Getting a fully equipped squad car for $1 seems like a pretty good deal. Of course there are strings attached. A North Carolina company is offering such cars but they'll come covered with advertisements. The idea is controversial but the Red Wing City Council has voted to at least consider it.
The U.S. Supreme Court is reviewing Megan's Law, which governs how the public is notified about registered sex offenders in their community. The court is also reviewing which offenders must be publicly identified. In Minnesota so-called level three offenders, those who are considered the most dangerous, have their pictures and personal information distributed to the public. Some Minnesota law enforcement officials believe they have a national model. But others say there are inherent problems with the law. They say the sex offender label makes it almost impossible for a reformed individual to re-enter society.
A Rochester artist has made it his mission to unearth the underground culture in his city. And so far he's been pretty successful.
Voters in Dennison, Minn., need a new mayor, but no one's running for that office on this year's ballot. It's possible a write-in candidate will win. But if no votes are cast the city council will have to appoint a mayor. That's a problem too, since only two people have volunteered for four open council seats.
You've heard of fast food. How about slow food? Slow Food is an international movement that focuses on cooking and eating at a leisurely pace. Its members believe in supporting small-scale food production, local farmers and reviving regional food traditions. While there are 65,000 members worldwide the movement is taking off rather slowly in Minnesota. There's about a hundred members in the state. But they say there is growing interest.
During World War II about 400,000 prisoners of war were held on American soil. Approximately 10,000 German POWs lived and worked in Minnesota, Iowa and the Dakotas. This week some of the POWs and their families are visiting the camps to remember, learn and reconcile.
Children of immigrants often have trouble fitting into North American culture. Language is at the heart of the problem. Some children of immigrants reject their native language and culture in hopes of fitting in.
The movie "Signs," based on the crop circle phenomena, has become a box office hit of the summer. Since its premiere, a Minnesota prankster has received a lot of renewed attention. More than two decades ago, Waterville resident David Olson created what's believed to be the first crop circle in the United States.
In Lanesboro, the summer tourism season is usually a busy time. The historic town, southeast of Rochester, is still trying to recover from a fire in April, which destroyed three historic buildings in the downtown area.
The Minnesota Coalition for Battered Women is worried its funding for shelters and outreach programs is in jeopardy. The Legislature trimmed funding for such programs during the last session. The coalition wants legislators and candidates running for office to know domestic violence has not gone away.
Since September 11 fewer immigrants and refugees have been able to come to the United States. Now immigrants who are already here are lining up to become citizens. While the Immigration and Naturalization Service says the rules have not changed, INS agents admit the process is stricter.
Martin Strel is a determined man. He is swimming the length of the Mississippi River from Lake Itasca to the Gulf of Mexico. The 48-year-old marathon swimmer began his journey on July 4. He's still certain he'll make it to New Orleans by his self-imposed target date of Sept. 7.
Not only is Rochester the city known for treating human illnesses, but apparently its the place to fix a sick piano too - or at least one that's out of tune. Liberace's rhinestone-covered piano has traveled from the Smithsonian in Washington, D.C. to Rochester for a tune up.
On July 8, 2001, fire destroyed the Farmland Foods plant in Albert Lea. Five hundred people lost their jobs. A year has passed and company officials still have not decided whether to rebuild in Albert Lea. Farmland Industries has also filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy, which has sent a ripple effect through Albert Lea.
A national organization plans to file suit against the city of La Crosse, demanding that it move a Ten Commandments monument from a public park. Some people in La Crosse are willing to fight the case to the Supreme Court. And they just might have to. Federal judges who have ruled on similar cases say displaying the commandments in a public square violates the separation between church and state.