Minnesota cops have killed 60 people in the last six years. Brandt Williams of MPR says, “Minnesota law enforcement officers have shot and killed at least 60 people since 2008, according to an MPR News analysis of data from the state Bureau of Criminal Apprehension, information from police departments across the state and court documents. According to state death records, 95 percent of those killed by police since 2008 were male. Whites made up 61 percent and African-Americans 26 percent. The median age of African-Americans killed by police since 2008 is 24. For whites, the median age is 36.”
Or we can not. Catharine Richert at MPR reports, “[Gov. Mark] Dayton would put more than $10 billion into roads, bridges and transit over 10 years to tackle the problem, according to the plan he detailed today. Dayton says the state is facing a revenue shortfall to the tune of $6 billion for road and bridge repair and expansions over the next decade. His plan would raise tab fees and put a 6.5 percent gross receipts tax on gas on top of the current per gallon tax to help close that gap. The new levy would be applied to $2.50 per gallon gas even if gas prices dropped below that number.” How many jobs does that add up to?
Maybe because “it’s working” in Wisconsin, Scott Walker was a hit at the “Freedom Summit” in Iowa. John Dickerson of Slate writes, “Walker did the most to help himself politically, elevating his stature as a candidate who might achieve the elusive synthesis of pleasing the party base while also attracting a general election audience. ‘Wow he’s good, said Jane Hodoly, as Walker spoke. Later, in an interview, the Tea Party member from Ottumwa, Iowa said, ‘We need a warrior in the presidential office.’ Walker, who retold the story of his battle with the unions (along with the death threats he faced) and what it took to win three elections in four years (including becoming the first governor to survive a recall) appealed to this desire. ‘If you are not afraid to go big and bold, you can actually get results,’ Walker told the audience. Pat Scanlon, another Tea Party member, from Oskaloosa, Iowa said: ‘I wish he were our governor.’ ”
Entirely coincidentally and without relevance to anything above, Paul Tosto at MPR writes, “Minnesota’s economy outperforms Wisconsin’s economy. The trends have accelerated since the end of the Great Recession. Economically, Minnesota continues to pull away from the Badger State. Those facts haven’t changed in the four years (Yeesh!) that I’ve been pointing it out. … Hard to believe that 10 years ago Minnesota and Wisconsin had nearly an equal number of health and education jobs. As of November, Minnesota had 74,000 more.”
At the AP, Haley Hansen gets in on this “branding” idea of “The North,” saying, “Area residents, including University of Minnesota College of Design dean Tom Fisher, are advocating to rename the area surrounding Minnesota in an attempt to attract talent and improve its image. With their efforts they’re hoping to generate discussion, and, if needed, take further steps to advance the idea, the Minnesota Daily reported. … Supporters of ‘the North’ stress that the name change wouldn’t just be a rebranding, but rather a grassroots movement to capture Minnesota and the surrounding area’s culture, climate and spirit.” But if we’re going to rival “The South,” I kinda think we need a whole bunch of grizzled old Scandinavian blues musicians to write songs about growing up here.
Obviously, he didn’t check in with his siblings. Candace Renalls of the Grand Forks Herald reports, “DULUTH, Minn. — A Duluth physician is being sued in connection with the closing of the longtime family business — the Minnetonka Country Club — and for agreeing to sell the 117-acre property to a developer to make way for a housing subdivision. The lawsuit, filed against Dr. William D. Witrak in Hennepin County District Court on Friday, claims his actions were done without the required authorization of other shareholders who are family members. The club’s recent closure is the latest in a string of golf courses that have closed in Minnesota in recent years. At nearly 100 years old, the Minnetonka Country Club in Shorewood, Minn., was one of the oldest operating golf courses in the state.”
The not-entirely retired Bill Salisbury of the PiPress reports on plans for a much-abbreviated 2016 session. “The Minnesota Legislature is likely to hold a session next year, even if the Senate has to meet in a heated tent. Legislative leaders have been considering skipping a 2016 session because the Senate chamber and most hearing rooms will be closed as part of the three-year renovation of the state Capitol. But top lawmakers say they are likely to meet for at least a short period of time in order to pass a bonding bill to finance public works projects. … [Tom] Bakk said the agenda could be limited to passing a bonding bill, a Lessard-Sams Outdoor Heritage Fund appropriation that must be approved annually and any other measures that House and Senate DFL and Republican leaders mutually agree to in advance. ‘My goal would be to have a historically short second-year-of-the-biennium session,’ he said.”
Bloomington jumps on the bandwagon. WCCO-TV says, “Bloomington will consider becoming the latest city to block sales and production of medical marijuana. The city council is scheduled to vote on a one-year moratorium Monday. It would give Bloomington officials time to find the best way to regulate these types of facilities.”
“Value” cereal … for $1.15 billion. The Strib’s Mike Hughlett says, “Post Holdings will buy Lakeville-based MOM Brands for $1.15 billion, combining the nation’s third and fourth largest breakfast cereal makers. The deal, announced Monday morning, will give publicly traded Post a presence in the growing bagged cereal and hot cereal businesses, two of MOM Brands’ strongholds. Privately-owned MOM Brands, which has a big cereal plant in Northfield, is known for its Malt-O-Meal brand. The 95-year-old company has grown steadily over the past 15 years, particularly capturing share in the low-price or ‘value’ segment of the cold cereal business.”
Here’s some items that might make good fodder for an “unsession” at Minneapolis City Hall. City Pages’ Ben Johnson writes, “Minneapolis loves licenses. It offers hundreds of them; the exact number is tough to nail down because there are so many redundancies. Grocery stores are broken down into 14 different categories, all requiring a different license. That’s not counting the nine different licenses available for different classifications of confectioneries, and nine more for meat markets. … We combed through the city’s 13-page Business Licenses index to pick out the ten most absurd annual licenses required by the city:
Christmas Tree Dealer
Going Out of Business Sale
Six (!) different licenses ranging from $36 to $141.
Nut Vending Machine
$5, which is ‘capped by state statute, Manufacturer’s Certificate of Origin or other policy restriction.’ A regular vending machine license goes for $15.”