Minnesota Commerce Department recommends against Line 3 plan

MINNEAPOLIS (AP) - The Minnesota Department of Commerce says Enbridge Energy has failed to establish the need for its proposal to replace its aging Line 3 crude oil pipeline across northern Minnesota.Instead, the department says it might be better to just shut down the existing line.

Wisconsin, Minnesota to fight invasive species along river

MINNEAPOLIS (AP) - Decontamination units in Minnesota and Wisconsin will launch a multiday effort to stop numerous invasive species that threaten a river separating the two states.The Star Tribune ( ) reports that inspectors will staff six decontamination boats on the St. Croix River July 14 and July 15 to search for and get rid of invasive species including zebra mussels, Eurasian watermilfoil, curly leaf pondweed, bighead carp, rusty crayfish and Asian clams.

Thunderstorm knocks out power to 132,000 in Twin Cities

MINNEAPOLIS (AP) - A severe storm that rolled through the Twin Cities metro area knocked down power lines and large tree branches and pelted some areas with hail.The storm reached downtown Minneapolis just before 9 a.m. Sunday. The National Weather Service reported wind gusts as high as 60 mph in some areas. Winds in Meeker County, west of the Twin Cities, touched 80 mph.Xcel Energy officials say that more than 80,000 of its customers were without electricity late Sunday morning.

Inmate arrested for outstanding Wisconsin warrant dies in apparent suicide

MINNEAPOLIS (AP) - An inmate at the Hennepin County Jail in downtown Minneapolis has died in an apparent suicide.Authorities say the 26-year-old man was found unresponsive during a routine cell check Saturday morning. Deputies immediately tried to revive him, but he was pronounced dead at the scene.The man had been in jail since Tuesday evening. Minneapolis police had arrested him on an outstanding warrant from Wisconsin.

Minnesota-based Pawn America files for Chapter 11 bankruptcy

BURNSVILLE, Minn. (AP) - Minnesota-based Pawn America has filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy, but the company's president says the move is a reorganization and not a shutdown.The Burnsville company operates 23 pawnshops in Minnesota, Wisconsin and the Dakotas. The Minneapolis Star Tribune reports ( ) the company owes between $10 million and $50 million to fewer than 1,000 creditors.

Dayton would veto pipeline replacement

ST. PAUL, Minn. (AP) - Democratic Gov. Mark Dayton says he would veto a bill allowing a Canadian energy company to bypass Minnesota regulators and build a replacement for an aging pipeline.Dayton said Friday that Enbridge Energy's $7.5 billion Line 3 pipeline replacement should be vetted by the Public Utilities Commission before it gets approval to begin construction.The Republican House amended a jobs and energy bill Thursday to allow Enbridge to skirt regulators.

Thieves cutting birch trees in Minnesota, Wisconsin

MINNEAPOLIS (AP) - County sheriffs and state natural resource officials are trying to respond to a rash of thefts of birch trees in northern Minnesota and Wisconsin.Thieves are quickly cutting down the young, paper-white trees. The Minneapolis Star Tribune ( ) reports the logs are sold to city residents who want a touch of the northwoods in their homes.

BC-MN--Minnesota News Coverage Advisory 8:30 am, MN

Good morning. Here's how AP's general news coverage is shaping up today in Minnesota. Questions about coverage plans are welcome and should be directed to Doug Glass at (800) 552-7250 or (612) 332-2727 or