Government Shutdown

In Minnesota Ends

ST. PAUL, Minn. -- The first partial government shutdown in Minnesota history ended early Saturday as Gov. Tim Pawlenty (R) signed a temporary spending plan and lawmakers agreed on the outline of a two-year budget.

The legislature overwhelmingly approved the measure to send 8,900 furloughed state employees back to their jobs by restoring funding until Thursday.

Lawmakers now have until Wednesday night to hash out the final details of the two-year budget or risk another shutdown -- but that is considered unlikely. Pawlenty said lawmakers had a framework for the budget, more than a week after the July 1 shutdown.

Many states often miss their deadline for enacting new budgets. But Minnesota, unlike other states, has no law that automatically extends spending past the end of its fiscal year if a new budget is not approved.

Democrats, who control the state Senate, had been locked in a standoff with Pawlenty and the Republican-controlled House over how much to spend on schools and health care and how to pay for it.

* BLOOMINGTON, Ind. -- Someone tried to set fire to a mosque, and the FBI said it was investigating it as a hate crime, officials said. Damage was confined to the kitchen area of the Islamic Center of Bloomington. No one was hurt.

* NEW HAVEN, Conn. -- A prominent dealer in antique maps and atlases was charged with stealing rare maps from Yale University, and the FBI said he may have targeted other libraries that have items missing from their collections. E. Forbes Smiley III, 49, of Chilmark, Mass., faces three larceny charges for allegedly stealing maps worth hundreds of thousands of dollars from Yale's Beinecke Rare Book and Manuscript Library, including one published in 1614 that other dealers say is one of the earliest accurate maps of New England.

* WETMORE, Colo. -- Firefighters warned dozens of homeowners to prepare to evacuate as hot, dry winds spread a wildfire across 2,000 acres of southern Colorado. The flames had burned to within 100 yards of Greenwood, chasing about 50 families from their homes, 25 miles west of Pueblo.

* LANCASTER, Calif. -- A 13-year-old boy was convicted Friday of beating another teen to death with a baseball bat after his team lost its first game of the season. The juvenile struck Jeremy Rourke, 15, in the knee and head after an April 12 youth league game. Jeremy died later that night.

* MADISON, Wis. -- Wisconsin regulators approved a $250 million wind farm Friday that its proponents said would generate energy for 72,000 homes and that opponents warned would kill migratory birds. Chicago-based Invenergy Wind LLC plans to begin work later this year on the 200-megawatt wind farm of 133 turbines on 50 square miles in southern Wisconsin.

* SALEM, Ore. -- The state Senate approved a bill Friday that would give same-sex couples most of the legal benefits of marriage, but the civil union legislation appeared doomed in the Republican-run state House. Two GOP senators joined 17 Democrats in passing the Senate bill, which would also outlaw discrimination based on sexual orientation in housing and employment. The measure has the support of Gov. Ted Kulongoski (D).

-- From News Services