Service could only get … [fill in the blank]. The AP says, “Comcast customers in Minnesota would get a new cable company as part of a national three-company deal being proposed to push through Comcast’s proposed takeover of Time Warner Cable. Time Warner customers in Wisconsin also would get a new provider: Charter Communications. … .” Al Franken’s comment on this move — contingent on the Comcast-TWC merger he opposes —should be interesting.
Minnesota spends 33 percent less on each public college student than before the recession, MPR’s Alex Friedrich notes. The state spent $4,600 per in 2013 compared to $6,900 in 2008, the nation’s 10th-steepest decline. Appropriations went up after the study ended, but there’s no info on how much the gap closed.
A victory for the GOP. The Strib’s Rachel Stassen-Berger says a judge ordered Minnesota Secretary of State Mark Ritchie to immediately shut down online voter registration. “The decision supports the position of Republican lawmakers who challenged Ritchie’s authority to launch the website. … Importantly for the the thousands of Minnesotans who have registered online since last year, the judge said his order ‘does not invalidate any on-line voter registration accepted prior to midnight on April 29, 2014.’“
Wilfs making money coming and going. The Strib’s Mike Kaszuba reports that the heavily subsidized Vikings owners are getting $90,000 more in return for letting their stadium-area land be used as a staging area to haul away dirt. The Sports Facilities Commission says the move saves $1 million on the $1 billion project, which is sort of a 1,100 percent return. Still, “Officials … concede that it included a potential PR headache,” Kaszuba writes.
At MPR, Paul Huttner talks water … . “This long-duration soaking rain should pretty much wipe out some areas of drought and dryness in Minnesota. … This is already the fourth-wettest April on record at MSP Airport. We may be gunning for number two by Wednesday night. … I don’t think I’ve seen such a persistent rainmaker system across Minnesota in a few years.”
In the St. Cloud Times Mark Sommerhauser recaps movement on the bill for funding for environmental projects. “A $109 million package for outdoor conservation projects easily cleared the Minnesota Senate on Monday. … The bill includes more than $5.2 million for Central Minnesota projects to combat aquatic invasive species and protect forests and stream buffers. … Both the Senate and House bills fund a range of projects to preserve Minnesota’s forests, prairies, wetlands, and fish and wildlife habitat.”
Statutory compensation rates … . Doug Belden of the PiPress writes, “Those who are wrongfully convicted could get $50,000-$100,000 for each year they spent in prison plus reimbursement for other costs under a bill passed overwhelmingly by the Minnesota House on Monday. The bill, which awaits action in the Senate, would also pay $25,000-$50,000 for each year spent on supervised release or as a registered offender.”
Stribber Jon Bream thinks on what Prince might release now that he’s kissed and made up with Warner Brothers. “The only certainties are a deluxe edition of his bestseller ‘Purple Rain’, which marks its 30th anniversary this summer, and an album of new material with 3rdEyeGirl. What else might emerge from Prince’s long-touted vault of unreleased music? Album projects that were abandoned? Outtakes? Demo recordings? Live albums? … Whatever rarities are released, they belong to Prince, not the label.”
Shades of Cliven Bundy, anti-citizen. Paul Walsh of the Strib reports, “A Twin Cities woman failed to pay income taxes for many years in connection with her family excavation and sewage treatment business, saying she and her husband are not U.S. citizens but permanent residents of the ‘Kingdom of Heavenm,’ according to federal charges. In an indictment unsealed Friday in federal court in Minneapolis, Tami M. May, of Anoka, was charged with obstruction of due administration of IRS laws and 15 counts of filing false tax returns.”
Now if the could only get in a round … . At Golf.com Josh Sens looks at a Minnesota idea for cutting oh, two and half hours out of a round of golf. “The experiment took place Saturday at Deer Run Golf Club in Victoria, Minnesota, where twosomes were dispatched with a simple mandate: play 18 holes in two-and-a-half hours or less. … By morning’s end, golfers who normally shoot in the 70s completed their rounds in 2:04; 80s golfers wrapped up play in 2:15-2:20; and 90s golfers finished in 2:20-2:27. According to Unterreiner, none of the golfers reported feeling rushed.”
Funny commentary piece by retiring Southwest High teacher Dick Schwartz. In the Strib he writes, “And there was my teaching gig at an Orthodox yeshiva: One morning, several rabbis huddled in the corner of a hallway, presumably ‘davening’. Not wanting to disturb their prayer, I walked quickly past them, but not so fast that I didn’t hear them chuckling. Later, one of them confided that they were ‘debriefing’ about the previous day’s Howard Stern radio show.”