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Election 2004: District 31-B seat up for grabs


Fri, Feb 27th, 2004
Posted in Features

There is more chatter out there than a Tom Ridge listening post at an Al Quaida picnic. In Fillmore County, at basketball games, church suppers and cafes, the buzz is all about the District 31-B seat held by Representative Greg Davids of Preston. And with the political season officially starting at tomorrow’s party caucuses, the 2004 elections will prove interesting.

Wrongly or rightly, the seven term representative is now in a fix over Heartland, and comments he recently made on tape about junkyard dog lawyers. Davids said he has already apologized for those remarks and wants to run on his record.

The recent ruling by Olmsted County Judge Joseph Weiners creates two problems for Davids. Firstly, Weiners accuses a “state representative” of ham-handed behavior in his contact with the MPCA. While Davids denies any wrong doing, the Judge’s claim hurts. Secondly, Weiners ruling, sending the SEMEP vs. MPCA suit back to the regulatory agency pretty much insures that Heartland will continue to be an issue through the 2004 election season. There is a danger of guilt by association here as Bob Maust, the developer of Heartland is Davids’ father-in-law.

On the Democratic side, Lanesboro City Council member Peggy Hanson has announced her candidacy for the District 31-B seat. Mabel farmer Al Hein, who ran against Davids in 2000 and 2002, is also expected to throw his hat in the ring once again.

Most of the chatter I am hearing is over agreement that Davids is politically vulnerable. But the big question is to whom?

On the Republican side, Michelle Riffenburg of LaCrescent, a former state representative who stepped aside for Davids in 2002, is in the wings should the Republican District 31-B Convention want to draft her to stand for the seat. But most of Riffenburg’s support is in Houston County.

On the Democrat side, there is some concern whether either Hanson or Hein has the ability to pull in enough disaffected Republican voters to defeat Davids in the general election. Hein ran a strong campaign in 2002, winning Houston County, but eventually losing to Davids by 1000 votes.

Over the last two weeks I have talked to both Republicans and Democrats who are interested in drafting an independent candidate who can attract support from moderate Republicans as well as Centrist Democrats and run in a three way race. [Read the Rest]



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Morten pleads guilty to manslaughter

Fri, Feb 27th, 2004
Posted in Features

Trevor Lee Morten pled guilty in Fillmore County District Court on Monday to second degree manslaughter in the shooting death of Timothy Loeding on August 29, 2003. The shooting took place outside Morten’s home in Spring Valley Township.
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Courthouse re-shuffle will take place in mid-March

Fri, Feb 27th, 2004
Posted in Features

David Kane and Jasen Andring, architects, Dean Sand of CAM, and project manager David Johnson gave their monthly report. Sand reviewed the latest change orders effecting the contingency fund, which stands at a (+) $267,050.00; $89,280.01 has been tap ..... 
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County working harder at recycling

Fri, Feb 27th, 2004
Posted in Features

Sandra Benson, Recycling Educator, briefed county commissioners on the county’s recycling habits in 2003. Benson stressed that they are working on encouraging schools and businesses to improve upon their recycling habits.

“Schoo ..... 
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Hein to run for District 31-B seat

Fri, Feb 27th, 2004
Posted in Features

Al Hein, 55, a farmer from Mabel, has announced that he will run for the District 31-B seat in the Minnesota House of Representatives. Hein said he will seek the DFL endorsement for his candidacy.

In announcing his candidacy, H ..... 
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Public Enemy #1: Obesity

Fri, Feb 20th, 2004
Posted in Features

“Overweight and obesity may soon cause as much preventable disease and death as cigarette smoking.”  Surgeon General David Satcher, 2002

According to the Center for Disease Control, in 1999-2000, an esti ..... 
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Heartland on hold

Fri, Feb 20th, 2004
Posted in Features

On Tuesday, February 17, Judge Joseph Weiners ordered the Pollution Control Agency to “reconsider its facts of findings and conclusions of law” regarding whether Heartland Energy & Recycling Ltd. should be required to undergo a rigorous Environmental ..... 
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Preston City Council Report: Hwy 52 to start Fall of 2004

Fri, Feb 20th, 2004
Posted in Features

The Preston City Council met Tuesday night with decorum and thoughtful deliberation until the final minutes of the meeting. Council member Jerry Scheevel introduced a resolution that maintained that Mayor Pechulis’ call for an ethics investigation of ..... 
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Lanesboro City Council Report: Computer problems resolved

Fri, Feb 20th, 2004
Posted in Features

The Lanesboro City Council chose to replace outdated computer hardware at their February 17th meeting. City administrator Bobbie Torgerson informed the council that, because the staff could not even print a balance sheet, the city auditors could not ..... 
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