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Molitor (finally) will be named Twins manager

Duluth Metals selling operations to Chilean company; teenager accused of brutal assault can be tried as an adult; cameras in MN courts getting a second look; and more.

Paul Molitor
REUTERS/Fred Thornhill
Paul Molitor

It’s a done deal. The Strib’s Dennis Brackin says, “The Twins confirmed Monday that Paul Molitor will be named the team’s new manager. He has agreed to a three-year contract that runs through the 2017 season. … Molitor was not always on the positive side of national attention as a player. He admitted to abusing Marijuana and cocaine after the 1984 trial of a Milwaukee cocaine dealer revealed that Molitor had been a customer. Molitor said he experimented with drugs because of his frequent injuries and accompanying pain.” Whatever. Can he still hit?

With mining a key issue in the Eighth District, this story is particularly relevant. Martin Moylan of MPR says, “Duluth Metals, the firm that’s been pushing to build a copper-nickel mine in northeast Minnesota, said Monday it is selling its operations to Chilean mining giant Antofagasta PLC. Antofagasta and Duluth Metals have been partners in Twin Metals Minnesota, which wants to build a massive underground mine near Ely, Minnesota, just a few miles south of the Boundary Waters Canoe Area Wilderness. The region may hold what could be the world’s largest untapped source of copper and other precious metals valued at perhaps $100 billion.”

When being deemed an adult has real downside. Emily Gurnon of the PiPress writes, “A teenage boy accused of instigating a brutal street attack in St. Paul can face trial as an adult, the state Court of Appeals has ruled. The court decision refers to the boy by his initials, but he was charged in adult court as Charles Kenneth Redding, also known as ‘Bay Bay.’ Ramsey County Juvenile Court Judge Gary Bastian ruled in February that Redding could stand trial as an adult, but that decision was appealed to the Court of Appeals, which affirmed the lower-court ruling Monday. … Redding … hit [Ray] Widstrand in the head, possibly with a can in a sock, witnesses said. Others joined in, punching and kicking him repeatedly until he was near death with a severe brain injury. Redding was 15 at the time of the attack.”

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Come on, grandstanding lawyers can be good entertainment. Dave Chanen of the Strib says, “Minnesota’s longtime resistance to cameras in the courtroom for criminal cases is getting a second take. While most states allow access, Minnesota’s current policy is so restrictive that it guarantees almost no broadcasts, legal and media experts say. Attorneys on each side must agree to cameras and get a judge’s approval, witnesses can object to being shown, and the kinds of cases that can be aired are limited.”

Smart kid. Tim Harlow of the Strib writes about a teenager with a really good idea. “It’s a common problem that commuters face in the early mornings and late afternoons, the bright sun at such a low angle that drivers can’t use flipped down visors to block it. That leaves them squinting or using their hands to shield their eyes in order to see the road. Carolyn Menneke’s animated video showing how the use of ultra-violet sensors in windshields could combat that problem won the teenager from Rochester, Minn., a trip to Tuesday’s Hollywood premiere of Disney’s new animated feature ‘Big Hero 6.’ ”

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City Pages’ Jesse Marx deconstructs the debate between candidates in Minnesota’s 2nd Congressional District to remind readers of Rep. John Kline’s record on for-profit colleges. “During a KSTP debate Sunday, Kline responded to a question about student loan debt and for-profit colleges by saying, ‘We need to have that sector accountable and make it work and give people the opportunity to go back and get the skills that they need for meaningful employment.’ Of course, what he didn’t say is that he’s repeatedly protected his friends in the for-profit college sector who get rich while graduating an astonishingly low number of students. As chairman of the House Committee on Education and the Workforce, Kline helped block legislation that would have actually made those colleges accountable.”

Marx mentions the Rochester Post-Bulletin’s Second District congressional endorsement. “Two years ago, we endorsed Kline, believing his seniority and leadership would help Congress avoid the ‘fiscal cliff’ of expiring tax cuts and sequestration that would impose mandatory, across-the-board budget cuts. So what happened? Congress passed a series of temporary measures to postpone a decision on the debt limit. Finally, the federal government partially shut down for the first 16 days of October 2013, largely because of the Republican-controlled House tried to derail the Affordable Care Act and demand concessions on the budget. … As much as Kline wants to point to the obstinacy of the Senate Democrats, the House Republicans are just as much to blame. Sending Kline back to Washington would be rewarding him for failure. That’s why the Post-Bulletin Editorial Board is endorsing Mike Obermueller for the 2nd Congressional District.” So they’re saying Kline surprised them?