Vanishing grassland; Ponzi payback; Voter ID likely on November ballot

Vanishing grasslands threaten pheasants and other wildlife

Marshall Independent: “The DNR says some 300,000 CRP contracts will expire this year alone, and the loss of protected grasslands like this stands to have a negative impact on wildlife like pheasants, prairie chickens and grassland songbirds.”

Teen Challenge is asked to give back $2.3 million in Petters gifts

Star Tribune: “Receiver and trustee Doug Kelley asserts the donations were actually proceeds from the Petters-run Ponzi scheme and should be returned to reimburse investors and creditors who lost money when the $3.65 billion fraud collapsed in 2008.”

Panel reaches deal on Minn. voter ID bill

AP: “A proposed constitutional amendment requiring Minnesota voters to present photo identification at polling places is on the cusp of reaching November’s ballot.”

Former Duluth woman pleads guilty to voting while ineligible

Duluth News Tribune: “A former Duluth woman pleaded guilty Monday to voting in the 2008 general election while ineligible.”

Immigration raid arrests 56 in Minnesota

MPR News: “In raids across the country last week, U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement arrested more than 3,100 immigrants, many of whom had previously been convicted of serious crimes. The operation included 56 arrests in Minnesota.”

Health rankings: Steele, Olmsted rank high

MPR News: “Cass County in north central Minnesota was last in health outcomes for the second year in a row, according to the rankings issued by the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation and the University of Wisconsin Population Health Institute.”

At Capitol, debate crackles over legalizing fireworks

Star Tribune: “Bills to expand the sale and use of consumer fireworks are moving ahead at the Minnesota Legislature, triggering criticism from firefighters, cities and hospital burn centers.”

Minnesota Legislative retirements

Storified by Rachel Stassen-Berger: “A round up of retirements looming at the Minnesota Legislature.”

American Crystal employees alter lifestyles during lockout

AP: “The daily protests by union workers outside the American Crystal Sugar plant in Moorhead, Minn., have become sporadic, and nine months into the company-imposed lockout, the only hint of the ongoing contract dispute Monday was a pro-union poster someone had nailed to a wooden stand.”

Op-Ed: American Crystal Sugar strikes back

American Prospect: “In the lockout era, winning union representation is not a one-time thing.”

Op-Ed: Real debate behind the media circus

New York Times: “If you wander among the more than 300,000 words — the equivalent of a few novels — that the Republican candidates have uttered in the debates alone this cycle, you will find more than the habitual chest-thumping, flag-waving, support-our-troops fare on the question of America in the world.”

Newport Labs sold, Employees assured operations will continue as normal

Worthington Daily Globe: “Newport Laboratories has been acquired by Merial Limited, the animal health division of Sanofi, a global and diversified health care conglomerate.”

Grand Rapids students’ energy-efficient vehicle wins first prize in national mileage contest

Duluth News Tribune: “Born in a high-tech Grand Rapids High School classroom, the Cure won first place in the Eco Marathon’s ‘urban electric’ category… The car used the least kilowatt hours of battery electric power as it completed the 6-mile course, all while keeping up an average speed of at least 15 mph.”

Future of Lake Superior commercial fishing unclear

WTIP: “Joe Duffy has spent the better part of his 70 some years fishing on the Big Lake. He’s from Red Cliff, a reservation on Lake Superior’s South Shore–in the heart of the Apostle Islands. A lot of things have changed in Joe’s lifetime…so much so, he wonders if commercial fishing on Superior will survive.”

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