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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EAGAN -- If a product dreamed up by an 11-year-old boy and manufactured in a 900-population community known as the Moose Capital of the North can successfully be shipped around the world, other small Minnesota businesses could do the same. That was the message Monday from Glen Brazier, Mattracks founder and chief executive officer, to a couple hundred small business officials. At the top of the list of how to replicate his accomplishment: Use federal government programs designed to expand the country's exports.
ST. PAUL -- A darling of conservative media will not run for president in 2012. U.S. Rep. Michele Bachmann waited until an Iowa newspaper asked before she took herself out of the race. "Goodness, I've only been in the House for three years, so, no, I'm not considering anything like that," the Minnesota Republican told the Sioux City Journal. Previously, she left the door open for a presidential campaign, saying she would run if God sent her a message.
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 -- 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. Scholastica instead of a bigger school in the same city (the University of Minnesota Duluth) or a technical school that would not give her the background she needs to become a doctor. "I jumped up and down and I ripped up my UMD application," Courneya said.
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 - 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 -- Tim Pawlenty wants fellow governors to sign on to his idea to set health-insurance standards and allow people to buy policies across state lines. "Health insurance is an area that would benefit from a consistent set of standards to enable true market competition to flourish nationally," Pawlenty wrote Wednesday to his 49 colleagues.
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 1-866-259-4655. 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.
ST. PAUL -- Republican Gov. Tim Pawlenty and leaders of the Democratic-dominated Minnesota Legislature got a head start on their 2010 work Tuesday, agreeing they would start work on issues such as public works projects and how to inject money into the economy.