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Minnesota loses 1,900 jobs in May; unemployment rate remains low

Plus: Duluth gets new resort hotel; evangelist Franklin Graham stops in St. Paul; Minnesota loves watching ‘The Bachelor’; and more.

A mixed bag. MPR says, “While the state’s unemployment rate remains significantly below the nation’s 4.7 percent rate, the nation as a whole has grown jobs faster than Minnesota the past 12 months. Employers in Minnesota have added 27,987 jobs over the past year, a growth rate of 1 percent compared to a 1.7 percent job growth rate nationally. ‘Despite the decline in May, the state labor market remains healthy, with seven of the state’s 11 major industrial sectors growing in the past year,’ DEED Commissioner Shawntera Hardy said in a statement.”

The Strib’s Adam Belz says this about May’s jobs report. “The private sector cooled off. After adding a revised 14,400 jobs in April, the state’s private sector lost 4,600 jobs in May. The gain in April was the second largest since 1990, but the overall loss in employment in May would have been more stark had local and state government not added 2,400 jobs on the month.”

Meanwhile up north. Dan Kraker of MPR says, “Longtime visitors to Duluth will notice a major new development as they drive into town: a new resort hotel perched on the Lake Superior waterfront. The hotel opens Thursday, in time for the 40th annual running of Grandma’s Marathon this weekend. And it’s just the latest sign of a tourism boom in Duluth. The Pier B resort is emblematic of Duluth’s evolution over the past few decades, from an industrial-based economy to one relying more on health care, education and increasingly, tourism.”

This is bad. Says Dan Browning in the Strib, “Some 400 social workers, law enforcers, lawyers, nursing home workers and others who work with vulnerable adults gathered Wednesday at the University of Minnesota to discuss what could be the next big crime wave: Elder abuse. … Erica Yarlagadda, an assistant Hennepin County prosecutor, said crimes against the elderly are ‘doubling year-over-year.’”

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Would he care to hear what sort of hope we have for him? Also in the Strib, this from Jean Hopfensperger. “Evangelist Franklin Graham brought his Decision America Tour to St. Paul on Thursday, urging an enthusiastic crowd to vote in November and to consider running for political office themselves. ‘I have no hope for the Democratic Party; I have zero hope for the Republican Party,’ Graham told a crowd of about 6,000 supporters gathered across the street from the State Capitol. ‘I am running a campaign, a campaign to put God back in the political process.’” He should stick to vespers.

Why it might be time to take dad’s keys away. ValleyNewsLive has this story. “The video shows a trooper that already has a vehicle pulled over. While in the middle of the stop, a white car almost hits a red car. Minnesota State Patrol posted the follow on their Facebook page: If you were looking down at your phone, would you have been able to avoid this crash? Luckily, the driver of the red car in this dashcam was paying attention and able to stop before being struck by this wrong-way driver June 6 on Highway 59 in Detroit Lakes. The elderly male driver of the white sedan had just turned from a four-lane highway onto this two-lane road and drove into oncoming traffic. The man told the trooper he thought the other vehicle was to blame for the near head-on collision.”

The Glean

And no love for “Fat Guys in the Woods.” Aimee Blanchette of the Strib writes, “‘Duck Dynasty’ is a huge hit in Mississippi, California wants to keep up with its Kardashians and most of the Midwest wants to settle down with ‘The Bachelor.’ Using Google Trends and no viewership data whatsoever, broke down the reality TV love state-by-state. In Minnesota, ‘The Bachelor’ reigns supreme, followed by ‘Hoarders ‘and ‘Project Runway,’ while our neighbors to the east like ‘Dancing With the Stars.’” Since I don’t have a gun to my head, I can say I haven’t seen any of them.

Do NOT let your dog loose in Wisconsin. Says Chris Hubbuch in the LaCrosse Tribune, “A western Wisconsin man accused of molesting a co-worker’s golden retriever was convicted Wednesday of trespassing and disorderly conduct but acquitted of more serious charges. A jury found 44-year-old Daniel Reinsvold of Onalaska not guilty of sexual gratification with an animal and animal mistreatment after Reinsvold testified he let himself into the West Salem home because he was in urgent need of a bathroom and did not have sexual contact with the dog.”

But then we’ve got this gal. In the PiPress, Tory Cooney reports, “An employee at a Roseville senior housing complex was charged Thursday with stealing narcotic painkillers prescribed to a person under her care earlier this year. Katelyn Min Douvier, 21, of Roseville was suspected of stealing the medication from a lockbox at EagleCrest Senior Housing, where she worked as a resident assistant, according to the criminal complaint filed in Ramsey County District Court. Suspicions arose after a coworker saw her run into a staff restroom and heard the sound of opening blister packs of medication behind the locked door.” As Pink Floyd used to say, someone is remaining “comfortably numb.”

But before we leave Wisconsin, the Forum News Service has this story. “Like any well-conceived weight-loss plan, Barry Brokaw’s started with a scale. Brokaw had to know the starting point before he determined a destination. Superior’s Barry Brokaw once weighed more than 400 pounds before shedding 260 of them via running. He reached about 420 in 2008 and now weighs about 160 pounds. Brokaw is running Grandma’s Marathon this weekend. … Now 43, Brokaw won’t ever forget what those first 10 minutes atop a StairMaster felt like, when his heart rate climbed north of 180. It remains, eight years later, one of the most grueling workouts he’s endured. And this is a guy who ran Boston in April after qualifying last fall with a time of 3 hours, 5 minutes, 26 seconds, at the Last Chance BQ.2 Chicagoland Marathon.”

Today in protecting and serving. Tad Vezner in the PiPress says, “The owner of a small Dayton’s Bluff market said he was mystified by why police took more than two hours to respond to a violent robbery Monday at his store. … On Monday, four men entered Walk-In Grocery at 841 E. Seventh St., beat and pistol-whipped an employee and a friend of the employee, and made off with cash, cigarettes and the victims’ cellphones. According to police records, a 911 call about the incident was placed at 2:54 p.m. Nobody investigated until Thamer — who was standing in the street waving his hands — flagged down an officer who was driving to another call at 5:26 p.m.” In fairness, maybe there was a rash of expired tabs.

Also from Vezner, this: “When asked what he’d stolen during his two years working at a St. Paul Goodwill, Joseph Jemming sat down with police and — just off the top of his head — recalled:

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  • 50 pounds of jewelry

  • 3 swords

  • a trumpet

  • a violin

  • a motorcycle seat

  • a cutting block

  • 4 drums, 5 guitars, 5 keyboards

  • 4 cameras

  • 8 purses

  • 5 pairs of shoes

  • 5 pairs of boots

  • 3 fur jackets

  • a computer monitor

  • pictures

  • a BB gun

  • comic books and comic book cards

  • a pipe

  • 5 “tools”

  • 7 golf clubs

  • 6 signed Kirby Puckett plaques

  • 10 action figures

  • 10 stuffed animals

  • a nightstand”

Goodwill? Isn’t that like knocking over a garage sale?