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 -- Minnesota landowners are to have access to maps showing where they need to install buffer strips by July 1, but questions, distrust and clarifications remain. The Minnesota Legislative Water Commission on Thursday heard that preliminary maps are to be available online this summer, with landowners able to zoom in on their properties. That information should allow them to know where to install buffers. But, like water in much of Minnesota, the requirement is not clear.
ST. PAUL -- Minnesota Gov. Mark Dayton plans to recruit fellow governors this weekend to help convince the president to fight the dumping of foreign cheap steel in this country. "We are going to push on the issue of restricting foreign steel imports," Dayton told reporters Wednesday shortly after talking to Iowa Gov. Terry Branstad about the issue.
ST. PAUL — U.S. Sen. Amy Klobuchar says she has a job, which includes vetting any U.S. Supreme Court nominee, and is not seeking a position herself on the high court. Her Senate Judiciary Committee post is important as the president and Senate work to replace Justice Antonin Scalia, who died during the weekend at 79, the Minnesota Democrat said Tuesday. "There are a many wonderful, qualified people who could serve on the Supreme Court, but only a few of us are charged with the job of getting the nominee through the Senate," Klobuchar added.
MINNEAPOLIS -- One of the country's best-known American Indians confronted Democratic presidential candidate Bernie Sanders Friday and was not happy with what he heard. Clyde Bellecourt, a northwestern Minnesota White Earth Indian Reservation native, co-founded the American Indian Movement in Minneapolis in 1968 and Friday at age 79 remained an advocate of Indian rights.
The Scandinavian-rich Midwest can rest assured that the United States will have ambassadors to Norway and Sweden. The Senate Friday approved those ambassadors, and two others, after months of delay, mostly due to Republican presidential candidate Sen. Ted Cruz of Texas putting a hold on the nominations to protest the Obama administration's nuclear deal with Iran. The nominations passed via voice vote after Cruz removed his hold on them, with his spokesman saying that his objections to the Iranian deal now are well known.
ST. PAUL -- The state has finished its investigation into the Nov. 15 shooting death of a young black Minneapolis man at the hands of a police officer, but details remain secret. The report is in the hands of Hennepin County Attorney Mike Freeman, who will review it and perhaps present it to a grand jury for possible charges. Details from the report, including videos recorded at the shooting scene, likely will remain secret for some time.
ST. PAUL — The Minnesota Supreme Court rejected an appeal of the woman convicted in the death of 4-year-old Eric Dean three years ago. Wednesday's ruling says Amanda Lea Peltier's trial was fair and her life sentence, with the possibility of supervised release after 30 years, will stand. The case drew strong emotions because Pope County officials had received 15 reports warning that Dean was being abused. State law was partially responsible for the right people not hearing about the situation, and legislators are working to improve the situation.
ST. PAUL -- The Twin Cities black community pressed leaders on two fronts Tuesday: promising to shut down a popular ice-racing event and suing the state to release video taken when a white police officer shot a young black man last year. Black Lives Matter leaders said Tuesday the group will shut down the fifth-annual St. Paul Crashed Ice race Feb. 27. More than 100,000 spectators are expected for the season finale of the Red Bull-sponsored international tour.
ST. PAUL -- Gov. Mark Dayton wants to give six weeks parental leave to Minnesota state employees, while some Democratic lawmakers want to require private businesses also to offer paid leave and for more than just when a new child arrives. The Democratic governor Tuesday said he would include the plan in changes he soon will propose for the two-year state budget enacted last year. It would cost $6 million for a year and the Legislature would need to approve the spending
ST. PAUL -- Upper Midwest football fans may have a really good excuse to stay home Sunday, even better than the 50th Super Bowl. There may be a blizzard. The National Weather Service on Friday issued a blizzard watch from northwestern Iowa north through eastern South Dakota and North Dakota and western Minnesota. Some northwestern Minnesota counties are under a winter storm watch. Snow could be accompanied by 60 mph wind gusts from late Saturday through late Sunday thanks to a strong Alberta Clipper system.