08/18/09: This week’s Minnesota news from other media

Amid news that the Obama administration might be willing to drop a public option to reach a deal on health-care reform, Sen. Al Franken reiterated his support on Monday for the public plan after a tour of Mayo Clinic in Rochester, reports Heather J. Carlson in the Rochester Post-Bulletin.

Rep. Collin Peterson says district town halls help correct misinformation on health-care reform as much as allow input, Brad Swenson reports in the Bemidji Pioneer. The story quotes Peterson, who held a town hall in Bemidji on Monday, saying, “I think maybe we made some progress. I had some people come up and say they learned things they didn’t know. Some of the folks, I don’t think it’s going to make any difference. They’re apparently against whatever comes up.”

If you live in rural Minnesota, there’s a good chance going to the dentist may mean a trip to another town, reports Deb Gau in the Marshall Independent. The story says, “A 2008 survey by the Minnesota Department of Health Office of Rural Health and Primary Care reported that although rural Minnesota has 13 percent of the state’s population, it has only nine percent of the state’s practicing dentists. The ORHPC lists more than Minnesota counties – including Lincoln, Lyon, Murray, Redwood and Yellow Medicine County – as areas with a shortage of dentists.”

A collection of restored train cars at the Tower Depot, including a 1910 steam locomotive and a 1901 caboose, are quickly becoming Tower’s top tourist stop, writes Jodi Summit in the Ely/Tower/Cook Timberjay.

A state mandate for Northshore Mining Co. to keep testing air for asbestos like fibers still stands after a ruling by a three-judge panel of the Eighth Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals, the Duluth News Tribune reports.

“If you’re looking for something new and fun to do this summer, disc golf might be for you,” writes Rebecca Anderson in the Alexandria Echo Press. The story says that disc golf is one of the fastest growing sports in Minnesota.

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