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E-pulltabs & bingo to barnstorm Minnesota

Institute of Arts gets Nazi-looted art; judge won’t dismiss harassment lawsuit; legislative pay raise dissed; St. Paul projects detailed; Lizz Winstead profiled; and more. 

Step back and think about this one … Tim Nelson at MPR tells us: “It looks like electronic pulltabs and linked bingo are hitting the road next month. Allied Charities of Minnesota, the trade group that represents about half of the state’s 1,200 charitable gambling operators, says they’re going to Rochester, Willmar, Marshall, St. Cloud, Fergus Falls, Bemidji, Duluth and the Twin Cities on an 8-stop road show. Al Lund is executive director of Allied Charities. He says he thinks the games need a better introduction than they’ve had so far. He says they’re going to bring manufacturers, distributors, charities and bars together to have an up-close and personal look at the games.” Will they be selling snake oil by the six-pack?

There’s something special about a terra-cotta bust of John the Baptist now on display at the Institute of Arts … . Paul Walsh’s Strib piece explains: “A rare Renaissance-era bust that was among many great works of art bought or looted by the Nazis during World War II has joined the Minneapolis Institute of Arts collection, in time for the anniversary of the Allies’ victory in Europe. The terra-cotta bust of St. John the Baptist was acquired by the Minneapolis Institute of Arts (MIA) and put on display Wednesday, 68 years to the day that the Axis powers were defeated in Europe. This piece ‘helps the museum tell the remarkable story of the Florentine Renaissance,’ Kaywin Feldman, the MIA’s director and president, said in announcing the acquisition.”

There will be no dismissal of a lawsuit involving a guy who is taking on some heavy hitters. Elizabeth Mohr of the PiPress writes: “A Hennepin County judge has declined to dismiss a lawsuit by Steve Bohnen that alleges malicious prosecution, abuse of process and civil conspiracy. Bohnen’s suit is against a man — and his attorneys — who sued him more than two years ago following a campaign-sign incident. The judge did, however, dismiss five of the lawsuit’s 10 claims. … Judge Thomas Sipkins’ order was issued Wednesday, May 8, based on requests to dismiss Bohnen’s lawsuit by the defendants: Jeffrey Nielsen; attorney George Eck and his firm, Dorsey & Whitney; and Thomas Pahl and his firm, Foley & Mansfield. Bohnen accused Nielsen and his attorneys of filing a series of lawsuits for the purpose of harassment and intimidation because Bohnen reported his missing campaign sign to police.” Imagine what would have happened if they had besmirched his reputation in a campaign ad?

The Duluth News Tribune is not pleased with the pay raise legislators voted themselves … or the next Legislature, to be precise: “Minnesota state senators receive $31,000 now, and have for the past 15 years. They voted 34-32 to increase that to $42,000 by 2016, a 35 percent bump. Put another way, they voted for a beefier than 10 percent pay raise every year for the next three years. (In addition, lawmakers receive per diems that are said to average about $5,000 to $9,000 annually.) What hardworking Minnesotan wouldn’t love pay increases like that? But few of us have the luxury of an elected official to dictate our own salaries. … Sen. Tom Bakk of Cook … told a Forum Communications reporter he voted for the pay raise to keep the Legislature from being dominated by retired or rich people or by those who can’t find other work.” An alternative might be a pay-for-performance scale, but who among them would want that?

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Did you catch this Heather Brown story on WCCO-TV?  “The Minnesota State Patrol had to put down two horses after they got away from their Faribault farm early Monday morning. They’d been trying to get the horses back onto their property when they say the situation just became too unsafe. But, as can be imagined, the horses’ owner is very upset — and has to foot the bill. Suzette Clemens didn’t even realize her quarter horses, Roper and Frenchie, had escaped when a tree fell on her electric fence, until a Rice County deputy showed up at her door in the middle of the night. He told her the horses had to be euthanized.”

The GleanPrior to today’s historic House vote on gay marriage, Rachel Stassen-Berger of the Strib filed a report on the crowd gathering at the Capitol: “With ringing chants, waving signs and prayful gatherings, Minnesotans prepared the Capitol for the coming marriage vote Thursday. Outside the House chamber, where the 134 members are expected to take the first step to legalize same-sex marriage, hundreds of coordinated advocates made their wishes clear. ‘Yes,’ said Minnesotans who cheered incoming lawmakers they believe they can count on to approve the measure. Rep. Deb Hilstrom, DFL-Brooklyn Center and a clear ‘yes’ vote, said the crowds energized lawmakers preparing to take a historic vote. ‘No,’ cried Minnesotans begging lawmakers to reject the legalization bill. An elderly man, here to oppose the gay marriage bill, quietly read his bible a few feet from the demonstrators, and a huddle of opponents gathered for a mini-sermon and pep talk in the Great Hall downstairs.”

Well, they’ve never been accused of moving too quickly. Brett Neely of MPR reports: “The U.S. Senate is expected to pass a bill early next week that would green light water projects across the country, including a massive flood control system in the Fargo-Moorhead region. The bill could also fund a number of other projects in Minnesota. The Red River crested last week at a much lower level than first expected. The purchase and removal of many flood-prone homes also made this year’s flood fight easier than in the past. Still, residents of the area want something more permanent than sandbags to control flooding.”

Frederick Melo of the PiPress has a story on the various projects currently under — or about to begin — construction in St. Paul: “What to look for in the coming months? Continued construction of the Penfield apartments and West Side Flats. Work on a Lowertown ballpark, a new Lunds grocery and the conversion of the Rayette Building. Improvements to the Ordway Center for the Performing Arts and hopes for state funding for expansions at the Minnesota Children’s Museum and Metropolitan State University.

And much, much more. …
Twin Cities Public Television at 172 E. Fourth St. is close to reaching its $30 million capital campaign goal, said TPT spokeswoman Elle Krause-Lyons. A $9 million state bonding request could complete the campaign, launching an $18 million remodel of the 25-year-old facility, including 4,500 square feet of space for public screenings, art exhibits, concerts and lectures. TPT also hopes to move its ‘storefront’ from the skyway level to the street.”  Will Lawrence Welk perform for pledge week?

Good profile of Lizz Winstead by City Pages’ Olivia La Vecchia. A sample: “Winstead’s friend [Maggie] Macpherson recalls that Lizz’s impulse to dig for a hidden truth had long been part of her personality. Now that spark had found endless fuel in the 24-hour news cycle. ‘She was struck early on by how inane it was that we were believing things that were being spoken on the daily news when what was really happening was something different,’ says Macpherson. ‘I think, to her, that was not only a really rich source of comedic material, but something that needed to be commented on’.”