ROMNEY-MINNESOTA Romney places TV ads in Minnesota DEFIANCE, Ohio (AP) – Republican Mitt Romney is placing television ads in Minnesota, a move that pushes his campaign into a state Democrats have held in presidential races for more than three decades. Republicans and Democrats who track campaign spending confirmed late Thursday that Romney will begin running ads in Minnesota over the weekend. The investment is described as a small buy that Democrats suggest is simply intended to generate media coverage and force President Barack Obama’s campaign to invest there as well. Romney’s campaign would not comment on its advertising strategy. The move comes as the Republican’s campaign works to expand its path to the 270 electoral votes required to win the presidency. Richard Nixon in 1972 was the last Republican to carry Minnesota.
MINNESOTA SENATE-BILLS AD GOP Senate candidate Bills runs first TV add (Information in the following story is from: St. Paul Pioneer Press, http://www.twincities.com) ST. PAUL, Minn. (AP) – Republican U.S. Senate candidate Kurt Bills is using his first TV ad to try to tie incumbent Democrat Amy Klobuchar to disgraced businessman Tom Petters. The spot to begin airing Thursday accuses Klobuchar of refusing to prosecute Petters when she was Hennepin County attorney in the 1990s, years before he was charged and convicted in a massive Ponzi scheme. It also highlights campaign contributions she got from Petters. Klobuchar spokesman Linden Zakula called the ad “absolutely untrue.” He said Klobuchar didn’t ask her staff or police to refrain from prosecuting or investigating Petters. And he noted she returned campaign contributions, as did many politicians of both parties. The St. Paul Pioneer Press reports the Bills campaign was spending about $120,000 for time on Twin Cities stations.
MCGOVERN SERVICES-CAMPAIGN WORKER MN man says McGovern has rare courage SIOUX FALLS, S.D. (AP) – A Minnesota man who worked to elect George McGovern in the historic 1972 presidential campaign says the former US senator had courage that few politicians have today. Fifty-five-year-old Todd Hong was just 15 when he started working for the McGovern presidential campaign in 1972 in Sioux Falls. Hong was among the people who streamed past the casket holding McGovern during a public viewing Thursday at First United Methodist Church. McGovern died Sunday at age 90. McGovern, a staunch liberal, lost in a historic landslide to Republican Richard Nixon in the 1972 race. Hong, of Eden Prairie, Minnesota says he was at McGovern headquarters election night in Sioux Falls in 1972. He says he and other campaign workers were devastated when they saw McGovern lost and started screaming at the television.
WELLSTONE CRASH ANNIVERSARY Wellstone remembered at crash site 10 years later (Information in the following story is from: Duluth News Tribune, http://www.duluthsuperior.com) EVELETH, Minn. (AP) – The late Senator Paul Wellstone is being remembered for his caring for people on the 10th anniversary of the plane crash that killed him and seven others near Eveleth. More than 200 people turned out on Minnesota’s Iron Range Thursday to remember Wellstone and those who died with him. The Duluth News Tribune reports speakers talked about Wellstone’s ability to make friends with most everyone he met. They also remembered Wellstone and his wife Sheila’s unyielding efforts to promote mental health and fight domestic violence. Wellstone, a liberal Democrat and former college professor, had been running for a third term when he died 12 days before the 2002 election. The crash also killed his wife Sheila, their daughter, Marcia Wellstone Markuson, three campaign staffers and two pilots.
8TH DISTRICT-FUNDRAISING Cravaack cash on hand nearly twice Nolan’s MINNEAPOLIS (AP) – Republican Representative Chip Cravaack (kruh-VAK’) has nearly twice the cash on hand as Democratic challenger Rick Nolan heading into the homestretch of a heated campaign in northeastern Minnesota. Cravaack has $904,000 in the bank compared with Nolan’s $477,000. Cravaack also raised more money than Nolan from October 1st through October 17th. The first-term Republican collected $227,000 compared with Nolan’s $198,000. Nolan, a former congressman, started October with $464,000 in the bank, while Cravaack had $1.1 million to spend. Outside groups have spent millions of dollars in the race in the 8th District as the parties fight for control of the House.
