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Concordia University trying new tuition approach

Break possible in 32-year-old “cold case”; Rush Limbaugh loves Kluwe letter; Uptown Theater upgrades seating; and more.

Editor’s note: Former Glean writer Max Sparber is filling in for Brian Lambert for a few days.

All we ever hear about is rising tuition costs, and how they are driving our young people into a job market that cannot help them pay off their momentous debt. Well, it’s almost all we hear about. Mila Koumpilova of the PiPress offers up an unexpected reversal of that narrative: Concordia University is slashing its undergraduate tuition by a third this coming fall. “We’re trying to get away from this shell game of having high tuition and high discounts,” Koumpilova quotes senior vice president and chief operating officer Eric LaMott as saying. And here’s another thing we almost never hear in the news: Somebody saying a business model doesn’t work, and so they are going to try a new one. The catch is that there will be less financial aid, but, then, that also means less student debt. I’m sure somebody will take issue with this, and will have good cause to. Just now, I’m caught up in the novelty of somebody hitting the brakes and reversing when headed for a brick wall.

In fact, there is all sorts of surprising news. Despite what you see on television, typically when a criminal case goes cold, it stays cold. (According to “Freakonomics,” only 1 in 20 cold cases lead to an arrest, and only 1 in 100 lead to conviction.) So the news that somebody was arrested in Kansas City for a 32-year-old Minneapolis stabbing murder caused ears to perk up. Police have not given any details, but Nicole Norfleet from the Strib points out  the details we do know are consistent with the case of 22-year-old Mary Cathryn Steinhart, whose murder was so extreme that an official from Hennepin County medical examiner’s office at the time called it “one of the more violent ones I’ve dealt with.” I am someone who has known (gratefully, from a bit of a remove) the grief that accompanies a murder when the killer is known; I cannot imagine the depth of sadness that comes from such a thing being unresolved, and can only hope this will bring some measure of peace to the friends and family of Ms. Steinhart, or whoever the as-unnamed victim was.

Another piece of unexpected news, as reported by Aaron Rupar of City Pages: Rush Limbaugh has responded to Vikes punter Chris Kluwe, who penned a now-famously profane letter to an anti-gay marriage Baltimore politician. This is not the surprising part — after all, this is almost exactly the sort of thing you would expect the radio
personality to respond to. No, the surprising thing is that Limbaugh seemed to actually like the letter. Like it? He positively raved about it, calling it “funny” and saying that “Everybody loves [the letter] because it excoriates Emmett Burns as being an absolute toad and an idiot.”

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Continuing with this theme, if there are two things the Uptown Theater is famous for, it’s for its general fine selection of independent films and its absolutely terrible seating. Not any more — Mark Saxenmeyer of KSTP reports that the theater’s $2 million renovation includes less but better seating. The theater also has a fully stocked bar, so I’m giving the new seats a lifespan of about 90 days.

My final story isn’t local, but, what the heck, while we’re reporting unexpected news, the Dow closed at 13,300 on Tuesday night, the best it has been since 2007. What does this mean? I think it’s pretty obvious. We are in Bizarro World, home planet of Superman’s mirror-opposite nemesis. Ask yourself if the following is true: Us hate beauty! Us love ugliness! I think you have your answer.