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Gophers coach Jerry Kill back at practice

MORNING EDITION ALSO: Rochester hazing incident; ash borer brings another “pest”; lawyering up in Lakeville; jobs back on agenda; “SlutWalk” controversy; and more.
Read Wed. Afternoon Edition


Gopher football coach Jerry Kill came back to practice Wednesday. Phil Miller of the Strib says: “[H]e’s preparing to play Michigan in Ann Arbor this Saturday, and Kill said he will be 100 percent in charge, as always. ‘The rest of it, I’ve talked enough about it,’ he said, clearly impatient that his health has become the focus of the Gophers’ season. His doctors ‘haven’t got it all figured out yet, but hopefully they’ll make progress on it, and we’ll be fine.’ Kill said he didn’t check himself into Mayo on Sunday, clearly inferring that he was taken there after a seizure. But the coach looked and sounded strong, much better than after the initial seizure and five-day hospital stay earlier this month.”

Eighteen Rochester John Marshall kids have been suspended over a hazing incident. Matthew Stole of the Post-Bulletin reports: “District spokeswoman Jennifer Pozanc declined to describe the nature of the hazing. She said the suspensions are expected to last two to three days. She said she did not anticipate the incident going before the school board, which deals with expulsions. ‘We’re following our hazing policy, which says we handle discipline internally,’ Pozanc said. Pozanc said no JM students were injured by the hazing. She said she could not say whether alcohol was involved. The incident so far involves the suspension of 18 students, but the number could be larger and involve more disciplinary actions.”

Kind of like … out of the woodwork. St. Paul is dealing with an infestation of profit-seeking experts on emerald ash borers. Says the Strib’s Rochelle Olson: “St. Paul Parks and Recreation and the Minnesota Department of Agriculture confirmed Monday the invasive tree killer had been found in six trees near Summit Avenue and Dale Street, three miles from previously confirmed infestation sites. The latest confirmation has brought reports of new door-to-door vendors reportedly claiming to be affiliated with the city. The city warns that the for-profit door-to-door vendors are not authorized by St. Paul or the state. If contacted by a vendor, the city suggests residents ask for identification, because all city forestry staff carry ID cards.”

They’re lawyering up in Lakeville. Jessica Fleming of the PiPress writes: “The coordinator of Lakeville’s senior center, who has been accused of lying by Mayor Mark Bellows, has retained a lawyer and is considering suing for defamation of character. Meanwhile, the City Council met Wednesday afternoon to conduct a performance review for Linda Walter. The review was scheduled at the mayor’s request, after he said the council ‘was lied to by a staff member’ during a Sept. 19 council meeting. After being prompted by the city attorney, Bellows identified the staff member as Walter. … [Her attorney, Chris] Heinze said Walter isn’t sure yet if she’ll file suit, but if she did, she would likely sue the mayor in his official capacity, which would mean the city would be named in the lawsuit. ‘Mostly my client is just looking to have her name cleared,’ Heinze said. ‘She hasn’t lied to anyone, she hasn’t lied to the mayor and she’s unsure what he’s talking about. It’s already [caused] her a great deal of strife with her name being bandied about in the community, in the coffee shops and in the media.’ “

Oh, and this is good, too. Bob Shaw of the PiPress looks into the “power couple” of Washington County and probldems with their rental property: “On one side of the court battle are Cottage Grove City Council member Derrick Lehrke and his wife, Washington County commissioner Autumn Lehrke. On the other is Jim Berreth, who lives with his wife and three children in the St. Paul Park duplex. The dispute is about mold, water damage and which rooms of the duplex can be legally considered bedrooms. ‘My problem is that the Lehrkes allowed these folks to live in hazardous, moldy conditions far too long,’ said Cottage Grove building official Bob LaBrosse, who also inspects properties in St. Paul Park. ‘This case is not extreme, but it is way past moderate.’ He said that the property might be condemned if the various problems aren’t addressed — and that the Lehrkes have been slow to fix up their property.”

