90 minutes later … Says Jon Collins at MPR: “A man who filmed an ambulance crew outside his apartment last year was found not guilty of disorderly conduct and obstruction of justice by a Ramsey County jury on Thursday. … Jurors deliberated for an hour and a half before reaching the verdict. The American Civil Liberties Union of Minnesota assisted with Henderson’s defense. No one from the Little Canada City Attorney’s office was available to comment.”
Speaking of the ACLU … The AP says: “The American Civil Liberties Union has asked a federal judge to issue a preliminary injunction blocking Wisconsin’s gay marriage ban while the organization’s lawsuit challenging the prohibition continues.”
A number everyone can play with … Baird Helgeson of the Strib reports: “Minnesota’s strengthening economic recovery has left the state with a budget surplus of $1.23 billion, a dramatic jump from just a few months ago. … Minnesota’s economy continues to outpace the nation, [Minnesota Management and Budget Commissioner Jim] Schowalter said, and ‘there doesn’t seem to be any signs of that slowing down.’ Minnesota has one of the lowest unemployment rates in the country, standing at 4.6 percent. The state created nearly 46,000 jobs in the past year, one of the fastest-growing states in the nation.” And this after all our millionaires fled to avoid job-killing taxation.
For the Forum News Service, Don Davis says: “Minnesota Management and Budget reports that revenues are up $366 million from December projections and spending is falling slightly. A $2.6 billion surplus is predicted for 2016-2017. … Speaker Paul Thissen, D-Minneapolis, said before the forecast that he does not support proposed transportation tax increases made by fellow Democrats. However, he added, funding for those projects could come from surplus money.”
Here’s Davis again, this time on rural broadband: “Rural interests and state legislators are banding together behind a proposal to inject $100 million into expanding high-speed Internet access across Minnesota. They say the funding would put a dent in the $3.2 billion needed to complete the job.”
As long as they serve Petrossian caviar on a decent brioche … In The Edina SunCurrent, Lisa Kaczke reports: “Responses gathered on Speak Up, Edina, the city’s website, were mixed as to whether Edina should allow food trucks. … Among the comments in support of allowing food trucks, commenters said food trucks are a fun way to get residents to get out and about, support an entrepreneurial spirit in Edina … . Commenters also said not allowing food trucks creates barriers, comparing it to bag lunches versus restaurants, and that banning food trucks is an outdated law that reinforces the ‘snooty suburb’ stereotype.”
Call me skeptical … . Blake Nicholson and James Macpherson of the AP tell us: “A judge has ordered a presentence investigation before accepting a plea agreement for a white supremacist accused of terrorizing fellow residents of his small North Dakota town by carrying out threatening armed patrols. Craig Cobb, 62, of Leith agreed to plead guilty to five misdemeanor charges and one felony terrorizing charge on Thursday in a deal that would have spared him further jail time. ‘I apologize for my behavior and regret my actions,’ Cobb told Judge David Reich.”
Yin and yang … . Says Jeremy Olson in the Strib: “The state’s overall uninsured rate declined from 9 percent in 2009 to 8.2 last year, according to survey results released Friday by the University of Minnesota and the state Health Department. But that was largely due to increases in publicly-subsidized coverage for the poor and elderly. The share of Minnesotans with benefits through their jobs actually declined from 57.4 percent to 55.2 percent over the same time period, despite an improvement in employment and the state economy. … Higher cost-sharing required by employers or cuts to the coverage levels of workplace plans could be part of the reason for that trend.” So, they could have kept their junk-ier insurance if they wanted it?