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MINNESOTA NEWS ROUNDUP: Metro bridge ramp closed after painters discover damage

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

BURNSVILLE, Minn. -- A bridge connecting suburban commuters to the St. Paul metro is partially shut down, after painters discovered cracks. The Highway 13 bridge crosses I-35W in Burnsville, and the ramp from the southbound interstate to Highway 13 is closed, as is one lane of traffic on the bridge. Mn-Dot spokesman Kevin Walker says that after the I-35 bridge collapse six years ago officials always err on the side of caution Last week the northbound Highway 13 exit ramp to I-35W was shut down for several days, also because maintenance workers discovered damage to the bridge. Walker says they will likely know the cause of the damage to the bridge sometime today. 

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Senator Amy Klobuchar visited Iowa Friday for a keynote speech and to offer support for Representative Bruce Braley who's running for an open senate seat. The trip has many speculating that Klobuchar was testing the waters for a potential presidential run in 2016. Klobuchar says she did *not* anticipate her visit to the Hawkeye State would cause such a stir. Klobuchar says she loves her job as Minnesota senator. She attributes the current hubbub to that fact that "it's politics and it's August." 

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Even though unemployment is down to five-point-two percent in the state, an analysis by the Minnesota Budget Project shows significant problems remain for some groups. Christina Wessel says latest numbers show the jobless rate at nine-point-four percent for Minnesotans of color, and 11-percent unemployment among single parents with children. Wessel says that's particularly concerning because there's only one income-earner in that household usually, and loss of job and loss of income can create a lot of stresses in the family and for those children. Wessel says unemployment is eight percent among young Minnesotans age 16 to 24. 

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Environmentalists say they're disappointed the Minnesota Pollution Control agency decided this week to give Great Lakes freighters two more years to take steps to keep invasive species out of their ballast water. The M-P-C-A says technology likely won't be available until 2018. Clean Water Action's Darrell Gerber says any delay opens the door for invasive species to get into Lake Superior and spread. 

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The 2013 Minnesota State Fair opens this Thursday and officials are reminding folks to take advantage of pre-fair discounts. Fair spokeswoman Brienna Schuette says you can get adult admission tickets for nine dollars through Wednesday at Cub Foods locations and many other locations in Greater Minnesota. Schuette says pre-fair ride and game tickets, and Blue Ribbon bargain books are also available at those locations. For the third straight year, admission at the gate is 12 dollars for adults and ten for seniors and children between the ages of five and 12. Kids under five are free. (mnstatefair.org) 

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