Really? “Billions of gallons”? Mark Steil of MPR reports: “At a time when drought threatens state water supplies, scores of water permit holders in Minnesota are illegally using billions of gallons more water then they’re entitled to. Over the last six years, hundreds of individuals, businesses and even state government agencies have pumped more than their permit allows, according to state Department of Natural Resources records. But violators face few consequences for these misdemeanor violations. Even in a two-year drought, DNR officials admit they don’t spend much time enforcing permit limits. The violations come from nearly every category of water user: cities, crop irrigators, power companies, private businesses, golf courses, schools, government agencies, even a church.”
The ATF has cracked down on an Albert Lea gun shop. The AP story says only: “A longtime firearms supplier in Albert Lea plans to surrender its federal firearms license. The Albert Lea Tribune reports a 2011 Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco and Firearms audit led to Hart Bros. Weaponry’s plan to surrender the license March 9. Owners Milan and Elaine Hart attribute the action to paperwork mistakes but wouldn’t go into detail. ATF spokesman Robert Schmidt said Wednesday he couldn’t comment because the case is active. Hart Bros. sells 5,000 to 7,000 guns a year and has been in business since 1977.” Does that work out to about 20 guns … a day?
Speaking of gummint gun-grabbin’ … The AP says: “The Minnesota Supreme Court says a man convicted of a drug charge is not entitled to the Second Amendment right to bear arms. The Wednesday, Feb. 27, ruling comes in the case of Andrew Craig, who was found guilty of possessing a firearm while ineligible to have one. Prosecutors said Craig was ineligible because of a prior fifth-degree drug conviction. Craig appealed, saying Minnesota’s law barring felons from having firearms violated his Second Amendment rights. The high court disagreed.” So now I guess he’ll have to stock up at the local gun show, like everyone else.
The Department of Human Services is taking heat. Paul Walsh of the Strib says: “Most notably, according to the findings released Wednesday by the Office of the Legislative Auditor, some facilities have had ‘significant difficulty finding placements’ for individuals ready for discharge. Also, the auditor is recommending ‘modification of civil commitment laws to ensure periodic judicial review of persons committed as mentally ill and dangerous or as developmentally disabled.’ ”
Some people … Bethany Wesley of the Bemidji Pioneer writes: “A 6-year-old boy was forced to walk a quarter-mile home in freezing temperatures last week after a school bus driver refused to let the child off the bus at his house. According to Daryl Bohn and Amber Thayer, their younger son, Darrion, tried to disembark the bus after his 8-year-old brother, Devin, was let off at their driveway after school last Wednesday. But the bus driver physically held Darrion back and shut the door in his face, driving him a quarter-mile down the road and making him walk home in the cold as punishment for not following directions, they said.” The bus driver has, uh, “resigned.”
He didn’t know he was on camera? Kevin Giles of the Strib says: “A Washington County deputy accused of pilfering prescription drugs from the Sheriff’s Office drug takeback bin was charged Wednesday with three felonies. Ricky Harry Gruber, 43, of Oakdale, was seen in videotape removing the bin — where the public surrenders old prescription drugs — and then removing several bottles of medications, the complaint said. When he was confronted by a commander and sergeant he tried to run but he was subdued and stripped of his service revolver.” I’m guessing the drugs weren’t Lipitor.
Tim Post of MPR writes: “To make up for budget shortfalls, Minnesota lawmakers delayed $1.1 billion in payments to schools in recent years. Some lawmakers are calling for the state to deliver the payments in full this year. But school administrators [said] they’d rather receive an increase in funding from the state this year, and have their IOU paid back over the next several years. How much the state owes schools could change again on Thursday when the latest budget forecast comes out. By law any budget surplus will be sent to schools to help make good on promised state funds.”
There will be a penalty on “spilt milk” jokes … Tim Harlow of the Strib says: “The eastbound lanes of Interstate 94 remain closed nearly two hours after a tanker carrying milk overturned in the Lowry Hill Tunnel in downtown Minneapolis. The tanker was headed westbound on 94 around 11:15 a.m. when it struck the concrete median and flipped over onto the eastbound lanes, spilling milk on the highway, said Lt. Eric Roeske of the Minnesota State Patrol. At least three other vehicles were involved in the crash. The truck driver and one other person were taken to the hospital, Roeske said.”