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Bill to require Minnesota photo ID to vote gains speed

The chief House sponsor of the bill that would require a Minnesota photo ID to vote gains speed in the legislature, intending to bypass Gov. Dayton should he veto it.
The bill passed the House of Transportation Committee on Monday having already been passed through numerous representative and senate committees, according to the Star Tribune.
Rep. Mary Kiffmeyer expects the bill to be put to a floor vote as soon as next week, according to the Pioneer Press.
Though Gov. Dayton and Democrats have expressed concern that requiring the Minn. photo ID would make voting much harder for some, Republicans believe the change is needed for streamline voting and voter confidence in election results, according to the Star Tribune.
If Gov. Dayton should veto the bill, Kiffmeyer said that she would push for a statewide vote on the issue for the 2012 ballot.

Minnesota Book Award winners announced

The names of the 2011 Minnesota Book Award winners were announced on Saturday night in St. Paul.
The sold out audience of over 700 book lovers attended and cheered on the winners of the 23rd annual Minnesota Book Awards at the Crowne Plaza Hotel, according to the Pioneer Press.
Any book published in 2010 by a Minnesotan was eligible for entry in the awards, according to the Star Tribune.
Winners were chosen in eight categories from 32 finalists of the 293 books that were nominated, according to the Star Tribune.
Winners of the Minnesota Book Award included authors of all genres, which included stories about the Minnesota Native American tribes, a picture book of zoo animals, to a man who chooses between his first love and priesthood, according to the Star Tribune.

World's Oldest Man dies at 114

Walter Breuning, a Minnesota native and the world's oldest man, died Thursday. He was 114.
Breuning died of natural causes in Great Falls Hospital, according to Stacia Kirby, Rainbow retirement home spokesperson.
Breuning was the world's oldest man, and the second oldest person, second only to a woman in Los Angeles by 26 days, according to the Star Tribune.
Breuning worked as a railroad clerk for 50 years, and then as a manager of Shriners until he was 99, according to the Pioneer Press.
Breuning recalled his grandfather's early stories of killing southerners in the Civil War and having no electricity or running water, according to the Star Tribune.
Breuning's wife died in 1957 with no children. Breuning never remarried.

Cosetta gets $2 million to expand

St. Paul's iconic Italian restaurant, Cosetta, received approval for $2 million in loans to triple the size of the restaurant, with an unusual exemption from the 'living-wage' tax.
The popular restaurant will triple the seating of the restaurant, as well as adding a bakery, a wine cellar, and enlarging the market size, according to the Star Tribune.
The city also voted to exempt Cosetta from the 'living-wage' tax which is a tax that requires companies to pay living wage benefits and wages for all workers while it is expanding, but St. Paul voted against this, according to the Pioneer Press.
Cosetta pays all but 9 of its employees living wage benefits now, and Cosetta got the approval with the fact that this was no ordinary business exempt, according to the Pioneer Press.
The construction will start in June and will add nearly 300 jobs from employees and construction workers, while bringing more customers in to the busy restaurant, according to the Star Tribune.

Porky's closes doors and opens up auction

The 1950's-era drive-in diner Porky's Restaurant will begin its auction for items on Monday night.
Porky's Drive-In restaurant closed its doors Sunday night despite customers being tightly packed into the University Avenue Diner in St.Paul, according to the Star Tribune.
Porky's will be dismantled down to the 8-foot sign and auctioned off online, despite preservationist efforts to save the diner, according to the Pioneer Press.
With the light rail construction project eating away the diner's business, the owner of Porky's decided to sell the popular diner to a senior housing developer, according to the Star Tribune.
While preservationists have not given up the fight yet, the favorite spot of many vintage car drivers packed in customers to say good-bye Sunday night, with a last shake and onion-rings, according to the Pioneer Press

The Onion gets ready to put their paper online

The satirical paper, The Onion, announced Monday its plan to archive past issues.
Beginning Monday, TheOnion.com will publish multiple past issues every week for the next few months, according to the Pioneer Press.
Although the newspaper began small in 1988, as a local newspaper for Madison, Wisc., the phenomenon of their articles quickly spread across the country, becoming a large newspaper and a TV news parody, the Onion News Network, according to the Star Tribune.
Famous headlines such as "Pen Stolen from Dorm Study Area" and "Dysfunctional Family Brought together by Liquor" have made the most mundane situations front-page news and national comedic attention for The Onion, according to the Star Tribune.
Although The Onion has had previous columns and issues made into popular books, the popularity of the newspaper has led the Onion to make the move of making past issues available to all who appreciate their comedic version of the news, according to the Pioneer Press.

Motorcyclists dies from motorcycle fall

A motorcyclist died Saturday night when he fell off his motorcycle.
The Mankato fell off his motorcycle on Co. Rd 169 near Mankato around 6:30 pm, according to the Pioneer Press.
While Blue Earth County officials are investigating the matter, authorities believe the man to have fallen from a medical condition, according to the Star Tribune.
The name of the 52-year old motorcyclist was not released, pending notification of relatives, according to the Star Tribune.

Vikings Stadium bill meets legislators with a clunk

The plan to build a new stadium for the Vikings has few followers, and legislators are pushing back plans as they finish their budget.
The capitol united together to curtail the stadium bill on Friday, knowing that with real cuts going into their budget, the last thing Minnesota needs is higher taxes for football, according to the Star Tribune.
Legislators want the matter pushed back until they have a plan, a partner, and a site for the stadium, according to the Star Tribune.
With bids for the new stadium between three counties, neither wants to compete for the stadium, knowing that the price tag will go up for its citizens, according to the Pioneer Press.
The plan would need to raise $300 million on things like state sales taxes on sports memorabilia and luxury taxes on luxury boxes in the stadium, according to the Pioneer Press.
Many legislators want the Metrodome fixed, believing that this is not the year to push for a new stadium, but for budget reform,according to the Pioneer Press.

Mississippi River gets prepared for Flooding

The Mississippi River is expected to hit the flood stage of 14 feet soon, as it is predicted to hit over 15 feet by next Friday, and with Tuesday's possible rain, that number could rise even higher.
The river is currently at 5.84 feet Monday morning, but is expected to rise 10 feet in the next week, according to the Star Tribune.
Weather experts are unsure of when the river will crest, but if it reaches 17.5 feet, Harriet Island will be completely submerged and more roads will be forced to close, according to the Star Tribune.
The state department of transportation has already begun closing different roads to prepare for the flooding, and those found violating the closures face fines of up to $1000 and up to 90 days in jail, and that is if they do not become stuck or in danger, according to the Pioneer Press.
Last year, the Mississippi River crested 18.38 feet in Saint Paul, but experts believe there to be a 50 percent chance that the river could beat the 1965 record of 26.4 feet this spring, according to the Star Tribune.

Pawlenty forms committee to explore running for President

Minnesota's former Gov. Tim Pawlenty announced Monday that he intends to form an exploratory committee for President, the first step in announcing his candidacy.
The Republican former Gov. has filed the paperwork for this committee, but has not formally declared his intent to run against President Obama, according to the Star Tribune.
Former House Speaker Newt Gingrich is the only other Republican to announce his intent to run for president, although nearly a dozen other republicans have acknowledged their interest in Republican candidacy, according to the Pioneer Press.
Pawlenty has repeatedly visited primary and caucus states in order to create support in attempts to create more of a national profile for himself, according to the Star Tribune.
Despite being on a short list for vice-Presidency to John McCain, Pawlenty is not as nationally known as other potential candidates for the Republican bid, like Gingrich or Mitt Romney, according to the Pioneer Press.

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