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(AP) Two Republicans seeking the White House are bringing their campaigns to Minnesota this weekend. Texas Rep. Ron Paul settles in Saturday for three appearances. The congressman popular among libertarian-minded Republicans is holding town halls and rallies in Rochester, Chanhassen and Arden Hills. He heads home Sunday but will return a day later for events in St. Cloud and Minneapolis. Meanwhile, former Pennsylvania Sen. Rick Santorum drops in Sunday for a morning-until-night slate of events. His schedule includes a swing north to Bemidji to tour the clothing manufacturer behind his signature sweater vests. Other stops include a church appearance in Eden Prairie and a Super Bowl party in Lake Waconia. Local backers of contenders Mitt Romney and Newt Gingrich anticipate their candidates will also work in Minnesota stops before Tuesday's caucuses.
(AP) Organizers of the Badger State Games winter competition says the games will go on this weekend, even though recent temperatures have been unseasonably warm. Six of the eight games will be held this weekend in Wausau. Figure skating and billiards are scheduled for Friday, and other events will run Saturday and Sunday. One of the events is the Nordic cross-country skiing event at Nine Mile County Forest Recreation Area. A Marathon County parks official says only one area of the trail is expected to be too thin for racing. Parks workers spent Thursday rearranging the course by doubling trail loops to keep the same length on the course while avoiding thin spots. Recent temperatures in the area have been in the high 30s.
(AP) The Minnesota Department of Health says this flu season is the mildest the state has seen in recent years. New health department data shows 52 people have been hospitalized with lab-confirmed influenza since fall, and three people have died.
This time last year, hospitalizations were more than double that number, and there were nine deaths. Some say the mild winter might be a factor, but health officials say there's more to it. Kris Ehresmann with the health department says the flu virus is unpredictable and health officials don't know what to expect each year. She says increased flu activity is associated with low humidity. Also, if people are spending less time congregated indoors, the virus might not spread as easily.
The Wisconsin National Guard is planning a pair of send off ceremonies this weekend for about 200 soldiers headed overseas. And for one group it won't be handling a security group or looking for land mines. They will be farming.
Colonel Darrel Foyt says a lot of the soldiers were doing agri science learning and instruction at UW-Madison. That ceremony is set for Saturday afternoon at Hartford High School in Hartford. That ceremony will honor about 60 members of the 82nd Agribusiness Development Team.
There are 5 or 6 buildings on the campus of UW-L that are not equipped with sprinkler systems. That's because when they were built in the 50's and 60's, they were not required to have them installed. Now, they are required to have them in the buildings. Would that have helped the fire at Drake Hall Sunday?
Chancellor Joe Gow says they want to renovate and place sprinkler systems in all of the older buildings....but at $7 million a crack...finding funding may slow things down a bit.