Millions in swank new facilities will put an end to this sort thing, right? Dan Browning and Emma Nelson of the Strib report, “University of Minnesota football players have been accused of sexual assault, sexual harassment and retaliation in the past academic year, but the allegations didn’t result in criminal charges, a university administrator said Thursday. Kimberly Hewitt, the school’s director of equal opportunity and affirmative action, said in a July 16 e-mail to then-athletic director Norwood Teague that her office had concerns regarding complaints about football players, including two reports of sexual assault ‘committed by individual players,’ two reports of sexual harassment involving ‘groups of football players’ and a report of retaliation of involving ‘a group of football players.’ The e-mail was obtained Wednesday through a records request by the Star Tribune.”
Also in the Strib, Kim Palmer tells us, “Ed Schneider has been like a shot of Miracle-Gro for the Minnesota Landscape Arboretum. During his five years as director, attendance has shot up to 400,000 yearly visitors, an all-time record. Fundraising, too, has broken ceilings, and a bumper crop of new programs and exhibits has been launched, with more to come. Now Schneider, the man credited with the Arb’s robust growth, is leaving to take a job in Texas. But Arb representatives say they’re confident the momentum Schneider initiated will continue.” I resisted the line about “greener pastures.”
The job-killing just won’t stop. The Forum News Service reports, “Minnesota’s unemployment rate dropped to 3.8 percent in September, a 0.2 percentage point fall from August, the Department of Employment and Economic Development announced Thursday. The national rate both months was 5.1 percent. At the same time, Minnesota lost 5,700 jobs last month after gaining 7,300 in August. In the past year, Minnesota gained 35,242 jobs, a 1.2 percent growth rate.”
Do I hear a complaint? Anyone? Anyone? Says Andy Rathbun of the PiPress, “Minnesota may owe El Nino a gracias this winter. The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Association’s Climate Prediction Center says El Nino — a warming of water in the Pacific Ocean — is expected to strongly influence winter weather, and for Minnesota that may mean higher temperatures. The center this week released its U.S. Winter Outlook, which favors warmer-than-average temperatures across the state from December through February.”
Our favorite restaurant critic, Marilyn Hagerty, broke her hip. In the Grand Forks Herald she writes, “Some people fly away to Hawaii. Others go to see the leaves changing color in New England. Or they cruise to Alaska. I went to Altru last week. Now I am sidetracked at home with a hip fracture. Thanks to the help from my niece Kristi, who came from Colorado Springs to be with me. I am on the sidelines now. I am down but not out.” What she needs is some nice Olive Garden soup.
Do we get a choice of eight different colors? Says Dave Shaffer in the Strib, “Streetlights are about to get brighter, cheaper and more energy efficient in a wide swath of Minnesota. Xcel Energy, the largest electric company in Minnesota, said Thursday that it intends to replace all of its 100,000 streetlights across the state with energy-efficient LEDs — part of a proposed $100 million, five-year streetlight upgrade in all eight states it serves.”
“Anonymous,” you say? The AP says, “An anonymous Minnesota resident is suing the state over its decision to drop nonprofit health insurance provider UCare from public health care programs after a competitive bid process, alleging the Department of Human Services hasn’t offered the company’s 370,000 enrollees adequate avenues to keep their current providers.”
Famous Dave’s has seen better days. MPR’s Martin Moylan says, “The Minnesota revenue department says 14 Famous Dave’s restaurants in the Twin Cities are ten or more days late paying liquor, wine and beer taxes. The state says that unless the taxes are paid, no alcohol wholesaler, manufacturer or brewer may sell or deliver any product to the restaurants starting next Tuesday. … The company has closed at least one of the restaurants listed by the revenue department. The barbecue chain has been struggling recently. Sales were down about ten percent for the first half of this year and earnings dropped 75 percent.”
We all pity Comcast. Frederick Melo of the PiPress reports, “Pay-TV choices for St. Paul residents are about to expand. Comcast’s dominant Xfinity-branded cable television service potentially faces new competition — from the phone company — pending a decision of the city council next month. Neighboring cities also are interested. CenturyLink plans to offer its Prism TV service to about 60 percent of the city by mid-December. This looks and feels like cable television but technically isn’t. The product is delivered to a set-top box the same way high-speed Internet arrives in a subscriber’s home — through a combination of fiber-optics and DSL copper wire, or through high-speed fiber alone.” A monopoly just isn’t what it used to be.
Buck Hill. Soon to be year-round. Says Jamie DeLage in the PiPress, “Buck Hill Ski Area has been sold, and the new owners say they intend to make the Burnsville ski hill more of a year-round destination. The ski hill was founded by Chuck and Nancy Stone in 1954 and they’ve run it ever since. The Stones announced Thursday they are selling it to their longtime general manager Don McClure and his new business partners David and Corrine ‘Chip’ Solner.”
Great. Another PIN number. For NBCNews Ben Popken says, “If you’re used to swiping your store card at Target, get ready to learn a whole new move. Now you’ll have to ‘dip’ and ‘punch’ — a new PIN code that is. Target this week announced it’s sending all its TargetREDcard customers new cards with the embedded chip we’ve all been hearing about. But unlike ‘chip and signature’ approach other U.S. card issuers have been taking, Target will be the first to require customers actually memorize and use a whole new PIN code.” I claim, “Password123.”