Most job vacancies in nine years

This is encouraging … Adam Belz of the Strib says, “Minnesota employers reported nearly 60,400 job vacancies in the fourth quarter last year – the most job openings in the state during a fourth quarter in nine years, according to figures released today by the Minnesota Department of Employment and Economic Development. The agency said job vacancies in Minnesota were up 2.6 percent from the same period a year ago.”

In the PiPress Bill Salisbury looks at the House Democrats’ spending ideas and says, “House Capital Investment Committee Chair Alice Hausman, DFL-St. Paul, on Tuesday unveiled an ambitious proposal to pump $975 million into construction projects by borrowing $850 million and spending another $125 million in cash from the state’s $1.2 billion budget surplus. … Perhaps the biggest surprise is what wasn’t in the bill — the final $126 million needed to complete the $273 million renovation of the state Capitol that is currently underway.”

Patrick Condon’s Strib story says, “Two projects on the Minneapolis campus account for more than $100 million of the University of Minnesota money: a renovation and planetarium project at the James Ford Bell Museum of Natural HIstory, and a renovation of Tate Laboratory of Physics. Other beneficiaries of large chunks of money include the Department of Natural Resources, which gets $62 million for a handful of park and trail projects, flood mitigation and land acquisition; $50 million for the Department of Transportation to replace bridges and improve roads; $41 million to remodel the Minnesota Security Hospital in St. Peter; and $147 million in grants to local governments for economic development projects.”

The long tail of sexual abuse … Tony Kennedy of the Strib says, “Local Catholic church officials have released new details about a pair of abusive priests showing that one priest was accused of sexually abusing a brain-injured woman and another sexually abused a boy who did not want his community to know what happened. That victim later killed himself and his wife in a murder-suicide, the church said.”

Remember when baseball season meant … spring?  Tim Harlow of the Strib writes, “As the countdown continues to the Minnesota Twins’ fifth season under open skies, several inches of snow are in the forecast late in the week for the Twin Cities and surrounding communities. The National Weather Service (NWS) has put at 60 to 70 percent the chances for plowable snow for all of the metro and points north and east into western Wisconsin. Temperatures envisioned this week by the NWS will top out no higher than the lower 40s and spend a lot of time in the 30s … .”  

My guess is he was lured on by that “People of WalMart” website. The Forum News Service says, “A Bemidji man was sentenced Monday to jail time for soliciting prostitution at a Walmart store. Derek Barnes, 22, was sentenced in Beltrami County District Court to three consecutive one-year terms in the Beltrami County Jail on two counts of soliciting prostitution in a public place and one count of third-degree DWI. On Jan. 21, Barnes approached two female Walmart employees and offered money for sexual acts. He fled the store and was apprehended after driving his car into a ditch.”

If you ever wondered why Pelican Lake isn’t exactly clogged with pelicans, this may help. An AP story says, “Flocks of pelicans are on their way back to Minnesota from the Gulf Coast. … American white pelicans were driven to near extinction in the early 20th century. The DNR says there were no reports of nesting pelicans in Minnesota for 90 years, from 1878 until 1968. But conservation and federal regulations have helped pelicans make a slow and steady comeback. An estimated 22,000 pairs nest at 16 sites on seven lakes across Minnesota.”

This sounds like one of those research projects budget watchdogs complain about on their year-end lists. Mike Cronin of the AP says, “A proposed $150,000 study would examine how Minnesota could leverage the North Dakota oil boom for its own benefit. The research would not focus ‘just on the effects (of the boom), but also how we can possibly benefit and position ourselves to take advantage of that,’ said Sen. Kent Eken, DFL-Twin Valley, sponsor of the bill outlining the report.”

No surprise, but the Sierra Club is unimpressed with economic trade-offs for another Enbridge pipeline. In a new report author Sarah Milne writes, “Canadian pipeline company Enbridge Inc. plans to pump 800,000 barrels per day (bpd) of one of the planet’s dirtiest sources of oil through North Dakota, Minnesota, and Wisconsin, endangering our water, health, and climate. … In anticipation of increased tar sands crude supply, refineries throughout the Midwest, Great Lakes, and Gulf Coast regions are increasing their capacity to process the heavy crude. Minnesota already hosts the facility that refines more tar sands crude than any other U.S. refinery: the Koch brothers’ Flint Hills in Pine Bend. Flint Hills is the state’s third-largest emitter of greenhouse gases … .”

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Comments (2)

  1. Submitted by jody rooney on 04/01/2014 - 02:29 pm.

    The state benefiting from the oil boom?

    Perhaps they should ask the Minnesota companies and laborers that have been working out there for a number of years and sending them products.

    Any thing you can do to help them is great but they seem to be doing fine on their own.

  2. Submitted by Frank Phelan on 04/01/2014 - 04:06 pm.

    60K Job Vacancies

    Any word on how many of those pay more than $12/hour with good benefits?

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