That Minnesota “huntress” who posed with the lion she shot in Africa is still catching it from all over the planet. Dave Orrick at the PiPress describes the torrent of criticism: “Melissa Bachman, Minnesota hunter and TV host, is at the center of an international firestorm after shooting a lion and posting a photo of it to Twitter. The image is also her Facebook profile picture. … Reaction — condemnation at first — has been building, and this week, attention included media coverage the U.K.-based Guardian and tweets from notable people, such as actor Ricky Gervais and former Minnesota Twins catcher Drew Butera. At this point, it’s gone somewhere toward the social-media realm of viral. Why this particular instance of a big-game kill has touched off such a row is lost on me. But it has. A Facebook page condemning Bachman has amassed more than 275,000 likes, while a page defending her has garnered more than 43,000 likes.”
Speaking of giving hunting a bad name … WCCO-TV reports: “Authorities said four men were arrested last Saturday for fleeing police after they were caught illegally hunting deer in northern Minnesota. The Minnesota Department of Natural Resources said four men are in the Otter Tail County Jail after officers pursued them following a vehicle and foot chase. The men were caught illegally shining and shooting deer. The suspects have been identified as 29-year-old Carl S. Moench, 22-year-old Trevor J. Krinkie, 19-year-old Cory L. Uselmann and 18-year-old Branden L. Biksen, all of Browerville. The DNR said two other juveniles involved in the incident have not been charged.”
Our Joe Kimball covers the Vikings chipping in more to protect their news stadium’s “iconic look.” In the Strib, Janet Moore writes: “Whether the team contributes the full amount depends on how construction of the 65,000-seat venue plays out over the next two years. … The Vikings’ portion of the project was originally $477 million. But as numbers were crunched in recent days, the team agreed to contribute a $26.4 million line of credit for contingencies, $13.1 million of which had already been committed earlier. If the contingency funds are used, the $975 price tag for the stadium would top the $1 billion mark.”
MPR’s Tim Nelson says: “John Wood, of Mortenson Construction, said that fences will go up around the Metrodome parking lot on Monday, and crews will start peeling away the asphalt on Tuesday. ‘We should be starting to pour concrete in the early part of January,’ Wood said. Here’s the Vikings release on the details.”
Remember “sequester”? Corey Mitchell of the Strib reports: “With Republicans and Democrats engaged in talks to minimize or reorder the broad sequestration spending cuts that began in March, pessimistic American Indian leaders are prepping for another round of reductions. During a recent three-day lobbying push in Washington, D.C., [Karen] Diver, chairwoman of the Fond du Lac Band of Lake Superior Chippewa, testified before the Senate Indian Affairs Committee, while Melanie Benjamin, who leads the Mille Lacs Band of Ojibwe, met with President Obama as part of the White House Tribal Nations Conference. … When lawmakers approved the sequestration cuts, they exempted many programs that aid low-income Americans, such as Medicaid and food stamps. Few of the programs supporting American Indians were spared.”
Nash Finch is out of Minnesota … officially. Tom Webb of the PiPress says: “And the winner is … not Minnesota. The company formerly known as Nash Finch, before a merger with Spartan Stores, has officially chosen the Michigan city of Grand Rapids to be the site of its new headquarters. The decision was long expected, although executives have claimed for months that they were still mulling — while coaxing a $2.75 million job-creation grant from Michigan officials. The decision means that Minnesota will be losing one of its Fortune 500 corporations, a food distributor whose roots here go back nearly a century. And Nash Finch’s old hometown of Edina will be losing a cadre of top executives and headquarters-related functions.”
Some interesting perspective on the relationship between the U of M and the local Fed in the wake of the shake-up at the latter. In his blog, The Periodic Table, U prof Bill Gleason writes: “The day before this hit the Star-Tribune (Shakeup at the Minneapolis Fed ousts two top economists), the St. Louis economist Steven Williamson had a piece on his blog entitled: Problems in the Great White North. Williamson is quoted extensively in the Strib piece, but there is additional information in the blog post. What really caught my eye were the comments on this post, e.g.
‘Yes, in the old days there were tremendous rapport between the bank and the University. But the bank has taken over the University since then. Graduate students, who survive with teaching assisantships, have to teach for the professors while the latter can hide themselves at the bank.’
‘While I am an admirer of both Narayana and the people at the bank, I do think that the Fed has turned into a net negative for the University. If you walk down the halls of the economics department, you seldom see the macro faculty who are being paid hundreds of thousands per year to teach at the U. The teaching of undergraduates is a disgrace to the institution. The faculty seem to think they are above the normal university duties of teaching e.g. a many hundred person undergraduate course is typically staffed by a graduate student.’ ”
There’s a thick aroma of wishfulness in the air … Brett Neely at MPR writes: “A conservative group’s survey says Minnesota voters are open to replacing incumbent DFL U.S. Sen. Al Franken and Gov. Mark Dayton, and that voters also disapprove of the Affordable Care Act. But as with all polls conducted on behalf of partisan groups, the findings need to be examined with a healthy skepticism. The poll of 400 voters conducted by Republican pollsters the Tarrance Group on behalf of the Minnesota Jobs Coalition says 45 percent of voters approve of Franken and Dayton’s performance on the job and that 43 percent of voters disapprove of Franken while 45 percent disapprove of Dayton. The 2010 Affordable Care Act gets a 51 percent disapproval rating. But there are a few open questions about the poll. The sample of 400 voters is relatively small, which means it has a relatively large margin of error.” Just now I polled all all the likely voters in my garage, and it turns out I should be unanimously elected Grand Poobah.
There is still no clarity on the “how” of that car-in-the-pond accident Thursday. Paul Levy and Dave Chanen of the Strib write: “Friday, Lt. Eric Roeske of the Minnesota State Patrol said that the crash remains under investigation and that it could be several weeks before the probe is completed. He said he had no new details about what caused the car to go off the ramp or how Guerrido was able to escape as the car was sinking. He added that investigators have no evidence to indicate that the car was intentionally driven off the ramp.”