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(AP) Turnout has generally been low for Minnesota's Republican presidential caucus, and that appears to be no different in the latest straw poll. The GOP says Tuesday's contest drew about 47,800 participants with about 95 percent of precincts reporting. Four years ago turnout was nearly 63,000 after all precincts were counted. Rick Santorum finished comfortably ahead of Ron Paul Tuesday with Mitt Romney a distant third and Newt Gingrich last. Romney, the front-runner for the nomination, won in Minnesota four years ago by casting himself as the conservative alternative to John McCain. It proved to be a winning strategy in a state where party processes are traditionally dominated by deeply conservative activists. The results are a blow for Romney who had the help of former Gov. Tim Pawlenty in Minnesota.
(AP) Thousands of students, several well-known athletes and a number of politicians are expected to join Michelle Obama for an event in Des Moines that will promote exercise and healthy eating. Besides the first lady, participants at the Thursday event include Iowa Gov. Terry Branstad, gymnast Shawn Johnson, figure skater Michelle Kwan and NASCAR champion Carl Edwards.
About 10,000 children will be bused to the event from 45 schools in the Des Moines area. It will be Obama's first stop on a three-day national tour marking her Let's Move initiative, which promotes physical fitness and healthy eating for children. She's been drawn to Des Moines by Iowa's Healthiest State initiative. That program aims to make Iowa the healthiest state by 2016.
Jackson County authorities are looking for 20 year old Gene Cloud Jr. and are asking for the public's help. He was last seen January 25th when the vehicle he was operating slid in the ditch in Millston Township, Jackson County. Cloud fled from the scene on foot and was chased by law enforcement before getting away. On January 27th, he was reported as a missing person by family members. It is possible that Cloud was picked up by somebody and given a ride, but the family says he should have made contact with someone at this point.
There are now two democrats running for Governor and their both named Kathleen. This one is the Senator from Alma. In an announcement today, Kathleen Vinehout says Wisconsin needed a fresh name and a fresh set values.
Vienhout was first elected in 2006 and won re-election in 2010. She and Kathleen Falk are the only two candidates from either side to run in a recall election against Governor Scott Walker.
(AP) The teachers union in Minnesota's largest school district has endorsed a proposed replacement for a policy that requires teachers to stay neutral when issues of sexual orientation come up in class. Local President Julie Blaha says the representative assembly of Anoka-Hennepin Education Minnesota showed overwhelming support for the proposed ``Respectful Learning Environment'' policy in a voice vote Monday. Critics say the district's existing neutrality policy on human sexuality hampers teachers from preventing bullying of students who are gay or perceived as gay, and the district is the target of two lawsuits challenging it. Supporters of the policy include parents who believe homosexual conduct is immoral and don't want teachers telling their children that gay relationships are acceptable. The school board is expected to vote on the proposed policy Feb. 13.