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After Deadline: North Dakota dreaming

During a rail safety meeting in Red Wing last week, DFL Gov. Mark Dayton said Minnesota does not enjoy much economic benefit from the trains carrying highly volatile crude oil from North Dakota's Bakken region.

That led the governor at one point to joke, "Every night I dream before I go to sleep of mobilizing the National Guard and annexing North Dakota."

He then quickly followed that statement by saying he'd just been interested in annexing the part of the state will oil, "They can have the rest of it." That generated plenty of laughter among the audience gathered at the Red Wing Public Library.

"But," Dayton added, "that's obviously not an option."— Heather J. Carlson

Turf ready for the bright lights — finally

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Because of a historically long, cold winter, Mayo High School athletic director Jeff Whitney was forced to cancel or reschedule dozens of events last spring while waiting for the sun.

Delays persisted this fall for an entirely different reason.

Installation of Mayo's new turf wrapped up late last week, which was a few weeks later than expected. That shifted the first three scheduled events away from the state-of-the-art surface until the girls soccer team finally christened the field in a 3-1 loss Saturday to Mahtomedi.

"Here I've got a great turf field and I'm waiting on rubber beads," Whitney quipped during the delays.

The specialized installation crew began work in May, but they were called away twice over the summer to perform similar work for the Atlanta Falcons and New Orleans Saints. The turf installation was completed on Aug. 18, but the rubber beads — which cushion the playing surface like dirt — were then slow to arrive.

The first shipment of rubber didn't arrive until Tuesday evening, causing further headaches for Whitney. The mixture of sand and beads must settle for at least 24 hours before it's considered a safe surface to use.

Mayo's football team will play its home opener Sept. 12 against Winona, the only other Big 9 program with a turf field. — Brett Boese

Dogs — a politicians only friend?

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Last week, Rochester GOP Sen. Dave Senjem posted a photo of himself on Facebook posing with Target's mascot dog "Bullseye" at the National Conference of State Legislatures.

It's a cozy photo, with the senator's arm wrapped around the miniature bull terrier with a giant red bullseye over one eye. On his post, Senjem wrote, "What do they say, man's best friend? If you are in the Legislature sometimes your dog is your only friend."— Heather J. Carlson

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