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Rep. Rick Nolan considering run for Minnesota governor

MinnPost photo by Sam Brodey
Rep. Rick Nolan

Is Stewart Mills in yet? Zach Kayser for The Grand Forks Herald says, “U.S. Rep. Rick Nolan, a Democrat who represents Minnesota’s 8th U.S. Congressional District, is considering a run for governor, Nolan said Wednesday. In a phone interview, Nolan confirmed he was pondering whether to run in 2018. Nolan said while he was leaning toward staying on as 8th District congressman, a number of people encouraged him to consider running to replace DFL Gov. Mark Dayton when Dayton leaves office.”

Give the entrepreneurial class reason for optimism! Stribber Andy Mannix says, “Republican legislators say they will resurrect an effort to reopen and run a privately owned 1,600-bed prison in Swift County as a way to ease chronic overcrowding in Minnesota’s 10 state prisons. A proposal to lease the facility from its owner, Nashville, Tenn.-based CoreCivic, previously known as Corrections Corporation of America, flopped last year following an onslaught of criticism from the public, worker unions and mostly DFL lawmakers pushing to reduce the prison population. But proponents like Rep. Tony Cornish, R-Vernon Center, say legislators should reconsider this year, downplaying the many criticisms as over-politicized ‘fluff.’” I forget, is Tony in favor of arming the prisoners, too?

I have full confidence they can drag this Real ID business out another five months. Tim Pugmire at MPR says, “Legislation to bring Minnesota into compliance with the federal Real ID law cleared its second House committee, despite lingering concerns about the scope of the bill. Members of the House Transportation and Regional Governance Policy Committee held a hearing on the bill Wednesday and advanced in on an 8-6 vote. There is not yet a Senate version of a bill. Supporters want early action this session so the state can begin preparing for implementation of the stricter ID requirements ahead of next year’s scheduled start of enforcement at airports.”

Well, they better get ‘em in the next seven days. Says Don Davis for the Forum News Service, “Jose Sanchez says his immigrant community fears living without driver’s licenses. ‘Our community needs licenses to get around, to get to work, to get to school,’ he told a Minnesota House committee Wednesday, Jan. 11, 2017. ‘I ask that you listen to us and deal with your heart,’ he pleaded before the Republican-controlled committee voted 8-6 along party lines to keep in a provision that would enact a law banning immigrants to the United States without legal documentation from getting a license.”

Not quite as much noise when a solar panel blows. The Billings Gazette reports, “Investigators on Wednesday said they still aren’t certain what caused the explosion Saturday at an oil well site near Sidney in far northeast Montana near the North Dakota border. The explosion, which could be felt 3.5 miles away in Sidney, damaged a nearby shop but injured no one. Sidney is about 45 miles southwest of Williston, N.D.”

2,400! Another Forum story says, “More than 2,400 drivers were arrested for driving while intoxicated during an extra enforcement period over the holidays, according to the Minnesota Department of Public Safety. Three hundred-plus agencies participated in the campaign, which was held from Nov. 23 to Dec. 30 on weekends and holidays. Authorities arrested 2,407 drivers for DWIs and issued 1,647 seat belt citations during the span. Both figures are down from the 2015 holiday enforcement period.”

Next time, how about a week in Cancun? Sam Cook of the Duluth News Tribune reports, “Grand Marais climber and adventurer Lonnie Dupre narrowly escaped disaster during his attempt this past week to solo-climb Alaska’s Mount Hunter. Dupre, 55, broke through a crevasse on his retreat from the 14,573-foot mountain and hung by a single ice axe for several minutes with his feet dangling beneath him, he said. ‘That scared the s— out of me,’ said Dupre, who in 2015 became the first solo climber to summit Alaska’s 20,310-foot Denali in January.”

Little by little. Maureen McMullen of the News Tribune reports, “A new round of state grants could extend broadband to thousands of businesses and households throughout areas of rural Minnesota that now are without reliable internet access. A total of $34 million has been dedicated to 42 broadband infrastructure projects throughout the state. The state’s Border-to-Border Broadband Infrastructure plan adds state taxpayer dollars to funding from private and local sources and federal reimbursements from the Connect America Fund. Cities and the private sector matched state grants with an additional $40 million in funding.”

