State of Minnesota’s suit against for-profit colleges goes to trial

Bill Hudson’s story for WCCO-TV story says, “In 2012 the U.S. Senate issued a scathing report on the failures and high cost of for-profit colleges. In a Hennepin County Courtroom on Monday, two of them went under the gun. The state is suing Globe University and the Minnesota School of Business, claiming they recruit students into law enforcement training that has little chance of landing them a job. … If successful, the state will ask the judge to order refunds for students who paid anywhere from $30,000 to $80,000 for a law enforcement degree that was essentially worthless in Minnesota.”

For MPR, Peter Cox says, “A spokesperson for the attorney general’s office said the state wants all former students from the schools receive a letter informing them of the suit, and alerting them they can file a restitution claim if they believe they were misled. The median debt of a graduate from Globe’s associate degree program was more than twice as high compared to that of a Minnesota community college student, based on 2013 data from the state’s higher education office.” “Infuriating” is a word that comes to mind.

You know things are bad when you need the legislature to set things straight. Don Davis of the Forum News Service says, “Julie Seydel of the Minnesota Association of Child Care Professionals told a Senate committee Monday that her members face a range of issues: increasing paperwork, higher operating costs, increasing liability insurance premiums, ever-increasing regulations, changing interpretation of rules and a more adversarial relationship with state officials. ‘These increasing demands have played a key role in the loss of thousands of child care providers in the past decade,’ Seydel said, adding that an average of one child care provider a day has left the profession in that time.” Those people need people.

The Donald was almost in Minnesota, John Myers of the Duluth News Tribune took a drive across St. Louis Bay to see His Comb Overness at the Superior airport. “Billy Rammel waited in line for a couple hours to see Donald Trump in person on Monday, braving a morning that varied between snow squalls and sunshine with temperatures stuck just below freezing. ‘I like Trump because he has a backbone. When he is president, we’re going to start winning again,’ said Rammel, 23, of Superior. ‘We need someone to come in and kick everyone out of this country who doesn’t belong here so we can get our jobs back.’” 

Also for the News Tribune, Tom Olsen reports, “One supporter of Democratic candidate Bernie Sanders strolled outside the old hangar a few hours ahead of the scheduled event carrying a sign offering ‘free hugs.’ Even as a handful of Trump supporters serenaded him with a satirical ‘More free stuff!’ chant, a few rally-goers took him up on the offer. Those who came to the rally — whether in support or opposition — may have been unwavering in their beliefs, but they kept it civil.”

Uh, gotta go. At the story says, “Kevin Dorsey, who made a particularly interesting mark on the Gopher basketball program, has decided to transfer. … Dorsey was the highlight recruit in the 2015 class and while he struggled for much of his freshman season he really seemed to figure things out in late January.  He averaged 10 points per game in his final 6 games as a Gopher before having to sit out the final 5 games of the regular season due to his unusual suspension.” That would be a euphemism for a sex video on the internet.

Lord help me, but I love this kind of stuff. Jaime Delage at the Pioneer Press reports, “A former U.S. Tax Court judge and her husband have been charged with tax evasion in U.S. District Court in Minneapolis. Judge Diane Kroupa, who retired in 2014, and her husband, Robert E. Fackler, are accused of fraudulently claiming personal expenses … Among the personal expenses the two claimed as business deductions were rent and utilities for a second home in Maryland; upkeep and renovation of their Minnetonka home; spa and massage fees; wine club fees; music lessons and expenses for vacations to Alaska, Hawaii, Australia, Greece and Thailand, according to the indictment.” What? No stupid-huge boat? No weekends at The Bellagio? No his and her Ferraris?

Would you pay $2 million for a view of St. Paul? In the PiPress, Sarah Horner writes, “Most Expensive Condo, Based on Market Value. The St. Peter Penthouse, 350 St. Peter St., Unit 1300 2015 estimated market value: $1.77 million. The two-story penthouse perched on top of the Lowry building was on the market last year for $2.25 million. The 5,100-square-foot residence is almost certainly bigger than your house, garage and tree house combined. Owner and developer James Halverson, chief financial officer of Bloomington-based Halverson & Blaiser Group, bought the condo for about $300,000 in 2008, when it was just ‘raw space and a lot of pipes,’ and has since sunk some $1.68 million into it. It now has four fireplaces, two terraces, 12-foot ceilings, panoramic views of the downtown skyline and, of course, a ‘very impressive closet,’ Halverson said.”

No dear, it isn’t guvmint agents comin’ for your guns. Says Lorna Benson at MPR, “You might spot a low-flying helicopter or two over the next several weeks. Xcel Energy crews started inspecting transmission lines across Minnesota on Monday. The required inspections will identify repair and maintenance issues along the lines. Spokesman Randy Fordice says Xcel is alerting the public and emergency responders to the work because the aircraft will be flying at both high and low speeds close to the ground.” To be safe it might be best not be holding your lethal protection device out the window.

An editorial by the ECM papers supports the Governor’s clean water initiative. “Passage of Dayton’s funding request is also needed to increase communities’ access to low-cost loans that make such projects affordable. But even with Legacy funds and Dayton’s budget boost, the work will have just begun. Minnesota’s Clean Water Roadmap, a Legacy project, calls for a 20 percent long-term reduction in the state’s groundwater nitrate levels. With up to 20 million acres of land in row crop production, it’s no secret that unregulated application of nitrous fertilizer, especially for King Corn, is the chief source of nitrates.”

Finally, this also from Superior. Says the Telegram, “A Minnesota couple accused of stealing more than $600 worth of copper wire from a Superior store by hiding it under blankets in a baby stroller made an initial appearance Tuesday in Douglas County Circuit Court. Jesse Michael Thomas, 34, faces misdemeanor charges of retail theft, disorderly conduct, possession of drug paraphernalia and bail jumping stemming from the March 22 incident. … The general manager stopped Thomas and asked him to leave the copper wire, but he started to shove and fight with the manager. [Tiffany] Benjamin took hold of the stroller and started to walk it out of the store. When she was stopped she started swearing and yelling for help, then began kicking the stroller toward the parking lot while holding the baby in her arms.” 

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Comments (2)

  1. Submitted by Ray Schoch on 04/05/2016 - 08:42 am.

    An interesting, thoughtful analysis

    …of the Trump candidacy by Mr. Rammel.

    • Submitted by Greg Kapphahn on 04/05/2016 - 09:21 am.

      I Suspect

      Mr. Rammel hasn’t got a clue,…

      where “our” jobs went,…

      who it is that makes the decisions regarding where jobs are located,…

      who it is that thinks the perfect corporation is one with a few, very highly paid executives,…

      and ZERO other human employees,….

      and why, even if we send all “those people” packing,…

      jobs are NOT going to come back,…

      unless the US financial industry releases its strangle hold on the US economy,…

      and Wall Street analysts change their attitude,…

      that laying off workers is ALWAYS a positive move for any and every company.

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