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Watchdog: Bremer trustees paying themselves ‘far too much’

Recognition for Rep. Oberstar; PCA issues algae warning for pets; Wisconsin beaches dinged for water quality and more.

Being a Bremer Foundation trustee is a good gig. Matt Sepic at MPR reports, “A philanthropy watchdog group in Washington, D.C., wants Minnesota Attorney General Lori Swanson to investigate the Otto Bremer Foundation in the wake of last week’s firing of executive director Randi Roth. The three trustees running the foundation are paying themselves far too much, and they have removed critical checks and balances on the people who oversee the foundation’s $800 million in assets, the National Committee for Responsive Philanthropy said.”

The late Rep. Jim Oberstar is feeling some love. The AP says, “Minnesota congressional members have introduced bills to honor the late U.S. Rep. Jim Oberstar. The legislation would rename the Chisholm Post Office and portions of Highways 35 and 61 in Oberstar’s memory.”

Obviously not the kind of guy you want around the house… The AP says, “A man charged with killing the 2-year-old son of Minnesota Vikings running back Adrian Peterson in South Dakota last fall was ordered held on $1 million cash-only bond Wednesday following accusations that he assaulted the boy’s mother this week.”

Keep the family beast out of the green grunge… Mary Lynn Smith of the Strib says, “The Minnesota Pollution Control Agency on Thursday advised keeping pets away from lakes, ponds and slow-moving streams covered in blue-green algae blooms. The blooms often look like green paint, pea soup or floating mats of scum. Although not all blue-green algae is poisonous, MPCA officials say it’s difficult to visually identify the toxic algae, which can be deadly to dogs, livestock and other animals within hours.” And what about when they roll in dead fish?

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Our neighbors… Emily Conover of the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel warns readers, “The water quality at Wisconsin beaches has been rated the eighth worst in the nation, based on the percentage of water samples taken in 2013 in which bacterial counts exceeded the standards of the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency. Wisconsin placed 23rd out of 30 coastal and Great Lakes states, according to a report released Wednesday by the Natural Resources Defense Council.” In other words, even the water “is working” in Wisconsin.

Don’t make a lot fancy outdoor plans for the weekend. From MPR’s Paul Huttner: “Batten down the weather hatches, the next tropical low pressure wave is moving through this weekend. It’s not over. At least not yet. Several waves of rain and thunder are likely through this weekend across Minnesota. Some of the storms will be slow movers, and that means the potential for more localized heavy rainfall totals. There is also a risk for severe storms this weekend.” At least it’s not sleet.

The details will not be pretty. Pat Pheifer’s Strib story on the two people to be charged in the murder of of Anarae Schunk last fall says, “The 31-page criminal complaint is expected to detail what happened hour by hour last September from the time Monty Schunk dropped off his youngest child and only daughter at a coffee shop on Hwy. 13 in Burnsville until her body was found nine days later in a roadside ditch with multiple stab wounds.”

City Pages’ Jesse Marx continues his coverage of the state’s marijuana politics. “The state’s Violent Crimes Coordinating Council is having a hard time obeying the rules.You may remember that these were the guys who, in January, jumped unexpectedly into the medical cannabis debate by sending a letter of ‘strong opposition’ to key legislators. The problem was that no one asked for the council’s opinion, and by providing one, its members overstepped their boundaries.”

There’s growth in data storage. Nick Ferrara of the PiPress says, “Eagan’s push to attract a telecommunications and data-storage center has paid off. DataBank, which operates data co-location facilities in Edina, Dallas and Kansas City, Mo., plans to turn the former 88,000-square-foot Taystee Foods building into a data center to serve the region. The company estimates it will spend about $9 million in site and building improvements and almost $40 million more in equipment costs.”