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.
- Member for
- 5 years 2 months
ST. PAUL—Ice is, at best, unpredictable, but the Minnesota Department of Natural Resources and other ice experts have some tips to make being on ice safer: • New ice, which is clear and may have a light blue tint, is the strongest ice and the one used for guidelines such as not walking on ice less than 4 inches thick. Cloudy white ice or snow-covered ice needs to be twice as thick as clear ice to be safe. • Water coming up through a hole in the ice is a sign of danger. • Ice seldom freezes uniformly. Thickness can vary greatly in just a couple of feet.
ST. PAUL — Last week's precinct caucus governor straw poll has taken its second victim: former St. Paul Mayor Chris Coleman. "I am grateful for the support and encouragement I have received," the Democrat said Monday, Feb. 12. "So, it is with a heavy heart that I announce today the suspension of my campaign for governor of Minnesota." State Rep. Paul Thissen of Minneapolis dropped out of the race the day after the Feb. 6 caucuses.
ST. PAUL—Political organizations targeted a pair of Minnesota special legislative elections, only to see voters opt for no change in political power. A Democrat will replace a Democrat in the state Senate while a Republican takes over for a House Republican after elections Monday, Feb. 12. In the unofficial final tally in the Senate race for southern Washington and northwestern Dakota counties, Democrat Karla Bigham had 51 percent of the vote and Denny McNamara 47 percent, with Libertarian Emily Mellingen well behind.
ST. PAUL—A Minnesota woman is back for her second stint as state health commissioner with instructions to fix the state's failed nursing home abuse investigation process. Gov. Mark Dayton on Tuesday, Jan. 30, appointed Jan Malcolm to lead the Health Department as it struggles to get through a backlog of complaints about mistreatment of Minnesota elderly in nursing homes and assisted living facilities.
MINNEAPOLIS—Jerry Williams and 10,000 other volunteers are ready to put Minnesota's best foot forward. The volunteers from around Minnesota will greet and help Super Bowl visitors for the 10 days leading up to the main event on Sunday, Feb. 4, with smiles on their faces and plenty of information to share. Williams, who retired as Rochester, Minn., school superintendent more than a decade ago, said that when he is at his downtown Minneapolis station he will jump into action "when I see people with that glazed-over look like, 'Where am I?'"
Communities outside of the Twin Cities look to capitalize on Super Bowl LII. A couple of Otter Tail County festivals and one in Duluth are timed to coincide with the Super Bowl, but state tourism officials say few other greater Minnesota events are connected directly with the game. However, hotels, motels and airports hope for a jump in business as the Twin Cities may not be able to accommodate all the activity.
ST. PAUL—Minnesota Gov. Mark Dayton launched what he hopes is a bonding miracle pass as his time in office runs out. But unlike when Stefon Diggs caught the Vikings' game winner, there is little doubt defenders in this contest will not duck. It is a pretty sure bet Republicans will reach in and knock the $1.5 billion pass away. And they no doubt will prevent a handoff of $858 million from the state to local communities.
ST. PAUL—Gov. Mark Dayton might support borrowing more than $2.3 billion for public works projects this year, his last in elective office. He announced a $1.5 billion proposal Tuesday, Jan. 16, but the governor's office also reports that he feels $858 million in local projects "merit state investments," but he did not include them in his proposal. The public works proposal, known as the bonding bill, is looking to be much like other plans Dayton has released since taking office in 2011: He calls for big bonding bills while Republicans want to shrink them.
WASHINGTON — Tina Smith says she understands greater Minnesota's needs as she takes over for U.S. Sen. Al Franken. "I have traveled every corner of the state," the Minneapolis resident told Forum News Service in a telephone interview Wednesday, Jan. 3, after she took the oath to become senator. That, she said, included learning how important agriculture is to Minnesota. "It is sort of the foundation stone to the economy."
ST. PAUL—The year now ending was unpredictably busy in Minnesota politics, but 2018 will be predictably busy. It could set a busy record. And that is just what we know now; there is no telling what surprises lurk ahead. Be warned: Minnesota's 2018 election will be packed. You know about the two U.S. Senate races (Amy Klobuchar's seat is up and voters will pick someone to replace Al Franken). There also will be a governor's race, with an open office after Mark Dayton said he would not run again, and lots of candidates are lined up for both major parties.