DL News Staff
ERICKSON -- a boy, Ryan Willard; born May 9, 2006, weighing 8 lbs. 14 oz. to Angela McGranahan and Daniel Erickson.
WILLMAR -- It's hard to keep from smiling when you get your first look at this little GEM. When Bruce Vruwink presses on the accelerator, the bubble-shaped electric car, maybe twice the size of a golf cart, provides a smooth, nearly silent ride around the parking lot at Tracks USA in Willmar. It's built by Global Electric Motorcars of Fargo, a division of DaimlerChrysler. It has pretty comfortable bucket seats and a sunroof. It's equipped with seat belts, lights and everything else it needs to be able to operate on city streets.
Since he spoke to students here a year ago, Justice Russell Anderson has been sworn in as chief justice of the Minnesota Supreme Court. But his priorities haven't changed. Anderson is still advocating for an independent judiciary, as opposed to judges elected by affiliation with a political party. Monday morning, he told Park Rapids High School juniors and seniors they will soon become voters and citizens and need to see that the rule of law is preserved. "It is of grave concern to me ...to preserve a fair and impartial judiciary," he said.
Lt. Colonel Gregg Parks says Minnesota Army National Guard members are leaving "our mark throughout the area of operations." Parks, who commands the 2nd Battalion 136th Infantry, which is assigned with the 1st Brigade Combat Team 34th Infantry Division in Iraq, spoke to Minnesota reporters Thursday about the first two months of deployment. He revealed that three soldiers were injured Monday when an improvised explosive device exploded and damaged the patrol vehicle they were riding in. Two soldiers were treated for minor injuries and returned to a duty.
The City of Callaway will begin replacement of its water treatment plant, water lines and water tower this year. The estimated $3.2 million project is able to move forward thanks to state and federal grants and loans that are covering a large portion of the cost. City officials learned last month that Callaway had been approved for assistance. Mayor Gretchen Stalboerger labeled it welcome news. "There is no way we could have done that project without the grants attached to the loans.
Energy continues to be one of the big issues being wrestled with by the U.S. Senate. But there is also immigration, and last week President Bush took up that matter in a national address while the U.S. House of Representatives and the Senate remained divided on border security. While the two chambers were split on such matters as to how long a fence to construct along the U.S.-Mexico border -- the U.S. House wants 700 miles, the U.S. Senate 370 miles -- President Bush told an Arizona audience Thursday that the fence issue should be decided by the U.S. Border Patrol. U.S. Sen.
Take a bow, Minnesota. Clink two bottles together.
I just read about the latest outrage in New York City. The New York school system with 1.1 million students has banned all cell phones in the schools. To prevent students from bringing them in they use metal detectors and pat downs. Have school officials forgotten that students have right too? The ban is creating an uproar among students and parents alike. Parents have written angry letters and emails, have staged rallies, called news conferences and even threatened to sue.
Maybe Nebraska is right. The only state with a one-chamber legislature may have the answer to reducing some of the Minnesota Legislature's partisan rancor. Nebraska senators (that's what Cornhuskers call all legislators) say a key to their success is allowing legislative committee members to elect their chairmen by secret ballot. Senators say that system produces the most capable chairmen, which produces the best possible bills. While Nebraska lawmakers do not run with party affiliations, most people know if they are Republicans or Democrats.