I’m not sure that Strib sports columnist Jim Souhan is changing any minds after being inundated with criticism for his column Sunday suggesting the U of M consider replacing football coach Jerry Kill following his latest sideline seizure. He writes: “It’s become clear after what seems like a thousand emails and messages that many readers not only disagree with what I wrote about Gophers coach Jerry Kill, they believe I was insensitive to his condition and to other people with disabilities. Believe me, that is not my view, and that was not my intent. Because so many of the responses were intelligent pleas to reconsider my tone, I feel the need at this point to try this again. My opinion on the matter remains the same. Coaching big-time college football is a highly visible, competitive and stressful job. I don’t believe the head coach who is the face of such an enterprise can handle the duties while frequently suffering public seizures.”
In the comments, he gets responses like this:
• “I would say you sir need to be fired! If Paula Deen can get fired for something she said 25 years ago, you should head on out the door, Very poor apology.”
• “Given the State that you reside in and the paper you write for it amazes me you still have a job. With all of the political correctness that abounds you should have been sent packing the moment you hit send on your column. To follow it up with the explanation that you have only makes the matter worse.”
• “Your intent in this life should be to want to be a more considerate person.”
At MPR, Alex Friedrich writes: “Even if the U wanted to replace Kill, it would encounter an obstacle in the Americans with Disabilities Act, said U law professor Stephen Befort. The U couldn’t fire Kill, he said, as long as he could still perform the ‘essential functions’ of the job. It would have to make ‘reasonable’ accommodations for him as well. (Teague, for example, has lightened Kill’s workload a bit to help out.) But Befort said it’s unclear where the U would draw that line.
Not “The Diva” or “The Decider” … but “The Candidate.” The Strib’s Kevin Diaz says: “Inside U.S. Rep. Michele Bachmann’s inner circle, her self-described job was to be “the candidate.” It was left to others to run her troubled 2012 presidential campaign. Asked who was on the campaign team, Bachmann told congressional investigators in April that she could not remember. ‘It was a big group,’ she said. Newly released congressional records and interviews with Bachmann and her top advisers reveal a candidate who appeared largely uninvolved in the day-to-day decisions of her political organization, such as who was hired and how they were paid. … Several former Bachmann aides, all veterans of GOP presidential campaigns, say it is typical for political candidates to rely on professional managers and consultants to handle details of campaign operations. Bachmann, however, might have been an extreme example.”
A promise of snow … . Frederick Melo of the PiPress says: “Attention cross-country skiers: The Ramsey County Board of Commissioners will vote Tuesday on whether to make it snow. Afton Alps, their parent company Vail Resorts, and snow gun vendor SMI have committed to provide Battle Creek Regional Park at least one snow gun for the winter. The county board is poised to ask the county manager to give the park $80,000 for the design and installation of water and electrical utilities. … Privately-operated Green Acres in Lake Elmo has announced they will not operate Nordic trails this winter, leaving no location in Ramsey County with the ability to make snow if nature doesn’t provide.
How starved are our authorities for celebrity gossip? Randy Furst of the Strib reports: “Jessica Miles, a KSTP-TV midday anchor and reporter, became the news herself on Monday. Miles filed a federal lawsuit claiming that her private driver’s license information was illegally searched about 1,380 times, believed to be the highest number so far in the mushrooming scandal. Miles is the on-air last name of Jessica Kampschroer. Her husband, Cory Kampschroer, was looked up 92 times and joined her in the lawsuit. He is a digital news manager at KSTP and previously worked as a reporter and anchor for WCCO Radio. Miles is one of about 20 people who have sued a slew of local and state government agencies after obtaining information from the Department of Public Safety (DPS) that public employees had illegally accessed their private records.” Besides being an embarrassment, this stuff is also kind of pathetic.
Meanwhile, the St. Paul crime blotter, as covered by Richard Chin of the PiPress talks about: “Police want to talk to the driver of the getaway car in a streaking incident at a nationally televised high school football game Friday night in St. Paul. At about 9:23 p.m., a naked male ran across the football field in the middle of the game between Stillwater and Cretin-Derham Hall being held at the University of St. Thomas and being televised by ESPN. Security officers gave pursuit. When the naked man made his escape by jumping into a waiting car parked outside of the stadium, the vehicle apparently went toward a 33-year-old University of St. Thomas public safety officer, according to police, triggering an aggravated assault investigation.”
The chancellor is getting involved in the Metro State bookkeeping mess. Maura Lerner of the Strib says: “The chancellor of the state university system has called for a formal audit of payroll problems at Metropolitan State University, where some faculty members say they haven’t been paid what they’re owed. In an e-mail to faculty and staff, Chancellor Steven Rosenstone said Monday that campus officials are trying to ‘identify and correct all the salary errors,’ which apparently occurred over the past few months. Rosenstone said it appeared to be an ‘isolated problem’ that did not affect other campuses in the Minnesota State Colleges and Universities system, which has about 18,000 employees.”
If only they made copier … ink. Dee DePass of the Strib says: “Packaging Corp. of America’s announcement Monday that it plans to buy struggling Boise Inc. in a cash deal worth nearly $2 billion has raised concerns about the fate of Boise’s paper plant in International Falls. Illinois-based PCA is best known for making boxboard and corrugated packaging products, while the smaller Boise makes copier paper, liner board and corrugated packaging products. But copier paper is the primary product for Boise’s International Falls plant, putting it at increased risk for cutbacks. In May, the factory announced that it was reducing staff as electronic correspondence such as e-mail and text messages clipped demand for paper.”