for advice. Operators working 50 telephone lines will transfer sick Minnesotans to their own insurance companies or doctors' clinic nurse lines or provide a state-funded nurse.