The big pay-hike kerfuffle is getting attention and chewing up legislative time. Pat Condon of the Strib says, “Aides to [Gov.] Dayton, Republican House Speaker Kurt Daudt and Senate Majority Leader Tom Bakk said all three were involved in talks to settle the pay flap, which has become tangled in an unrelated temporary budget bill expected to hit the House floor on Thursday. Daudt was acting as an intermediary of sorts between DFLers Dayton and Bakk, who still had not spoken directly to each other since their falling-out last week. … No deal on the budget bill and pay raises had been finalized by early Wednesday evening, and details on what it might include were not available.”
The Kid is no longer a kid, but he may be a Timberwolf again. The Strib’s Jerry Zgoda writes: “The Wolves and Brooklyn have discussed a deal, as Thursday afternoon’s trade deadline approaches, that would bring [Kevin] Garnett back to the franchise where he played his first 12 NBA seasons, according to a person with knowledge of the talks. ESPN first reported the trade talks. If agreed upon, it’s a swap that would include Wolves forward Thaddeus Young, who this summer can opt out of the final year of a contract set to pay him nearly $10 million next season.”
Another Condon piece says DFLers are showing Greater Minnesota some love. “A group of DFL senators said Wednesday that they hope to revive rural and small-town economies in Minnesota by linking together a series of bills to boost worker training, deliver more workforce housing, incubate new businesses and greatly expand broadband internet access. Together, the initiatives if made law would total nearly $200 million in additional state spending over two years. That puts them in competition with a whole raft of other possible uses of the state’s current $1 billion surplus.”
For some reason this still makes me feel better about things. Stephanie Susskind of WINK-TV in Fort Myers says, “Minnesota Twins team officials are unloading the equipment truck Wednesday, gearing up for spring training. About 36,000 pounds of gear made the 1700 mile journey from Minnesota to Southwest Florida. On board the truck is everything the team needs for spring training, including more than 10,000 baseballs, 600 bats, 600 jackets and much more. Some personal items were on board too, like golf clubs.”
MPR’s Brett Neely covered the DC conference yesterday on how to keep youth away from radical Islam. “At a White House summit that began with an invocation from the Quran by St. Paul Imam Abdisalam Adam, officials and community leaders outlined a pilot program to address the causes of radicalization within the state’s Somali-American community. President Barack Obama, who’s asked Congress for $15 million to fund local anti-terror efforts, emphasized that national governments alone can’t do the job.”
Or “bedazzled” perhaps. The Strib’s Rochelle Olson says, “Maureen Bausch was dazzled and daunted by the spectacle that was the 2015 Super Bowl. It wasn’t the game itself that wowed her so much as the behind-the-scenes strategies and work that went into putting it together — targets of close study for Bausch as she prepares for Minnesota’s 2018 Super Bowl, of which she is CEO. … Bausch’s next steps will include fundraising and hiring an operations director by summer.”
Our friend Mr. Walker continues to get a lot of national attention. Robert Costa of the Washington Post reports, “Wisconsin Gov. Scott Walker is scheduled to attend a private dinner Wednesday with longtime advocates of supply-side economics. The gathering, set for the upscale ‘21’ Club in Manhattan, is the latest effort by the potential Republican presidential contender to bolster his relationships with the GOP’s anti-tax wing. … Among those planning to appear: investment banker Lewis Lehrman, anti-tax activist Grover Norquist, and philanthropist Jimmy Kemp, the son of Jack Kemp, the late New York congressman who ushered Reagan’s tax reforms through Congress.”
At Politico.com Nick Gass writes, “He also rejected concerns about his education level, which has come under increased media scrutiny over the last week. Walker dropped out of Marquette University in his senior year. ‘That’s the kind of elitist, government-knows-best, top-down approach we’ve heard for years,’ he said of the criticism, adding that President Barack Obama, who graduated from Columbia University and Harvard Law School, has done a ‘lousy job.’ ‘I’d rather have a fighter who’s actually proven he can take on the big government special interests and win,’ Walker said. ‘I think there’s a lot of Americans out there who scratch their head and say, ‘We have people who have helped found Microsoft, Apple, Facebook, plenty of other successful businesses and enterprises across this country and did exactly the sort of the thing I did.” What? Is he running on the Roman Hruska platform?
Well, that didn’t work out so well, did it? Says Tim Nelson at MPR, “A company hired to ease traveler hassles at Minneapolis-St. Paul International Airport has been fired and airport officials are moving to fill the void as the spring vacation surge approaches. Tennessee-based PrimeFlight won a $400,000 contract last year to provide managers to help steer people into the right lines. Metropolitan Airports Commission officials thought those workers would earn as much as $16 an hour. They get about $11. The pay gap became a sore point — airport work and wages are hot button issues right now — that led to the company’s firing.” Hmm. Can we fire Delta?
It’s award season, y’know. The MPR story on the James Beard Awards says, “Here are [some of] Minnesota’s semifinalists, by category:
Best New Restaurant: Spoon and Stable, Minneapolis
Outstanding Baker: Stephen Horton, Rustica Bakery, Minneapolis; John Kraus, Patisserie 46, Minneapolis
Outstanding Restaurant: La Belle Vie, Minneapolis
Outstanding Restaurateur: Kim Bartmann, Minneapolis (Barbette, Bryant-Lake Bowl, Red Stag Supperclub, and others).”
The 13th century lingers on. In City Pages, Susan Du writes, “When Alyce Conlon saw trouble brewing in her marriage, she went to her bosses at the InterVarsity Christian Fellowship in Michigan. Conlon had been working there as a spiritual advisor, and she needed some advice of her own. InterVarsity is an evangelical ministry trying to make Christians out of college students nationwide. There are 15 chapters located in Minnesota. Conlon’s supervisors, Fred Bailey and Marc Papai, worried that a divorced staff member wouldn’t be able to teach Christian values, considering how the Bible hates divorce. They put her on leave so she could take her husband to marriage counseling. It didn’t work out, and he eventually filed for divorce. A salty InterVarsity fired Conlon because she couldn’t make him stay. So she sued InterVarsity in 2013, alleging discrimination because the ministry didn’t turn its back on two divorcing male colleagues the way it had with her. A district court backed InterVarsity, and then an appeals court drove another nail in Conlon’s lawsuit earlier this month. That judgment summarily reads: Churches can hire and fire at will and that’s that.”