ST. PAUL — A Minnesota woman whose then-uncle raped her nearly three decades ago faced the man again Tuesday, June 25, and advocated for reforms to the state's pardon system that could relieve the trauma for survivors asked to come forward. Amy Fredrickson testified against Thomas Ondov, the man who sought the pardon extraordinary from the Minnesota Board of Pardons, saying his impact on her life was lasting. It was the first time she'd seen Ondov, her aunt's ex-husband, since the morning after he assaulted her in 1990.
ST. PAUL -- A loophole in state law that shielded Minnesotans who raped their spouses from prosecution will be closed. Employers that withhold salaries from their employees will be subject to felony charges. Drug companies will be asked to pay more to foot the bill for the impacts of the opioid crisis in Minnesota and the state will begin studying the causes of increased rates of violence against Indigenous women and girls.
PELICAN RAPIDS, Minn. — Amy Fredrickson’s 9-year-old son ran up to her with a letter last month as she walked into their home. She opened it, read the first few lines, and dread washed over her body. “I am writing to you because our records identify you as a victim in a crime (1st Degree Criminal Sexual Conduct) committed by Thomas Ondov in 1991. Thomas Ondov has applied for a pardon from the State of Minnesota.” The memories crept back as she read the letter: his beard on her face, his hand reaching down her polka-dot pajamas.
ST. PAUL — Minnesota farm and food industry groups on Tuesday, June 18 pressed U.S. Deputy Secretary of Agriculture Steve Censky for answers about a possible end to ongoing trade fights between the United States and China, as well as Canada and Mexico. And while he offered possible paths out of the tumultuous trade negotiations, Censky didn't have a clear answer for the dozens of agricultural leaders.
ST. PAUL — The process of greenlighting pending applications for the Enbridge Line 3 pipeline project in northern Minnesota will again be delayed as state agencies wait for a revised environmental impact statement. The Minnesota Pollution Control Agency and the Department of Natural Resources on Tuesday, June 18, said they would wait to take final action on the Line 3 replacement project as well as on pending permit applications until the Minnesota Public Utilities Commission takes up a deficiency in the application identified by the Minnesota Court of Appeals.
ST. PAUL — Minnesota hunters and farmers could soon carry handheld tools to test deer for fatal brain disease in the field. In labs across the University of Minnesota Twin Cities campus, scientists are months away from making that a reality. After lawmakers and the governor approved $1.8 million to fund the creation of a test to detect chronic wasting disease within hours, rather than days, a team of veterinary experts, microbiologists, genomics professors and engineers started a two-year timeline to create a breakthrough tool to test for the disease.
ST. PAUL — Gov. Tim Walz on Monday, June 17, announced that he would undergo knee surgery this week and temporarily transfer the power of his office to Lt. Gov. Peggy Flanagan. In a letter to Minnesota House Speaker Melissa Hortman and Senate President Jeremy Miller, Walz said he planned to transfer his powers and duties while he is in surgery for a medial meniscus tear on Thursday. He will be placed under general anesthesia for the knee orthoscopy procedure and is expected to return to the office June 24 following a recovery period.
ST. PAUL — Minnesota Democrats said they'd redouble their efforts to pass an ambitious clean energy bill Friday, June 14, and vowed to take the issue to the campaign trail if Republican lawmakers stood in the way of their efforts in 2020.
ST. PAUL — Schools around the state are set to see a funding boost next year (as well as the year after) under a $48 billion, two-year spending plan passed through the Legislature and was signed into law. And that could mean districts struggling to make ends meet can skip bond referendum votes and resulting property tax hikes for Minnesotans, at least for now, Gov. Tim Walz and Commissioner of the Department of Education Mary Cathryn Ricker told reporters on Monday, June 10.
ST. PAUL — Calls to combat Minnesota's child care crisis intensified this year as advocacy groups, chambers of commerce, business development organizations and parents made the case to lawmakers that they needed to do something to close gaps in care options across the state. Lawmakers took note. As part of a two-year $48 billion spending plan, they agreed to lift burdensome regulations on in-home daycare providers and they funded grants aimed at helping new child care providers get up and running.