Following up on his commentary in the Star Tribune calling on the University of Minnesota to fire President Eric Kaler, former Gov. Arne Carlson takes his case against him to MPR. Emily Kaiser and Tom Weber say, “A few weeks ago, a legislative audit found the University ignored “serious ethical issues” in its handling of a mentally ill drug trial patient a decade ago. That patient, Dan Markingson, committed suicide in 2004 while participating in the trial. … When President Kaler came on board, he was sent materials on the seriousness of the ‘Markingson case, the fact that there was a cover up in existence,’ Carlson said. ‘All he had to do was meet with members of his own department of bioethics at the University to discover what the truth was. He refused to do that and instead he participated in the cover up. As the legislator auditor reported and as I reported, that cover up was essentially a series of false statements clearly designed to mislead the public, the legislature and the faculty.’”
Forbes is calling it a bust. Tom Huddleston Jr. writes, “Oil output from the most productive U.S. shale fields is expected to drop off next month by 57 million barrels of crude daily from April to May, the U.S. Energy Information Administration said Monday. That would represent the first monthly decline in more than four years, according to Reuters. The EIA forecasted that the seven shale formations — Bakken, Eagle Ford, Haynesville, Marcellus, Niobrara, Permian and Utica — will produce a total of 5.56 million barrels of crude oil daily next month, down from 5.62 million barrels per day in April.”
And as if North Dakota didn’t have enough problems, Dave Kolpack of the AP reports, “A 69-year-old Minnesota man accused of running an illegal bookmaking operation for about a dozen clients in North Dakota must pay back $250,000 and serve an additional four months in prison on top of the nearly six years he is serving on a separate case. Gerald Greenfield, of Bloomington, is currently serving 50 months on a money-laundering conviction in addition to an 18-month sentence he received for walking away from a federal prison camp in Duluth. His lawyer argued that any additional time for the gambling charge serves no purpose. But in an order filed Friday, U.S. District Judge Ralph Erickson tacked on four months and ordered Greenfield to pay back $250,000.”
Arrested. At MPR, Rijam Feshir and Mukhtar Ibrahim report, “Police have arrested the father of 10-year-old Barway Collins, whose body was found in the Mississippi River over the weekend. The Crystal Police Department confirmed Pierre Collins was arrested for second-degree homicide for the death of Barway. … The medical examiner has not discussed how Barway died.”
Further proof that nothing lasts forever. Bethany Wesley of the Duluth News Tribune writes, “A 113-year-old bridge believed to be the longest trestle bridge still standing in Minnesota was severely damaged by a fire early Monday morning. About 200 feet of the 701-foot-long former railroad trestle bridge burned early Monday morning, said Troy Gabrelcik, Blackduck fire chief. The cause of the fire is under investigation by the state fire marshal. The bridge spanned Coburn Creek in Blackduck, just blocks from downtown. The heavily used bridge — now part of the Blue Ox Trail — was frequently used by snowmobilers, four-wheelers and hikers.”
Still spending your tax dollars. Pam Louwagie of the Strib follows her fascinating piece on the folks pushing for mercy for Little Falls shooter Byron Smith with a report on his appeal. “Defense attorneys argued in their filing that prosecutors improperly presented evidence in the grand jury hearing. Grand juries must indict people on first-degree murder charges. The state tried to destroy the credibility of Smith’s neighbor who was testifying, they wrote. Neighbor Bill Anderson testified that Smith contacted him a day after the shootings and asked for help in finding a lawyer. During questioning, prosecutor Pete Orput indicated that Anderson had told police about Smith asking him to find a defense attorney, which Anderson said was not correct.”
And for only $2.295 million. The Strib’s Jim Buchta tells us, “As the story goes, one day in the late 1950s, a young couple from the Twin Cities saw a picture of that cottage and wrote to Howe, asking him to design a house for them and their two young boys on a wooded hillside overlooking Lake Minnetonka in Orono. [Frank Lloyd Wright protege John] Howe delivered with a sprawling, 3,620-square-foot Prairie-style house, known as Wintertree, that’s now on the market for $2.295 million. Click here to read a story that was published in the Sunday paper, including excerpts from a letter Howe wrote to his clients.”
A long shot and getting longer. Abby Simons, for the Strib, says, “Senate Majority Leader Tom Bakk reiterated that a push to repeal the state’s 80-year-old ban on Sunday liquor sales is still a long shot from becoming law this session, despite renewed confidence from House Speaker Kurt Daudt that the measure has a 50-50 chance at clearing his chamber—and that if it does, it will become law. ‘Unlikely,’ Bakk said succinctly following Monday’s Senate floor session. He said the measure’s highest hurdle is in the House, which last took up Sunday sales as a floor amendment in 2013. It was soundly defeated, 106-21.” Is Wisconsin lobbying against this thing?
Also from Bakk, via Tim Pugmire at MPR: “A day before a private meeting with the head of Minnesota’s new pro soccer franchise, Senate Majority Leader Tom Bakk threw more cold water on the idea of a state subsidized stadium. Bakk, DFL-Cook, is scheduled to meet Tuesday afternoon with Bill McGuire, who is trying to get a soccer-only stadium built in downtown Minneapolis. … Bakk said he remains opposed to any state support for that project. He said the Legislature is still suffering from stadium fatigue. ‘I mean I could offer it on the floor as an amendment. I don’t think it would get a vote,’ Bakk said.” Now if the Wilfs were asking … .
It would be tough selling sympathy for this guy to the prime demographic. says Elizabeth Baier at MPR: “Jeffery Amundson, president of the Rochester Symphony Orchestra and Chorale, has resigned. Amundson, who served as the group’s president for four years, was placed on paid administrative leave in February after prosecutors charged him with stealing money from a vulnerable adult.”
Will they actually ticket someone going 40 in the slow lane? Andy Rathbun of the PiPress says, “State troopers, county deputies and city police will be looking for signs of distracted driving — such as varying speed, swerving and looking down — to find those drivers sending and receiving texts and other electronic messages, said Lt. Tiffani Nielson of the Minnesota State Patrol. ‘Those are the drivers we’re going to be looking for and issuing citations (to) if we believe that distraction was occurring in that vehicle’, Nielson said during a news conference last. She said the fine for distracted driving varies by county but is generally $125 to $145.”
When your guy thinks he’s a contender, others are going to have to suffer. In the Milwaukee Journal-Sentinel Karen Herzog writes, “With five University of Wisconsin System campuses now offering voluntary early retirement buyouts to faculty and staff to address looming budget cuts, it was only a matter of time before the big question demanded center stage. Will some class sizes get larger when eligible faculty leave if no one is hired to replace them, UW-Milwaukee psychology professor John ‘Jay’ Moore asked Monday during a monthly budget forum at the campus, the latest in the system to announce buyouts. ‘That’s a fair implication.’ UWM Vice Chancellor for Finance and Administrative Affairs Robin Van Harpen responded.” It certainly was here.