06/23/10: This week’s Minnesota news from other media

Wadena officials say at least 25 families are without homes in the wake of Thursday’s tornado that heavily damaged parts of the city, reports Matt Erickson in the Brainerd Dispatch. As cleanup continued on Monday, “Judy Jacobs, Minnesota Department of Transportation spokeswoman and acting public information officer for Wadena, said 500 people showed up to volunteer Sunday in Wadena. While the sentiment was appreciated, volunteers are still being asked to stay out of the city,” the story says.

“The head bridge engineer for the Minnesota Department of Transportation visited Winona on Monday to inspect the Interstate Bridge as workers chiseled away corroded metal for analysis,” reports Patrick B. Anderson in the Winona Daily News. The article says, “Bridge traffic will be restricted to one lane from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. every day through the end of the week, or until sufficient data is collected, department spokeswoman Kristine Hernandez said.”

Mike Longaecker of the Republican Eagle talks to former House Speaker Steve Sviggum about his plans as Sviggum nears the end of his term as commissioner at the state’s Department of Labor and Industry, which wraps in January. Some take-aways: “Yes, he’d be willing to be Gov. Tim Pawlenty’s presidential surrogate. Yes, he still sees himself in public service, but he just as easily envisions a return to farm work. And no, Steve Sviggum is not certain on any of it. Not yet.”

The Rochester City Council on Monday denied a request for $500,000 for “seed money” to help develop a performing arts center downtown, writes Jeffrey Pieters in the Rochester Post-Bulletin. According to the article, “Though the answer to the funding question was ‘no,’ an alternative down the road might be to fund the project with a renewal of the city’s half-cent sales tax, officials said.”

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