Dayton creates new office to tackle economic disparities in Minnesota

MinnPost photo by Briana Bierschbach
Gov. Mark Dayton

DEED to take on new challenge. The AP (via KSTP) reports: “Gov. Mark Dayton is setting up a new office to tackle economic disparities for minorities in the state. … Dayton announced his plans for the Office of Career and Business Opportunity on Sunday. The office’s two full-time staff members will help businesses adopt hiring practices and break down barriers to employment in communities of color. It will be a part of the state’s Department of Employment and Economic Development.”

Pumpkin spice supplies reportedly unaffected. “Heavy summer rains in parts of the Midwest and elsewhere have left many farmers short on pumpkins. And in California, drought has squeezed the crop,” reads Kaomi Goetz’s report for NPR. “All of that is also affecting canned puree makers, who consume about half of all pumpkins. Among those affected is Libby’s, the largest U.S. producer of canned pumpkins. Libby’s fills its cans with pumpkins that come mostly from Illinois, America’s leading pumpkin producer.”

Today in kids these days are awful/America is doomed: Bob Shaw writes in the Pioneer Press about the changing face of youth sports. “Andrew Johnson jumped up and down on the sideline, limbering up before charging onto the lacrosse field. … ‘I like the contact of lacrosse and the speed of the game. I used to play baseball, but it was too boring,’ the 13-year-old Lakeville player said as he ran off to take on the other team. … In the same way, lacrosse is taking on the traditional bastions of youth sports. Newly released figures from the National Federation of State High School Associations show participation declines in football, baseball, softball and both boys and girls hockey and basketball.”

Minnesota is on the cutting edge of autonomous transit technology (but don’t expect driverless buses anytime soon). That’s one takeaway from Eric Jaffe’s report for CityLab on the state of the field: “[The Center for Urban Transportation Research] highlights just two meaningful existing cases of transit operators implementing partial autonomous bus technology in the United States: a lane-assist program in Minnesota, and a BRT-docking pilot in Oregon. (Other tests have been promising but not adopted.) That’s not a terribly encouraging start. But a closer look at the Minnesota program shows that metro areas can leverage autonomous features into transit gains even without going fully driverless.”

In other news…

Things get personal in a St. Paul City Council race. [Pioneer Press]

“Former U student to be tried in Thailand for possessing flak jacket” [AP via Star Tribune]

Smashing pumpkins (but not Smashing Pumpkins) in Stillwater. [MPR]

Gov. Walker’s travel expenses leave unanswered questions” [WBAY]

Paul Douglas: Talking about climate change ‘not good for my television career’ ” [Star Tribune]

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