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Conservation Officer Mark Mathy locks the gate to the DNR Headquarters on Friday afternoon. The facility is closed; Mathy was just checking on the building, conservation officers are still working during the state shut down. Pioneer Photo/Monte Draper

Quiet Capitol, quiet government: Six days of tense marathon budget talks end with shutdown

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ST. PAUL -- A lone legislative staffer strolled around the Minnesota Capitol rotunda talking on her mobile telephone at mid-day Friday, the only person in the three-story open area.

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Far above her, flag staffs on the Capitol roof were empty, as were those at the nearby Veterans' Services Building, lacking staff to hoist them each morning and lower them at night.

Barricades blocked many Capitol-area parking lots, including one directly in front of the marble building.

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