But aren’t costs supposed to be spiraling out of control? In the Star Tribune Jeremy Olson says, “Health spending in Minnesota rose by 3.1 percent in 2013, the fourth-lowest rate on record, but it’s unclear whether it was a positive result of medical reforms or a negative sign that Minnesotans lacked the money to spend on care.”
It smells like gun-grabbin’ to me. Don Davis at the Forum News Service says, “A new effort to require background checks on all Minnesota gun buyers began Thursday, but gun-owner groups, Republicans and some rural Democrats may have difficulty backing it. Minnesota chapter of Moms Demand Action for Gun Sense in America and the Everytown Survivor Network gathered Democratic lawmakers, law enforcement personnel and prosecutors to promote the attempt.” Clearly an assault on the Constitution!
This is good. Lets hope it works. Maja Beckstrom at the Pioneer Press says, “More low-income teens in rural Minnesota will be getting online coaching to help them apply to college. The nonprofit organization College Possible, based in St. Paul, received a $400,000 grant from the Otto Bremer Trust in the most recent round of grants totaling $8.4 million announced Thursday by the St. Paul-based bank’s foundation. College Possible hires recent college graduates as AmeriCorps coaches to help low-income high school juniors and seniors gain admission to college. The grant will allow the organization to hire more ‘tech-coaches,’ to connect with teens in outstate Minnesota and guide them remotely through the college application and financial aid process via online chats, emails, social media posts and phone calls.”
What would Mitch McConnell do? David Montgomery of the PiPress reports, “One of the seven members of the Minnesota Supreme Court will resign this summer after eight years on the bench, allowing Gov. Mark Dayton to name a fourth appointee to the state’s highest court. Justice Christopher Dietzen was appointed to the court in 2008 by then-Gov. Tim Pawlenty, after previously serving as an appellate judge. Dietzen announced Thursday that he intends to resign Aug. 31, 2016.”
Yeah, probably time to find new work. Dan Browning in the Strib says, “A Long Lake man appointed by Minnesota courts to oversee the lives and estates of vulnerable adults is resigning from nearly five dozen cases in the wake of complaints about mismanagement and a violent attack on him by one of his clients. … One of his attorneys, Charles Singer, confirmed that Coffindaffer plans to quit the business as soon as possible.”
Hockey Day is shifting to Stillwater. John Shipley and Mary Divine at the PiPress says, “Stillwater will be host city to next winter’s Hockey Day Minnesota. It will be the 11th iteration of the annual hockey celebration that includes high school, college and professional games. Some of the details were released during Fox Sports North’s broadcast of Thursday night’s game between the Minnesota Wild and Edmonton Oilers. The Wild and FSN are co-sponsors of the annual event that started with an outdoor game between St. Paul Johnson and Lake of the Woods School in Baudette, Minn.”
You just knew Ol’ Sooch was going to jump on that teacher assault at Como Park High. In the PiPress, Joe Soucheray writes, “For pointing out the obvious, [Como Park teacher Theo] Olson attracted the ire of Rashad Turner, who has seemingly invented status for himself out of whole cloth. He is called the leader of Black Lives Matter St. Paul. He said, getting wind of Olson’s comments, that BLM was going to shut down Como Senior High School because he believes Olson was being a racist. I believe that if Turner asked you for the time of day and you had to report a malfunctioning wristwatch, he would call you a racist.”
Somehow I think we’d still figure it out. The AP says, “A top Republican in the state House of Representatives wants to take some of the party out of Minnesota politics. Rep. Jim Knoblach is pushing a bill that would remove any mention of party affiliation on ballots for state legislators. He says politics in Minnesota have become too partisan and polarizing.” When did we move away from cuddly politics?
Fear the pistachio! The AP says, “Pistachios sold under the brands of Wonderful, Paramount Farms and Trader Joe’s have been recalled nationwide because they may be contaminated with salmonella. Health officials in Minnesota and eight other states were investigating 11 cases of salmonella linked to pistachios from Wonderful Pistachios of Lost Hills, Calif. The nuts are sold nationwide and in Canada.”
With the return of the legislature comes a flood of brilliant ideas. This probably isn’t one of them. The AP says, “A Minnesota state representative is proposing to make people pay for police costs if they are convicted of unlawful assembly. Rep. Nick Zerwas, a Republican from Elk River, cites demonstrations at the Mall of America and following the Jamar Clark shooting in Minneapolis as justification. … He said his bill would save taxpayers money.”
Oh, good god. Says Eric Roper in the Strib, “The Minnesota Vikings see a branding problem with the street next to the new $1.1 billion downtown football stadium — and they intend to fix it. The street is Chicago Avenue, named in the 19th century after what is still one of the nation’s largest cities. It also happens to be the home of the Chicago Bears, a football team. ‘The Minnesota Vikings strongly object to having the street running in front of the stadium named after one of its opponents and neighboring rival,’ the Vikings said in a formal request to rename a segment of the street Vikings Way … .” Mmmmm. How about, “Soon to Make the Second Round Way?”
And the interior decorator was who? Mukhtar Ibrahim at MPR says, “The day before her birthday, Chauntyll Allen went to Joe’s Crab Shack in Roseville for dinner, and was confronted with a disturbing image. Her friend, Tyrone Williams, accompanied her that Wednesday night. As soon as they sat down, a picture embedded in the table caught Allen’s eye. It was an old photograph of a person on a platform, standing under a gallows, facing a large crowd in what appeared to be a town square. It was captioned ‘Hanging in Groesbeck, Texas on April 12, 1895.’ A cartoon bubble above the individual about to be hanged read: ‘All I said was that I didn’t like the gumbo.’ Allen and Williams, who are both African-American, searched for the photo online and were outraged by what they discovered. They found the photo depicted the hanging of a black man.” And you just know a committee signed off on it at some point.