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. PAUL -- A southwest Minnesota native and ex-congressman, who at 65 is known as a Washington "super lobbyist," apparently is in the sights of a grand jury looking into a Russian connection to the Trump for president campaign. Vin Weber, a Republican, is being examined for his involvement in work on behalf of Ukrainian interests, The Associated Press reported late Thursday, Nov. 2. Also being examined is Democratic operative Tony Podesta.
WASHINGTON — President Donald Trump pledges a major campaign to fight unneeded opioid painkiller use, but it is not clear how his declaring the drug epidemic a "public health emergency" will help the Upper Midwest. "We will overcome addiction in America," Trump promised Thursday, Oct. 26, in a White House East Room ceremony. Comments like his are important because they draw attention to the problem, those working on drug abuse issues say, but many add that without federal money the fight will be impeded.
WASHINGTON — The Trump administration has approved a crude oil pipeline crossing from Canada into northeastern North Dakota that will send oil across northern Minnesota. The Monday, Oct. 16, announcement allows Canada-based Enbridge to pump oil across the border at maximum capacity of the Alberta Clipper pipeline, also known as Line 67. The 1,112-mile pipeline has been operating, but since 2010, but Enbridge has used another pipeline to move oil at a lower rate across the international border.
ST. PAUL—Minnesota and four other states reached a $500,000 settlement with a company they say was "making abusive and harassing phone calls to increase student loan payments." Commerce Commissioner Mike Rothman announced Friday, Aug. 11, that iQor Holdings agreed to the settlement.
REDWOOD FALLS, Minn. — Many, if not most, farmers say they like what they have seen so far in how President Donald Trump deals with agriculture. Most specifically, they like him naming Sonny Perdue agriculture secretary, although some are concerned he was the last Cabinet nomination and Perdue's department still lacks many top officials. But there is a question in many minds, when it comes to Trump and Perdue. Farmer Lester Braulick of New Ulm, Minn., put it simply during the recent Farmfest: "Is he (Trump) going to let him do his job?"
REDWOOD FALLS, Minn.—Crop insurance. Organic agriculture. Young farmers. Conservation. Sugar help. Vaccine. Feeding the poor. International trade. The list started there and went on and on as 11 U.S. representatives sat through 2½ hours of ideas from Minnesota, North Dakota and Iowa farmers and agribusiness people about how they should write new federal farm legislation. The only common theme the 11 heard was that they want the federal government to help agriculture.
ST. PAUL — A federal judge says he will decide whether to temporarily stop the Fargo-Moorhead flood diversion project within 30 days. After a three-hour hearing Tuesday, July 18, Chief Minnesota federal Judge John R. Tunheim announced his month deadline in a request to hit pause on the $2.2 billion project. Attorneys seeking the delay, representing the Minnesota Department of Natural Resources and areas south of Fargo-Moorhead, said the delay is needed because Minnesota has rejected a permit to build a dam that is part of the project.
ST. PAUL -- President Donald Trump plans to nominate a Minnesota Supreme Court justice to a St. Louis-based federal appeals court. Numerous Washington journalists report that David Stras is due to get the Trump nod Monday, May 8, for the Eighth Circuit Court , which hears cases for Minnesota, North Dakota, South Dakota, Missouri, Nebraska, Iowa and Arkansas.
ST. PAUL—Jared Johnson's mother and sister say his death a year ago should convince other ice anglers to think about the silent, odorless killer carbon monoxide. "This has destroyed his dad," his mother, Denice, Johnson said. "It has broken me."
ST. PAUL — No one wants to celebrate a 70th birthday with a new cancer diagnosis and recent history of fainting on statewide television. But that is what Minnesota Gov. Mark Dayton faces Thursday, Jan. 26, when that landmark day arrives.