(Update) Minnesota News Roundup: FEMA denies appeal for individual assistanceMinnesota News
-- The Federal Emergency Management Agency has denied an appeal by Minnesota Gov. Mark Dayton for aid for individuals and businesses affected by the June flooding in Duluth and surrounding areas in northeast Minnesota.
ST. PAUL -- The Federal Emergency Management Agency has denied an appeal by Minnesota Gov. Mark Dayton for aid for individuals and businesses affected by the June flooding in Duluth and surrounding areas in northeast Minnesota.
“I am very disappointed that FEMA has rejected my appeal of their decision to deny the Individual Assistance for Minnesotans whose homes, businesses and lives were devastated by the terrible flooding,” Dayton said in a statement. “I will ask the Legislature to include that assistance, estimated at $7.4 million, in the upcoming special session.”
In its letter to Dayton, FEMA said after a “thorough review of all the information contained in the initial request and your appeal, we reaffirm our original findings that the damage to dwellings from this event is not of the severity and magnitude to warrant the implementation of the Individual Assistance Program.
The special session of the Legislature will be called after Dayton and legislative leaders work out an agreement on disaster assistance for the Duluth and other areas of the state.
The first leg of Obama For America four-state RV tour kicks off today in southern Minnesota. The "Heartland Tour 2012: Moving the Middle Class Forward" will make more than 21 stops across Minnesota before heading to Wisconsin, Iowa and Ohio. A number of leaders from around the state will join the "Heartland Tour", including Congresswoman Betty McCollum (DFL-St. Paul) and state Senator Keith Langseth. Today's stops will be in Rochester, Albert Lea and Mankato.
Minnesota voters can cast absentee ballots for Tuesday's primary election through 5 p.m. today by stopping in at their county courthouse or in some cases city hall. Secretary of State Mark Ritchie says it's a convenient way to take part in the political process when people are on different summer schedules New redistricting maps have set up a number of contested legislative primaries. You can find your local polling place online at mnvotes.org
The Minnesota Department of Transportation is reminding people it's against the law to put campaign signs and other unauthorized objects in the right-of-way of state highways. That includes driving lanes, inside and outside shoulders, ditches and sight corners at intersections. Mn-DOT crews will remove any signs and impound them. Violators could face misdemeanor charges.
A Texas man is dead after a head-on collision between a motorcycle and car near Crosslake on Saturday. The Crow Wing County Sheriff's Office says a cycle driven by 67-year-old Bernie Nieters didn't properly navigate a curve on County Road 36 and entered the oncoming lane of traffic. Nieters was pronounced dead at the scene. Investigators say alcohol was not a factor.
There were more than 9,500 home foreclosures in the first six months of this year in Minnesota. Ed Nelson with the Minnesota Homeownership Center says while that is a 15-percent decline from the same period last year, since then the rate has remained virtually unchanged. Nelson says it means Minnesota is still in the midst of a foreclosure crisis. He says there was a larger home foreclosure decline of around 18 percent in the Twin Cities metro, compared with about a 10-percent decline in Greater Minnesota. But Nelson adds many of those declines took place in the third quarter of 2011 and have since leveled off.
The Powerball jackpot is now an estimated $305 million dollars for Wednesday after no winning tickets were sold for Saturday night's drawing. Although no one hit the jackpot, several people made out nicely. Five Powerball tickets won one million dollars because they matched five of the six winning numbers.
Gasoline prices in the state continue to hover around $3.70 cents per gallon. Minnesota gas prices.com reports the statewide average for regular unleaded is $3.74. That's about the same as we were paying at the pump last week and 25 cents higher than one month ago. Gas is selling for $3.95 and $3.89 a gallon at some stations in northeastern Minnesota. Today's national average is just over $3.67.
A ramp at the mall Mall of America has re-opened following a deadly accident more than a week ago. 52 year-old Raheem Waheed was driving a U-Haul truck when he crashed into a overhead beam, causing it to smash down onto the truck's cab. It's believed Waheed may have misjudged the height of the truck. Waheed died at the scene, two others in the truck suffered were treated for non-life threatening injuries.
There were no winning tickets sold in Saturday night's Powerball drawing. The jackpot is now an estimated 305 million for Wednesday. Although no one hit the jackpot, several people made out nicely. Five Powerball tickets won one million dollars because they matched five of the six winning numbers.