The U set another fundraising record with a $289 million haul in fiscal year 2008, the Strib’s Jeff Shelman reports. Those twin heart-tuggers — cancer and football — were the cornerstones. (Guess this is why “Brian’s Song” was so popular.) Cancer clocked in at $65 million, thanks to the (non-Glen) Masons, and scholarships netted $56 million. The U’s new gridiron netted $21.5 million.
Related: The U is ranked the 28th-best higher-ed school in the world, according to a Shanghai institute’s reckoning. Factors: published research and faculty honors. It’s the U’s first appearance in the Top 30 since 2003. As always, take with salt grain.
MPR’s Laura Yuen says a federal grant will let St. Paul police watch the city’s top 60 “gangbangers closely over the next year.” All five dozen are black, which has an NAACP head asking, “What about Asian gangs?” He hasn’t signed the cops’ letter asking the 60 men to come to a community meeting. However, a minister applauds the effort for his death-scarred community and has rounded up social service nonprofits to provide a carrot to the stick.
“Several hundred” 3M job cuts are coming, but details won’t be released until the end of next week, the PiPress’ John Welbes writes. The industrial tapes and adhesives division is being reorganized. No word on the local breakdown, but sales and employment are rising overseas.
The lengthy procedural foreplay is over: Metro Transit fares will officially rise 25 cents Oct. 1. According to the Strib’s Tim Harlow, you’ll pay $1.75 to 3 depending on rush-hour and express factors. Metro Mobility fares jump 50 cents to $3 for non-rush hours and $4 for rush hours — the effect on vulnerable populations seems like an undercovered story. The PiPress’ John Brewer notes a 50-cent rise could come next year to erase a $15 million shortfall.
What’s this? An RNC protest story that ends without a lawsuit? The Strib’s Randy Furst says Day One marchers cut a deal with St. Paul: They now have until 4 p.m. to complete their protest; I believe the original timeout was 2 p.m. They can linger on the Capitol grounds until 7 p.m.
The Dorothy Day shelter is right by the convention site; operator Catholic Charities is staging its own political campaign. The group has erected a billboard and banner saying, “Our political agenda: food, shelter and dignity,” KSTP’s Tom Hauser reports. MPR’s Tim Nelson says Dorothy Day will stay open around the clock with extra programming, and a Midway storage facility is offering “cheap space” for the homeless to store stuff away from the madding crowds.
Yesterday’s Politico story hinted at a “convention bust” (economics, not arrests) and the PiPress’ Jason Hoppin piles on with tales of venue-renters banking on bookings and getting skunked. Actors Theater budgeted for a windfall and now has a gaping hole. The Artists’ Quarter has a stage and no show. Even the Science Museum, across the street from the convention, isn’t booked solid.
Some convention party planners have to call their lawyers about menus; that’s the fascinating beginning of Randy Furst’s second convention dispatch. Meatless quesadillas are critical because non-veggie versions constitute an impermissible meal for congressfolk. New 2007 lobbying rules changed the playing field, and dining options, and maybe another reason free-spenders are avoiding St. Paul. There’s a welter of hair-splitting regs that make for entertaining reading. Somehow, influence is still exerted.
St. Paul bars are still agitating for 4 a.m. permit fees to be cut from $2,500. Only three have applied, the PiPress’s Jason Hoppin reports. Mayor Chris Coleman supports post-convention rebates; Council President Kathy Lantry is a skeptic. Best quote from fee-paying Liffey owner Kieran Folliard: “We’re Irish, for crying out loud. We want to stay open late. We want to stay open 24 hours a day.”
Minnesota Independent’s Andy Birkey says LGBT organizations have “come out” against a lawsuit challenging state marriage prohibitions. Seven same-sex couples have signed on as plaintiffs. Groups like OutFront Minnesota say change should come from the ballot box, and that a 1971 court precedent and existing law show legal challenges aren’t the way. One plaintiff says he’s tired of waiting.
The Independent also begins a series looking at Minnesota’s Top 100 campaign donors. Car dealer Paul Walser and fitness maven Bahram Akradi make the initial 75th-to-100th-biggest-donor installment. One critique: The listings would be more useful with an ideological breakdown of each person’s donations.
Al Franken proposed repealing the 2005 bankruptcy bill and would ban interest on credit-card late fees, the Strib’s Kevin Duchschere reports. Franken says Norm Coleman has failed to help folks duped by credit card companies. Coleman’s campaign says the senator has supported ending some deceptive credit-card practices. However, he did vote for a bankruptcy bill that has shown little mercy to folks encountering medical and other emergencies.
