That Real ID business … still a mess. Says Rachel Stassen-Berger in the Pioneer Press, “A House measure to change Minnesota licenses so that they will be accepted by the federal government by the 2018 deadline won a narrow 12-11 vote in a House committee Wednesday. Some object to the federal government making requirements on state-issued licenses. Others object to the specific way the bill is written. If the House bill became law, it would create two tracks for new Minnesota driver’s licenses. One would meet all the federal standards and could be used for any federal purpose. The other, called a non-compliant license, would not.”
For the AP, Brian Edwards writes, “A Minnesota lawmaker who staunchly opposes upgrading state photo IDs to meet new federal requirements said Wednesday he won’t block a vote on the measure, potentially clearing the way for the state to comply with the Real ID Act and avoid domestic travel disruptions starting next year. … Sen. Warren Limmer led the charge on that 2009 ban, and the GOP takeover of the Senate this fall elevated him to chair a powerful committee that could shape or block any efforts to comply. Limmer said Wednesday he still opposes the federal law but that he would let a proposal to upgrade Minnesota IDs come to a vote in the Senate Judiciary Committee he chairs.” Big of him.
How many coaches does it take to make another Holiday Bowl? An AP story says, “New Minnesota football coach P.J. Fleck has hired nine coaches for his staff, including offensive coordinator Kirk Ciarrocca and defensive coordinator Robb Smith. The Golden Gophers announced the additions Tuesday night. Ciarrocca follows Fleck from Western Michigan, and Smith comes to Minnesota from Arkansas. Five of the assistants worked under Fleck at Western Michigan. Fleck also hired Kenni Burns to coach running backs, Brian Callahan to coach tight ends, Matt Simon for the receivers and Ed Warinner for the offensive line.”
Hey! Watch what you’re frisking, officer! A story in the Red Wing Republican Eagle says, “A Crookston woman will spend up to three years in jail for keeping heroin she intended to sell in her bra. … [Cynthia] Esquivel gave officers a bag she pulled from inside her bra that contained about 41 grams of heroin, according to court documents.”
A closer look at “granny cams.” Stribber Chris Serres says, “Families seeking to prevent abuse or neglect of their loved ones in nursing homes by using hidden cameras, or “granny cams,” would face more restrictions under recommendations issued this week by a state work group. … The group recommends that electronic monitoring should be allowed only with the informed consent of all the residents in the room under surveillance (or a legal representative if the resident is not competent to do so). In addition, any resident being monitored should have the right to place limits on when and where the monitoring takes place and to have the device turned off for privacy reasons.”
Al doesn’t much care for Betsy. The Strib’s Allison Sherry says, “Sen. Al Franken said late Wednesday that he was going to vote against Betsy DeVos, president-elect Trump’s pick for Education Secretary. Franken was critical of DeVos on Tuesday during her confirmation hearings, saying it was unacceptable that she couldn’t adequately talk about whether she preferred proficiency or growth models when measuring student success.” But Senator, she’s on the record for protecting school children from the scourge of grizzly bear attacks!
Juuuuust a little touchy. The AP, says, “A Milwaukee man says a tough-talking, cowboy-hat wearing Wisconsin sheriff detained him after a flight because the man shook his head at the lawman, who has gained a national prominence for his outspoken support of Donald Trump. Dan Black said in a complaint submitted through the Milwaukee County Sheriff’s Office website that his gesture of disapproval was about football, not politics. Black said he was disappointed that Sheriff David Clarke was wearing Dallas Cowboys gear the same day that team was playing the Green Bay Packers in the divisional round of the playoffs. But Clarke didn’t view the interaction as harmless. He said in a Facebook post Wednesday that he ‘reserves the reasonable right to pre-empt a possible assault.’”
Meanwhile, Ricardo Lopez of the Strib says, “Firefighter Sandy Perala will watch President-elect Donald Trump take office hoping that he capitalizes on the promise to shake up Washington that won her vote. Trump, said the 43-year-old woman from the northern Twin Cities suburb of Oak Grove, ‘is going to make some changes because he can relate to people. I think he’s really going to keep it real.’ … Perala said she never considered Trump’s history of questionable comments and behavior toward women disqualifying. She was swayed instead by his record as a businessman and lack of conventional political background. … Of vulgar remarks by Trump about groping women, she said it’s not unfamiliar: ‘I hear this stuff, but I laugh at it.’”
The High Bridge. Closing. Says Frederick Melo in the PiPress, “Beginning this fall, the Smith Avenue High Bridge in St. Paul will close for a year in both directions, and the Minnesota Department of Transportation wants to make sure that drivers and business owners are ready for it. … The work includes resurfacing both roadways between West Seventh Street in St. Paul and Interstate 494 in Mendota Heights; improving drainage, sidewalks and pedestrian access; replacing signals at five Highway 149 intersections; constructing an additional left-turn lane from westbound I-494 to southbound Dodd Road; and removing ash trees.”
Is his MMA experience the cause or an effect of this? Sarah Horner of the PiPress writes, “A former mixed martial arts heavyweight fighter from St. Paul is accused of sexual misconduct stemming from allegations from three different men. Brett Charles Rogers, known as Brett ‘Da Grimm’ Rogers in the fighting world, was charged this month with two counts of fifth-degree criminal sexual conduct and one count of interfering with someone’s privacy, according to two criminal complaints filed against him in Ramsey County District Court.”
Oh, baby, “Transformers 9: Invasion of the Trumpicons” will look so cool in this place! Says Nancy Ngo in the PiPress, “The longtime theaters at the Mall of America may have shuttered at the close of 2016, but on Wednesday, the mall announced that a state-of-the art upscale cinema would be coming to the Bloomington shopping, dining, entertainment and hospitality hub. … Oversized reclining seats with storage compartments, swivel tables, grab-and-go gourmet foods as well as wine and craft cocktails will be part of the lineup.” Will Shake Shack deliver?