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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WASHINGTON—Many American farmers are thankful today for an Obama administration decision to boost the amount of renewable fuels, such as made from corn and soybeans, in the country's gasoline and diesel supply. The Wednesday, Nov. 23 announcement was a turnaround for the Environmental Protection Agency, which earlier planned to require less renewable fuel to be mixed with gas and diesel.
MINNEAPOLIS—An oil pipeline protester was recovering in a Minneapolis hospital Tuesday, Nov. 22, after her arm was seriously injured during a confrontation between pipeline opponents and law enforcement officers. Injuries sustained by Sophia Wilansky, 21, of New York prompted thousands of people donated money for her recovery, which was underway at Hennepin County Medical Center in Minneapolis. Within 19 hours of a gofundme site being established, 8,000 people had combined to give more than $220,000.
ST. PAUL—Turkey talk turned thoughtful Monday, Nov. 21, as a hunger fighter said she worries about feeding Minnesotans. Colleen Moriarty of Hunger Solutions Minnesota said the number of people in the state using food shelves has reached an all-time high, and now she is concerned about discussion in Washington to remove funding from Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program, formerly known as food stamps. "I am very worried," she said during the governor's office annual ceremony denoting Thanksgiving week and honoring the state's 450 turkey farmers.
ST. PAUL — The 2016 election still looms large in Minnesota's rear-view mirror so, of course, it is time for the 2018 campaign to begin. And it has. The first big name out of the gate was Ryan Winkler, a Bemidji native who for years served in the state House serving the Golden Valley area. He said he would run for attorney general if incumbent Lori Swanson doesn't. Both are Democrats. Swanson's name is being batted around for governor, to replace Democratic Gov. Mark Dayton, who says he will leave office when his term is up early in 2019.
ST. PAUL — Parents across northern Minnesota picked up their students Wednesday, Nov. 16, with a sense of relief. Many schools in the state locked down Wednesday after a vague...
ST. PAUL—A northern Minnesota mother says she wants the federal courts to restore her parental rights so she can help her son, who is undergoing a sex-change procedure. "Not only was I robbed of the opportunity to help my son make good decisions, but I also feel he was robbed of a key advocate in his life, his mother," a teary-eyed Anmarie Calgaro told reporters Wednesday, Nov. 16, in announcing she is suing St. Louis County, two health-care providers and the St. Louis County School District.
ST. PAUL — Count former Minnesota Gov. Tim Pawlenty out as Trump administration Treasury secretary. The New York Times floated his name as a possible pick by president-elect Donald Trump. But on Tuesday, Nov. 15, one of Pawlenty's former top aides said that would not happen. "Gov. Pawlenty told me he is not being considered for treasury secretary and the New York Times story was just speculation," Brian McClung said. That probably is no surprise to people who know Pawlenty.
ST. PAUL—Chronically ill Minnesotans are driving up health insurance premiums so much that state officials are rushing to deal with the problem. Commerce Department officials on Monday, Nov. 14, told a task force studying how to contain soaring health insurance costs that 2.2 percent of people who bought individual policies last year caused 50 percent of claims. That forced up prices for healthier people. As the task force looks at ways to reduce insurance costs, the Commerce Department advice was that any solution has to address that disparity.
ST. PAUL—He shocked the world by winning election as a most unconventional candidate. He never hesitated to say what was on his mind, no matter how controversial. He came from a celebrity background and preached the need to change government. He attracted people who may not always vote. He attacked reporters, complaining they did not give him a fair shake. He often talked about himself. And he did not spend as much money campaigning as others, in a large part because his star status drew plenty of attention.
ST. PAUL — Three of four legislative leaders come from rural Minnesota, and none from Minneapolis or St. Paul. Only Rep. Melissa Hortman of suburban Brooklyn Park comes from the Twin Cities. The Democrat will be House minority leader. Rep. Kurt Daudt, R-Crown, continues as House speaker and Sen. Tom Bakk of Cook remains as the top Senate Democrat, although since his caucus lost control he will be minority leader instead of majority leader as he has been.