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Deadline looms for 2013 tax changes

Some of us have TurboTax in progress, so chop, chop. Brian Bakst of the AP says: “Minnesota Revenue Commissioner Myron Frans said Tuesday his agency is fast approaching an internal deadline for alerting income tax preparers and software vendors of new tax breaks that filers might qualify for this year. He delivered a warning because lawmakers haven’t passed a tax relief measure with extra deductions and exemptions that can be claimed on 2013 taxes.”

A good fourth quarter for Minnesota exports. A story in the PiPress says: “Minnesota’s exports totaled $5.4 billion during the fourth quarter of 2013, an increase of 6 percent over the same period in 2012, according to the state’s Department of Employment and Economic Development. … Increased exports to Mexico and China fueled much of the state’s fourth-quarter growth — sales to China grew 35 percent to $743 million, and sales to Mexico climbed 32 percent to $439 million.” Joe Kimball has MinnPost coverage here.

Not exactly like hiding in plain sight. Tom Lyden at KMSP-TV reports: “Thomas Evenstad is into a lot of things: Legalizing marijuana, what he calls the Gulag of Minnesota’s sex offender program, and proving his own innocence on a rape conviction from 16 years ago. Wearing dark glasses, a rasta cap, and Bob Marley t-shirt, Thomas Evenstad raised a few eyebrows at the State Capitol. … Police found Evenstad at this home in Edina. A big problem because Evenstad is a registered predatory sex offender. And he wasn’t registered there.”

A story at Business Insider asks how much $1 million buys you, house-wise, in America’s biggest cities. Minneapolis is the 16th most expensive, per square foot. You’ll get roughly 6,536 sq. ft. of room-to-roam here. The usual suspects top the list … San Francisco, Boston, D.C., New York. But if you’re value-hunting, consider … Detroit. $1 million there will set you up in 83,333 sq. ft. Kind of like your own Southdale.

Is there a one-size-fits-all bill for synthetic drugs? The AP says: “Duluth Democratic Rep. Erik Simonson says a bill written with bipartisan support could be the answer to the synthetic-drug problem that’s plagued Minnesota for years. Police and politicians complain that synthetic drug makers easily get around bans on specific formulations by varying their recipes a little. Simonson’s bill would make illegal any inhaled or ingested drug that isn’t approved by the FDA, and that causes an effect like the most dangerous drugs such as heroin and LSD.”

The Glean And as for the natural stuff … A piece in the Pierce County Herald says: “The Minnesota legislature might not see much movement on the medical marijuana push, but a case in Brown County could help redirect the issue. Mankato lawyers Calvin Johnson and Elizabeth Levine will be in court this morning in Brown County, asking for a jury trial for a New Ulm man who faces criminal charges even though he was growing marijuana only for his personal, medical use. Johnson says that keeping marijuana a schedule one drug doesn’t hold up any longer.”

Six years … for scamming car buffs. Stribber Paul Walsh says: “A onetime Iron Range businessman was sentenced Tuesday to more than six years in prison for swindling classic car buffs out of more than $1 million with false promises to restore their vintage vehicles. … Memory Lane Classics hastily shut down in the spring of 2010. As word spread online, customers rushed to Chisholm to pick up their cars and parts. Many who had paid between $30,000 and $80,000 found their cars in various stages of completion.”

Moving rapidly up my … “Emergency! Must Fix Now!” list. The Strib editorializes about the decline of … golf: “Rounds played on Edina’s three courses have fallen by 41 percent since 1998. In the face of declining patronage, it’s hard to argue for major reinvestment. Minneapolis’ parks superintendent Jayne Miller says that before the Park Board decides how to restructure its 108 holes, it owes customers ‘a higher-quality golf experience.’ That means, she said, a more helpful staff, better marketing and better conditions on the courses and in the clubhouses — beginning this spring.” How about personal ball-retrieval valets? With scuba gear, in my case.

MPR’s Paul Huttner works golf vernacular into his weather forecast … “This late winter storm has flopped around more than most. Major model inconsistencies have narrowed, but this has been a far from easy storm to get a handle on. The golf analogy for this one feels like ‘grip it and rip it.’ Just relax, take your best swing and hope it goes in the right direction.”

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