The Minnesota House approved a bill last week that honors the American soldiers who endured the Bataan Death March during World War II.
The bill, authored by Sen. Don Samuelson, DFL-Brainerd, in the Senate and co-authored by Rep. Dale Walz, R-Brainerd, and Rep. Steve Wenzel, DFL-Little Falls, in the House, calls for a plaque to be placed in the state Capitol to honor the soldiers.
"These veterans endured a particularly terrible ordeal and many gave their lives so that our country could remain free," Walz said.
In April 1942, members of the 194th Light Tank Battalion and other American and Filipino soldiers were ordered to surrender to the Japanese and forced to walk for nearly 10 days to a prison camp.
Three surviving members of this tragedy live in Crow Wing County: Walt Straka and Henry Peck, both of Brainerd, and Russell Swearingen of Crosby. Straka and Swearingen were both present on the House floor when Walz presented the bill, which was unanimously approved.
Wenzel: Biodiesel bill too weak to work
A biodiesel fuel promotion bill the Minnesota House passed Tuesday is too weak to work, Rep. Steve Wenzel, DFL-Little Falls, said this week.
"A combination of suburban legislators and heavy corporate lobbying gutted the bill and then prevented rural members from making this worthwhile," Wenzel said.
The bill requires state vehicles to use biodiesel and called for a study. Biodiesel fuel is a blend of ordinary petroleum-based diesel fuel and diesel oil derived from soybeans, other oilseeds or oily animal projects.
Earlier language, supported by Wenzel, called for statewide use of percentages of biodiesel fuel blends.
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