This whole matter is almost certainly the unintended consequence of an innocent clerical error by a low-level subordinate … . Says Jennifer Bjorhus of the Strib, “U.S. Bancorp is paying $200 million to resolve claims by the federal government that shoddy underwriting of home loans insured by the Federal Housing Administration violated federal law. In a statement Monday, the U.S. Department of Justice blamed the Minneapolis-based lender for contributing to the nation’s costly housing collapse and epidemic of foreclosures.”
July 1 is … new laws day. The AP says, “Starting Tuesday, there’s no more vaping in day care centers, hospitals, clinics and other health care facilities. … On Tuesday, Minnesota dealers in used phones must begin keeping detailed records of every acquisition, including information on the device and the seller, plus a statement signed by the seller that says the phone isn’t stolen.”
The idea of unionized day care workers may be toast, but Catharine Richert of MPR says the concept is catching on at … charter schools. “When teachers at Twin Cities German Immersion School grew frustrated with their school’s administration and decided to unionize in January, the vote made news. It also sparked a flurry of phone calls from teachers at other charter schools to Education Minnesota, the state’s teachers union. Earlier this month, teachers and staff at the Community School of Excellence in St. Paul also voted to join the teachers union.”
Not sure if they can re-create Krispy Kreme mania, but they’re back … . KMSP-TV’s story, by Lindsey LaBelle, on the return of Dunkin’ Donuts says, “After a 10-year absence, Dunkin’ Donuts is making its way back to Minnesota and the first store is now open in Rochester … . The new store is owned and operated by Rochester Retail Services — it’s their plan to develop 5 freestanding Dunkin’ stores in the Rochester Market over the next several years. Dunkin’ has over 7,000 locations nationwide and is about to open about 50 stores in Minnesota, a majority in the Twin Cities along with Duluth, Rochester and Mankato.”
Radisson has bailed on Downtown East. Janet Moore of the Strib reports, “Downtown Minneapolis’ first Radisson Red luxury hotel won’t be part of the $400 million Downtown East development in Minneapolis near the new Vikings stadium. … A rival bid proposing a $63 million, 300-room hotel under the Marriott flag came from Golden Valley-based Mortenson Development, but city officials opted for the Ryan[/Radisson] proposal.”
It’s geezery up north(east) … . John Myers of the Duluth News Tribune says, “On a quiet summer night across northeastern Minnesota, if you listen closely, you might just be able to hear the arteries hardening. That’s because counties across the region have the oldest median ages of any in the state and are significantly older than the national average. Aitkin County is the oldest in Minnesota, with a median age of 53.5, with Cook County a close second at 51.4, according to data released last week by the U.S. Census Bureau.”
Kyle Munson of the Des Moines Register is feeling the competitive heat from our state fair. “I thought that our mighty Iowa State Fair had cowed competitors into submission with all things butter and bacon and more than 60 foods on a stick. But then the Minnesota State Fair threw a beer-gelato curve ball. Should we Iowans worry? You betcha. … So c’mon, Iowa: Perhaps we devise, say, bacon beer gelato in Templeton Rye-toasted sugar cones as a return volley?” Urp.
How about some crash stats? The Strib tells us, “On a typical day last year, nearly 400 vehicles were involved in crashes in Minnesota, leaving at least one person dead and dozens injured. … Among the key findings of the report:
- Drunken driving (95 deaths) and not wearing a seat belt (94 deaths) were the two leading causes of fatalities.
- Speeding accounted for 76 deaths.
- Distracted driving led to 68 fatalities.”
$22 million! Says Tom Webb of the PiPress, “A Delta Air Lines supervisor in Minnesota was indicted on charges that he approved $22 million in phony invoices over nine years, all submitted by a co-conspirator in California. According to a grand jury indictment in Atlanta, Paul Anderson of Apple Valley in 2004 began a plan to defraud what was then Northwest Airlines — and continued to do so long after Northwest merged with Delta in 2009. ‘The longevity and scope of the scheme to defraud Delta is simply astonishing,’ U.S. Attorney Sally Quillian Yates said in a statement Friday.” $22 million buys a lot of extra baggage and seat upgrades.
The Strib is not impressed with the Supreme Court’s thinking … . “In the name of freedom of religion, the U.S. Supreme Court on Monday extended the reach of employers’ religious beliefs into working Americans’ lives. Its 5-4 ruling in Burwell vs. Hobby Lobby was a blow to women’s reproductive rights and to the Affordable Care Act’s preventive-care coverage requirement. The decision also gave the meaning of freedom of religion a perverse twist.”