St. Paul recently announced it would repair some of its worst streets. Now … Curtis Gilbert of MPR reports, “The St. Paul Police Department likely will have less money to work with when Mayor Chris Coleman unveils his budget proposal next month. Documents obtained by MPR News show Coleman asked the department to draw up recommendations for nearly $2 million in cuts — far more than the reductions other city departments had to contemplate. … only the Police Department was asked to look at a potential two-percent budget cut, City Budget Director Scott Cordes said.”
And the gaffes just keep on coming. In the PiPress, Christopher Snowbeck says, “The state Department of Human Services is moving quickly to correct an error in notices sent to more than 8,700 people in the MinnesotaCare health insurance program. The incorrect information was sent in a July 17 notice that told enrollees they needed to make a payment this month for coverage to continue in August. That’s not right, state officials said Monday.”
Yes, The Last Place on Earth is still out of business. according to the AP, “The Minnesota Court of Appeals has upheld the injunctions that shut down a Duluth head shop that openly sold synthetic drugs. In an opinion Monday, a three judge appeals panel said a lower court’s permanent injunctions against the Last Place on Earth were justified. The judges noted that a temporary restraining order that closed the store in July 2013 led to an ‘immediate and drastic decrease’ in police calls, emergency room visits and other problems due to synthetic drugs.”
Something almost no one around here thought of 50 years ago: LaReesa Sandretsky of the Forum News Service says, “Most domestic hops are grown in Washington, Idaho and Oregon. Those bigger farms feed large domestic breweries — businesses that produce beers such as Miller or Coors. ‘There is no way to compete on that market. The scale is way too big,’ Ryan [Melton] said. ‘But they aren’t that good at the quality aroma hops.’ That is the Harbor Hops business plan — quality, not quantity. Ryan said they are currently testing 20 types of hops on a half-acre of land to see which are most popular and which grow best. After a couple of years, he will prune that down to about a dozen varieties.”
You can add another $300 to your next speeding-in-a-construction zone ticket. The AP says, “Starting Friday, the offense comes with an automatic $300 fine plus the normal traffic ticket surcharges. That’s under a new state law approved during the legislative session. … From 2010 through 2013, there were 31 fatalities in work-zone crashes, according to the Minnesota transportation department. There were more than 7,200 work-zone crashes in that span.”
Bloomberg’s Annelise Alexander files a quick profile of a largely overlooked Minnesota billionaire. “Since founding Starkey Hearing Technologies Inc. more than 40 years ago, the 72-year-old [William Austin] has turned the Eden Prairie, Minnesota-based company into the world’s fifth-largest hearing-aid manufacturer, according to Sanford C. Bernstein Ltd. analyst Lisa Clive. … Austin has a net worth of $2.7 billion, according to the Bloomberg Billionaires Index. The company’s valuation is based on the average enterprise value-to-sales and enterprise value-to-earnings before interest, taxes, depreciation and amortization multiples of three publicly traded peers: Sonova Holding AG, William Demant Holding A/S and GN Store Nord A/S.”
Paul Walsh of the Strib reports, “A 14-year-old girl hospitalized soon after a newborn was found dead in a southern Minnesota apartment is the baby’s mother, authorities said Monday. … While the Sheriff’s Office is being assisted in the case by the Minnesota Bureau of Criminal Apprehension, ‘we are not looking for anyone at this time’ who would be considered a suspect, the sheriff said.”
GOP gubernatorial candidate Jeff Johnson has his first TV ad out. MPR’s Tim Pugmire says, “The ad is titled ‘Crash Course,’ and shows Johnson, the GOP-endorsed candidate, riding in a car with his son Thor and a dog. As Thor drives erratically through a student-driver training course marked with orange cones, Johnson compares the experience to DFL Gov. Mark Dayton being ‘behind the wheel of state government.’ ‘He’s unpredictable. He can’t see a disaster when it’s right in front of him’ … .” Who taught that kid how to drive?
At City Pages Robbie Feinberg follows up on Eric Black’s interview with GOP Senate candidate Mike McFadden posted here last week. Specifically, McFadden’s unwillingness to get into Social Security reform details. “ … despite many repeated pushes from Black, McFadden never gives a specific proposal for fixing Social Security, instead just repeatedly insisting that ‘we have a problem’ with the programs and that ‘all options need to be on the table.’ What the whole exercise amounts to is McFadden trying to have it both ways with his base.” He of course is hardly the first.