Senjem’s record, Stillwater school cuts, Iowa hogs political spotlight

Senjem is new Senate Majority Leader

The 37 members of the Minnesota Senate's Republican caucus Tuesday chose Senator David Senjem, R-Rochester, as the new Senate Majority Leader (MPR News). Rochester Post Bulletin: "Senjem served as minority leader from 2007 to 2010, helping the caucus reclaim control of the Senate last year for the first time in 38 years. He stepped aside to allow Koch to lead the caucus, and took the position of assistant Senate majority leader." Mankato Free Press: "There was an awful lot of discussion," said Sen. Al DeKruif, R-Elysian, about Tuesday's day-long meeting. "When you have something like that happen in mid-term, you have a lot to talk about. ... We had some healing to do. We wanted to understand a few things."

Key votes taken by Senjem on MPR's Votetracker.

Schlienz requested medical care day before dying

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Daniel Schlienz, "who was in a highly supervised area of the St. Louis County jail in Duluth, initially put in a request to be seen the night of Dec. 25 after complaining of illness, but was not given immediate medical attention, Sheriff Ross Litman told the News Tribune."

Stillwater schools plan $2 million in cuts - then $8 million more

"The Stillwater school district is considering cutting about $2 million from its budget for the second half of this school year, then aims to cut another $8 million for 2012-13," reports the Pioneer Press.

NTSB: No distress signal before fatal helicopter crash

Post Bulletin: "Jose Obergon, the chief investigator for the National Transportation Safety Board, said there was no distress signal or other warning before the Bell 206 helicopter crashed and burned in a wooded area about 12 miles northeast of Palatka, Fla. 'It looked like a normal flight,' Obergon said."

Fire destroys iconic Freeport flour mill

"Swany White flour mill, widely known for architecture and operations from another era, burned Tuesday," reports the Saint Cloud Times.

Developers seek to build large wind farm in western Wisconsin

"Developers have applied to the Public Service Commission for a permit to build a large wind farm in western Wisconsin, the first application of its kind in more than two years," reports the Wisconsin State Journal.

Red Cliff's national park is a tribal first in U.S.

"In a first for the U.S., the Red Cliff Band of Lake Superior Chippewa is creating Frog Bay Tribal National Park on nearly 89 acres of its reservation and opening the lakeshore property and its views of the Apostle Islands to the public," reports the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel.

Hudson man cited in Walker recall petition incident

Pioneer Press: "Western Wisconsin volunteers collecting signatures for the effort to recall Gov. Scott Walker have allegedly again been met by aggressive opponents."

Fond du Lac band buying WKLK radio in Cloquet

Duluth News Tribune: "The Fond du Lac Band of Lake Superior Chippewa is expanding its voice again, this time with the purchase of radio stations WKLK in Cloquet and WMOZ in Moose Lake."

Iowa has hogged first place in our political line too long

The Atlantic: "This state with far more hogs than people has hogged its place at the front of the political line far too long. It is past time for the Hawkeye State to practice the manners that Iowa parents and teachers have been teaching Iowa children for generations: Take turns."

Comprehensive Iowa caucus coverage from MN Today.

Warm weather and wind creating thin ice, sinking ice houses

Why more boozy?

"Upper Midwesterners drink more. Could it be our northern European roots? The weather? Yes," reports the Star Tribune.