State pledges $400k to address American Indian foster care problem

MinnPost photo by Briana Bierschbach
Minnesota State Capitol

Nice and all but only $400,000? The Star Tribune’s Brandon Stahl reports: “With the number of American Indian children in Minnesota foster care reaching ‘unacceptable’ levels, the state pledged Thursday to spend $400,000 over the next three years to reduce those numbers. … The announcement comes after a two-part Star Tribune series last summer found that Minnesota has more American Indian children in foster care than any other state, including those with significantly larger Indian populations. Less than 2 percent of children in Minnesota are Indian, but they make up nearly a quarter of the state’s foster care population — a disparity that is more than double the next highest state.”

It’s a boom. The Minnesota Daily’s Andrew Heiser reports: “Last year was the fifth consecutive year in which Minneapolis approved more than $1 billion in building permits, a result of the city’s dynamic economy. … The numbers — released by the city’s Community Planning and Economic Development department — are tied to several factors, including a string of stadium projects, a strong housing market and development along transit lines. … The city finished 2016 with almost $1.8 billion in approved construction, an increase of nearly $40 million from the previous year. It was also the city’s second-highest total since 2000, the last time Minneapolis reached $1 billion before the current stretch.”

Sigh, it was fun while it lasted. The Pioneer Press’ Bob Shaw reports: “Here’s what was on the Lake Elmo City Council agenda Tuesday: streets and utilities. … Here’s what was not on the agenda: insults, rudeness, eye-rolling. … ‘I am kind of proud of that,’ said Mayor Mike Pearson. The two meetings in 2017 have been more civil than those in the previous two years, and Pearson says they are a turning point for the troubled city. … Council member Christine Nelson was elected in November and took office this month. She replaces Anne Smith, who chose not to run for re-election.”

Pretty amazing this got as far as it did. MPR’s Bob Collins reports: “A custom rifle manufacturer has apparently decided to halt the sale of a Mankato, Minn.-themed rifle after complaints that it used a noose to depict the Dakota Conflict. Mankato was the site of the largest mass execution in history when thirty-eight Dakota men were hanged. … ‘We definitely listened to what everybody had to say,’ Jean Van Oppen, the general manager of American Legacy Firearms, tells the Mankato Free Press. ‘Hindsight is 20/20. It probably wasn’t the best choice to put on the rifle. … Unfortunately we did not put our best foot forward there.’ … ‘Yeah, the noose that was put on there, that definitely got some attention. We thought it was very forward of us to do that,’ he said.”

In other news…

Who was more starstruck?

In case you could use a drink: “Surly To Tap New Beer, ‘Thanks Obama’, On Inauguration Day” [WCCO]

Didn’t know this was a thing but we already miss it: “Bye-bye, Rah Rah Rochester” [Rochester Post Bulletin]

Skittle-finished Angus: “Mars investigating Skittles said to be intended for cattle” [Star Tribune]

What ever happened to Howler? “Jordan Gatesmith on former buzz-band Howler splitting up, launching new group Wellness” [City Pages]

Happy anniversary to our friends over at MPR! “MPR started 50 years ago with the Cleveland Orchestra” [MPR]

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