Since everyone goes to the Fair, it’s no surprise that every side of the gay marriage controversy is out there, too. Sasha Aslanian of MPR reports: “The Minnesota Republican Party doesn’t promote a position on the marriage amendment at its booth, and a spokeswoman said the party has no plans to do anything with it during the fair. But the Republican-controlled legislature passed the constitutional ballot question in May. That didn’t give ballot groups enough time to get booths organized for this year’s fair so they’re borrowing turf from their allies already inside. A pro-amendment group, Minnesota for Marriage, is receiving help from Christian talk radio station KKMS broadcasting from a little white house inside the fairgrounds. ‘While you’re visiting the fair, please, stop by the Minnesota for Marriage information booth in front of Church of the Holy Childhood,’ an announcer asks in ads airing on KKMS.”
If you’ve read “Robopocalypse,” this will give you pause. Linda Vanderwerf at the West Central Tribune reports: “Robotic competitions are now an extracurricular activity listed by the Minnesota State High School League. The league made the announcement Thursday at STEM Day at the Minnesota State Fair. STEM stands for science, technology, engineering and mathematics.”
President Obama will be back in town next week to speak to the American Legion convention. Jessica Mador of MPR writes: “But when he takes the podium, he’ll be talking to a group that’s endured the nation’s economic downtown in a different way than most Americans impacted by the recession. A recent study by the Joint Economic Committee of Congress showed Minnesota has one of the highest rates of joblessness in the nation for post-Sept. 11 veterans. The report found that almost 22.9 percent of veterans who’ve served since the 2001 terrorist attacks are unemployed. That’s more than three times the unemployment rate for civilians.” And we thank you for your service …
Rupa Chenoy at MPR covers a Scott County GOP meeting where hyper-partisan politics was not considered a good thing: “Scott County Republicans attempted to set an example of civil debate Thursday night over a recurring issue that divides their own party: judicial elections. ‘I think a lot of people got turned off by the fact that government just couldn’t function very well,’ said Chris Brovold, director of House District 35B for Scott County Republicans. ‘We’re trying to show that even within a party that disagrees, we can have a civil debate, have a good discussion, and get the information out to people.’ The audience of about 60 people that gathered at a Shakopee bar each paid $10 to get in. They sat quietly, listening to the judicial elections debate.” So a group of Republicans got along well at one meeting …
Just how many plastic legs are floating around out there? The Pierce County Herald reports: “Beth Krohn was at her vacation home on Lake Ida near Alexandria, Minnesota. She told KSAX-TV that she was on the lake for about an hour when she reeled in something large — and she knew it wasn’t a fish. Once she saw the prosthetic leg, Krohn said she gasped and hoped it was not a dead body. She later realized it was an artificial leg — so she called some specialists, and found that Pam Riley of Morris, Minnesota had owned it.” There was this one, too.
Minnesota’s cows produced 7 percent less milk. The AP says: “The rate of milk production continues to rise nationwide, even as it slows in Wisconsin and Minnesota. The U.S. produced 15.4 billion pounds of milk last month. That was a 1% increase from the same month last year. That improvement was driven by increases of 8% in Texas and 5% in Idaho. But Wisconsin and Minnesota continued their trend of recent months, producing less milk this year than in comparable periods in 2010.” Really? Slacker cows?
His daddy loved him “more than anything” but said he couldn’t cope anymore. Maricella Miranda of the PiPress writes: “Eleven-year-old Sebastian Cross woke up July 18 to find his dad gone. Left behind were two notes. In the first, his father, Steven Alexander Cross, said there were no jobs for architects in the current economy. It went on to say their Lakeville home was in foreclosure and soon to be sold at a sheriff’s sale. Cross instructed Sebastian in the note to take his PlayStation and go to a neighbors’ house. The second note asks the neighbors to take care of his son. ‘If this paper is wet, it’s because I am crying so bad,’ the father wrote to the boy. ‘You know your dad loves you more than anything.’ “
You can just imagine Rush Limbaugh sinking his teeth into this one … Chuck Haga writes from Grand Forks: “Seven oil companies operating in western North Dakota face federal charges of killing migratory birds that allegedly died when they landed in oilfield pits and wastewater disposal facilities. The charges under the Migratory Bird Treaty Act cite the losses of 28 ducks and other birds in oil waste pits between May 6 and June 20. Federal laws require pits to be bird-proofed with fences, screens and nets. … A dozen of the dead birds were found in pits operated by Slawson Exploration Co. of Wichita, Kansas, including three mallards, two gadwalls, two blue-winged teal, one redhead, one common golden eye, one northern pintail and two birds of unknown species. Other companies charged are ConocoPhillips Co., of Houston; Newfield Production Co., of Houston; Brigham Oil and Gas LP, of Williston; Continental Resources Inc., of Enid, Okla.; Fidelity Exploration & Production Co., of Denver; and Petro Hunt LLC, of Dallas. Ron Ness, president of the North Dakota Petroleum Council, an industry association, said that protecting wildlife ‘is something the oil companies take seriously.’ But ‘you’ve got a lot of pits out there,’ he said. ‘There are nearly 6,000 wells out there.’ ”
Never mind hitting the gym before your next plane ride. Pat Doyle at the Strib says: “Revealing images have given way to Gumby-like outlines for airport passengers subjected to electronic body scans at Minneapolis-St. Paul International Airport security gates. MSP has joined a growing list of airports using new equipment that displays a generic figure instead of X-ray-type images of individuals. The Transportation Security Administration spent a year working the bugs out of the new system, which was shown off to reporters Thursday.”