Well, we did get weirdly emotional about losing Twinkies … Janet Moore of the Strib says: “AdAge magazine is reporting that Lucky Charms cereal, a favorite of children for most of its 48-year history, is now targeting adults in a new marketing campaign. The publication said General Mills, the Golden Valley-based maker of the cereal, will launch a new campaign nationally sometime next year. The effort will target nostalgic adults who grew up with Lucky the Leprechaun, the marshmallowy cereal’s mascot who made his debut in 1964. Greg Pearson, General Mills’ brand marketing manager, told AdAge that 45 percent of Lucky Charms consumers are adults, and as a result, the brand posted its best volume year ever in fiscal 2012.” That reminds me, whatever happened to Fizzies?
One of the principal players in the ‘08 financial collapse is buying up a stake in an Oakdale-based brokerage. The AP story says: “The insurer American International Group Inc. said Monday, Dec. 3, that it has completed its purchase of a Oakdale securities brokerage from Hartford Financial Services Inc. AIG agreed to buy Woodbury Financial Services on July 31. Woodbury manages $125 billion in assets, and employs around 6,000 financial advisors. AIG did not disclose the price of the purchase, but Hartford CEO Liam McGee told the Wall Street Journal this year that the deal could be worth as much as $90 million based on Woodbury’s financial performance. Woodbury will become part of SunAmerica Financial Group, AIG’s U.S.-based life and retirement insurance business. The deal is SunAmerica’s first acquisition since the 2008 financial crisis, when AIG received $182 billion in bailout funding from the federal government.” The story notes that the government — you and me — made a $15 billion profit on the bailout. I know I spent my check a long time ago.
Wednesday is the day when the “doctor” will give the state economy its test results. Tim Pugmire of MPR says: “Minnesota gets an update on its financial health this week when state officials release a new economic forecast. … DFL Senate Majority leader-designate Tom Bakk, of Cook, said he doesn’t expect the forecast to show much change in the state fiscal picture. He also stressed that he’s more interested in the next forecast that comes in three months. ‘These December numbers are really only important to the governor. Because it’s these forecast numbers that the governor will have to put his budget together based upon. Then he’ll submit that to the Legislature I think the third week in January,’ Bakk said. Bakk said the governor’s proposal will begin the decision, but the Legislature will actually build the next two-year budget on the numbers from the February forecast.”
The Rochester Post-Bulletin editorializes in favor of returning to tax policies that created “The Minnesota Miracle”: “You don’t have to be good with numbers to know Minnesota’s public schools have taken a funding hit in recent years. Last year, a record 132 school districts held referendums, most of them asking for increases or renewals in their operating levies to supplement what each district receives in state aid. … If a statewide levy sounds familiar, it should. The task force’s proposal is essentially a return to the ‘Minnesota Miracle’, the funding mechanism that supported state education from 1971 until it was gradually dismantled as part of property-tax reform during the administrations of Gov. Jesse Ventura and Gov. Tim Pawlenty. Returning to a statewide levy, the task force says, will help schools keep up with inflation and minimize the funding gaps that prompted districts to put local levies on the ballot.” But I thought we were certain this “Miracle” business will cripple the job creators?
I hope they have the “drought edition”… The U of M extension service says it’s 2013 Minnesota planter-centric calendar is ready. Janelle Daberkow writes: “This award-winning calendar is developed for home gardening and landscape enthusiasts across the state. Minnesota Gardening 2013 is the only calendar designed and written exclusively for Minnesota. This new calendar includes a feature on the benefits of growing native prairie plants and tips for attracting pollinators and butterflies to your garden by way of these prairie plants. Also included in the calendar are suggestions for helpful Minnesota gardening resources, maps showing the average frost-free dates for Minnesota, a U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) plant hardiness zone map and a vegetable garden planting guide. This year’s calendar also comes with a 32-page book listing Minnesota hardy cultivars from the University of Minnesota.” And what, I wonder, does it have to say about whacking rabbits?
Out of office but still a power broker, Jackie Cherryhomes is considering a shot at Minneapolis’ mayor’s office. Eric Roper of the Strib says: “Add former City Council President Jackie Cherryhomes to the list of potential mayoral hopefuls awaiting a fourth-term decision from Mayor R.T. Rybak. Cherryhomes, who is now a consultant and lobbyist, said Monday that she is ‘strongly considering’ a run for the city’s top position. That is, if Rybak chooses not to seek another term — a decision that will likely come by Jan 1. ‘I am considering if the mayor is not running,’ Cherryhomes said. ‘But I would never run against the mayor. He’s my mayor and I support him 110 percent.’ ”
Heavyweight law firm Dorsey & Whitney has a new managing partner. David Phelps of the Strib reports: “The Minneapolis law firm Dorsey & Whitney announced Monday that veteran attorney Ken Cutler is the firm’s new managing partner. Cutler succeeds Marianne Short, who resigned last month to become chief legal officer for UnitedHealth Group. Cutler, a 35-year member of Dorsey, is a partner in the firm’s corporate group where he works on mergers and acquisitions, venture capital financing and general business matters, including public stock offerings. … Dorsey has 550 lawyers in 19 offices in the United States, Canada, Europe and the Asia-Pacific region. Cutler, 65, also serves on the board of directors for the Minnesota Zoo and the Minnesota Orchestra Association and on the board of governors of the Minneapolis Club.”
So what does it mean that they “attempted sex”? The Duluth News Tribune reports: “A 56-year-old corrections officer from Tower faces seven charges related to allegedly having sex with a female inmate, according to a criminal complaint filed Friday in Itasca County District Court. … According to the complaint, the inmate has been at the facility the past five months and told an investigator Thursday that she had sex or attempted sex with [James Allen] Bongaarts 10 times, the latest occasion being Wednesday. The investigator reported that the inmate said she had sex in a storage area at the camp. Bongaarts was interviewed Thursday and, according to the complaint, admitted to having sex or attempting sex several times with the inmate.”
When does that Mayan calendar run out? Cathy Wurzer at MPR reports: “Health officials in Minnesota say they’re stepping up their efforts to battle new antibiotic-resistant superbugs. The latest strain of concern are called CRE, bacteria resistant to a class of antibiotics known as carbapenem. Minnesota has identified 44 cases of infections by the CRE superbug. The antibiotics used to combat CRE are some of the most powerful antibiotics available and considered a drug of last resort for some infections. State epidemiologist Ruth Lynfield says superbugs are gaining resistance faster than new drugs are coming on the market.”