SANDWICH SHOP SHOOTING 1 dead, 1 wounded in Minn. sandwich shop shooting (Information in the following story is from: St. Paul Pioneer Press, http://www.twincities.com) COTTAGE GROVE, Minn. (AP) – A woman is dead and a man wounded after a shooting at a Jimmy John’s sandwich shop in Cottage Grove. Police say they received several calls reporting shots fired around 3:30 p.m. Thursday. Officers were told there was a man in the parking lot shooting. When police arrived they found the woman dead in Jimmy John’s and a man suffering from an apparent self-inflicted gunshot wound. The man was taken to Regions Hospital. Names of the man and woman have not been confirmed. The St. Paul Pioneer Press reports police say the scene has been secured and there is no threat to the public. The Minnesota Bureau of Criminal Apprehension will help investigate.
SCHOOL BUS CRASH-MINNESOTA School bus tips on slippery central Minn. road (Information in the following story is from: The Daily Dispatch, http://www.brainerddispatch.com) LITTLE FALLS, Minn. (AP) – A school bus has tipped over on a slippery road near Little Falls, sending six students to the hospital with minor injuries. The Morrison County sheriff’s office says the bus driver lost control on a sharp curve around 7:15 a.m. Thursday. The bus was carrying 15 students, mostly middle school age and younger from the Little Falls area. No major injuries were reported, but six students were taken by ambulance to St. Gabriel’s Hospital in Little Falls to be checked for possible injuries. The Brainerd Dispatch reports the Minnesota State Patrol will reconstruct the accident. The bus is owned by Palmer Bus Service.
PHOTOGRAPHY STORE-HOMICIDES Minn. man appears in Wis. court in double homicide (Information in the following story is from: La Crosse Tribune, http://www.lacrossetribune.com) LA CROSSE, Wis. (AP) – A Minnesota man was silent as he appeared in a Wisconsin court on charges he killed a photography store owner and his son. Thirty-nine-year-old Jeffrey Lepsch of Dakota made his preliminary appearance Thursday. Lepsch is charged in the September 15th shooting deaths of 56-year-old Paul Petras and his 19-year-old son, A.J., at May’s Photo in downtown La Crosse. A judge entered a not guilty plea on Lepsch’s behalf to two counts of first-degree intentional homicide, armed robbery with use of force and being a felon in possession of a firearm. Authorities say they recovered 14 items stolen from the camera shop at Lepsch’s house during a search October 10th. Lepsch denies involvement in the deaths. The La Crosse Tribune reports Lepsch remains jailed on a $2 million cash bond.
MENINGITIS OUTBREAK-MINNESOTA Minnesota reports 8th, 9th fungal meningitis cases ST. PAUL, Minn. (AP) – The Minnesota Department of Health is reporting the state’s eighth and ninth confirmed cases of fungal meningitis in a national outbreak tied to tainted steroids. Spokesman Buddy Ferguson says the patients are a man in his 60s and a man in his 50s. He did not have details on their conditions. They were the state’s first new confirmed cases in about a week, but Ferguson says Minnesota may see more cases because the disease seems to have a long incubation period. The department says around 985 patients associated with six Minnesota clinics received injectable steroids linked to the fungal meningitis outbreak that were produced by the New England Compounding Center. Nationally, the tainted steroids have been linked to nearly 330 illnesses in 18 states, including 24 deaths as of Thursday.
WOLF HUNT-MINNESOTA Unsold Minn. wolf hunting licenses to go on sale (Information in the following story is from: Minnesota Public Radio News, http://www.mpr.org) BEMIDJI, Minn. (AP) – Hunters will have another chance if they didn’t win a lottery for Minnesota’s early season wolf hunting licenses. More than 600 wolf hunting licenses go on sale next week after going unsold to winners of a lottery. Minnesota Department of Natural Resources officials say 2,985 lottery winners purchased wolf licenses by the midnight Wednesday deadline. The remaining 615 will go on sale at noon Monday for people who applied for this fall’s lottery but were not selected. If any wolf hunt licenses are left after that, they’ll be made available to the public on November 1st. DNR wolf expert Dan Stark tells Minnesota Public Radio News he expects the remaining licenses will sell quickly. Minnesota’s first managed wolf hunt begins November 3rd, the same day as deer hunting season.