Ron Paul’s slow and steady campaign, teens organize in support of gays, ticks head north

Ron Paul outraising Mitt Romney in Minn. and nine other states

Smart Politics: “The Texas Congressman has netted more large donor money than Romney in 10 states including Tuesday’s caucus state of Minnesota. Although Mitt Romney raised more money than Ron Paul by more than a 2:1 margin through the end of Q4 2011, the Republican outsider’s 50-state fundraising strategy has seen him pull ahead of the party’s frontrunner in the money game in several states across the country.”

Paul generates enthusiasm in Minn.

New York Times: “With a solid third-place showing in Nevada and ardent grass-roots support expected to help him in caucuses in Colorado and Minnesota, Mr. Paul is likely to command greater attention for his inimitable mix of doom-saying and doses of folksy, homespun humor.”

Poll: Minnesota GOP presidential nomination a toss up

Capitol View: “According to the Democratic polling firm, Rick Santorum has a slight lead with 29 percent of the vote. Mitt Romney has 27 percent of the vote, while Newt Gingrich and Ron Paul follow with 22 percent and 19 percent respectively.” AP: “Minnesota Republicans are now “among the most conservative party activists in the country,” said Chuck Slocum, who led the Minnesota Republican Party in the mid-1970s. And that could pose problems for front-runner Romney, fresh off a commanding win in Nevada and eager to extend his winning streak.”

Romney camp expects Santorum to do well in Minn

New York Times: “Rick Santorum and Representative Ron Paul of Texas have pockets of support in states that have yet to vote. The Romney campaign believes that Mr. Santorum has the potential to do well on Tuesday, both in the Minnesota caucus and in the Missouri nonbinding primary.”

Pioneer Press: “A memorial service has been set for the White Bear Lake couple still missing after their cruise ship ran aground and partially capsized off the Italian coast more than three weeks ago. The service for Jerry and Barb Heil will be 10 a.m. Feb. 18 at St. Pius the X Catholic Church in White Bear Lake. ‘We again would like to thank everyone for all the prayers, cards and support you have shown us,’ an online statement from the family said.”

One town’s war on gay teens

Rolling Stone: “In Michele Bachmann’s home district, evangelicals have created an extreme anti-gay climate. After a rash of suicides, the kids are fighting back.”

Disease-carrying ticks move deeper into Minnesota’s Arrowhead

Duluth News Tribune: “A decade or so ago it was unusual to see a tick-borne illness diagnosed in someone from north of Duluth,” Dr. Timothy Burke, infectious disease specialist at Essentia Health, said. “But now it’s a fairly routine thing.”

Barn Raising in Viking, MN

WDAZ: “People in a small community are pulling together in a big way. Volunteers from Viking, Minnesota and surrounding areas are joining to fulfill a cancer victim’s wish.”

Cravaack pushing legislation to protect area mines

WDIO: Rep. Chip Cravaack “got an amendment attached to a transportation bill closing loopholes in ‘Buy American’ provisions for U.S. Steel. Cravaack said local and state governments have been able to get around the rule by dividing projects into smaller segments.”

Apps hold big promise for ag

Ad Week: “Like a growing number of agriculturalists, Rick Swenson uses his cellphone for more than talking.”

Freight train derails in southeast Minnesota

Forum of Fargo Moorhead: “Nineteen cars left the track when a Canadian Pacific freight train derailed along the Mississippi River,” near Red Wing.