MnSCU backs away from controversial phone policy

Yeah, this comes as no surprise. Says Maura Lerner of the Star Tribune, “Officials are backing away from a controversial rule allowing Minnesota’s state colleges and universities to examine the personal cellphones of their employees. The new rule, which took effect April 1, gave administrators the right to inspect privately-owned phones, computers and other mobile devices if employees used them for work.”

Serious dough for mental health. Paul Blume’s story for KMSP-TV says, “The Dayton administration is shining a spotlight on the Anoka-Metro Regional Treatment Center as it seeks more funding for care of the mentally ill in Minnesota. Gov. Dayton is proposing a $177 million package of improvements for state hospitals and mental health facilities, which includes the center in Anoka and the Minnesota Security Hospital in St. Peter. Anoka is an inpatient psychiatric hospital for those experiencing significant mental health crises. It’s been in the news recently after several high-profile incidents including assaults on staff and a former patient threatening to light himself on fire.”

Phenom du jour alert. In the Pioneer Press, Mike Berardino says, “After the big news of Jose Berrios’ promotion became official, Twins general manager Terry Ryan was asked Tuesday how ready the ballyhooed pitching prospect is for the majors. ‘We wouldn’t have called him up if we didn’t think he was ready,’ Ryan said. ‘A lot of people have been clamoring for him. Here he is.’” Not what I would call a ringing endorsement. But good luck, kid.

Maybe if they just didn’t hire people with families? Says Don Davis of the Forum News Service, “Legislation requiring most Minnesota businesses to provide paid family leave to workers is on hold until new cost estimates are available. ‘It looks a lot to me like MNsure math,’ Sen. Paul Gazelka, R-Nisswa, said Tuesday, referring to the controversial state-run online health insurance sales program that critics say cost far more than expected. Gazelka questioned whether the family leave bill by Sen. Katie Sieben, D-Cottage Grove, provides enough money to care for Minnesotans who would take up to 12 weeks off work to care for pregnancy, care for a new child or care for a family member. ‘It’s a whole lot like Obamacare was,’ Gazelka said of the federal health law that MNsure was launched to support.”

No new shadow over the Foshay. Says Evan Ramstad for the Strib, “Franklin Street Properties Corp., the real estate firm that last year proposed building a 50-story tower next to the Foshay in downtown Minneapolis, said late Tuesday that it will instead redevelop the four-story building that’s already there. 

No wonder you were getting mail for the guy four blocks over. Says Stribber Paul Walsh, “A fairly new mail carrier driving her route extremely drunk along a busy Minnetonka street crashed into a street sign, authorities said Tuesday. Mary E. Sweet, 59, registered a blood alcohol level of 0.297 percent in a preliminary breath test at the scene late Friday morning, was jailed and charged with third-degree drunken driving.”

Today in crushing your precious Second Amendment rights. In the Strib, Patrick Condon says, “Supporters and opponents of tougher backgrounds checks on gun purchases in Minnesota lobbied a state Senate panel with emotional stories and at times conflicting statistics on Tuesday. Despite a crowded hearing that at times grew testy, the Senate Judiciary Committee did not vote on the background check bill, or a companion bill that would let law enforcement temporarily block gun possession by individuals in domestic violence situations.” 

Here’s a gig with some problems in the inbox. Brian Bakst at MPR says, “Minnesota government has a newly designated official in charge of watching over 4,400 miles of rail routes and working with companies to assure safety. Gov. Mark Dayton appointed Alene Tchourumoff on Tuesday as state rail director, a new position within his office. She most recently served as a leading official in the Hennepin County Public Works Department.”

Not a campaign story. The Forum News Service says, “Police are looking for a 5-foot snake on the loose, sighted on the north end of Crookston, in northwestern Minnesota, Police Chief Paul Biermaier told media outlets. Police are trying to determine what type of snake it is and where it came from, he said.”

Oh, why not? Lucia Stein of ABC News (Australia) reports, “An artist who recently painted a tribute mural of Prince in Sydney is seeking funding for a trip to the United States after being asked to paint a similar tribute in the musician’s hometown. Sydney-based artist Graham Hoete is hoping to do a five-storey-high mural in the US and would like to make it even more ‘epic’ than his Sydney artwork. The artist, who goes by ‘Mr G’, began receiving requests to paint a similar mural in Minnesota, after word spread worldwide of his mural of the ‘Purple One’ on a wall at Street University in Liverpool.” The Vikings’ stadium has a lot of blank wall space.

Accomplishment. The Forum News Service says, “The state’s federal lawmakers have announced a $68,000 preservation grant for Split Rock Lighthouse  — money that will help outline long-term management and preservation efforts of the iconic North Shore lighthouse. The financial support from the National Park Service, in partnership with the Maritime Administration, U.S. Sens. Amy Klobuchar and Al Franken and Congressman Rick Nolan said. The grant was awarded to the Minnesota Historical Society, which operates Split Rock Lighthouse State Park, and will be used toward a $136,000 cultural landscape report.” After that maybe they fix a few things.

You can also learn about all our free newsletter options.

Comments (3)

  1. Submitted by Ray Schoch on 04/27/2016 - 07:17 am.

    A semi-perfect solution

    …to Mr. Gazelka’s concerns about the costs of “family leave” to business owners: Why not take the whole question out of the realm of something provided by employers, and instead adopt a single-payer federal health care system, which would include family leave, under the aegis of the Social Security Administration? It’s already proven, over decades, to be far more efficient at fiscal management and the provision of benefits to many millions of people than any private insurer – or employer.

    • Submitted by Steve Titterud on 04/27/2016 - 09:28 am.

      There you go again, Mr. Schoch, talking common sense,

      …fiscal responsibility, and genuine family values.

      You are such a dinosaur !!

    • Submitted by Todd Hintz on 04/27/2016 - 12:11 pm.

      Stop Being Practical!

      I’ve got a coworker in Canada who’s out for a full year for her baby. She’ll be back sometime in November once her leave is up.

      Here we’re quibbling about a measly twelve weeks, in spite of a party who tries to position themselves as being the more family friendly option. Then they turn around and cut benefits for the poor, for women and children, health benefits, and unemployment benefits, just to name a few. It’s a wonder anyone but the uber wealthy vote R these days.

Leave a Reply