MINNESOTA NEWS ROUNDUP: U.S. House and Senate trying again for Farm Bill
WASHINGTON, D.C. -- Farm Bill negotiators are back at it, trying to work out a number of differences between the U-S House and Senate -- including a big dispute over food stamp funding. First District Minnesota Congressman Tim Walz urged his conference committee colleagues to also think about renewable energy. Walz says the U-S spends over a billion dollars a day importing oil from countries that hate us. "They'll hate us for free," he says, and it's better to keep those jobs in communities like Janesville. Walz also asked negotiators to make conservation programs in the Farm Bill both economically smart for producers and good for the environment.
Officials are urging trick-or-treaters and motorists to use common sense and be safe this Halloween. State Patrol Lieutenant Eric Roeske says lots of kids will be out and some may be in costumes that are difficult to see. He says drivers should be extra cautious and pay extra attention, especially in residential areas. Roeske adds younger trick-or-treaters should always be accompanied by a parent or guardian. And he recommends all ages wear reflective tape or carry a light so they can be seen by drivers.
Now that the new ethanol blend E-15 is becoming available in Minnesota, officials advise motorists, before putting the new fuel in your vehicle, verify it can actually take it without voiding the warranty. Gail Weinholzer with Triple-A Minnesota says the wrong fuel in the wrong vehicle can damage the fuel system. Though the EPA has officially approved the sale of E-15, only about five percent of cars on the road today are approved by automakers to use the fuel.
A state Senate panel that's hearing requests for bonding money wraps up its three-day tour of northwestern Minnesota with stops today in Bemidji (945am) and Park Rapids (130pm). Yesterday (Wed) lawmakers got a pitch from Moorhead officials who want seven million dollars to complete flood control projects. Senator Kent Eken says there are no promises on what makes the list, but Moorhead made a good case with "very impressive" work that's already been done. A major bonding bill is on the legislature's agenda when lawmakers come back to Saint Paul in late February.
Governor Dayton is officially inviting all ghouls, goblins and vampires to celebrate Halloween at the Governor's Residence, if you dare. The gates will be open between 5 and 7 p-m, and the governor himself will hand out candy to trick-or-treaters between 5 and 530. Pearson's Candy Company has donated 16-hundred Bite-Size Salted Nut Rolls and the Crow River Sustainable Farming Association has provided 400 mini-pumpkins for the gubernatorial Halloween celebration.
Tickets are now on sale for the State Lottery's Minnesota Millionaire Raffle. A total of 600-thousand tickets will be sold for the January 1st drawing which features two one-million-dollar grand prizes. Lottery Director Ed Van Petten says the odds of winning a million dollars are one-in-300-thousand -- compared to a one-in-175-million chance of winning the Powerball jackpot. The Millionaire Raffle also includes five 100-thousand-dollar prizes, five 25-thousand dollar prizes, a hundred 500-dollar prizes, Ford vehicles and vacation packages