Police using drones, budget surplus credit, dry winter, the ‘King of K Street’

High-level surveillance first U.S. case of civilian arrest via Predator drone

"The use of a Border Patrol high-flying drone in the arrest last summer of members of the Rodney Brossart family at their Nelson County farm is a first such use of a well-known military unmanned aerial vehicle to apprehend a civilian, according to a news report," writes the Grand Forks Herald.

Dayton, state lawmakers want credit for budget surplus

Much of the $876 million surplus has little to do with the actions taken in the past year. Instead, state budget officials credit accounting changes and unexpected revenues from the federal government (MPR News).

Possible cuts to heat assistance spark unease

"State not sure if Congress will OK more funding," reports the Saint Cloud Times.

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Low snow winter leaves Duluth high and dry

Duluth News Tribune: "Through Sunday, Duluth had received just 4.3 inches of snow this season -- 17.7 inches below average. The National Weather Service reports that the last time Duluth saw less snow to start a season was the winter of 1962-63, when just 3 inches fell through Dec. 11."

I'll drink to that: the making of the Twin Cities microbrew revolution

MinnPost: "The Twin Cities are seeing a boom" in new micro breweries, "and it seems that some beer-focused liquor stores are having trouble finding shelf space for all the new creations from local microbreweries, as well as craft beers."

Bachmann: Gingrich the "King of K Street"

CBS News: "I'm the only proven consistent constitutional conservative in this race on issue after issue," Bachmann told CBS' Bob Schieffer. "Newt Gingrich and Mitt Romney, it is very clear that there's not a dime's worth of difference between the two of them."

Drazkowski same-sex marriage claim misleading

PoliGraph: Rep. Steve Drazkowski, R-Mazeppa, fired an early shot in the Red Wing Republican Eagle. Those who argue that banning same-sex marriage will be bad for the economy are wrong. ... Drazkowski's claim is misleading.

Ford plant sits on 122 prime acres

"There's no consensus just yet on what the site -- one of the last substantial tracts of land left for development in the Twin Cities -- should become. That, too, depends on the extent of the site's pollution," reports the Star Tribune.

Studies pin river troubles on farm drainage

"The millions of tons of sediment getting into the river is emerging as the keystone issue facing the river basin. The impacts on the Mississippi, Lake Pepin and the river basin's contribution to the Gulf "dead zone" are sweeping," reports the Lacrosse Tribune.

St. Paul cashing in on impound lot auctions

"City failed to notify owners of nearly $250,000 in refunds they were entitled to on vehicles sold this year," reports the Star Tribune.