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Daudt pledges Sunday sales vote before session’s end

Plus: U study looks at segregation and wealth; schools’ law-enforcement referral rates; Lucia stalker details emerge; Stearns County’s strong farm economy; and more.

Speaker Kurt Daudt photographed at the State of the State address Thursday evening.
MinnPost photo by Bill Kelley

Note though, he’s not making any promises about the outcome: “Minnesota House Speaker Kurt Daudt says advocates of full liquor sales on Sundays can be assured that a vote will be held before the Legislature adjourns this year,” the AP reports. MinnPost’s Briana Bierschbach explained Wednesday why advocates for Sunday liquor sales shouldn’t get their hopes up. At least they can drown their sorrows with… oh wait.

A new working paper put out by researchers at the University of Minnesota looks at racial segregation not just in terms of poverty, but also in terms of affluence. Specifically, the researchers “…sorted census tracts in 15 of America’s 20 biggest cities into ‘racially concentrated areas of affluence’ and ‘racially concentrated areas of poverty,’ and find that many cities have more areas of segregated affluence than they do poverty,” according to Alana Semuels in the Atlantic. “Cities such as St. Louis, Boston, Baltimore, and Minneapolis have more racially concentrated areas of affluence (RCAAs) than they do racially concentrated areas of poverty (RCAPs).”

The Center for Public Integrity looked at the rates at which schools in all 50 states refer students with discipline problems to law enforcement. Virginia “leads” the country: “…in a single year [Virginia] referred students to law enforcement agencies at a rate nearly three times the national rate.” But Minnesota also punches above its weight, ranking 13th nationally. Black students here are referred to law enforcement at a rate four times that of their white peers.

Details emerged about the man accused of stalking Current radio host Mary Lucia. The Pioneer Press’ Jaime Delage reports, “Patrick Henry Kelly, 56, was charged in October in Hennepin County District Court with stalking, a felony that carries a maximum sentence of 10 years in prison and a $20,000 fine. … Kelly is accused of sending unwanted communications and gifts to Lucia, the weekday afternoon host at MPR’s 89.3 The Current. The communications and gifts were first sent to Lucia at MPR’s studios in downtown St. Paul and later at her home in Minneapolis.”

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The farm economy is strong in Stearns County. The St. Cloud Times’ David Brakke lauds a number of the county’s farming accomplishments: “Stearns is the top milk-producing county in Minnesota, generating around $244.4 million in 2012, according to USDA data. … Stearns County also leads the state in cattle, oats for grain as well as corn and forage crops for silage, according to the USDA. In total, agriculture generated around $10.3 billion, or 3.4 percent, of the state’s gross domestic product, according to 2012 U.S. Department of Commerce data.”

In other news…

Did Minnesota pass a law that could soon make it illegal to use state drivers licenses as ID to board airplanes? [MPR’s NewsCut]

“The Twin Cities Spots That Made the List of 1,000 Things to Eat Before You Die” [City Pages]

Saturday in Superior: Gitchee Gumee Brewfest [Duluth News Tribune]

Inforum columnist: Are cats the next best thing to farm dogs? 

Golf clap: “Critics say bathroom plan flushes tax dollars” [Timberjay]

Blogger Aaron Brown argues lack of support for rural broadband is a betrayal of Greater MN by the GOP [Minnesota Brown]