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The 2019 legislative session looms large for Rep. Josh Heintzeman. With ascension to assistant leader by the vote of his Republican peers, the three-term Republican state representative from Nisswa returns to St. Paul in a more prominent role and a different environment than the GOP has previously enjoyed since 2014—a split Legislature, with a narrow lead in the Minnesota Senate and a minority in the House, to say little of four more years with Democratic management in the form of Governor-elect Tim Walz.
Governor-elect Tim Walz said he's in favor of legalizing recreational pot late last week—a sign of approval from the state's future chief executive and a break with his fellow Democrat, sitting Gov. Mark Dayton, who has opposed legalization. The question remains if legalized recreational cannabis—an issue gaining momentum across the nation—will become a reality, possibly sooner rather than later in Minnesota. Pundits have pointed to the issue as potentially prompting a power struggle in the nation's only split Legislature.
Much like any budget session, it was a lot of haggling, hemming and hawing over numbers and how they look to stack up over the coming years. But where these particular numbers stack up may give Brainerd city residents a bit to chew on—namely, how many cops does a city of 13,428 people need, especially in light of relatively high crime rates for a municipality of this size?
How often does it come down to a choice weighed "between the lesser of two evils" in American politics? Maybe that's something of a hyperbolic expression in today's polarized political environment, but there's no denying U.S. voters are often voting against someone or some policy as much as they're voting for someone or a specific policy measure—contests, compared to decades past, featuring no shortage of mud-slinging and second-guessing.
Christmas lights have something of a unique charm—in some ways serving as luminous symbols of good cheer during the winter solstice, shining brightly and happily during the darkest times of the year. Americans have a special affinity for these vines of light, garlanded around homes and fashioned into jaw-dropping installations—in fact, it's been reported ad nauseum that the U.S. channels more volts into Christmas bulbs than many developing nations use electricity in a given year.
In the wake of the 2018 midterms, the political landscape has shifted significantly—though, if you asked state Sen. Paul Gazelka, R-Nisswa, sometimes the more things change, the more they stay the same. "For whatever reason, Minnesota seems to like divided government," he told the Dispatch during a phone interview Monday, Nov. 19. "You know it's been pretty common, every one of my years, that Minnesota government in one form or another has the powers divided between Democrats and Republicans. This isn't out of the ordinary."
This one's for all the speed demons out there. As local motorists might have noticed, stretches of state highways—like, say, Highway 371 between Pequot Lakes and Hackensack—has seen speed limits increased from 55 mph to 60 mph. As it turns out, it represents a statewide initiative to increase speed limits for two-lane highways across Minnesota, said Tom Dumont, a traffic engineer for the Minnesota Department of Transportation.
Florida ain't got nothing on Manhattan Beach. Make heads or tails of that. Let's set aside talks of close races, recounts and runoffs, and take a look at the mayoral race between incumbent Paul Allen and Kevin Larson for the tiny town—population about 60—just north of Crosslake.
It's a third term for the Aitkin-based cattle rancher—a chance to see a number of old projects to fruition and, with new faces in high offices, perhaps a chance to foster stronger bonds in St. Paul. Incumbent state Rep. Dale Lueck, R-Aitkin, trumped DFL challenger Phil Yetzer by a margin of 65.6 percent to 34 percent as of 1 a.m. Roughly 97 percent of precincts had reported in by that time.
On Election Day, the Minnesota House of Representatives' District 10A spoke and it was a resounding yes for two-term representative Josh Heintzeman. Out of Nisswa, Heintzeman, 40, garnered 62 percent of the vote over DFL challenger Dale Menk's 38 percent—a landslide victory that gives Heintzeman a convincing mandate as he enters his third term in St. Paul. "We're obviously very thankful to have the support of my District 10A," Heintzeman told the Dispatch during a phone interview. "That is really exciting and we're thankful for that."