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GOP legislator says ‘time has come’ for Sunday liquor sales

Accounting for Legacy Fund cash; derailment spills 400,000 gallons of crude; man dies trying to recover cell phone; 1 million blood samples to be destroyed; and more. 

MinnPost photo by Corey Anderson

“Time has come,” says a leading GOP legislator. In the KMSP-TV story by Mike Durkin, it says: “Deputy House Minority Leader Jenifer Loon (R-Eden Prairie) believes there may be support for Sunday sales this year, despite a 106-21 vote to reject a bill last year. ‘The time has come for state government to abolish this outdated law and move the decision closer to the people,’ Loon said in a statement.” If Colorado makes $50 off pot sales, there’ll be Sunday sales for that here, too.

In the PiPress, Doug Belden asks what we’ve been getting — in terms of cleaner water for that Legacy Fund cash. “[W]ith $330 million of Legacy Amendment money already spent on clean-water efforts, is the state on the right track toward the amendment’s goal to ‘protect, enhance and restore’ Minnesota’s water resources? … Most observers agree that the state is doing better at assessing the condition of its water and reducing pollution discharged directly into rivers and lakes from factories and water-treatment plants. But critics say the state isn’t prioritizing the clean-water spending well enough. And less-direct forms of pollution, such as runoff from farms, remain a big problem.”

Not exactly inconsequential … Says Evan Ramstad in the Strib: “The oil train that derailed after colliding with another one near Casselton, N.D., two weeks ago spilled 400,000 gallons of crude, U.S. investigators said Monday in their preliminary report on the incident.”

Let it go, man … WCCO-TV reports: “A Minnesota man died after falling into the Chicago River early Monday when he dropped his cell phone in the water and lunged after it, according to reports from our sister station in Chicago. Another man was hospitalized and a woman was missing and presumed dead after they went into the water to try to rescue him, CBS 2 reports. Police said a 26-year-old St. Paul man dropped his phone in the river along the Chicago Riverwalk, just west of Lake Shore Drive, shortly after midnight.”

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Almost $1 million … in legal fees? The AP says: “The Minnesota Department of Health has reached a settlement in a case over its practice of storing and using newborn blood samples without parental consent. The state says it is now destroying over 1 million blood samples gathered as part of its newborn screening program, which screens babies for more than 50 disorders. Under the settlement recently finalized, the state is paying $975,000 in attorneys’ fees for 21 families who sued.” I’d be interested in a demographic profile of the 21 families.

Jeremy Olson’s Strib story says: “The Health Department had fought a losing battle for nearly a decade to retain its old genetic testing arrangement, by which it retained newborn blood spots for research unless parents specifically opted out of the program in writing. Two administrative law rulings sided against the department, and former Gov. Tim Pawlenty vetoed a bill that would have given the department clear legal authority to continue its practices.” Hmmmm … 

Another boon to upscale shopping: Candace Renalls of the Duluth News Tribune reports: “Kwik Trip isn’t just entering the Twin Ports market this year — it’s opening more stores here than anywhere else in the Midwest. Of the chain’s 34 new gas and convenience stores slated to open this year, eight will be in the greater Twin Ports area: two in Duluth, three in Superior, two in Hermantown and one in Scanlon. That’s aggressive. But that’s just the beginning. Six to eight more stores will follow in 2015 …” Watch the Groupons for date night.

It might have been a better idea to give the interview two weeks ago … Says Paul Walsh of the Strib: “The top executive for Target Corp. started the week Monday trying to assure consumers that his company will figure out who stole personal information of tens of millions of its customers, and he apologized for the massive data breach, which he said has been mended. … Steinhafel explained it took several days for the company to reveal it because they first had to make sure its data system was safe, then prepare employees and set up call centers to handle inquiries from the public.”

At MPR, Tim Nelson says: “[L]uxury retailer Neiman Marcus says thieves stole some of its customers’ payment card information and made unauthorized charges over the holiday season. Neiman Marcus’s spokeswoman Ginger Reeder said in an email that its credit card processor notified the retailer in mid-December about potentially unauthorized payment card activity. On Jan. 1, a forensics firm confirmed evidence that the upscale retailer was a victim of a criminal cyber-security intrusion and that some customers’ cards were possibly compromised as a result.”