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Thissen: No vote on gun control this year

Mayoral candidate raps ballpark plan; aid advances for undocumented college students; Sunday liquor sale fails again; we’re No. 4 bike state; and more.

There’s a lot of messaging work to do before this thing is ready to pass. Megan Boldt of the PiPress says: “Just as gun control advocates were ramping up the heat in Minnesota, airing radio spots and rallying gun violence victims at the state Capitol, a key lawmaker said any chance of changing Minnesota’s gun laws is dead this year. Prospects for stricter gun laws were slim at best before House Speaker Paul Thissen, DFL-Minneapolis, said Wednesday, May 1, that there would be no vote on the issue in the House this session. … Legislators add that there are at least dozens — if not hundreds of gun owners for every one gun control supporter they hear from.” Guns mean nearly everything to some people.

Well, if you’re going to be a candidate, you gotta have an issue … Curtis Gilbert of MPR reports: “[St. Paul] Mayoral candidate Tim Holden wants the city to incorporate parking into the design of the new Lowertown ballpark for the minor league St. Paul Saints. At a news conference Wednesday, Holden accused Mayor Chris Coleman of rushing the project and ignoring downtown residents’ concerns about the 300-plus parking spaces it will eliminate. ‘This ballpark is not ready for prime time. We need to slow the project down. We need to listen to the community,’ Holden said. ‘We need to do the job right, and that’s the bottom line.’ “

Knee-jerk fodder for the Bob Davises of the media world … Mark Brunswick at the Strib says: “Minnesota aid to undocumented college students would become among the most generous in the nation under a plan approved Wednesday by the state Senate. The new measure, which Gov. Mark Dayton pledged to sign if it wins legislative approval, would allow undocumented students to become eligible for state financial aid, in-state tuition and private scholarships. It would make Minnesota one of 16 states to offer in-state tuition to undocumented students and one of four to offer financial aid. Fewer than 500 students are expected to take advantage of the program each year.” I’m thinking “Socialist Giveaways to Illegals!!!!!!” as a show idea.

Do they know its almost 40 miles from Edina to Wisconsin? Tim Pugmire of MPR writes: “Minnesota lawmakers made it clear Wednesday that they prefer keeping a ban on Sunday liquor store sales in place. During the debate of a broader liquor bill, members of the Minnesota House soundly rejected a perennial amendment to lift the ban on Sunday sales. The vote was 106 against to 21 in favor. Rep. Tina Liebling, DFL-Rochester, proposed the change which would have allowed stores to decide whether to open on Sundays. Minnesota is among just a dozen states that still prohibit Sunday sales.”

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While the hunt for her body goes on, prosecutors are building their case against the husband of Kira Trevino. Emily Gurnon of the PiPress reports: “Prosecutors in the Ramsey County case of Jeffery Trevino, the St. Paul man accused of killing his wife in February, have asked the court to allow evidence in his trial of statements by Kira Steger Trevino that she was planning to leave him. … In another court filing Wednesday, Jeffery Trevino’s attorney responded to a previous state notice that it planned to seek a longer sentence for Trevino, should he be convicted. The prosecution will ask the jury to decide that Trevino acted with ‘particular cruelty’ in concealing his wife’s body and failed to render aid to her. ‘What body?’ defense attorney John Conard wrote in his memorandum.” I don’t envy that guy.

The GleanIs the beater running a little noisier than normal? Mara Gottfried of the PiPress says: “The men met in a drug-treatment program and then teamed up to cut catalytic converters from vehicles around the metro area and scrap them for money, say charges filed against them Wednesday, May 1. Gabriel Jordan Olson, 30, and Ronald Leroy Olson, 26, sold more than 90 catalytic converters for $8,762 between Sept. 1 and Jan. 31 in Ramsey, Anoka and Washington counties, according to criminal complaints filed in Ramsey County District Court. Police have said the damage caused to vehicles they targeted was at least $120,000.”

What!? We’re No. 4? Tim Harlow of the Strib informs us: “The League of American Bicyclists is out with its list of the most bike-friendly states, and the news is both good and bad for Minnesota. The state came in at No. 4, but that is two notches below its 2012 ranking, according to the results released Wednesday.It’s not that Minnesota is slipping; it’s just that other states such as Colorado and Oregon have made more improvements that allowed them to move up, said Andy Clarke, president of the Washington, D.C.-based group that has been promoting bicycling since 1880. … Among other Upper Midwest states, Wisconsin checked in at No. 8, Iowa at No. 21, South Dakota at No. 46, and North Dakota was last at No. 50.”

The boss — for the construction company CS McCrossan — makes his case for how taxpayers are getting, well you know, because his company lost the bidding for the giant St. Croix bridge. Says Charles McCrossan in a Strib commentary: “Since the early 1980s, all construction projects that include federal funding are required to provide a plan for how they will incorporate Disadvantaged Business Enterprises (DBEs) into the projects. DBE is the federal term for businesses in which women or minorities hold a majority ownership stake. To be clear, our issue is not with this regulation. We have successfully bid a number of contracts where our DBE commitment on the project met the federal requirements. But for some reason, on this project, MnDOT deviated from standard practice and rejected our proposal based on the number and dollar amount of DBE subcontractors and suppliers we included in our bid.”

Here’s something you won’t see in their glossy recruiting brochures . Lynn O’Shaughnessy of CBS Moneywatch reports: “According to the latest figures compiled by an education think-tank, many of the worst profs are teaching in schools in the Midwest and on the East Coast. The Center for College Affordability and Productivity compiled a list of schools with the best and worst professors by culling through millions of teacher ratings at …

8. St. Cloud University (MN)
9. Bentley University (MA)
10. Indiana State University
11. Worcester Polytechnic Institute (MA)
12. Central Michigan University
13. Minnesota State University, Mankato.”