Minnesota teen birthrate continues to drop

The teenage birthrate continues to fall. Why? WCCO-TV’s Heather Brown says, “In 2013, Hennepin County reported a 15 percent drop in the number of babies born to teenage mothers. Across the state, the decline was nine percent and nationwide, it was 10 percent. … Access to healthcare and better contraception is another factor.  Research from the Guttmacher Institute found 86 percent of the decline in the teen pregnancy rate from 1995 to 2002 was due to improvements in teenage contraceptive use. After analyzing data from 2006 to 2010, Guttmacher researchers also found increased contraceptive use to be the major contributing factor.”  

Fighting for your booze. Says Doug Belden in the PiPress, “The same legislative duo that unsuccessfully pushed last session to repeal the state’s ban on Sunday liquor-store sales is at it again. Sen. Roger Reinert, a DFLer from Duluth, and Rep. Jenifer Loon, an Eden Prairie Republican, said Thursday that instead of offering a range of choices that could chip away at the law, as they have in the past, they intend this session to go for all-out repeal.”

I don’t think it’s an exaggeration to say the trial of one of the least-sympathetic defendants in recent memory is under way in St. Cloud. For MPR, Trisha Volpe says, “The trial of Brian Fitch began Thursday with prosecutors saying a weapons expert will testify that the handgun found in the SUV Fitch was driving when he was arrested was the gun that fired the bullets that killed Officer Scott Patrick. Fitch’s attorney, however, dismissed that finding as unreliable and said that while Fitch was a busy drug dealer who was collecting money from people who owed him the day Patrick was killed, he did not kill Patrick … .” That’s an attorney with a serious uphill fight.

Lindsey LaBelle of KMSP-TV follows that Prior Lake story of the PO’d dad who outted kids bullying his African-American daughter. “Thousands of people are offering support and encouragement for a Prior Lake family after the father confronted his daughter’s bullies in a YouTube video. The father of those bullies lost his job today. … The father of the boys, Deron Puro, was an independent contractor, and his employer confirmed to Fox 9 on Wednesday that he is no longer associated with that company as of Jan. 21. … [The dad, Brad] Knudson called Puro, who told Knudson the explicit language was commonly used around his house and didn’t think much of it, Knudson says in his YouTube video. So no, we’re not a “post-racial society.”

Job losses in December. The Strib’s Adam Belz says, “New job numbers for December throw cold water on what had been a run of gains in Minnesota, as employers cut 5,200 jobs in the month and November’s gains were revised downward by 4,000. … Still, the state unemployment rate fell a tenth of a point to 3.6 percent, according to figures released Thursday by the Minnesota Department of Employment and Economic Development. The U.S. unemployment rate in December was 5.6 percent.”

Sounds like some statute language needs straightening out. Renee Richardson of the Forum News Service says, “Longtime Baxter Mayor Darrel Olson resigned Tuesday night after he was told he had to leave office or lose state retirement benefits based on a little-known law, although he may get his job back in 30 days. The surprise announcement came at the end of a regular council session. Olson said he was forced into resigning by the Public Employees Retirement Association (PERA) of Minnesota, which cited a statute requiring a 30-day separation between a PERA job and his elected position.”

Meatpackers haven’t been properly informed of their rights. Says Don Davis for the Forum News Service, “A Minnesota state department has not followed a law to notify meatpacking plants and workers about protections the state provides. Pointing to a bookshelf full of Minnesota laws, Legislative Auditor Jim Nobles said Wednesday, ‘one of them sort of got lost.’ The law that was not followed is known as the Packinghouse Workers’ Bill of Rights, passed in 2007,  requiring meatpacking companies to tell workers information about their jobs, including hazards they may face, the fact that they may join unions and that they must be free from discrimination. It requires the information to be passed on to workers ‘in their native language.’ “

Grand Forks Herald food critic Marilyn Hagerty, the charming 88-year-old who gained national notoriety for her Olive Garden review, gets this from People magazine’s Morgan Gibson, “Our favorite earnest food critic has returned: Marilyn Hagerty, the 88-year-old Grand Forks, North Dakota woman who rose to fame in 2012 after her rave review of the town’s new Olive Garden went viral, has penned another thoughtful, unpretentious assessment of her local McDonald’s franchises. … We’re still waiting for that Cheesecake Factory review, Hagerty.”

Well I tell ya, Bob, the royalties don’t come close to comparing.  AARP cover boy Bob Dylan says if he had to do it all over again he’d be a … schoolteacher. The AP says, “The 73-year-old is on the cover of AARP magazine’s February/March issue. … He adds that he ‘probably’ would have taught Roman history or theology.”

Comments (2)

  1. Submitted by Thomas Swift on 01/22/2015 - 04:06 pm.

    Teen birthrate

    A decline sounds great, but the Glean reportage is misleading. The headline says “birthrate” has dropped, but the story says “pregnancy rate” has dropped 86%.

    Those are two very different things.

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