Nonprofit, independent journalism. Supported by readers.


Title IX complaint filed against University of Minnesota-Duluth

Plus: More deaths on MN roads in 2015; Target to pay $39.4 million for 2013 data breach; St. Paul to reduce carbon emissions; and more.

University of Minnesota-Duluth

You knew this case was heading in this direction. A Star Tribune story says, “Former women’s hockey coach Shannon Miller and seven other women filed a Title IX grievance against the University of Minnesota-Duluth this week, the latest move by former female coaches and players attempting to bring to light alleged gender discrimination violations by Bulldogs leaders. … The allegations range from unjust firings of women’s coaches to discrepancies between men’s and women’s teams fringe benefits such as workout clothes and team snacks.

The death toll keeps rising. MPR says, “There’s nearly a month left to go in 2015, but more people have died so far this year on Minnesota roads than during all of 2014, state officials said Wednesday. Accidents during the last week pushed the toll to 365 people dead on Minnesota roads in 2015 compared with 361 for all of last year, the Minnesota Department of Public Safety said in a statement. … Distracted driving was involved in 20 percent of fatalities, while drunk driving was tied to 25 percent of deaths … .”

He forwarded the juicy stuff. In the Pioneer Press Jamie Delage reports, “A Dakota County employee is accused of improperly copying a sheriff’s office incident report that included charges against two state representatives allegedly caught ‘making out’ in Lebanon Hills Regional Park. Thomas Alan Berry, an employee in the environmental resources department, is accused of copying the park incidents report, which included confidential information, ‘with the intent to use the data for non-governmental purposes,’ according to a misdemeanor charge filed Nov. 12 in Dakota County District Court. … The complaint does not accuse Berry of leaking the report to the media.”

Speaking of juice, it’s flowing off the roofs at MSP. Says Dave Shaffer of the Strib, “Minnesota’s largest solar power project is now generating electricity atop two parking ramps at the Minneapolis-St. Paul International Airport. The 3 million-watt system containing 8,705 solar panels went online Tuesday, and is expected to supply 20 percent of the electricity used in Terminal 1 and to cut carbon emissions by nearly 7,000 tons per year, airport officials said.”

Article continues after advertisement

On the budget surplus, Tim Pugmire of MPR says, “With interest groups already lining up for a share of an expected surplus, Gov. Mark Dayton and state lawmakers find out Thursday morning how much extra money they’ll have available next year. Minnesota Management and Budget officials are scheduled to release their latest economic forecast, a twice-a-year report on state revenues and expenditures. Their forecast will set the stage for potential budget adjustments in the 2016 session. Most signs point to another budget surplus. Groups that help care for elderly and disabled people in home- and community-based settings want a $90 million state funding increase next year.”  

The AP says: “Lately, U.S. Rep. Keith Ellison has fallen out of favor with some protesters camped outside a Minneapolis police precinct. They’ve carried a scrawled sign calling him a ‘sellout’ and expressed similar sentiments on social media after the congressman joined calls for them to take down their tents and remove their roadblocks and campfires. … One of the most visible protest leaders, University of St. Thomas law professor and civil rights attorney Nekima Levy-Pounds, said government leaders are trying to exploit a generational and leadership divide in the black community — and she faulted Ellison for being part of it.”

$890,000 here, $890,000 there. Says Brian Bakst for the AP, “Minnesota officials approved a cost break for three taconite producers Wednesday by retroactively lowering their royalty rates on ore mined on the Iron Range. The decision drops the amount companies must pay on each ton of ore by almost 19 percent and revises a separate formula for ore shipped out of state. Together, the moves will lower the amount that flows to a special school trust fund account and local coffers by an estimated $890,000, which the Department of Natural Resources said would have come in between this April and next June.”

But that’s still a whole lot less than $39.4 million. Jonathan Stempel and Nanita Bose at Reuters say, “Target Corp has agreed to pay $39.4 million to resolve claims by banks and credit unions that said they lost money because of the retailer’s late 2013 data breach. The settlement filed on Wednesday resolves class-action claims by lenders seeking to hold Target responsible for their costs to reimburse fraudulent charges and issue new credit and debit cards.”

The planet has been saved! St. Paul is going to do something about carbon emissions. Says Frederick Melo in the PiPress, “While world leaders in Paris debate what to do about climate change, the St. Paul City Council has already made up its mind: It’s time to reduce greenhouse gas emissions. Over the next three years, the city plans to conduct a greenhouse gas emissions inventory and create an action plan with measurable reduction goals. … The city has added energy-efficient appliances to vacant homes acquired for refurbishing; installed diode street lights and electric vehicle charging stations; and worked with the St. Paul Port Authority on a commercial loan program to reduce energy use in businesses.”

Smooth move. Another MPR story says, “The Minnesota Orchestra on Wednesday announced a $250,000 gift — from its own musicians. The money, which will go to establish a fund in support of community outreach, comes from the proceeds that musicians earned during their 16-month lockout, which ended in 2014. The musicians performed a series of public concerts during the lockout. Funds came in from those concerts, as well as in donations from private individuals and performers with other orchestras.”

Too steamy for Rosemount? Kelsy Ketchum of the PiPress says, “A request by parents to remove a young adult book from libraries in the Rosemount-Apple Valley-Eagan school district will be considered by a committee of parents and school staff Thursday. Parents Ben and Kandi Lovin said the book ‘Just One Day’ by Gayle Forman ‘covers adult themes’ and should be pulled from the shelves of four school libraries. … The book, which is not taught in classrooms, tells the story of a young woman who spends a day in Paris with an actor she just met.” Hey, at least he isn’t a musician.

Finally, it’s good to have supreme friends. In the Milwaukee Journal-Sentinel Patrick Marley says, “The state Supreme Court on Wednesday ruled a special prosecutor had been improperly appointed to oversee an investigation of Gov. Scott Walker’s campaign and conservative groups but determined evidence gathered in that probe should be retained by the court rather than destroyed. The 4-1 ruling stuck with the court’s July decision that ended the investigation and concluded groups and candidates can work together. … The court’s finding that [special prosecutor Francis] Schmitz was improperly appointed raises the possibility he would not have legal standing to ask the U.S. Supreme Court to review the state court’s decisions. However, the Wisconsin justices noted Chisholm or other district attorneys involved in the case could intervene in the case, giving them the ability to pursue the matter before the U.S. Supreme Court.”