As most expected, the Vikings hired the guy from Cincinnati … In the Strib, Mark Craig reports: “Mike Zimmer, a 20-year veteran NFL assistant coach who worked with Hall of Famer Bill Parcells in Dallas before turning the Cincinnati Bengals’ defense around as their defensive coordinator the past six seasons, has been hired as the ninth head coach in the Vikings’ 64-year history, NFL sources confirmed. … Zimmer’s son, Adam, is a Bengals assistant coach.” I just hope the Vikings don’t get into the Super Bowl before the new stadium is finished.
City Pages’ Aaron Rupar puts up an old video of the not-what-you’d-call-soft-spoken Zimmer laying into his players during a game: “His team was featured on the HBO show Hard Knocks before the 2013 season, and during one preseason game, he laid into his players in the most profane of ways.” Who knew the gentlemen of the NFL used such language?
In the aftermath of the Minnesota Orchestra settlement, Marianne Combs at MPR says: “[A]ccording to conductor and music writer Bill Eddins, the orchestra’s reputation has taken ‘a huge hit’ artistically: ‘Orchestras function on a multi-year cycle, planning things far in advance,’ Eddins said in an interview with Morning Edition’s Cathy Wurzer. … ‘There’s this whole process of getting back up and rebuilding a reputation with those people and with your community at large. There’s going to be a whole lot of hard work ahead of the organization – I wish them the best, but it’s going to be a slog’.” I’m assuming we’ll now be getting two calls every dinner hour from Orchestra fundraisers. Meanwhile, MinnPost’s Doug Grow weighs in with his follow-up story here.
What did Willie Sutton say about banks? At Finance & Commerce, Art Hughes writes: “Ham Lake-based Safety Speed Manufacturing is part of a mini export boom for Minnesota companies discovering markets in the Middle East. … The company’s experience is a small scale representation of the state as a whole. The Gulf region is a small but fast-growing destination for Minnesota’s food, durable goods and services. The state Department of Employment and Economic Development’s most recent analysis shows the state’s total exports grew 0.8 percent to $5.2 billion between the third quarters of 2012 and 2013. Trade specifically to the Middle East in that same time jumped 34 percent to $118 million.”
Then on the other hand … . James Walsh of the Strib says: “Ottobock, a private German prosthetics manufacturer that has had operations in Minnesota since 1958, is closing its North American regional headquarters, its fabrication operations and its distribution center in Plymouth, and moving about 200 jobs to Salt Lake City; Austin, Texas; and Louisville, Ky.”
Continuing his coverage of Minnesota’s “problem nurses,” Brandon Stahl of the Strib reports: “Minnesota health professionals who fail a state program monitoring them for drug abuse and mental illness would automatically be suspended from practicing under a proposal introduced Monday in the Legislature. The sponsor of the bill, Rep. Tina Liebling, DFL-Rochester, said it is likely the first of many proposed changes to the state’s oversight of problem nurses.”
If Dustin Hoffman’s character in “The Graduate” were taking advice today, he’d being hearing, “One word, Benjamin: ‘Drones.’ ” Michele Mullen of KVLY-TV tells us: “Minnesota’s Northland Community & Technical College is the only college in the country with a special training program, teaching students how to do maintenance on unmanned aircraft systems, or drones. The unique program is giving students unbelievable job placement after school. So far 100% of those who have completed the program have found a job in the field.”
The Shakopee Mdewakanton have been dropping some cash on the nearby communities. Says David Peterson of the Strib: “The completion of a biking link between the two long-merged cities of Elko and New Market and the creation of public access to a natural treasure in Shakopee are among the expected results of a new burst of grants to Scott County from the Shakopee tribe. … The latest grants come on top of the October 2012 surprise: $900,000 to be shared among Scott County and its cities. The recipients are nearing the end of a prolonged process to decide how to use the windfalls; it’s not yet clear how every dime will be spent.”
Cue the outrage of the usual suspects … An MPR story says: “St. Paul city planners have recommended a possible route for a future streetcar line, and they’re asking for the public’s input on it. … City planner Michelle Beaulieu told The Daily Circuit that there’s no guarantee streetcars will return. … A city-commissioned study recommended that the first streetcar line stretch 4 miles along 7th Street, from the West End neighborhood to the East Side. But critics have balked at the estimated price tag of $246 million, and it’s not clear where the money would come from.” Just as long as it doesn’t come from Joe Soucheray’s property taxes.