Ad Spot

‘Part of this country’: At Capitol, Minnesota welcomes newest citizens

By Brian Bakst

Fifty-one of Minnesota’s newest U.S. citizens waved flags and recited the Pledge of Allegiance after being sworn in at the State Capitol on Wednesday.

They came from countries around the globe — almost every continent — and met federal requirements for naturalization. Whether it be for family, professional or other reasons, they settled in Minnesota and have lived here for at least three months, many much longer.

Federal Judge John Tunheim administered their oath and gave them a hearty welcome. Tunheim told the citizens and spectators in the Capitol rotunda that there have been 17,000 citizens naturalized in Minnesota in the last year.

“Citizenship is a very precious thing. I don’t need to remind each of you of that,” he said. “We have a lot of Americans we need to remind how precious citizenship is, but I encourage you all to become active, productive, contributing citizens of this country and this state.”

He urged the new citizens to exercise their right to vote and noted the presidential primary election next week. “You can vote quickly if you want to, you can start right away,” Tunheim said.

After they got their official papers, the new citizens handed in voter registration forms.

Mohit Agrawal, who is originally from India, arrived in the United States 20 years ago for an IT developer job. He lives in Apple Valley.

“I’m looking forward to voting,” he said. “What changes is my rights and my responsibilities as a citizen. I was not a part of this country’s democratic rights and now I can vote.”

Restaurant manager Matar Ndaiye immigrated from Senegal and now lives in St. Paul.

“I am part of this country and I feel like I am born here because they gave me everything,” he said. “Thank you, America.”

Mower County

Walz extends stay-home order to May 4

Local Government

Council approves construction bids, labor agreement


Wall Street’s rally fizzles as oil prices suddenly plunge


State’s stay-at-home order encourages getting outside, but how far away?


Hormel donates an additional 200K meals to COVID-19 hunger-relief efforts

Crime, Courts & Emergencies

Cow found shot, partially butchered in rural Racine field


Winfrey chooses ‘Hidden Valley Road’ for book club

Austin Packers

Lighting up the State: Schools turn on the lights to show students they are missed


Walz eyes ‘refined’ stay-home order


Minnesota House passes new protection for front-line workers

Mower County

Blood drive moving forward at Nature Center

Mower County

Walz requesting disaster declaration

Mower County

Change in Direction: On route to making whiskey, local distiller changes to hand sanitizer


Minnesota bracing for possible budget deficit because of COVID-19

Crime, Courts & Emergencies

Stolen vehicle recovered in Austin

Albert Lea

Sanitation company encouraging others to clean up community

Crime, Courts & Emergencies

Two sentenced to prison for domestic assault


United States ‘wasted’ months before preparing for coronavirus pandemic

Mower County

Minnesota to ensure workers comp to responders with COVID-19


State cases close in on 1K; 17 confirmed in Mower

Crime, Courts & Emergencies

Man sentenced to 90 months for sexually abusing child


Democrats elevate health care as virus-era campaign argument

Crime, Courts & Emergencies

Man charged after allegedly brandishing a BB gun


Education Briefs