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Minnesota state employees returning to work

ST. PAUL, Minn. (AP) -- State employees began returning to work in Minnesota Thursday after a new budget agreement ended a government shutdown of nearly three weeks.

Department of Natural Resources Commissioner Tom Landwehr held the door open for employees and welcomed them back at the DNR's central office in St. Paul. His children handed out cookies to returning employees who were armed with coffee mugs and briefcases.

Gov. Mark Dayton postponed his visit to state agencies Thursday morning. His spokeswoman, Katharine Tinucci, said there was a scheduling conflict, but did not further explain.

The shutdown, the nation's longest in a decade, closed state parks, historic sites and put many services on hold.