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St. Paul Public Schools to eliminate gender-specific bathrooms

Plus: Attorney general seeks loan forgiveness for students misled by for-profit college; another Minnesota State Trooper helps deliver a baby; legislation to create presidential primary hits roadblock; and more.

That’s one solution. Says Josh Verges for the PiPress, “St. Paul Public Schools is taking a novel approach to the debate over who gets access to which restrooms. One year after making a policy change that granted transgender students and staff access to whichever restrooms and locker rooms they prefer, the district is preparing to eliminate gender-specific restrooms wherever possible. At Johnson Senior High, every restroom will be converted to single-occupancy stalls as part of a major renovation later this year.”

Christopher Magan’s Pioneer Press story says, “Minnesota Attorney General Lori Swanson is expanding her campaign to help students she says were misled by for-profit colleges. Swanson announced Tuesday that she is asking the U.S. Department of Education to forgive loans for students who attended the now-defunct Anthem College that had a campus in St. Louis Park. Students claim Anthem lied about the value of their degrees and because the school closed in 2014 and is bankrupt they have no other remedies. Swanson’s request for loan forgiveness is the latest effort by her office to increase scrutiny of the for-profit college industry.”

Paul Walsh says in the Star Tribune, “In June 2015, the Department of Education established a process for students who were misled by the bankrupt Corinthian Colleges to seek loan forgiveness and appointed a special master to work with students from other for-profit colleges who had similar claims. The government is now in the process of forgiving loans to some former Corinthian students in Minnesota and elsewhere around the country. Anthem offered certificate, diploma and associate degrees. Its tuition for an associate degree ranged from $26,000 to $40,000, compared to the $5,300 annual tuition at a community college in Minnesota.” Do we have names of the top managers?

This sounds like scenes from a Trump rally. Says Marino Eccher in the PiPress, “One woman called from Germany, insisting Prince needed her help with an out-of-control cocaine habit. Another said she needed a message delivered to the musician about their son. A third was found walking around the parking lot of Paisley Park, banging a drum and chanting. And then there were the routine matters: a fire alarm, an allergic reaction, a suspicious person that turned out to be Prince’s driver. The Carver County Sheriff’s Office released five years of call logs to Prince’s studio and estate Tuesday, ranging from run-of-the-mill issues to outlandish claims and attempts to reach the pop music icon.”

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This thing, still. Says Kevin Giles in the Strib, “Online solicitations of girls and women for sex reached nearly 16,000 in the metro area in the first quarter of 2016, Washington County’s major crimes prosecutor said Tuesday. All the ads collected came from a single website — — which means the total number of metro-area solicitations would be even higher if other websites were included, Imran Ali told Washington County commissioners during a board workshop.”

This one has a Dickensian twist. Says Chris Serres in the Strib, “Jonathan Earl Brown, by most accounts, was trying to get his life back on track when he was released from a Ramsey County workhouse early last year. After serving nearly two years for criminal sexual contact with a minor, Brown, 26, enrolled at Minneapolis Community and Technical College and began searching for a stable job and a place to live. But just four months into his probation, Brown was sent back to prison. His offense: failing to enter sex offender treatment that he could not afford.”

Guess how this story ends? Richard Chin of the PiPress writes, “One man, named Steven Edward Clark, asked the other, a business consultant, if he was interested in investing in Clark’s software company called Arran Technologies, according to a Ramsey County District Court complaint. Clark told his fellow country club member that his investment would be returned in full in two years, with interest payments along the way, and that Clark would personally guarantee the investment, the complaint said. Over the next few months, between January 2012 and September 2012, the business consultant loaned Clark and Arran Technologies $30,000, then an additional $20,000, then $100,000, then another $100,000, then $50,000, then another $20,000, the complaint said.”

I wouldn’t know, but up in North Dakota says, “Three-quarters of all complaints against salons in Minnesota are related to cleanliness. That’s according to a report issued by the Minnesota Board of Cosmetologist Examiners, and the state agency is making hundreds of new regulation changes that your favorite stylists and nail designers must follow. It’s 126 pages long and spells out hundreds of new changes to the existing rules for salons. The Minnesota Board of Cosmetologist Examiners says in the report there haven’t been any major regulation changes since the 1980s. It’s chock full of reasons cited for the changes. For instance, inspectors ‘see apparently unlicensed persons fleeing salon premises in the middle of a cosmetology service to a client.’”

All part of a day’s work. Alex Chhith of the Grand Forks Herald reports, “Minnesota State Patrol Trooper James Orlando was parked on the shoulder of I-90 in Jackson County, talking to a driver who had been pulled over, when another vehicle pulled up behind his car. ‘The driver started honking his horn and got out of his car and said his wife was in labor,’ Orlando said. Orlando, a former paramedic, immediately called an ambulance and excused the other vehicle from the scene. He obtained a medical kit from the trunk of his car as he heard the father tell his wife to starting pushing. … Minnesota State Patrol Trooper Jason Theel responded to a similar incident near the intersection of Cedar Avenue and Minnesota 62 just 30 hours earlier, according to an article by the Pioneer Press.”

But this is truly unusual. Also from the Herald, “A chance meeting at Lisbon [North Dakota’s] First and Last Chance Bar has Shiela Weisgerber smiling. Weisgerber, who is raising triplet grandsons Dalton, Bentley and Ashton Peterson, received a $300 tip from a couple who overheard her talking about the boys with some regular customers, and then chatted with her about them.  It was nearly midnight Saturday when the couple paid their bill and left it upside down on the bar. Weisgerber said. When she cleared their glasses and took the slip to the till, she was floored. There, for a $33 bill, was a $300 tip and the message, ‘Take care of those boys!!’ printed beneath.”

Another good idea hits a legislative roadblock. Says Don Davis for the Forum News Service, “Efforts to launch a presidential primary after Minnesota’s overflowing March precinct caucuses frustrated voters hit a series of roadblocks Tuesday in a key Senate committee. Powerful Senate Finance Chairman Richard Cohen, D-St. Paul, said a presidential primary could be short-lived if there is a small turnout. Sen. Terri Bonoff, D-Minnetonka, did not like a provision that makes public which party primary a voter participates in. Sen. Scott Newman, R-Hutchinson, prefers traditional caucuses to be held the same day as the primary, while the bill requires a primary on a different day than caucuses.”