The “jobs, jobs, jobs” mantra of campaign 2010 went nowhere in both Wisconsin and Minnesota; in fact, much of the legislative action killed off government jobs. But Cheeseheadistan’s legislature is being called back to work to, you know, “create jobs.” Says the AP, “Gov. Scott Walker said he wants lawmakers to focus like ‘laser beams’ on putting people back to work during a special legislative session he announced Wednesday, marking the second time this year he’s asked the Legislature to work solely on job creation. Walker promised on the campaign trail to create 250,000 jobs by 2015. He called a special session on jobs the first day he took office in January, but it doesn’t appear to have had much long-lasting effect. Wisconsin has added about 30,100 non-farm jobs since he took office, according to state Department of Workforce Development data. But the unemployment rate has risen from 7.4 percent in January to 7.9 percent last month, and the state has lost 8,700 jobs since June. The Republican governor blamed national trends, especially the political gridlock over the federal deficit.” Twenty dollars will get you one that Walker’s first move will be … tax cuts for jobs creators.

Former PiPress reporter-turned-instructor at St. Thomas Lynda McDonnell writes a commentary for the Strib on the healing that has gone on over hard feelings about a dog park. “A year ago in my south Minneapolis neighborhood, long divided by race and the canyon of Interstate 35W, two groups of neighbors nearly came to blows over a proposal to build a dog park in Martin Luther King Park. Black elders from east of the freeway linked arms and sang: ‘We shall overcome.’ Black activist Spike Moss fired off the ‘racist’ missile. Dog owners, mostly white residents from west of the freeway, were baffled, hurt and angry. … Minneapolis City Council Member Elizabeth Glidden, whose district straddles I-35W, called together a small group of neighbors from both sides of the freeway and encouraged us to envision a different relationship. One result of that year of training, discussion and planning is the first One Minneapolis, One Read. During October, city residents are encouraged to read “The Grace of Silence” — Michele Norris’s moving memoir of growing up in Minneapolis — and to use the text as a way to talk across the divide of race.”

Hmmmm … by my Montevideo math … at say $5 a pint, every pint past 200 is gravy. The AP says: “For a $1,000 investment, neighbors can be part owner of the Smokehouse Brewpub and get free beer for life. Developer Jamie Robinson says free beer is among the equity options for the $800,000 restaurant and bar. The project needs $175,000 for a down payment and is targeting investors $1,000 at a time. Kelly Neisen has seized the opportunity. Neisen says as a homeowner she has a stake in seeing her neighborhood succeed.”

On MPR’s commentary site, local NOW President Shannon Drury writes about the point and ironies of this Saturday’s “Slut Walk”: “Today the most loaded word in the feminist vocabulary is ‘slut.’ The term is at the forefront of a new grassroots movement to end the stigmatization of survivors of rape and sexual assault. Last January, when discussing rape prevention strategy, a Toronto police officer advised against ‘looking like a slut.’ (The officer failed to define what clothing might contribute to such a look, a crucial omission considering that, according to conservative estimates, one woman in six will be raped in her lifetime. Not all of them dressed like Snooki at a nightclub, I’m sure.) … Since the original walk in April, dozens more have popped up in cities across the globe, including one that will be held on the Minneapolis riverfront on Oct. 1. (Minnesota NOW is a co-sponsor.) For every enthusiastic walker, though, there is an equally frustrated person, feminist or otherwise, who brings a different set of assumptions to the word ‘slut’ and what it means in this context. Snarky comments from pseudonymous bloggers, I anticipated; vitriolic reactions from women whom I considered feminist allies were a surprise. One in particular accused my friends and me of patriarchal collaboration — a high crime indeed. Also a surprise was a phone call from a reporter with the St. Paul Pioneer Press, asking to speak to me about the walk and the controversy surrounding it. In the five and a half years I’ve been Minnesota NOW’s president, this is the first time a major newspaper has come calling. I’ve been active in independent and public media, but no one at the PiPress gave much thought to Minnesota NOW’s lobbying of Sen. Amy Klobuchar on behalf of the newly revitalized Equal Rights Amendment, our stance on the threats to pay equity legislation and Doe vs. Gomez, among other issues. I was called because Minnesota NOW used the word ‘slut.’ ” Sadly, “slut” grabs attention in ways “pay equity” does not.