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Minnesota News Briefs: Dispute in Bachmann campaign over resigned staffers

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News reports yesterday said several New Hampshire campaign staffers for Rep. Michele Bachmann's 2012 Presidential campaign resigned but the Bachmann campaign disputed those reports.

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The announcement the staffers were leaving was made yesterday but Rep. Bachmann (R-Stillwater), when asked about it on an Iowa radio show, said she was "shocked" to hear the report and had called her campaign office in New Hampshire and they had told her the story, first reported on a local New Hampshire TV station wasn't true. However, the head of Bachmann's NH campaign, Jeff Chidester confirmed to CBS News that he and four to five other campaign staffers for Bachmann in New Hampshire had quit. He also said he resigned last week but the information had been kept from Bachmann's knowledge. The staffers have quite because they feel Bachmann, who hasn't made many trips to the state, is running just an Iowa-predominate campaign, hoping success there can springboard her to success elsewhere in the country.

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A southeastern Minnesota man is dead after a logging accident near the city of Preston. The Fillmore County Sheriff's Department says 60-year old Kent Erding and another man were out cutting when Erding was crushed by a tree on Thursday. Investigators think it's possible a wind gust may have blown the tree over.

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Pagami Creek fire commanders are hoping to return control of the property back to Superior National Forest officials as soon as Monday. The wildfire is now 93-percent contained over nearly 93,000 acres. Public Information Officer Dave Daniels says there is no likelihood of any additional fire escaping containment lines and the operation is within about 48 hours of closing out. Daniels says all firefighting crews are off the line and returning to their home states. He says some personnel are still removing equipment.

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Feeling down in the dumps these days? It could be because what's known as the "misery index" is sky high. The Misery Index combines inflation with the current unemployment rate nationwide -- and is now at a 28-year high. The government says a major factor is the nearly four-percent rise in consumer prices over the past year. Higher food and gas costs are making it tougher for many Minnesotans, among others, to meet their everyday needs.

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Nearly a dozen African penguins are getting a tour of the Upper Midwest, with their latest stop at the Minnesota Zoo Due to flooding this summer in North Dakota, the birds were transported from the zoo in Minot to St. Paul's Como Zoo. Now the 11 penguins join other penguins in Apple Valley where they can be seen daily during feeding sessions at 10am and 3pm.

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