12,000 Minnesota jobs at stake in transportation bill

A group of mayors around the state is urging Congress to allow work to continue on various transportation projects. The work will end if action isn’t taken before the bill expires on Sept. 30.

Nationally, the Star Tribune‘s Jim Spencer reports, “about 847,000 existing jobs — more than 12,000 in Minnesota — would be disrupted if the legislation isn’t approved. The campaign for the bill reflects the new reality in the nation’s capital, where what would have been a routine extension is instead in limbo, as both parties debate spending priorities.”

“There are no such things as routine matters now,” said Norman Ornstein, a political analyst with the American Enterprise Institute. “There is a specific Republican tactic to take what was routine and turn it into a confrontation. It will be true of the surface transportation act, as it was for the debt ceiling.”

Also on MN Today

Body of baby found floating in Mississippi River

Authorities are investigating the death of a baby found floating in the Mississippi River in southeast Minnesota, the Winona County Sheriff’s Department said in a statement (Reuters).

Hunters tracking bounty of big bears

A 662-pounder is the latest — and the biggest — in a hunting season of burly black bears in the Northland (Duluth News Tribune).

Winter, spring not kind to pheasants

Weather drives down numbers, leaves hen counts well below 10-year average (Marshall Independent).

Crews use fire to contain Boundary Waters fire

The original fire, caused by lightning, has burned across only 130 acres near Pagami Creek about 14 miles east of Ely. But fire crews have burned nearly 600 acres on purpose to keep the wildfire in check, U.S. Forest Service spokeswoman Lisa Radosevich-Craig said (Duluth News Tribune).

Minnesota State Fair sees third-best attendance ever

In a tough summer for state fairs – floods canceled the fair in North Dakota, a stage collapse killed seven in Indiana and a mob attacked fairgoers in Wisconsin – the 2011 Minnesota State Fair came and went without a hitch (Pioneer Press).

Stillwater officials get heated over illegal bridge donation

The City Council will meet next week on how to respond to state auditor’s report that city erred in giving $80,000 to a pro-bridge group (Star Tribune).

Duluth schools add teachers with unexpected $1 million

The Duluth School Board voted to approve the use of about $1 million to do that during a special meeting Tuesday. But school administrators say they’ll only commit about $600,000 of it for now while they wait to see if actual enrollment meets projections (Duluth News Tribune).

Crookston woman settles over alleged sex abuse

The woman who says a priest from the Diocese of Crookston sexually assaulted her has now settled for $750,000 (WDAY).

The Bachmann Files

Bachmann campaign shake up

Bachmann’s campaign saw a shake up over the weekend in the loss of her campaign manager, Ed Rollins who previously worked for President Ronald Reagan and Republican candidates Ross Perot and Mike Huckabee.

The official line from the Bachmann campaign is that health problems prevented Rollins from overseeing the campaign but that he will remain a “senior advisor.” A campaign press release called the move “a planned restructuring strategy.”

There’s probably a lot more to the shake-up, said Larry Jacobs, University of Minnesota political science professor.

“If things were going well, we would not be seeing this sort of press release,” he said.

(MPR News)

Bachmann faces doubts going into Wednesday’s GOP debate

Amid falling poll numbers, she must take on Romney and Perry (Star Tribune).

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