In the wake of Norm Coleman’s ad promoting Al Franken’s DFL primary challenger Priscilla Lord Faris, KSTP’s Tom Hauser notes Franken refuses to debate Faris. Franken says he did 17 debates during the caucus season and likens new candidate Faris to perennial gadflies Dick Franson and Ole Savior.
WCCO’s Pat Kessler terms a new Franken recent ad “misleading”; it attacks Coleman’s $600-a-month D.C. lease. Kessler says the ad shows a fancy parlor while Coleman lives in “10-foot-by-10-foot” basement bedroom. Kessler also says we can’t judge Franken’s parallel claim he made an “honest mistake” overpaying taxes in some states while underpaying in others because he won’t release his tax return. The PiPress print version has a photo of Coleman’s bedroom with artfully disheveled bed and door-hanging ties.
Related: Whatever the space’s condition, the Strib’s Kevin Duchschere reiterates that Coleman did not have a lease until a D.C. paper exposed the arrangement, and that the senator only paid for a year’s worth of utilities last month. The Franken campaign says that could constitute an impermissible gift from a GOP contractor.
Minnesota Democrats Exposed’s Michael Brodkorb says convicted wife-batterer Mark Olson “will not be welcomed as a member” of the Senate Republican caucus if he wins a Senate seat this fall. Olson was endorsed by local Republicans last month, knocking the party off its moral petard.
The state auditor will look into $10 million in out-of-state (and legal) welfare spending by Minnesotans, Minnesota News Network reports. The audit will begin next month. The state GOP House leadership raised the questions.
The Strib’s Bill McAuliffe profiles truckers who want slower speed limits. They have to go slow to save fuel, so they want everyone to drive 65, five miles under the current limit. I can only imagine what Montanans think. The AAA spokesman says drivers will ignore it: Speed = freedom. A truck that slows from 70 to 65 cuts greenhouse emissions by 7 percent.
The PiPress fronts a Ruben Rosario profile of “voiceless American” Allison Evenson who, with husband Tom, are “a young, two-income, lower-middle-class American household whose gas was cut off Friday for four days.” They are “a paycheck-to-increasingly-mounting-unpaid-bills family.” Evenson, who emailed Rosario suggesting the piece, goes full disclosure; there’s no tragedy, and no blame; she just wants to show people how they live. Worth reading and remembering.
Today’s talker: Everyone’s chattering about the heart-transplant survivor who may have plotted to cut off a stranger’s eyelids before killing him. The Strib’s Abby Simons recounts that Andrew Busskohl got his transplant four years ago; now he’s charged with first-degree burglary and aggravated harassment. Police later found a detailed plan and equipment, including a scalpel. The PiPress’ Shannon Prather notes murder charges might be tough to prove since the plan wasn’t carried out. Busskohl is in the psych ward.
Oh wait — possible talker trumper! The PiPress’ Tad Vezner gets down in the mud to report that no competitor for the State Fair’s “Big Boar” contest has waddled forward. “I have always known a couple or three by now,” says the fair’s worried swine operations supervisor. Porcines: You have to be a half-ton to play.
Talker three: A St. Cloud company is fined $443,000 for baking bread, AP reports. Well, not exactly; Pan-O-Gold didn’t get an emissions permit first. Half the penalty will go toward reducing the bakery’s own greenhouse gases and improving energy efficiency.
Started following this one on Twitter: Minneapolis’s “best” Victorian has come on the market, freshly vandalized. The Strib’s Libby Nelson chronicles the Bardwell-Ferrant House, a rare Moorish Revival exemplar with the bad luck to be located at 2500 Portland. A $160,000 ’80s/’90’s renovation happened, but thieves have stolen or destroyed stained glass, wood detailing. The house is in foreclosure; indefatigable preservationist/Realtor Connie Nompelis, who I’m pretty sure isn’t the listing agent, is trying to get it re-saved.
Did Minnesota’s ethanol mandate happen because ex-U.S. Sen. Rudy Boschwitz rudely bounced a wad of paper off a constituent’s forehead? Read this PiPress op-ed and judge for yourself.
The PiPress’ Dave Hawley has a bit of graveyard mirth noting a snafu delaying the interment of ex-columnist Don Boxmeyer. Seems the feds screwed up some military paperwork that will delay the Fort Snelling burial. But that’s giving Boxmeyer’s widow a chance to stage a more satisfying goodbye, including taking Box’s ashes to Mancini’s and on a never-taken fishing trip.
Nort spews: The best Sore Losers come when the Twins beat the Yanks, so Wednesday afternoon’s 4-2 triumph causes lamentations here, here, here and here. Minnesota remains a half-game back of Chicago. The Strib’s Neal Justin notes Twin Cities Olympic viewership is tops in the nation, percentage-wise, at 30 percent of all households. Denver also reached that figure.