How cold is it? To cool for school. MPR’s Tim Nelson and Tim Post say, “Schools in Minneapolis and the Anoka-Hennepin school districts will be closed Wednesday because of the forecast for bitter cold. The districts made the announcement late Tuesday afternoon. The Minneapolis closure affects all MPS schools, programs and activities, including all Minneapolis Community Education programs and the Minneapolis Kids school age child care programs. St. Paul Public Schools will remain open, but all student absences will be excused.”
And how all over the place is the criteria for “too cold for school”? MPR’s Nelson writes, “When it comes to deciding when its too cold or too snowy to go to school, the decisions in Minnesota are left up to local school districts, for the most part. … In St. Paul, schools will close if the forecast for 6 a.m. calls for a windchill below minus 40 degrees, or air temperature below minus 25 degrees. School officials will make a decision by 6:30 p.m. the night before cancelling classes. … Schools in Duluth don’t list an objective criteria, but say school personnel are out on the roads by 4 a.m. to check weather conditions. The decision on whether to close schools is made by 6 a.m.”
Also at MPR, a report from Sasha Aslanian that will start heads exploding in certain sectors. “Advocates for immigrants are renewing their push for driver’s licenses for all, regardless of legal status. Members of the ‘One State One License’ coalition want all immigrants — even those who are in the country without authorization — to be able to take a driver’s test and qualify for a license that won’t be marked any differently. State Rep. Karen Clark, DFL-Minneapolis, told a crowd assembled on the Capitol steps that she’s hopeful there will be Republican support.” Yeah, right after pigs get pilot licenses.
Also a possibility: skipping a 2016 session. Abby Simons of the Strib says, “Minnesota lawmakers may consider completing the entire 2015-16 Legislative session this year alone, opting to stay home next year as renovation is expected to shut down much of the Capitol. … Despite 2015 being a budget year, [Senate Minority Leader David] Hann said that wrapping up a bonding bill in the same year is doable, with a possible option of a special session if more time is needed. The Legislature is scheduled to adjourn in May.” Imagine the wonders that idea could do in D.C.
Speaking of: One day on the job and Tom Emmer is already in trouble. Catharine Richert at MPR reports, “On his first day representing Minnesota’s 6th Congressional District, Emmer has angered the base that supported his campaign by voting to re-elect Ohio Rep. John Boehner as U.S. House Speaker. … ‘Minnesotans from Congressional District 6 put a man in office with the expectation that he would fight for smaller government and more liberty,’ said a press release from the Minnesota Tea Party Alliance. ‘However, in his first real test vote as a conservative, Tom Emmer voted wrong and against the wishes of his conservative base by voting for John Boehner as Speaker.’” He’ll recoup their favor the next 10 times he votes to repeal Obamacare.
Taste of Minnesota will not be moving to Washington County next summer. The PiPress’s Mary Divine says, “About 40 residents of Baytown Township showed up at the town board meeting Monday night to raise concerns about the possibility of the summer music and food festival relocating to the [Washington County] fairgrounds. … But township officials said Taste organizers may have a hard sell based on comments and emails from residents. Among the issues raised at Monday night’s meeting: parking, noise, lighting, traffic, crowd control, fireworks and alcohol sales.”
The Feds are getting tough. They’ve ordered Burlington Northern to submit a plan. In the Strib, Dave Shaffer and Jim Spencer write, “Responding to utilities’ complaints about coal deliveries, federal regulators have ordered BNSF Railway to submit a plan for keeping power plants in Minnesota and other states supplied this winter. … BNSF had fought the request of a coal users trade group to require the railroad to specifically explain how it would deal with critical shortages.” Since when doesn’t “trust us” count any more?
Remember the guy who for some reason drove into the demonstration down on Lake and Hiawatha? Stribber Paul Walsh says, “Prosecutors are contemplating felony charges against the 40-year-old driver who lurched through a Minneapolis street teeming with protesters in late November and ran into a teenage girl. The case involving driver Jeffrey P. Rice, of St. Paul, has been turned over by police to the Hennepin County attorney’s office, spokesmen for both agencies said Monday.”
Here’s Ben Johnson at City Pages on the denouement of the “Lord Chisholm” fraud case: “According to the Hennepin County Attorney’s Office, Colin Chisholm held on to his delusions until the very end. In a pre-sentencing interview with his probation officer, ‘He made it sound as though it was his mother-in-law’s fault because she suggested he apply for unemployment and a Hennepin County employee’s fault for saying he didn’t qualify for unemployment but might qualify for medical assistance. Chisholm said being told he qualified, ‘was the worst thing to ever happen,’ Chisholm was quoted as telling the probation officer.’” As Richard Nixon famously said, “Mistakes were made.”