Could Norm Coleman be out a million bucks for two missing seconds in one ad? Probably not, writes Minnesota Independent’s Steve Perry, but it’s possible. Norm only showed his face for two seconds at the end of his “Sandy Keith” ad, not the mandated four. The Politico notes that TV stations could raise Coleman’s ad rates as a penalty, but the Federal Elections Commission has never enforced the provision. Local leftblogger Aaron Landry unearthed the news.
Minneapolis Mayor R.T. Rybak seeks multiple RNC policing reviews, MPR’s Brandt Williams says. Three city departments will review post-concert arrests, court costs and police training. The “who is a journalist?” policy question will also be examined. Lefty councilmembers aren’t outraged, but one wants an independent review, Minnesota Independent’s Anna Pratt writes.
The PiPress’ Jennifer Bjorhus probes a New Brighton minibus fire that may signal problems with “a vehicle commonly used to transport the country’s most vulnerable citizens.” Five disabled passengers escaped from the Ford E450 Super Duty Van, but Bjorhus finds four other incidents in Minnesota and South Dakota. Ford has issued four recalls on the 2003 model, which was involved in the New Brighton case. The Met Council has 57 E450s, but has had no problems so far.
Remember the zany businessman/tax protester/fugitive who allegedly “ordered” a judge’s arrest? Robert Beale got 11 years on a tax evasion charge, the PiPress’ Elizabeth Mohr writes — in the middle of the sentencing range. For fun, Beale denied his own existence at the sentencing, the Strib’s James Walsh notes. Beale still faces obstruction of justice and conspiracy charges for the vigilante judicial intimidation.
St. Paul’s College of St. Catherine will become St. Catherine University next June, the PiPress’ Doug Belden reports. The school had announced it would change its name in May, but only now unveiled the monicker.
Heartbreaking details about a 65-year-old Lake Calhoun bicyclist killed in a hit-and-run. Jimmy Nisser — who couldn’t drive because he’d battled cerebral palsy since childhood — still volunteered copiously and shoveled older neighbors’ driveways, the Strib’s Abby Simons and Paul Walsh note. Authorities have paint chips that should ID the car make and model. If you see a tan car with passenger-side damage, call 612-673-3410.
WCCO’s Pat Kessler talks to defeated GOP legislator Neil Peterson. The duo notes the irony of the Override Sixer’s defeat as McCain-Palin touts its Republican-challenging “maverick” credentials.
I thought school integration was unfashionable, but the Strib’s Sarah Lemagie says the Shakopee, Jordan and Prior Lake-Savage districts will begin integration discussions soon. Shakopee has a much higher minority percentage than the other districts; state law requires neighboring districts with a more-than-20-percent difference to have a redress plan. Jordan and Shakopee hit the tipping point four years ago, but didn’t think the trend would last, officials claim.
Developers are mad about a proposed Woodbury wind turbine to be built by a new high school, but neighbors are not, KSTP’s Jo Ann Bemoras reports. The turbine would provide 70 percent of the school’s power, but big-money landowners are worried about “shadow flicker” (turning turbine blades) and “ice throw” during winter. Neighbors say a little sacrifice is worth it to help taxpayers and the environment. So there!
Brooklyn Park is now testing highly efficient LED streetlights, KARE’s Jeff Olsen reports. The LEDs use 50 percent less energy, produce brighter light and bulbs last longer. There’s some question about the light’s aesthetics (if you’ve used an LED light, you know what I mean), but now we’ll literally see.
Finance and Commerce’s Bob Geiger says there won’t be acres of solar panels atop the Minneapolis Convention Center soon because the roof itself needs to be replaced.
Man, transit advocates just have to be smiling as suburban/exurban Washington County pushes for a route along I-94. City and county leaders want a $1 million transit study, writes the Strib’s Kevin Giles. One county commissioner calls the route “a dream.”
KARE’s Scott Goldberg finds an unintended consequence of the early 35W bridge reopening: a popular Forest Lake express bus service will lose emergency federal funds. City officials are trying to find $800,000 a year to keep it going. Fares could rise from the current $2.75.
Related: Fox9 notes it’s not just 35W bridge-construction firms getting early completion incentives: The Himle-Horner p.r. firm could collect a $100,000 bonus above its contracted amount.
Neat piece from the PiPress’ Maja Beckstrom on St. Paul’s Books from Africa, the largest shipper of titles to the information-starved continent. In 20 years, the group has sent 20 million books to 40 countries. It started when the founder saw an empty library in Uganda. The limiting factor is shipping costs; if you want to donate, click here.
MPR’s Dan Gunderson looks at the Red River Valley’s first harvest of genetically modified beets. Like other crops, the beets were made immune to the weed-killer Roundup. So far, the GMO seeds have not raised yields, and much of the savings is offset by higher seed costs. But technology optimists expect seed quality to improve past the inaugural year. No GMO opponents are quoted.
Local fertilizer giant Mosaic is being sued for price-fixing, the Strib’s Chris Serres reports. Mosaic is one of eight companies accused of fixing potash prices, which have quadrupled over the past year. The plaintiff is a smaller local fertilizer manufacturer. Mosaic, which is mostly owned by Cargill, won’t comment. Serres notes previous lawsuits have been dismissed and a defense attorney acknowledges no “smoking gun.”
Here’s a bad business idea: a harness racing track. And guess what? The Columbus, Minn., facility will lay off 10 percent of its workers, the Strib’s Paul Levy reports. A card room was supposed to float the track’s boat, but owners blame high gas prices, good summer weather (!) and a horses-before-poker law for their difficulties. Oh yeah, and one owner is being sued for $10 million by Oklahoma tribes.
Nort spews: I had the honor of being in attendance as Matt Guerrier and Dennis Reyes blew a game to, ugh, the Royals. The Twins 3-2 loss kept them one game back of Chicago. Minnesota departs for a final road trip — a 10-gamer to Baltimore, Cleveland and Tampa Bay. Let’s hope that final series with the White Sox matters when they get back.