- Associated Press - Tuesday, February 4, 2014
Big GOP crowd turns out at Eden Prairie caucuses

EDEN PRAIRIE, Minn. (AP) - More than 100 Republicans from Eden Prairie and Minnetonka are gathered for party caucuses and got wooed by some of the party’s leading candidates for statewide office.

Minnesota’s major political parties held precinct caucuses Tuesday night. Republicans and Democrats from the southwestern Twin Cities converged on Eden Prairie High School for the official kickoff to this year’s election.

Two GOP candidates for governor and one U.S. Senate candidate showed up. State Sen. Dave Thompson and former state Rep. Marty Seifert pitched themselves as the best challenger to Democratic Gov. Mark Dayton. Businessman Mike McFadden, who wants to run against Sen. Al Franken, also touted his campaign.

Eden Prairie Republican Todd Berkley, a health care consultant, says he’s confident voters are ready for a fresh start.

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Sheriff: Woman who drove SUV into river was drunk

WINONA, Minn. (AP) - Toxicology results show a Minnesota woman was legally drunk when she drove an SUV into the Mississippi River last month, killing herself and her three male passengers.

Winona County Sheriff Dave Brand says test results on the driver came in Tuesday. The Winona Daily News (http://bit.ly/MYW1BZhttp://bit.ly/MYW1BZ ) reports 36-year-old Christina Lee Hauser of Winona had a blood-alcohol level of 0.16 percent, twice Minnesota’s legal limit for driving.

Hauser failed to make a curve Jan. 5 and landed in the river.

Riding in the SUV were 29-year-old Matthew Patrick Erickson of Chatfield, 28-year-old Blake Overland of Stewartville and 29-year-old Andrew Kingsbury of La Crosse, Wis. Erickson was found in the vehicle with Hauser. Overland’s body was found the next day, and Kingsbury’s body was found in the river nearly two weeks later.

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54 die from heroin in Hennepin County last year

MINNEAPOLIS (AP) - The Hennepin County Sheriff’s Office says 54 people died as a result of heroin overdoses in the county last year.

The number is a record high for the county - and a sharp increase from three years ago, when just eight people died from heroin overdoses in 2010.

Sheriff Rich Stanek says investigators have found heroin users in all parts of the county.

Authorities say the growing popularity of heroin can be directly linked to prescription painkiller abuse. Both are opiates, and once painkillers run out, addicted people may turn to heroin on the street.

Authorities say heroin in the Twin Cities is inexpensive and has one of the highest purity levels in the nation - so new users who buy the drug cheaply don’t know how powerful it is.

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GOP’s Ortman raises $130K in last 3 months of ‘13

ST. PAUL, Minn. (AP) - Republican U.S. Senate candidate Julianne Ortman reports raising about $130,000 in the last three months of 2013 in her bid to run against Democratic Sen. Al Franken.

Ortman released new fundraising details Tuesday. Ortman raised a total of $250,000 in 2013 after joining the race at the end of July. Her campaign did not immediately reveal how much she has on hand versus how much has been spent.

Businessman Mike McFadden leads GOP fundraising race with $1.7 million in the bank by the end of 2013.

Compared to Ortman’s $130,000, St. Louis County Commissioner Chris Dahlberg raised $103,000 from October through December. McFadden raised $780,000 in that same period.

Ortman says she will abide by the GOP endorsement but would run in a primary if no endorsement is granted.

Copyright © 2016 The Washington Times, LLC.

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