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Minnesota lawmakers scale back PRINCE bill in wake of criticism

REUTERS/Olivia Harris
Prince performing at the Hop Farm Festival near Paddock Wood, England in 2011.

The Legislature gets saved from itselfPatrick Condon for the Star Tribune writes: “Backlash from cultural and professional sports interests led Minnesota legislators to scale back a measure that emerged after Prince’s unexpected death that would restrict unauthorized use of an artist’s image or likeness after they die. The measure, moving rapidly through the Legislature, is called the PRINCE Act … At the request of the trust [created to manage Prince’s estate], legislators initially proposed wider protections for guardians of image and likeness, while also carving out exemptions for media and other public uses. That drew fire from critics on both sides of the issue.” 

It coulda been worse. This from the Strib’s Kent Youngblood: “In the NBA draft lottery for the 20th time, the Timberwolves again failed to move up. Entering the lottery with the fifth-worst record, the Wolves stayed right there, getting the fifth overall pick. … The Wolves continued a streak in which their lot did not improve. This year’s winner was Philadelphia. The Los Angeles Lakers got the second pick, Boston the third and Phoenix fourth in a lottery that went exactly to order.”

And you thought the mosquitoes were bad. Via WCCO comes the story of a woman in northern Minnesota who survived a bear attack: “The victim, 59-year-old Catherine Hanson, was out on her deck in Meadow Township near Sebeka at about 10:15 p.m. when a bear approached her home. The female bear, who was with her cubs, first knocked Hanson over before mauling her. Hanson told deputies the bear eventually left, and she was able to get inside to call authorities. Her injuries are considered non-life threatening. Investigators say the bear was likely attracted to the home by Hanson’s bird feeders, which the bear destroyed.” 

A win for Southwest LRT opponents. MPR’s Tim Nelson reports on a federal judge’s ruling that the Met Council has to turn over documents regarding the massive transit project:  “Federal judge John Tunheim sided with the Lakes and Parks Alliance of Minneapolis in an ongoing lawsuit over the line, filed in 2014. The judge’s decision doesn’t address the legality of the train line, but says the Metropolitan Council will have to disclose records about its negotiations and agreements with other cities in the area. …  [Lakes and Parks Alliance] contend the Met Council never seriously considered an alternative with less environmental impact, a potential violation of federal environmental law.”

St. Paul gets a new bike pathWCCO’s Molly Rosnblatt has the story: “Construction will begin next week on a new segment of the Saint Paul Grand Round bike and walking path. On Tuesday, Mayor Coleman, City Council Members and students gathered to celebrate and unveil the Grand Round logo. ‘It has been the vision of many folks for many many years,’ Coleman said. ‘We’re very excited to take this gigantic leap forward.’” 

This ought to settle it, then. Jim Spencer and Tom Meersman of the Strib write: “Genetically modified foods are no more risky for people than other foods, the nation’s top science advisory body said Tuesday, jumping into a roiling debate on food safety. The group also said genetically modified foods pose no extraordinary environmental risk, though it warned new technologies are beginning to blur distinctions between crops with genetic engineering and those bred conventionally. … The report has been widely anticipated by activists and agriculture interests, including farmers and food companies in Minnesota.”

Awesome and Divided would be a good band name. Brandt Williams of MPR has this on Minneapolis Mayor Betsy Hodges’ State of the City address: “Minnesota’s largest city is both awesome and divided. That was the assessment Tuesday of Minneapolis Mayor Betsy Hodges as she delivered her third annual State of the City address. Hodges stressed that while the city’s economy and cultural scenes are booming, not everyone is enjoying the same level of prosperity. She also wasted little time in addressing the hottest of hot button issues: crime, cops and race.”  

From the Department of Chutzpah. The Strib’s Rochelle Olson has this story, about paying $19 to see something you already paid for: “For the fan who wants to get deep into U.S. Bank Stadium, tickets go on sale next week for tours that will go as far as the Minnesota Vikings’ locker room, the field and the press box. The paid tours go on sale at 10 a.m. May 26 and cost $19 for adults. The tours begin Aug. 24 and will be offered year round.” 

This is yuge (not really). The AP reports that Donald is sending his ‘operatives’ to Minnesota: “Donald Trump is rushing to install operatives in several states that traditionally favor Democrats, pointing to a general election plan consistent with the campaign he has run thus far. … The staffing expansion includes Maine, Minnesota and other places where Trump opens as the underdog, with the New York billionaire seeking to expand the electoral battlefield by drawing on his appeal among working class white voters — and probable Democratic opponent Hillary Clinton’s perceived weakness with them.” 

A smaller Globe. The PiPress’ Christopher Magan writes about one of the state’s biggest for-profit college operators: “Globe University and the Minnesota School of Business are closing campuses and laying off employees in the wake of a fraud lawsuit brought by Minnesota Attorney General Lori Swanson. The for-profit college chain will close schools in Lakeville, Brooklyn Center, Elk River and Plymouth, school leaders said in a statement. It also will consolidate four Wisconsin schools into two campuses. An undisclosed number of students attending the affected schools will be moved to other campuses or complete their degrees online beginning June 30, the statement said.”

Fargo keeps Wisconsin from getting the clean sweep. From the Forum News Service: “Fargo, N.D., is the fifth-drunkest city in the U.S., according to a new ranking by the website 24/7 Wall Street. Four Wisconsin cities ranked higher than Fargo in terms of inebriation, with Appleton ranked first. …The other Wisconsin cities in the top 5 were Oshkosh, Green Bay and Madison.”

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