Checks go out to 238 candidates abiding by spending limits

Gummint money: Bill Salisbury of the PiPress notes, “Minnesota campaign finance regulators on Tuesday distributed $2.4 million in state subsidies to 238 candidates who are running for state constitutional offices or seats in the Minnesota House of Representatives. The checks go to candidates who agreed to abide by spending limits. Of the 312 candidates who filed to run for those offices, 276 or 88.5 percent took the subsidies, the state Campaign Finance and Public Disclosure Board reported. Democratic-Farmer-Labor Gov. Mark Dayton received the largest payment, $534,072. His Republican challenger, Jeff Johnson, collected $389,409 from the campaign fund.”

Student proficiency in Minnesota is, well … above average. But the gap between minorities and white kids is still pretty bad. In the PiPress Debra O’Connor and Sarah Horner write, “After dropping in 2013, Minnesota students’ performance on state proficiency tests this year held largely steady or showed modest gains across grade levels. While nearly all student subgroups also saw slight increases, the progress made little dent in the state’s sizeable achievement gap that has persisted for years between minority students and their white peers.”

Speaking of schoolkids, the Strib’s Shannon Prather says, “For the first time in a decade, Minnesota schoolchildren are required to receive additional vaccines this fall. Seventh-graders now must get the meningococcal vaccination and an additional pertussis (whooping cough) booster. And younger children in day care and early-childhood programs must get hepatitis A and B shots. For most parents, complying is not a problem. Vaccination rates in Minnesota top 90 percent for almost all immunizations required by law, according to the state Department of Health.”

Your personal seat license money at work: Says Ben Goessling at ESPN: “ … the Vikings announced they’ve partnered with the NFL Foundation on a $50,000 grant to provide certified athletic trainers for the 13 public schools in Minneapolis and St. Paul. The $50,000 initiative will put trainers from TRIA Orthopaedic Center in all 13 schools, helping to ensure proper care is given to football players at those schools. The grant will also employ the Vikings’ car service to provide rides for athletes and a guardian that might not otherwise be able to get to a doctor’s appointment. In total, Vikings trainer Eric Sugarman said, the program will cover 600 kids who play football in Minneapolis and St. Paul.”

Now this is my idea of incorrigible: Dave Chanen of the Strib writes about an inmate who never gives up. “Arthur Senty-Haugen has been a fraud artist most of his life. On Monday, his latest stunt got a knockdown from Minnesota’s Court of Appeals. … The judges noted that Senty-Haugen has committed theft and fraud in the past and currently faces charges of identity theft and credit-card fraud. Many of his crimes have been committed from behind bars.”

Similarly … The AP says, “A business owner sentenced to more than 17 years in prison for selling synthetic drugs at a northeastern Minnesota store is appealing his case. James Carlson has hired attorney Mark Nyvold to argue his appeal. The 57-year-old Superior, Wisconsin man was convicted of 51 counts related to selling millions of dollars in synthetic drugs from his Duluth store, Last Place on Earth. Authorities shut down the shop last summer after Carlson was given repeated warnings about the drugs.” A “business owner.” How genteel.

The GleanWant to make a fast $25k? The Strib’s Paul Walsh says, “The reward money is piling up — now standing at $25,000 — in the nationwide effort to find fugitive Lyle ‘Ty’ Hoffman, accused of fatally shooting his former live-in boyfriend and nightclub business partner outside an Arden Hills gas station two weeks ago. … Contributions to the reward fund can be made at www.crimeandjustice.org and clicking on the tab for the Kelly Phillips Reward Fund.”

You knew something was going on. Jim Buchta of the Strib reports, “With an abundance of construction cranes towering around the metro, this should come as no surprise: Construction contracts in the 13-county Twin Cites metro during July were up a whopping 71% percent compared with last year, according to the latest McGraw Hill Construction report … .”

Finally, do NOT get pulled over in Royalton. Jesse Marx at City Pages says, “Royalton is a small town in central Minnesota, population 1,242. The police department has one full-time officer and two part-timers. Between them you’ll find the standard cop gear: guns, vests, uniforms. But also a grenade launcher. … Royalton doesn’t need a grenade launcher, but the town’s chief of police defends the right of law enforcement agencies to possess military hand-me-downs. ‘When you’re dealing with criminals you’re dealing with a whole other element,’ he says. ‘You don’t know what they’re capable of — whether they have weapons or homemade explosives or whatever.’ ” Is it the same with liquored-up good ol’ boys?

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