The Star Tribune reports on how the six men suspected of trying to join ISIL: Mila Koumpilova and Erin Golden write: “Some of the young men got a head start on racking up college credits in high school. Some juggled college and jobs that helped them chip in for family budgets. Some worshiped NBA stars and caught college-night games at Target Center. In some ways, the six Minneapolis men facing federal charges over an alleged attempt to join overseas militants don’t seem to fit a stereotypical profile of the radical recruit: the adrift high school dropout with tenuous links to the mainstream community.”
You may not be fixated on the big, so-called “fast tracked” Pacific trade deal. But organized labor is. At MPR, Brett Neely reports, “Organized labor has come out strongly against both the negotiating authority and the overall agreement, arguing that a deal would push wages down for American workers. Although business groups are generally supportive of more international trade, Minnesota’s business community is far from united on the trade deal. Even though exports make up less than 10 percent of Minnesota’s economy, for those businesses engaged in international trade the Trans-Pacific Partnership is a hot topic. The state’s biggest export sector is the medical device industry, with more than $3.7 billion in exports last year.” And here I thought that business had cratered and died because of that Obamacare tax.
MinnPost’s Briana Bierschbach covered the defeat of Sunday booze yesterday. In the Strib, Abby Simons says, “The vote means another victory for the influential Minnesota Licensed Beverage Association, the lobby representing a network of bars and liquor store owners who oppose a repeal, saying big-box competition would force them to open Sundays, increasing overhead costs but not profits. Sunday sales proponents say the repeal would only give liquor stores the option to open Sundays. Rep. Greg Davids, R-Preston, has remained opposed to Sunday sales specifically because of those constituents. ‘Its day may come,’ Davids said of Sunday sales. ‘I’m just listening to the small business owners in my district saying ‘We want a day off; give us a day off.’” I’m really not sure why we care so much about this, or even if we do. Maybe we just don’t want to look like a cold Utah.
No Hit Squad at Cinco de Mayo, if St. Paul has its way. In the PiPress, Elizabeth Mohr says, “The city of St. Paul is asking a court to restrict Hit Squad gang members during this year’s Cinco de Mayo celebration, which takes place on the gang’s turf. The request is not the first of its kind. The city in 2009 successfully sued other local gangs, following a state law change that allowed courts to deem street gangs a public nuisance. Similar cases have arisen in states like California and Texas.”
Just two more days and we can take this NFL draft insanity out behind the barn. Until then, the AP says, “Vikings GM Rick Spielman doubled down Tuesday on the long-held organizational stance that they don’t plan to trade him. ‘I think Coach (Mike) Zimmer stated it pretty clear that we have no interest in trading Adrian Peterson, and we don’t,’ Spielman said.”
After all, it worked so well with the airlines and the banks. A trio of writers, including Attorney General Lori Swanson argue in a Strib commentary against deregulating land line telephone service. “For 100 years, Minnesota has regulated the price and service quality of local telephone service. Minnesota law also requires phone companies to extend service to all Minnesotans, no matter where they live. These laws have served Minnesota well. Unfortunately, the Legislature is considering bills … to eliminate these price and service quality regulations. The bills would allow phone companies to charge higher rates with degraded service and access. Capitol insiders have dubbed the measure the ‘CenturyLink bill.’ A similar deregulation measure in another state is called the ‘AT&T bill.’ It speaks volumes that these bills are named after the phone companies that are pushing them. In one state, prices more than doubled after local telephone service was deregulated.”
WCCO-TV’s Esme Murphy reports on the latest Catholic sex abuse news. “As part of a new legal settlement, The Rev. Allen Tarlton had to admit he sexually assaulted Troy Bramlage at St. John’s Preparatory School in the 1970s. When that abuse happened, the files show the abbey knew about earlier accusations against the monk. Tuesday’s agreement means St. John’s will now release the full files on 19 monks accused of abuse.”
A Roadmaster?! Do you know how big that thing is? Riham Feshir of MPR’s story on the 8-year-old out crusing with his even younger homies says, “An 8-year-old boy drove his foster family’s 1992 Buick Roadmaster on Interstate Hwy. 35E early Tuesday morning. He navigated at least one construction zone, multiple highways and ramps, with a 5-year-old girl and a 3-year-old boy in the car. The children were not injured in what the Minnesota State Patrol called a ‘very bizarre situation’ with ‘the best possible outcome.’ It’s not clear how the boy got on I-35E from where he lives in St. Paul. … The boy drove at least 10 miles on Highway 36 West, to Interstate Hwy. 35W northbound, exited on County Road 10, went onto side streets and eventually parked in a Mounds View driveway.” He’ll be an Uber driver by next week.
Not even a toll charge? Dan Kraker of MPR reports on the man who shut down part of the Superior Hiking Trail: “Randy Bowe, who owns 380 acres of land between the popular Gooseberry Falls and Split Rock Lighthouse state parks, said there have been too many smoldering campfires left by hikers and some have been hostile. Bowe, a Duluth taxidermist, bought the property in the mid-1980s as work began on the trail, which extends 300 miles from Jay Cooke State Park, south of Duluth, to the Canadian Border. He granted permission for a 1.6-mile section of trail to cut through his property. But as the trail has grown in popularity, problems with hikers have increased, he said. Some have berated him for driving an all-terrain vehicle.”
Also from Kraker: “Gov. Mark Dayton on Tuesday ordered state natural resources officials to stop the practice of radio collaring moose in Minnesota and to stop issuing new permits for moose radio collaring. Dayton in a statement said he was concerned collaring has led to the deaths of some adult moose and put ‘calves in danger of abandonment by their mothers.’ The state Department of Natural Resources has been using GPS tracking collars on adult and calf moose since 2013 as part of a $1.2 million study to learn more about why the moose population continues to fall in Minnesota.” My favorite moose factoid, courtesy a Ranger on Isle Royale. In winter, the average adult moose is host to 80,000 ticks.
You say you couldn’t swing the private jet to Vegas, or the suite at the Bellagio, or even the $1.99 breakfast at Terrible’s Casino, but you still want to see Saturday’s big fight? City Pages’ Ben Johnson says, “Manny Pacquiao and Floyd Mayweather Jr. are finally going to fight Saturday night. Sure, it’s about five years too late, but let’s not dwell on the past. People are still seriously fired up. Fired up enough to plunk down $100 on pay-per-view. Don’t want to do that? We made a couple dozen calls to bars around the Twin Cities to find out where the fight will be playing Saturday night.” Here’s what they found out.