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Metrodome demolition will be year from now

Will anyone shed a tear when they take that thing down? Says Richard Meryhew of the Strib: “The upcoming NFL season will be the last the Minnesota Vikings will play in the Metrodome, the Minnesota Sports Facilities Authority announced Thursday. The Dome will be razed after the 2013 season, likely in January or February of 2014. The new stadium’s architect, HKS Inc., and newly-named builder, Mortenson Construction, met Wednesday and settled on the demolition timetable, said Michele Kelm-Helgen, chairwoman of the stadium authority. The Dome needs to be torn down to make way for the new stadium. The timing means that the Vikings will play two seasons — 2014 and 2015 — at TCF Bank Stadium on the University of Minnesota campus.” In other words, it’ll be gone this time next year.

The key word is “free.” Alex Friedrich’s MPR story says, “A digital frontier will be reached when the University of Minnesota offers free and accessible massive online classes for the first time this spring. The courses will be open to anyone throughout the state and the world. Massive Open Online Courses, or MOOCs, are a growing trend in higher education. Top universities such as Stanford University and Massachusetts Institute of Technology are offering college-level courses that anyone can take. Because the courses are online, tens of thousands of people can learn from the same professor at the same time. And in most cases, the classes are free.”

They hate it when they have to open their books … Dan Browning of the Strib says: “A Hennepin County judge has ordered an Excelsior company that’s being sued by Minnesota Attorney General Lori Swanson to stop selling any more small wind turbines to farmers and to produce an accounting of its earlier sales within two weeks. The order, issued late Wednesday afternoon, came in response to a lawsuit Swanson’s office field last month alleging that Renewable Energy SD (RESD) and its owner, Shawn Dooling, 46, of Shorewood, sold farmers in Minnesota and elsewhere faulty windmills using federal stimulus money aimed at helping the country during the recession. The company either failed to deliver many of the windmills or, in some cases, erected turbines that failed to perform properly or at all, the suit says.”

The forces opposed to wolf hunting are not exactly giving up. John Myers of the Duluth News Tribune reports: “Legislation is expected to be introduced at the state Capitol today to place a five-year moratorium on Minnesota’s wolf hunting season and call for other options for wolf population control. The bill seeks to reinstate a five-year waiting period between when the federal government dropped wolves off the endangered species — which happened in 2011 — and a potential hunting season. … The bill faces an uphill battle, considering it was the Legislature that essentially ordered the DNR last year to start the hunting and trapping season that led to 413 wolves being killed. That was in addition to more than 200 killed by certified trappers near where farm animals had been killed, and on top of any illegal shooting, collisions with vehicles and natural mortality.”

Where do you find someone accused of pilfering more than $200K of her company’s money? A casino, of course. Mark Stodghill of the Duluth News Tribune writes: “A former Minnesota Power official with a history of missing court dates was arrested Wednesday after a brief struggle with Pine County authorities at the Grand Casino Hinckley hotel. … [Susan] Thompson was found at Grand Casino Hinckley about 12:30 p.m., and arrested after a brief struggle with Pine County sheriff’s deputies while trying to harm herself, Deputy Hermantown Chief Shawn Padden said. Padden said a door had to be broken when an electrical appliance was heard plummeting into water and Thompson didn’t answer the door. ‘I hope she gets the help that she needs, but she also has to answer to what she was convicted of,’ Padden said.”

The GleanSlapped down by the Supreme Court … Brett Boese of the Rochester Post-Bulletin tells us: “An Austin attorney was suspended indefinitely earlier this month by the Minnesota Supreme Court in response to a petition from the Office of Lawyers Professional Responsibility alleging misconduct in Colorado. Peter Plunkett, of Plunkett and Associates Inc., was suspended Feb. 12, with the order set to go into effect on Feb. 26. The Austin man, who has practiced law in Minnesota since 1985, cannot petition for reinstatement for a minimum of six months … Plunkett's suspension is the most recent fallout from a late 2010-early 2011 incident in which Minnesota Surety & Trust Co., of which Plunkett is president and partial owner, was found to be illegally altering more than 4,000 bail bond documents in Colorado.” Kind of an odd niche business.

Not sure there are any James Beard possibilities here … . According to the AP: “Hormel Foods Corp. said Thursday its net income edged up as higher sales of Spam and Hormel chili and other products helped offset higher costs for grain and for commodity costs in its Jennie-O Turkey segment. The company, which agreed to buy Skippy peanut butter in January as part of its effort to expand its grocery store offerings, also raised its guidance. Its shares briefly rose to a new high.”

Profits before people? … Dave Shaffer and Mike Hughlett of the Strib write: “The owner and three former employees of Peanut Corp. of America were charged Thursday with fraud, selling adulterated food and other offenses in the 2008-09 salmonella outbreak in peanut butter that left nine people dead including three in Minnesota. A 76-count indictment by a federal grand jury in Georgia charged the company’s owner and president, Stewart Parnell, 58, of Lynchburg, Va., and the others with mail and wire fraud, the introduction of adulterated and misbranded food into interstate commerce with the intent to defraud or mislead, and conspiracy. … Among the deaths linked to the outbreak were those of Shirley Mae Almer, 72; Clifford Tousignant, 78; and Doris Flatgard, 87. All three lived in facilities run by Good Samaritan Homes in Brainerd, Minn., and all had eaten peanut butter.”

It took some looking … Tim Nelson of MPR found the best electronic pull-tab bars in the state: “Porky’s Bar on Payne Avenue in St. Paul. There’s just 40 seats, four iPads and a pair of iPod Touch games in there, but it’s leading the pack for electronic pulltab betting so far in February. It was #2 last month, with more than $82,000 dollars in bets. … The bar is one of two in St. Paul that were in the Top 10 for sales in January. The other was Skinner’s Pub on Randolph Avenue.” Tops though is Harry’s Bar in Hill City, which has kicked over $13,000 for the Vikings’ football palace. I believe that covers one short row of seats, installed, without personal seat licenses.

Why Wisconsin Gov. Scott Walker is a hero to the Conservative Political Action crowd … Says Todd Richmond of the AP: “Wisconsin Republicans' divisive mining bill would cost the state more than $170 million that would be used for recycling and environmental protection every year, according to new projections. The bill is designed to clear the regulatory path for Gogebic Taconite's plans for a huge open-pit iron mine just south of Lake Superior in the Penokee Range. The bill has sparked one of the fiercest environmental debates the state has seen in years. … Estimates the nonpartisan Legislative Fiscal Bureau released Wednesday show the bill would reduce the state's current $7.02 per ton fee on mining waste rock to a little less than 3 cents per ton. The change would result in a loss of up to $171 million annually that would go to help fund local governments' recycling efforts, sediment and water pollution abatement, brownfield cleanup and the issuance of bonds for cleaning up contaminated land.” Translation: Getting gummint out of the way of job creators.

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Comments (1)

taconite ?

And how is Minnesota different ?