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Move MN coalition pushes $750 million tax package for transportation

Supreme Court to rule on juvenile felony data; Valentine’s date ends badly; police group sues NFL; 20,000 visitors invade ice caves; Gophers hockey kiss-cam bit; and more.

They’re asking for a tax increase … Says Patrick Condon of the AP: “A large coalition of transportation, business and labor interests called Tuesday for a new 5 percent sales tax on fuel in Minnesota to help raise money for roads and transit projects. The group, which calls itself Move MN, laid out a $750-million-a-year spending plan at a legislative hearing. It includes two major sources of revenue: $360 million annually for roads from the 5 percent sales tax on wholesale fuel, and another $335 million for transit projects from a three-quarter-cent sales tax increase in the seven counties that make up the Twin Cities metropolitan area.” You can imagine the usual reaction from the usual suspects.

In Tim Blotz’ KMSP-TV story, he reports: “Minnesota House Speaker Paul Thissen described the proposal as a great start to the discussion; however, without support from Republicans and members of the business community, he doubts a comprehensive transportation bill could pass the legislature in 2014.”

In the PiPress, Bill Salisbury says: “Move MN also proposed dedicating all the revenue generated by a sales tax on leased vehicles to highway and transit funding. Currently, a portion of that tax goes into the state’s general fund. That tax shift would provide about $32 million a year for transportation projects without a tax increase. In addition, the coalition recommended that $16 million of the state’s federal transportation funding be set aside for bike and pedestrian sidewalks and trails.”

The Supremes will decide this one. In Richard Chin’s PiPress story, he says:, “Should the public — including companies that collect and publish criminal records on the Internet — be able to go online to look up the record of a teen charged with a nonviolent felony? That question was argued in a hearing Tuesday before the Minnesota Supreme Court. Arguments centered on whether the state’s court system should implement a new law that was to take effect this year that would block electronic access to public data in the cases of 16- and 17-olds charged with nonviolent felonies.” And here I thought the online look-up thing was just for attractive TV women.

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OK, so maybe she wasn’t impressed with the sampler pack of chocolaty de-lites you picked up at Holiday on the way home Valentine’s Day. But the rest of the night didn’t go this badly … Dan Nienaber of the Mankato Free Press  says: “A Mankato couple’s Valentine’s Day date didn’t go as well as planned, ending with the man getting a fork in the face and a weekend stay in jail for both him and his girlfriend. Police were sent to a residence at 123 Lynn Lane at about 12:30 a.m. Saturday after a child called 911 to report a man had been stabbed in the face with a fork.”

Well, here’s someone in Minnesota who dares challenge the NFL. The AP says: “An association representing Minnesota police officers is suing the National Football League over a policy banning handguns in stadiums unless the gun holder is providing security. The Minnesota Police and Peace Officers Association says this means off-duty officers can’t keep their weapons in stadiums. Police say it violates state law, and could put the public and officers in danger.” Is there a shortage of “on-duty” cops at Vikings games?

This Rogers High School tweeting “scandal” is getting out of hand … Paul Levy and Paul Walsh of the Strib write: “Boasts about sexual conquests on a now-deleted web page could trigger felony charges against a popular Rogers High School student athlete and others, the latest twist in a firestorm of accusations, comments and protest involving social media. … [Rogers Police Chief Jeff] Beahen said the ‘Rogers Confessions’ page on ask.fm was open for anyone to participate in anonymously and contained ‘multiple postings from people saying, ‘I had sex with a cheerleader at a party last night’ or other even more sexually graphic claims.” Internet + Anonymity = Raunch and stupidity.

The GleanWhen they’re running shuttle buses to the “trailhead,” you know you won’t be going for the serenity … Dan Kraker of MPR reports: “The frigid winter has transformed the caves along the south shore of Lake Superior into a glittering icy playground. Word of the ease with which visitors can take in the natural splendor is spreading fast — so fast that more than 20,000 people trekked there over the weekend. … five years ago the caves attracted perhaps 1,500 people on a busy weekend day, Chief Ranger Chris Smith said. This past Saturday, the busiest day yet this winter, there were 11,000.”

Have you been wondering where erstwhile 1st District GOP congressional candidate Mike Parry has gone? Sally Jo Sorensen of Bluestem Prairie has her radar up for Parry sightings. She points us to Camey Thibodeau’s Waseca County News story saying: “Joe Amy, president of Rebound Faribault and also the co-owner of The Fireside Lounge and Supper Club in Dennison, announced that Waseca’s Mike Parry will be the general manager overseeing day-to-day operations. ‘Mike comes to us with years of experience in building teams and serving communities. He has an extensive background in marketing, motivation and customer service along with years of hospitality experience,’ Amy said.”

If you haven’t seen it by now, you may be the last person connected to the Internets that hasn’t. The Gophers hockey kiss-cam bit with a guy and his sister traveled far. In the New York Daily News, Joel Landau writes: “This was way better than kissing your sister. A precocious University of Minnesota hockey fan found a way to make the kiss cam work while sitting next to his sister. The gentleman came prepared with a note tucked away in his jacket and unveiled it as he and the blonde woman next to him were placed on the scoreboard. ‘My sister’ the sign read with an arrow pointing to his relative.” … and Sis doesn’t even get so much as a peck on the cheek?