Officially: The AP says, “ST. PAUL, Minn. — When it came to candidate money in Minnesota’s U.S. Senate race, it wasn’t even close. Reports filed this month by Democratic Sen. Al Franken and Republican challenger Mike McFadden showed the incumbent vastly outraising and outspending his opponent on his way to a decisive victory. Through late November, Franken reported raising more than $24 million and spending about $23.7 million in the time since his first election six years ago. He had $524,000 leftover. McFadden, a businessman and first-time candidate, brought in about $7 million and spent most of it. He still owes some consultants and other vendors about $140,000.” One of the two would like to disembowel Citizens United.
Adrian Peterson has entered The Red Zone. As his union takes the NFL to federal court, USA Today’s Tom Pelissero writes, “The filing ends with a request from the NFLPA and Peterson ‘that this Court vacate the Arbitration Award in its entirety and grant such other and further relief as the Court may deem just and proper, including an order declaring that Mr. Peterson is entitled immediately to be reinstated as a player in the National Football League because he has already served far more than the maximum two-game suspension that could have been imposed under the CBA.’
Speaking of quality legal work … Dan Browning of the Strib reports, “The 61-year-old doctor felt he was doing “charity” work — treating Twin Cities refugees and other poor people in a small clinic he opened several years ago in the Phillips neighborhood. Imagine his shock when a Minneapolis lawyer sued him for violating the Americans with Disabilities Act, and a similar state law, over a front threshold that’s 1 inch too high. Imagine his further shock when he discovered that the same lawyer had sued more than two dozen other Minnesota proprietors — including an 84-year-old widow who runs an antique store in Marshall — using a small handful of disabled clients and then demanding out-of-court settlements.”
The AG’s latest: Diane Bartz at Reuters says, “Minnesota’s attorney general expressed concern about the merger of food distribution giants Sysco Corp and US Foods [USFOO.UL], saying it was questionable whether any divestiture could restore competition lost in the transaction. Minnesota Attorney General Lori Swanson said in a Dec. 10 letter that her office had heard complaints from Minnesota-based restaurants that the $3.5 billion acquisition would leave them ‘fewer choices among distributors and potentially resulting in higher prices for consumers.’ ” So the locavore movement doesn’t quite cover it all, huh?
The assumption being that there would be less chance of playing the “tough guy” card? According to the AP, “Police departments in Minnesota and across the country could benefit from hiring more female officers, according to some women’s advocates. They say a larger number of female officers on a force can help defuse tension between police and the public. Experts and some of those officers say that’s because women tend to be less physically imposing than male officers and are much less likely to use excessive force.”
Just as fences make good neighbors. Kirsti Marohn of the St. Cloud Times says, “Federal and state rules require sound barriers be built in highway expansion projects if they meet certain criteria for cost effectiveness and noise reduction, and if a majority of residents vote in favor of it. But most highway expansions are taking place in the Twin Cities, not outstate Minnesota. The Minnesota Department of Transportation is updating its noise policy to better gauge public support for sound barriers. MnDOT also is working to create a program to fund sound barriers along existing highways, which could help places like Avon. The draft policy isn’t completed yet and still needs federal approval.”
The Draz is coming to the rescue. The AP story (via the Rochester Post-Bulletin) says, “A Republican lawmaker from southeastern Minnesota said he plans to introduce a bill next month to relieve pressure on farmers who he says are being overwhelmed by tax increases. Rep. Steve Drazkowski of Mazeppa, the incoming chairman of the House Property Tax and Local Government Finance Division, said his proposal would exclude farmland from being taxed for capital bond referendums. Instead, taxes would be limited to a farmer’s homestead, which includes the house, outbuildings and 1 acre of land … .” When farm land is going for north of $6,500 an acre … .
There’s a trial date for the guy alleged to have killed his gay business partner. Says Chao Xiong in the Strib, “Lyle “Ty” Hoffman, 44, appeared in an orange jumpsuit in Ramsey County District Court on one count of second-degree intentional murder, looking thinner than he did when police finally caught up with him near an Arby’s drive-through in Shakopee on Sept. 11. Hoffman is charged with shooting Kelly Phillips, 48, on Aug. 11 at an Arden Hills Holiday gas station. Ramsey County District Court Judge George Stephenson said that attorneys had failed to reach a ‘resolution,’ or plea deal, in the case.”
Here we come, Columbia Heights! MPR’s Tim Nelson says, “A key artery in northeast Minneapolis is expected to reopen Monday night, after months of construction. Central Avenue, designated as Highway 65 coming out of downtown Minneapolis, has been closed between 18th and 14th avenues since early spring while the Burlington Northern Santa Fe Railroad rebuilt a train bridge over the four-lane road. The construction was extended by difficulties in delivery and installation of rail materials. The railroad also had to build a temporary track to accommodate trains, and a vehicle fire under the newly completed bridge also set the project back … .”