Hundreds turn out for Prince memorial service in Minnetonka

REUTERS/Jumana El-Heloueh

Including, wait, Paul Allen, the voice of the Minnesota Vikings? Indeed, the Star Tribune’s Anthony Lonetree reports on the latest service honoring Prince, who died a month ago. “In the early 2000s, Prince joined Jehovah’s Witnesses, drawn to the faith by spiritual mentor Larry Graham, bass player for the legendary ’60s funk group Sly and the Family Stone. At Sunday’s service, Graham spoke of traveling with Prince on tour, and of being together in a concert venue’s parking lot, so swept up in talk of the Bible that Prince suddenly had to say, ‘I think I’m supposed to go on [stage],’ Dixon said after the service.”

Not a pretty picture. MPR’s Mark Zdechlik has a big story on the state of the state’s waters: “For Broberg and others, the massive fish kill on the Whitewater was the latest sign of serious, widespread trouble in Minnesota’s waters. Some 40 percent of the lakes and streams are polluted, with much of that centered in southern Minnesota’s farm country. In six far southwestern Minnesota counties there are no lakes considered fishable and swimmable. At the Capitol, lawmakers are divided on how far to go to fix the problems. Gov. Mark Dayton has made water quality an issue central to his legacy. He’s pushed to boost the number of buffer strips along Minnesota lakes and rivers to help trap farm runoff, although he stepped back from some of those efforts amid pressure from some lawmakers and farm groups.”

Voting laws. From the AP, comes a story about the legal fight in Wisconsin over voting laws: “A federal judge is set to weigh whether a host of changes that Republican legislators have made to Wisconsin’s voting laws illegally burden minority and Democratic-leaning voters. Liberal group One Wisconsin Institute, Inc., social justice group Citizen Action of Wisconsin Education Fund and 10 voters filed the lawsuit last June. U.S. District Judge James Peterson has scheduled a bench trial to begin Monday in Madison. There will be no jury, just the judge’s final decision that he’ll likely issue weeks down the line.”

BittersweetMPR’s Bob Collins has this item on former Minnesotan and current Arizona Cardinals wide receiver Larry Fitzgerald fulfilling his mother’s dying wish: “Fitzgerald, 32, a star with the Arizona Cardinals, graduated yesterday with a degree from the University of Phoenix. ‘I feel blessed to have had her for 19 years, and she was around long enough to shape me into the man I am today,’ Fitzgerald told the Arizona Republic. ‘But I’m sad at the fact that she busted her ass for so many years so I could live my dream, and she never saw the things I could’ve given her. That hurts.’”

Beer. This story, from the PiPress’ Jess Fleming, is a couple days old, but still obviously important: “Four local beers were awarded medals in what brewers call the Olympics of Beer. Around 6,600 beers from 55 countries competed in the awards, which are given to beers in 96 categories. The winners were announced at the Craft Brewers Conference and Brew Expo America in Philadelphia.” The Minnesota brewers who won? Schell’s, Bauhaus Brewlabs, Bemidji Brewing Co., and Insight Brewing Co. 

The U of M is making fewer lawyers, so there’s one thing they’re getting right. In a story from a few days ago, the New York Times’ Elizabeth Olson takes a look at the law school’s decision to cut enrollment: “Statistics released by the American Bar Association in April showed that only 60 percent of 2015 law graduates were employed in the legal industry 10 months after graduation. … Resisting the temptation to admit more students to bolster tuition receipts, the University of Minnesota, which has one of the nation’s highly ranked law schools, has gone in the opposite direction. It decided to shrink enrollment, and take in less tuition income, to preserve its national standing as a top law school. It did this even as some argued for broader inclusion of students who would fall outside the school’s admissions parameters.”

Featuring two things that are super easy to root for: Amazon and robots. The PiPress’ Julio Ojeda-Zapata looks in on the Amazon fulfillment center opening in Shakopee: “Amazon has begun filling more than 1,000 full-time positions at a Shakopee-based fulfillment center it began building late last year and publicly unveiled in February. The 20-acre, million-square-foot facility will be a point of origin for smaller purchases — such as hardcover books and electronic gadgets.The company said the facility also will teem with “hundreds and hundreds” of robots working alongside the humans. The complex is among more than a dozen of its ‘robotics fulfillment facilities’ around the country.”

Body cameras get a vote (though that may not be a good thing). KSTP’s Joe Augustine has the latest: “Lawmakers are expected to vote Monday on controversial body camera legislation that critics say is intended to protect police, not privacy. The House of Representatives will vote on a bill that would make most body camera videos private unless it involves cases of substantial bodily harm that occurred in public places. A Senate version of the bill has already passed. Rep. Tony Cornish (R-Vernon City) said in a house committee hearing last week that he wrote the bill to offer police departments more guidance and to find a balance between transparency and privacy. ‘We’ve attempted to address most of the concerns,’ Rep. Cornish said. But critics spent this weekend rallying against the legislation.”

Finally, in KAT news. From the AP comes this surprising-to-absolutely-nobody scoop: “The No. 1 overall pick from Kentucky posted the best rookie season for a big man since Tim Duncan. He averaged 18.1 points, 10.7 rebounds and 1.7 blocks and helped the Timberwolves win 13 more games than they did the previous season. Towns also played all 82 games and was named Western Conference rookie of the month in all six months the award was handed out. From the night of the NBA draft all the way to the end of his first season, Towns stood head and shoulders above the rest of his rookie class.” 

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Comments (1)

  1. Submitted by Todd Hintz on 05/16/2016 - 11:44 am.

    Voting Laws

    If your voting laws are being challenged in court, then you haven’t written good laws. They should be crafted with bipartisan support and with an eye towards making it easier for voters to get to the polls. If your objective is to throw up barriers, then you’ve already failed before you start.

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