And how exactly did we acquire this “fatigue”? Patrick Condon of the Strib reports, “Suggesting any state government support for building a Minneapolis soccer stadium would be politically unpopular, Gov. Mark Dayton once again Thursday said he considers it highly unlikely that he or state legislators would provide subsidies to the emerging effort. ‘I just think politically — I think the term “stadium fatigue” describes it,’ Dayton said Thursday, running through the last decade in which lawmakers approved major state funds to build Target Field, TCF Bank Stadium and the Vikings stadium now under construction. ‘That’s with the Legislature, myself, the public. I just don’t think there’s any public appetite for taking on the financing of another stadium.’” For the record, there were plenty of people without an appetite before the last one … and look what they were forced to eat.
If nothing else, the job creators must always have the upper hand. MPR’s Matt Sepic writes, “New federal rules set to take effect next month could make union organizing easier, but business groups suing to block the regulations warn they’ll give organized labor the upper hand. Proposals by the National Labor Relations Board would delay most employer challenges to a union election petition until after workers have actually voted on joining a union. Businesses would have only seven days to file paperwork with the NLRB outlining any objections to a worker unionization request and would have to submit a detailed list of employees eligible to vote in a union election.”
Again, I must say I am simply shocked that such a thing has been going on. Stribber Neal St. Antony reports, “Ameriprise Financial Inc. has agreed to pay $27.5 million to settle a 2011 class-action lawsuit over the operation of its 401(k) plan for the company’s employees and retirees. The suit accused Minneapolis-based Ameriprise of loading up the company 401(k) plan with its own expensive, underperforming mutual funds and charging employees excessive fees, thus violating its responsibility to plan participants under federal retirement law.” And what was the CEO’s take home last year?
Just another group of entrepreneurs. The KMSP-TV story on the airborne pot pipeline to Minnesota says, “A Colorado investigation dubbed ‘Operation Golden Go-fer’ has led to the indictments of 32 people who posed as medical marijuana caregivers while running an illegal growing and distribution ring. The investigation got its ‘Golden Go-fer’ name since much of the marijuana was shipped to Minnesota, allegedly using the planes of a Winsted, Minn. skydiving business owner. The indictments are the culmination of raids on multiple warehouses in Denver last October. Agents seized 4,600 pounds of marijuana, nearly 2,000 marijuana plants, 10 pounds of hash oil and approximately $1.4 million in cash.”
It’s mine, trust me. At WCCO-TV, Reg Chapman says, “Who wants to be a millionaire? Everyone, you’d think. But someone holding a winning Powerball ticket sold in Hennepin County never came forward. Exactly one year has passed, so now they’re out of luck. … a new law is being proposed that would require the lottery to do more to notify winners. Just last week, someone forfeited $100,000 in lottery winnings, and today another $1 million. Representative Joe Atkins is worried too many Minnesotans are losing out on big winnings. ‘Well, I’m proposing a way to get lottery winnings into the hands of the people who won it,’ Atkins said.”
Is this “soaking wet”? According to FoxSports’ Kelly Beaton, “The thought of Babatunde Aiyegbusi finding NFL stardom might seem implausible. But not as implausible as his massive, block-out-the-sun frame. On Thursday, the Minnesota Vikings announced they had signed Aiyegbusi, a 6-foot-9, 351-pound offensive lineman from Poland. Aiyegbusi’s tale sounds a bit like a WWE back-story. The 27-year-old native of Olesnica, Poland, never played college football. He toiled with the Dresden Monarchs of the German Football League in 2014. Before that, he fittingly played for the Wroclaw Giants, then the champions of the Polish American Football League.”
The next time someone complains about our “litigious society,” this is the sort of thing they’re talking about. In case you forgot the 2010 case of the guy with the purloined campaign sign, Elizabeth Mohr of the PiPress reports, “Steve Bohnen and Keith Mueller want to protect people who call the cops from being sued. The two Grant men have been at the state Capitol in recent weeks, sharing their experience, hoping to persuade legislators to amend Minnesota’s so-called anti-SLAPP law. And they’ve met no resistance. The proposed legislation sailed through several committee meetings and is poised for House and Senate floor votes. Sen. Karin Housley, R-St. Mary’s Point, who sponsored the Senate version, said she’s confident the bill will pass unanimously. … Mueller has worked for nearly two years to craft legislation to strengthen the anti-SLAPP statute, so that reporting apparent unlawful conduct to police is protected public participation and thus shielded from retaliation.” The whole story is worth the read.
Oh yeah, $20 will more than cover it. Stribber Dave Chanen says juror per diem may be on the rise. “For nearly a decade, jurors have received $10 a day for parking, bus fare or lunch in exchange for spending long hours in a courtroom. The per-diem may cover expenses in smaller counties, but jurors in urban areas, where parking and transportation are pricier, are slapped with a financial hardship beyond lost wages for doing their civic duty. Court advocates hope to see that addressed by this year’s Legislature. Gov. Mark Dayton’s budget proposal supports bumping per-diems to $20 a day.”
It’s an autism boom. In the Strib Anne Millerbernd writes, “The number of students enrolled in autism-aiding school programs in Minnesota has grown by 400 in the last year. While that number has been steadily growing since the Minnesota Department of Education began collecting data on students with autism nearly two decades ago, the increase has begun to taper off in recent years, said Executive Director of the Autism Society of Minnesota Jonah Weinberg. The department’s annual Child Count report shows that about 17,000 children up to age 21 were identified as having an autism diagnosis in 2014.”
St. Paul will consider Prism TV. Frederick Melo of the PiPress says, “With CenturyLink eager to offer cable-like television service in the Twin Cities, the city of St. Paul is forming a cable franchise application committee to negotiate the particulars, and there are a lot of them. CenturyLink already provides landline phone, ‘normal speed’ Internet and DirecTV satellite television services in St. Paul. The franchise agreement would allow the company to offer Prism TV — an Internet-based pay-television option — throughout the Twin Cities. … Prism’s features include up to four or five split screens at once and a wireless box. ‘You can move your TV inside, or outside, or watch a cooking show in your kitchen, without being connected to the box,’ [Joanna Hjelmeland, a CenturyLink spokeswoman] said.”
Not so fast on the Nye’s condo deal. Kristen Leigh Painter of the Strib is saying, “Opponents have also petitioned the City of Minneapolis to conduct an environmental review of the site before the project moves forward. The association agreed to table its approval until that review is conducted, which could last four to five months. … Leaders of a [Our Lady of Lourdes] church committee have two primary concerns: That the tower’s height will dwarf the church and that construction activity will damage the 158-year old structure.”