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Road Construction/Closure information in Central Minnesota:
Senate lawmakers have sent a 25-million-dollar boost in funding for environment, natural resources, and agriculture projects on to the Governor. The Omnibus Environment, Natural Resources and Agriculture finance bill also begins to address silica sand mining concerns in southeastern Minnesota. The bill appropriates more than 700-million dollars for environment and natural resources and 81-million dollars for agriculture. Two of the major differences between the original House and Senate plans were increasing water-usage fees and adding silica sand mining fees -- proposals supported only by the House. The final legislation drops these increases. The silica sand mining compromise does not prohibit it but does send a clear signal that if the industry wants to move into southeastern Minnesota, the areas within a mile of trout streams will be looked at closely.
Communities in the Midwest are bracing for more severe weather. The National Weather Service says conditions are ripe for a repeat of the weekend's wild storms. One person was killed yesterday in a tornado that smashed into a mobile home park near Oklahoma City.
Gas prices are up across the country, thanks to trouble at refineries both along the West Coast and in the Midwest. The latest Lundberg Survey of gas stations finds the average price of a gallon of regular unleaded has shot up a little more than eleven cents in the past two weeks. While the nationwide average stands at three-65, motorists in Minneapolis are shelling out at least four dollars and 27 cents, making for the highest prices in the country.
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