Minnesota, state of vice presidents and losing sports teams, has been reduced to rioting over championship semi-finals. Yes, it was North Dakota in the Frozen Four, and yes, literally a last-second win, but the Minnesota Daily reports, “hundreds of people flooded Dinkytown streets … [c]rowd members jumped on squad cars, climbed light posts and threw bottles at police, leading officers in riot gear to disperse the crowd over the course of about three hours, occasionally using tear gas and mace.” In my day, you had to have a criminal Asian war, or at least a championship. Watch the winning goal here.
This could be awkward: Todd Hoffner — the Mankato St. football coach fired for having two brief videos on his cell phone of his naked children dancing — should be given his job back, according to an arbitrator, Dan Nienaber of the Mankato Free Press reports. Hoffner has already accepted a job at Minot St. after being driven from the Mankato campus by what everyone agrees wasn’t porn. Hoffner actually says he’s thinking about coming back; if he doesn’t, he gets the pay difference unti 2018.
Even the “security theater” guy is freaking out: Local cyber security guru Bruce Schneier is on record calling the “Heartbleed” bug “catastrophic.” On his blog, Schneier is saying, “Basically, an attacker can grab 64K of memory from a server. The attack leaves no trace, and can be done multiple times to grab a different random 64K of memory. This means that anything in memory — SSL private keys, user keys, anything — is vulnerable. And you have to assume that it is all compromised. All of it. ‘Catastrophic’ is the right word. On the scale of 1 to 10, this is an 11. Half a million sites are vulnerable, including my own. Test your vulnerability here.”
Big wage hike = national attention: In the New York Times, Monica Davey writes, “Minnesota lawmakers voted to raise the minimum wage on Thursday, making it the fifth state to raise base wages this year with midterm elections approaching. While an effort by President Obama to increase the federal minimum wage has stalled in Congress, action has turned to the states. … Gov. Mark Dayton, a Democrat seeking re-election in November, has said he will sign the measure on Monday.”
In the Strib, Rachel Stassen-Berger writes, “On the House floor, Republicans decried the wage hike. ‘I do support the minimum wage increase, too, but I believe it has to be a little bit more moderate than what we have now,’ said Rep. Mark Uglem, R-Champlain. ‘To me this is too much too fast.’”
Kind of related … . Stribber Baird Helgeson assesses Minority Leader Kurt Daudt’s predicament, saying, “The stakes are high for the Republican from Crown. He must lead a sometimes unruly GOP House caucus and still be the guiding force for fundraising and candidate recruitment in a defining fight to regain control of the Minnesota House this November. … Failure could jettison him back to legislative obscurity. Winning, however, would solidify him as a rising leader in the party and almost certainly make him the next House speaker, a position second in power only to the governor.”
And before anyone gets too giddy … . The AP says, “Minnesota’s tax collectors took in slightly less than they were counting on in February and March, but finance officials aren’t sounding alarms. The state drew $67 million, or 2.5 percent, less than forecasters were predicting. A budget update released Thursday by the Department of Minnesota Management and Budget says the shortage had to do with timing issues in payments they expect to come in later. Income taxes for individuals outpaced expectations by 2.2 percent.”
Some bills are easy … . Dan Linehan of the Mankato Free Press reports, “The Minnesota House unanimously approved a motorcycle license plate Thursday for veterans wounded in combat. The bill was inspired by a Mankato Iraq veteran, Jason McNamara, who had the plate for a pickup truck but learned it wasn’t available for his motorcycle.”
In case you were wondering where we are in terms of “ice out” dates on our lakes, KMSP-TV meteorologist Cody Matz tells us, “Historical data indicate that spring lake ice dates are extremely variable from year to year, ranging by as much as six to eight weeks between the earliest recorded ice out date and the latest … Given present ice conditions and the fact that we have already passed some of our median ice out dates, it is unlikely that ANY lake ice out dates will be earlier than what is considered average.” For the record, I haven’t stored the snowblower.
And … they’re “free range” … . Doug Smith of the Strib says, “[Nick] Gulden, 74, of Rollingstone, Minn., is a retired Department of Natural Resources wildlife biologist. He was excited that day in 1971 when he helped release 13 Missouri wild turkeys in Houston County in the tip of southeastern Minnesota — birds that triggered a turkey renaissance and one of the great wildlife success stories in state history. … Now the turkey hunt has become an annual rite of spring for some 40,000 hunters, who bagged more than 10,000 birds last spring.”
Looking at the next Guthrie schedule and Joe Dowling’s last, Euan Kerr of MPR writes, “In his farewell season, he will both survey some of the best of his tenure, while also presenting his vision of what the Guthrie is capable of in its three-stage complex on the banks of the Mississippi. … ‘I am very excited to have Mary Zimmerman come here,’ he said. ‘I have admired her work for a very long time.’ Dowling describes the author of ‘White Snake’ which will open the season, as a writer who has found a way of storytelling that is unique and special.”