Don Davis has been the Forum Communications Minnesota Capitol Bureau chief since 2001, covering state government and politics for two dozen newspapers in the state. Don also blogs at Capital Chatter on Areavoices.
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ST. PAUL -- Tim Pawlenty's Iowa presidential caucus performance, if he runs for the White House, may hinge on whether he can hitch his star to the right Iowa governor candidate and how he deals with the hot-button gay marriage issue. While the Minnesota governor is billed as keynote speaker at Saturday night's Republican Party dinner in Des Moines, the real interest of GOP activists will be on their state's 2010 governor's race and conservative social issues, not the 2012 presidential campaign that most observers expect Pawlenty to enter. First-term Democratic Gov.
ST. PAUL -- Minnesota farmers are donating $115,000 worth of pork and cheese to food shelves around the state, taking the money out of funds that generally promote agriculture sales. In a time when pork and dairy industries are hurting as bad as they ever have, some say the largely symbolic effort could be a turning point. Soybean, pork and dairy groups joined Gov. Tim Pawlenty and Hunger Solutions Minnesota Friday to announce the cheese and pork donation, which will be handed out at food shelves statewide.
ST. PAUL -- Relations between American Indian tribes and the federal government have turned around since Barack Obama became president, tribal leaders said Thursday night after a two-day St.
ST. PAUL -- Google says its new telephone service now reaches nearly everywhere, after some rural lawmakers and telephone giant AT&T complained that it blocked calls to rural America. In paperwork filed with the Federal Communications Commission Wednesday, Google said that fewer than 100 U.S. telephone numbers are off limits to Google Voice. Earlier this month, AT&T and some lawmakers charged Google with ignoring rural Americans when it blocked numbers in small towns.
ST. PAUL -- Minnesota health officials confirmed two more deaths from H1N1 flu Wednesday as more schools report flu outbreaks and the number of people hospitalized continues to rise. While the Health Department will not provide specific identifications, the family of Oliver Franklin Finley, 11, of Hastings reported he died of H1N1.
ST. PAUL -- Minnesota transportation officials want more private companies to pay part of the construction bill for highway projects. Transportation Commissioner Tom Sorel Tuesday said his department is working on a formal method for the state and private companies to work together to fund projects such as interstate exchanges. Gov.
ST. PAUL -- Minnesota Health Department officials say much of the H1N1 flu vaccine may not arrive until after Thanksgiving. Health-care providers had hoped to be giving more vaccinations for the pandemic H1N1 flu by now. "There are always some bumps in the road," State Epidemiologist Dr. Ruth Lynfield said Wednesday.
ST. PAUL -- Operators are standing by to answer calls from feverish, coughing and achy Minnesotans. What Minnesota health officials call the country's first statewide flu help line that can prescribe medicine launched Wednesday at (866) 259-4655. Minnesota FluLine, open 24 hours every day indefinitely, was established to give Minnesotans who think they have the flu a place to call for advice. Operators working 50 telephone lines will transfer sick Minnesotans to their own insurance companies or doctors' clinic nurse lines or provide a state-funded nurse.