Says the AP, “A Minnesota man has been sentenced to more than three years in prison for lying to the FBI about his social media exchanges with Islamic State group recruiters. Twenty-three-year-old Abdul Raheem Ali-Skelton, of Glencoe, pleaded guilty in April to lying about his communications with the group. Prosecutors argued Tuesday for a five-year sentence.”

Protecting and serving (and serving and serving), Wisconsin style!  Mike Longaecker of the Forum newspapers reports, “A St. Croix County, Wis., sheriff’s deputy likely consumed at least 15 shots of vodka before getting behind the wheel of his squad, where he was found passed out with the vehicle’s transmission in drive and his foot on the brake.”

And then there’s this woman. Says Josh Verges in the PiPress, “A St. Paul school administrator accused of stealing from her Wisconsin church has resigned her job after a 19-week period of paid administrative leave. St. Paul Public Schools placed Kara Amundson on leave Aug. 24 after the St. Croix County sheriff’s office notified the district about the criminal investigation, human resources director Laurin Cathey said. … She allegedly stole $189,448 from the church in cash, checks and an unauthorized credit card account used to charge purchases at hotels, gas stations and clothing stores.”

You couldn’t smack an easier target. Says Tim Nelson for MPR, “The head of the Minnesota Sports Facilities Authority faced tough questions Wednesday from lawmakers who believe the organization is abusing its power at U.S. Bank Stadium. … Lawmakers who questioned authority chair Michelle Kelm-Helgen wanted an accounting of everything, including whether invitees to the authority’s private suite got free parking and whether some guests who were public officials may have violated the gift ban that most public officials abide by.”

Comments (5)

  1. Submitted by Greg Kapphahn on 01/12/2017 - 11:23 am.

    There Are Many Excellent and Well-Documented Reasons

    Why the State of Minnesota has refused to have anything with trying to bring the Prairie Correctional Facility back to life,…

    not the least of which that it would be a financial boondoggle,…

    and building new State Prisons,…

    or reducing the prison population by various means,…

    would be far more cost effective.

    It’s hard to say what the agenda of the Republicans is in continuing to push this project,.

    but it has no basis in reality.

    Regarding the stadium authority,…

    if it were Republicans in charge doing exactly the same things,…

    they would celebrate it as a justified reward for those who built,….

    and are (nominally) supervising the operation of the US Bank stadium.

    When THEY’RE in charge of such things, they see these kinds of perks as their rightful due.

    • Submitted by Robert Henderson on 01/12/2017 - 12:37 pm.

      Stadium commission

      Let’s not use what “Republicans” would do to justify anything, that sets the bar way too low.

      The Sports commission’s use of the suites for friends and family was wrong, plain and simply wrong.

      They didn’t need those suites to market the facility in the first place and then to use them for their own personal use is unjustifiable.

      Both Mondale and Kelm-Helgen should be fired.

      • Submitted by Pat Terry on 01/12/2017 - 12:52 pm.


        Mondale and Kelm-Helgen are doing one largely unnecessary job. If they aren’t fired, this will become a campaign issue for the DFL.

  2. Submitted by Brian Krause on 01/12/2017 - 01:21 pm.

    Nolan would be a good choice for the DFL. Given the very serious urban v. rural divide in our state, an outstate Democrat would be a wise choice. Running a Democrat from the core cities would be a serious strategic mistake.

  3. Submitted by Joel Stegner on 01/12/2017 - 10:48 pm.

    Appleton prison and other issues

    The best solution for all parties (except for the out of state company that already closed the prison once)is for the state to buy and operate the prison exclusively for prisoners from rural Minnesota, particularly the western part of the state. Cheaper than adding more capacity in existing prisons that make rural family access difficult. The state provides better services than private businesses and union jobs have far better pay and benefits. It is time for metro based MN Post journalists to better with rural stories like this.

    Someone like Rick Nolan who really knows rural Minnesota and has passion for FL would be a great candidate, but perhaps someone with the multi-generationsl appeal of Wendell Anderson at his prime would be even better.

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