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Forbes: U of M one of 10 ‘rising stars’

PLUS: Minnesota’s new minimum wage goes into effect; charges to be filed against suspect in murder of Mendota Heights police officer; and MSNBC goes after Stanley Hubbard.

The best advertising is the stuff you don’t buy. In Forbes, Christopher Denhart looks at 10 institutions he calls “rising stars” in academia and says, “For University of Minnesota, Twin Cities, which ranked 543rd in 2009 and now ranks 108th, it is the production of high-quality graduates who become leaders. Minnesota alumni include John Hammergren, CEO of McKesson Corporation, Mark Thierer, CEO of Catamaran, and Diana Murphy, the Circuit Judge of the US Court of Appeals’ Eighth Circuit. Minnesota also has a high retention rate, low debt burden, and high graduate salaries which sustain a strong environment for preparing students for their post-college lives.”    

The next sound you hear? Hard working small business people closing up shop all across our fine state. Nick Woltman of the PiPress reminds readers, “Minnesota is seeing its first minimum wage increase in nearly a decade. Starting Friday, most of the state’s lowest paid workers will receive $8 an hour. It’s the first of three annual increases that will push Minnesota’s wage floor from $6.15 an hour — among the lowest in the country — to $9.50 — the second highest in the country — by 2016. Beginning in 2018, it will be indexed to inflation.”

Charges are expected to be filed today against the suspect in the murder of mendota Heights police officer Scott Patrick. The AP says, “Police say they expect the Dakota County attorney to charge Fitch Friday in Patrick’s death. They also say they still don’t know what led to the traffic stop, and say they may never know. The Associated Press found court records showing Fitch was wanted because he had left a drug treatment program and faced up to 30 years in prison if convicted on a pending drug charge.”

Another year another waiver. The AP story says, “Minnesota has won another year’s break from having to abide by proficiency goals and sanctions under the federal No Child Left Behind law. The U.S. Department of Education renewed waivers Thursday for Minnesota and four other states that have implemented alternative achievement and improvement plans in place of a one-size-fits-all federal standard.”

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The Kevin Love-to-be-traded stories have gone on nearly as long as the “Unrest in the Middle East” stories. But ESPN’s Marc Stein and Brian Windhorst say, “The Minnesota Timberwolves were engaged in serious Kevin Love trade talks with no teams other than the Cleveland Cavaliers on Wednesday, adding to the growing belief around the NBA that Love teaming up with LeBron James is inevitable, sources have told … With three weeks to go until [Andrew] Wiggins is eligible to be swapped for Love, one source said Wednesday that James himself already is ‘looking forward’ to the prospect of welcoming the All-Star power forward as his newest teammate.”

The GleanThis is how you move within the broader network. Rachel Stassen-Berger of the Strib writes, “The head of the one of the most powerful Democratic groups in Minnesota will move to one of the most powerful unions in the state. Carrie Lucking, who has been executive director of the Alliance for a Better Minnesota since 2011, will become Education Minnesota’s director of policy, research and outreach.”

Again, never in the right place at the right time. WDIO-TV in Duluth reports, “An alleged drug suspect threw cash out of a car window on the Blatnik Bridge in Superior Thursday morning, bringing all Duluth-bound traffic to a brief standstill while officers picked up the bills. … The Duluth Police Department says the suspect has been living in both the Twin Ports and Chicago areas and had been selling heroin in the Twin Ports.  The suspect has prior drug and robbery convictions and was out on bail for a heroin conviction.”

In the International Business Times, Philip Ross alerts readers to Minnesota’s new marijuana industry. “Medical professionals estimate the law will benefit some 5,000 patients, but its implementation is hampered by other state laws that restrict lawyers from giving legal counsel to prospective business owners in the nascent legal pot industry. … Thompson Hall [a law firm] is behind a petition submitted Wednesday with the Minnesota Supreme Court that would amend the state’s rules to authorize lawyers to work with businesses wanting to enter the legal marijuana industry.”

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National Democrats are complaining that Stanley Hubbard, or those employed by him, has rejected two Rick Nolan ads featuring dialogue from millionaire GOP competitor Stewart Mills. Steve Benen at MSNBC writes, “The ad from House Majority PAC and AFSCME was … rejected, which very rarely happens. It’s not unreasonable to ask why. In this case, the stations that turned down the ad are owned by Stanley Hubbard, a major Republican donor and attendee to the Koch brothers’ donor events. Making matters much worse, Hubbard donated the legal maximum to Stewart Mills – the person being criticized in the ad. Now, as best as I can tell, there’s no evidence that Stanley Hubbard specifically ordered his stations not to air the ad criticizing the candidate he supports, but it’s fair to question the circumstances.”

If you like art festivals you’ll approach nirvana this weekend. Mary Abbe of the Strib says, “Starting Friday, Minneapolis will feel — momentarily — like the epicenter of the art world as nearly 700 artists converge for a long weekend of showing and selling everything handmade, from paintings, photos and pottery to jewelry, leather goods, furniture, wind chimes and toys. All the while gospel, folk or rock music will throb in the background, and Metro Transit buses will ferry fans between fair sites in the Uptown, Powderhorn and Loring Park neighborhoods.”