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MINNESOTA NEWS ROUNDUP: Dems, Repubs in Senate race clash over Health Care Report

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news Ellsworth, 54011
Ellsworth Wisconsin 126 S. Chestnut St. 54011

Rivals in Minnesota's U-S Senate race strongly disagree about a U-of-M report that finds since last October, 180 thousand previously-uninsured people now have health coverage under MNsure and President Obama's Affordable Care Act.  Democratic Senator Al Franken says the number of people without insurance is half of what it was before the federal mandate -- and calls the 40-percent reduction "very significant."  Franken's Republican challenger, businessman Mike McFadden responds 140 thousand Minnesota families lost health insurance policies they wanted to keep, and according to Congressional Budget Office estimates, 50-thousand Minnesotans will lose their jobs.  McFadden warns businesses will cut back due to costs of increased regulation

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Following one of the biggest political upsets in recent memory, at the hands of a former Minnesotan, U-S House Majority Leader Eric Cantor says he'll resign from his post effective July 31st.  Cantor made the announcement yesterday, one day after his stunning defeat to Tea Party candidate David Brat in the Virginia Republican primary.  Brat graduated from Park Center High School in Brooklyn Park in 1982.  Political experts say Cantor's loss will have a negative impact on President Obama's second-term agenda, chiefly immigration legislation.      

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Senate Republicans are blocking a bill which aims to reduce the burden of student loan debt.  A procedural vote to move the bill forward failed in the deeply divided Senate.  Minnesota Democrat Al Franken says student loan borrowers should be able to refinance their loans just as they can refinance debt on home and car loans.  The measure would be paid for by closing some tax loopholes for the wealthy.  Republicans called it a tax hike.  It is estimated that student loan debt exceeds one-trillion dollars in the U.S.  

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Voters will chose a Republican gubernatorial nominee in just two months, and the race remains a toss-up.  The latest SurveyUSA poll finds a dead heat at 23-percent support for Jeff Johnson and former Minnesota House Speaker Kurt Zellers.  Former House Minority Leader Marty Seifert is third in the polls with 14-percent support, while businessman Scott Honour has nine-percent.  Nearly a quarter of Republican voters say they are still undecided.

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 Shareholders re-elected Target's entire board of directors, the retailer announced at its annual meeting in Dallas this afternoon (Wed).  The Star Tribune reports the board reached out to shareholders in the days before the meeting, defending its track record and detailing steps taken to increase data security after a massive breach.  One company that advises institutional shareholders had recommended investors dump seven Target board members.  Last month Target ousted C-E-O Gregg Steinhafel.

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 A man from Barrett is dead after a pickup truck turned in front of the medical transport van he was riding in, at an intersection about eight miles west of Alexandria.  Killed in the Tuesday afternoon crash was 93-year-old Elmer Jesness.  Authorities say two others in the medical van and the driver of the pickup, Michael Potzmann Junior, all suffered non-critical injuries.  Authorities say Potzmann, who's from Garfield,  told them he didn't see the van. 

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 The Minnesota D-N-R is cheering a provision in a new water infrastructure law that will close the Upper St. Anthony Falls lock on the Mississippi River.  The move is expected to keep invasive carp from swimming upstream of the Twin Cities.  Water resources manager Ann Pierce says the falls used to keep about 40 species downstream before the lock-and-dam system opened.  She calls the closure a pretty big step forward for efforts to control the spread of invasive carp.  Pierce says the lock will close within one year.

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St. Louis County Sheriff's officials say a Lincoln, Nebraska man died after falling from a fishing boat on Lake Vermilion last night in northeastern Minnesota.(wed)  The 64-year-old was a passenger in a boat when he fell into the lake near Cable Bay.  The man was pulled from the water and taken to a Virginia hospital where he was pronounced dead.  He was not wearing a life jacket  Officials have not released the man's name pending notification of family.

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A 19-year-old man accused of shooting a Norman County, Minnesota sheriff's deputy in April appeared in court for a pre-trial hearing.  The judge called the case "complicated."  Police say Steven Henderson shot a deputy eight times, hitting him twice, after his brother was arrested during a traffic stop.  He faces four felonies.  The next court date was set for August 20th.

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Detroit Lakes police say a missing level-three sex offender is back in custody.  48-year old Robert Baca was caught near Billings, Montana yesterday(wed) afternoon.  A warrant was out for his arrest for violating conditions of house arrest and leaving a Department of Corrections house in Detroit Lakes where he had been living.  Detroit Lakes Police say they received several tips over the past few days indicating Baca had traveled to Fargo and Minot before being found in Billings.

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