Laugh? Or cry? Mary Divine of the PiPress reports: “The instructor of a state-sponsored firearms safety class accidentally discharged a weapon in front of his students at a Minnesota church. No one was hurt, and the bullet lodged in the wall of the cafeteria at Salem Lutheran Church School. The incident, on April 11, was revealed when a 14-year-old student in the class told his father about it on the way home. The boy’s father then called his brother, who is a county sheriff in Minnesota. Stillwater police met the 76-year-old volunteer instructor at the school the following day. The man was ‘very apologetic … for the foolish mistake’ he had made, according to police reports. ‘You gentlemen can’t imagine the embarrassment I feel towards myself for what took place,’ he told police.” Why make stuff up when reality is this good?
So while the team on the field struggles to play .400 ball and you in the stands are shaking off the fresh June snow … you can play with your phone. Joseph Lindberg of the PiPress says: “The organization announced more technology improvements Thursday, April 18, to a building already equipped with free Wi-Fi and compatibility with multiple smartphone apps. Fans now can upgrade their seats from their iPhone or Android smartphones using the MLB.com ‘At the Ballpark’ app. Throughout the season, a limited number of seats will be available for upgrades once the gates open. Fans also can download the ‘Twins At The Plate’ app, which asks for in-game predictions, pitting fans against each other for high scores and prizes, according to a news release from the Twins. The popular Tweet Board, an MLB-first stadium screen that shares fans’ tweets during the game, will continue in 2013 alongside another MLB first: Fans arriving early may be featured in parts of the game-opening video.” Are you thinking what I’m thinking? E-pulltabs from your ballpark seat?
As winter continues piling up snow, the threat of flooding on the Red River grows ... Bill McAuliffe of the Strib says: “National Weather Service officials said Wednesday that the chance of a record crest on the Red River at Fargo-Moorhead in the next few weeks is now about 40 percent, up from 15 percent four weeks ago. Fargo, which has more flood-prone land than its Minnesota neighbor, reopened its volunteer sandbag-filling operation Thursday, with a goal of adding 500,000 sandbags to the 1.8 million it has on hand. The amount of snow forecast for the Twin Cities would push this April into the five snowiest. Duluth, meanwhile, is enduring its snowiest February-through-April on record and had 17 inches of snow on the ground through Tuesday.”
The wretched weather is also hammering … jobs. Adam Belz of the Strib says: “Minnesota’s endless winter helped cool off the job market in March, as employers cut 5,200 jobs, a sharp dip after seven straight months of gains. The monthly jobs report, issued Thursday by the Minnesota Department of Employment and Economic Development, also showed that February gains were less robust than initially thought, revised downward from 14,500 jobs to 9,900. Construction and weather-sensitive restaurant and retail hiring ws weak compared to March 2012, said Steve Hine, the state’s labor market economist, and they will likely be weak when the April numbers are revealed in a month. ‘I’ve got to say, looking out the window, that we may see an extension of this weakness into April’s numbers,’ he said.”
And then there’s the sequester, which is still kicking in to jobs numbers … Conrad Wilson of MPR writes: “The Federal Aviation Administration’s decision to close 149 air traffic control towers nationwide later this year because of federal budget cuts could hinder efforts to expand service at St. Cloud Regional Airport. Closing the tower could make it more difficult to lure airlines to St. Cloud, Airport Director Bill Towle said. … If all goes according to FAA plans, air traffic controllers in St. Cloud and at the Anoka County-Blaine Airport will be out of work in mid-June. The closures come at a particularly bad time for the St. Cloud airport, which is actively working to expand air service with daily nonstop flights to Chicago.” Well, we all have to make sacrifices if we want to protect the job creators.
They certainly took their time … Michelle Faul of the AP says: “Aviation officials on Sao Tome island waited 24 hours before reporting the disappearance of an American pilot and his small aircraft off the coast of West Africa, the missing man’s family said on Wednesday. Officials of the twin-island nation of Sao Tome and Principe could not be reached for comment despite repeated attempts by telephone on Thursday. The family of Jerry Krause, a missionary from Waseca, Minnesota, is sending a representative to Sao Tome in an effort to clarify what happened after the control tower lost contact with the pilot and his Beechcraft 1900C as it was approaching the airport amid a tropical storm on the afternoon of April 7.”
An update on the SPCO lockout from MPR’s Euan Kerr: “Management of the Saint Paul Chamber Orchestra announced today it has reached an agreement on electronic media rights with the American Federation of Musicians. A tentative local contract agreement with the locked out musicians was dependant on reaching a deal with the AFM. Management says it will end the lockout on Tuesday if SPCO musicians accept the local deal by 5 pm Monday. Concerts would then begin on May 9th.”
A PiPress editorial on the proposed beer tax basically interviews … a brewer … for his not-so-positive view of the plan.: “As ever, a closer look at tax-increase proposals [is] in order. Take, for example, the proposed hike in alcohol taxes. Alcohol taxes would increase about 7 cents for a bottle of beer or a shot of liquor under the tax proposal from House DFLers, Speaker Paul Thissen said in a Pioneer Press report. Not everyone agrees with that assessment — St. Paul brewer Mark Stutrud, for example. The proposal, he says, would affect consumers, and his business, Summit Brewing, in ways that deserve consideration. … Lawmakers — including the many elected from the east metro area with an economic development and jobs, jobs, jobs mandate — should look carefully beyond the numbers when they’re doing tax-plan arithmetic, and purveying tax-plan rhetoric.” Somebody’s dictation skills are pretty good.
One … one … of local talk jock Bob Davis’s sponsors has decided to yank its ad dollars from the show after Davis’ “Go to hell!” shot at Newtown families last week. In its statement, Atomic says (via Aaron Rupar at City Pages): “At Atomic Data, our corporate mission is to empower people through the use of technology. Technology that facilitates civil, informed, and respectful discussions and decision making amongst businesses, students, communities, and government. We fully understand that people will disagree, and we understand that everyone in this country has a right to speak out, but we don’t believe, as Bob Davis seems to, that being mean and resentful is a ‘liberty.’ It’s disrespectful, and, in Bob’s case,it crossed the line of civility. When you’re the kind of company that strives everyday to support community organizations of all kinds, we simply cannot support the kind of things Mr. Davis has been saying on the air. Atomic Data would like to go on the record here: We are all for vigorous debate. But we try to listen as much as we talk, and to be respectful to those with whom we disagree. We strongly believe that nobody needs to be mean — not Bob, not us, not anybody. At the end of the day, everything we do is for the betterment of our children, spouses, and communities. We feel that over the past several months, Mr. Davis has gone against this deeply held philosophy.” Riiight. But what did they think they were buying into when they began their relationship? And the rest of the sponsors … down with “go to hell”?