Oh yeah, this is a good idea. Jon Collins of MPR reports, “The Bloomington City Attorney said she plans to file criminal charges next week against the organizers of the Black Lives Matter protest held last weekend at the Mall of America. City Attorney Sandra Johnson said unapproved public protest isn’t allowed at the Mall of America, and that Saturday’s protest created unsafe situations. ‘It’s important to make an example out of these organizers so that this never happens again,’ Johnson said. ‘It was a powder keg waiting for the match.’” For god’s sake, another 10 minutes and they might have marched through Nordstroms!
The “munis” are feeling the pinch. J. Patrick Coolican and Abby Simons of the Strib say, “Minnesota’s municipal liquor stores’ profits stalled and contributions to city coffers dropped considerably last year as several outstate operations foundered, according to a state auditor’s report released Tuesday. The 237 stores had record sales for the 18th consecutive year in 2013, totaling more than $332.8 million, but the increase was small — $3.2 million — or 1 percent over 2012. And the stores’ $26.8 million combined net profit dropped $500,522, or 1.8 percent, from 2012.”
Some job growth stats from WCCO-TV’s Pat Kessler. “Nearly every state is gaining jobs, but the Labor Department reports Minnesota and Wisconsin are virtually tied in job creation. Wisconsin posted 54,600 new jobs in the last year for a growth rate of 1.6 percent. Minnesota has almost as many: 54,200, or 1.5 percent.”
But if you’re still looking for work, consider Duluth. The News Tribune says, “The unemployment rate in Duluth dropped to 3.4 percent in November, according to state statistics — the lowest rate recorded in the city in nearly 15 years. It’s the lowest rate seen in the city since a 3.2 percent unemployment rate in December 1999. At its peak, the city’s unemployment rate reached 8.9 percent in early 2009.”
More on that roll-out of super-fast internet from the Strib’s Adam Belz. “The Minnetonka firm that offers fiber-optic service to about 30,000 households in southwest Minneapolis announced Tuesday that it will use that network to offer 10-gigabit-per-pecond Internet speed, which is among the fastest Internet service available today. That’s 400 times faster than the average download speed in Minnesota, 25 megabits per second, according to Ookla, an Internet diagnostic firm. ‘The fastest Internet in the world is going to be here in Minneapolis starting this afternoon,’ said Joe Caldwell, co-CEO of US Internet. ‘We’re talking about a game-changing speed.’ … Comcast charges $77 per month for 50-megabit-per-second service and $67 per month for 25-megabit-per-second service. US Internet offers 100-megabit service, roughly the speed of the Internet at many people’s offices, for $45 per month.”
A “sniper” never quits, apparently. Randy Furst of the Strib says, “The 8th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals has been asked to overturn the verdict in the defamation case of former Gov. Jesse Ventura, who was awarded $1.8 million in August by a federal jury in St. Paul. … As is typical of notices of appeal, there were no details of what Taya Kyle’s attorneys will argue before the appeals court.” So I suppose, “Some of it is sort of true,” won’t cut it on appeal?
Old folks might get some respect out of the legislature this year. Don Davis of the Forum News Service says, “The top priority for many rural Minnesota legislators is to improve state funding sent to elderly and disabled care programs. House speaker-designate Kurt Daudt, R-Crown, puts that in his top three priorities — along with transportation and education — and most rural members agree. Not only are such programs good for the people they serve, but lawmakers say nursing homes and other care programs are among the biggest businesses in many rural communities.”
Live dangerously: watch a Seth Rogen movie. Stribber Colin Covert says, “Three Minnesota moviehouses — St. Anthony Main in Minneapolis and the Cambridge Cinema 5 and North Branch Cinema Theater north of the Twin Cities — announced Tuesday afternoon that they would show ‘The Interview’ beginning Christmas Day. Sony Pictures had withdrew the picture from release last week after threats of terrorism from computer hackers, but reversed its stance on Tuesday. The comedy stars James Franco and Seth Rogen as TV journalists recruited by the CIA to kill North Korea’s leader Kim Jong-Un. ‘I guess we’re not concerned. We’re not close to North Korea,’ said Debbie Zeise, co-owner of the Cambridge and North Branch locations. ‘We’re showing it because we believe in the freedom of press and that we shouldn’t bow down to terrorism.’”
Minneapolis, still driving a hard bargain for a dog park. The Strib’s John Reinan says, “A rare plot of city woods could remain wild if its owner accepts an offer for the land. That owner is the city of Minneapolis, which has held title to the 15-acre parcel straddling the border of neighboring Edina and St. Louis Park since the 1920s. The two cities recently offered Minneapolis $1.074 million for the land at 3940 France Av. S., which serves as an informal — but very popular — dog park for residents of the surrounding area. … The offer is the midpoint between a Minneapolis appraisal of $1.458 million, assuming residential development of the site … .” And watch the neighbors howl if that ever happened.