Brandon Stahl of the Strib has more on the strange saga of two missing Lakeville teens: “Lakeville police Lt. Jason Polinski assumed that as his agency searched for missing teenagers Gianna and Samantha Rucki, the people who saw them last would be willing to help. Instead, he said, those people have resisted in hopes that the girls stay missing. ‘Every person we’ve talked to had the same anti-government, “family court sucks” attitude,’ Polinski said. Polinski was referring to a vocal, passionate group, both in Minnesota and nationwide, that is sometimes called the ‘Protective Parent’ movement. Those in the movement believe that family courts are broken and judges in custody disputes are ordering children to live with abusive parents. Some in the group say the noncustodial parent in these cases has no choice but to hide kids in a loosely organized underground network.” So, sort of a “States Rights” argument, only at the individual family level.
Talk about crazy Socialist ideas. Curtis Gilbert at MPR reports, “Officials in Minneapolis will be watching the results of an election happening Tuesday in Seattle, where voters will decide whether to increase property taxes to improve streets, bridges, transit and other transportation systems. There’s been discussion in Minneapolis recently about doing something similar in the next couple years. Here’s why city leaders are interested and how it might work. Right now, they’re not terrible. Minneapolis streets are currently rated ‘fair’ on average, but computer models show they’re going to fall into serious pothole territory in the next ten years unless the city starts putting more money into them.” Really? “Fair?” You show me “fair” and I’ll show you 1830s Montana.
Blame the strong dollar. Says Dee DePass in the Strib, “Conditions in Minnesota and other central U.S. factories fell yet again as manufacturers in October struggled with a drop in wholesale farm and energy prices and the strong U.S. dollar, according to a widely watched economic report released Monday. The Creighton University Mid-America Business Conditions Index also found that employment fell throughout its nine-state region as manufacturers let workers ago or slowed hiring.”
On all the school funding up for a vote today, Curtis Gilbert at MPR (again) says, “School levies generally get wide support from Minnesota voters, especially in years where there’s no presidential election. Last year voters approved nearly 75 percent of levy requests. In 2013, that number was nearly 90 percent, the highest success rate for school levies in over 30 years. School officials across the state are hoping voters continue to see the need.”
Xcel needs … more. Stribber Dave Shaffer says, “Xcel Energy on Monday requested a 9.8 percent electric rate hike in Minnesota that would be phased-in over three years and by 2018 result in $132 more in annual payments for the typical residential customer. In a regulatory filing, Xcel said capital investment in transmission, distribution and generation of electricity, along with increases in normal business costs are behind the request.”
For The Street, Lindsay Ingram reports, “Shares of Hutchinson Technology were gaining 102.9 percent to $3.55 on Monday following the announcement that TDK Corp. (TTDKY) will acquire the disk drive suspension assemblies supplier company in an all-cash deal. TDK will acquire all outstanding shares of HTI for up to $4 a share under the terms of the agreement.”
After closer review: a hoax. WCCO-TV says, “Brainerd police say the incident of a needle found inside a piece of candy on Halloween has been revealed as a hoax. According to police, the child involved in the story fabricated the incident. On Sunday, police posted a photo on Facebook and said they got a call from someone who found a needle in their child’s candy. The image shows what appears to be a needle in a fun-size Three Musketeers bar.” So instead of 1 in (roughly) 6,000,000 pieces of candy, make that 0 for 6,000,000.
Always a problem when you ask for the public’s opinion — on art. Tim Pugmire at MPR says, “Minnesotans will soon get to share their opinions on what kind of art they want to see inside the state Capitol building, when it reopens in 2017 after a major renovation. The art subcommittee of the Capitol Preservation Commission is hosting a series of public meetings throughout the state in the coming weeks. The first one is next week in Rochester. The panel of legislators, historians and others has been wrestling with whether changes are needed to the portraits of governors, the paintings that depict Native Americans and the art related to the Civil War.” I’m thinking of a kind of Keith Haring meets Hello Kitty … on snowmobiles.
The streets are a little more crowded. At KSTP-TV Joe Mazan says, “More than one hundred federal prisoners are being released in Minnesota. It’s part of a national program to reduce long sentences of non-violent drug offenders and help ease overcrowding in prisons. Through this program, about 6,000 federal prisoners will be released nationwide. Chief U.S. District Judge John Tunheim said the release program will give some of the 140 inmates a second chance.”
Thank god someone is focusing on the big challenges to our culture. Says Tom Meersman in the Strib, “The changing sport of golf and its future will be examined as part of a new five-year research partnership between the University of Minnesota and the U.S. Golf Association. The agreement, announced Monday, will allow both parties to identify and fund cross-disciplinary projects in design, maintenance, business, operations and economics.”
Chris Iverson at streets.mn has some interesting ideas for adding value to our next stadium project. Among them: “United Properties has recently stated they would like to develop office space as part of their development. While new office space is becoming more of a tasteful luxury in this region, I would challenge the company to take a closer look at building shared office spaces, similar to CoCo in downtown and Uptown Minneapolis. Soccer fans in America tend to skew young and liberal, and nothing appeases an environmentally-conscious, cold press-sipping yuppies like 16-foot ceiling heights and a creativity-inducing, cubicle-lacking atmosphere. More importantly, shared work spaces are small business incubators, and could streamline start-ups from the diverse populations in the area. If someone were to build shared office space anywhere in the Twin Cities, this Midway site — next to a new soccer stadium — would likely be a top location.” Certainly until something else comes along and is topper-er.