The story that keeps on keepin’ on. Says Rochelle Olson in the Strib, “The food served up to guests in two state-owned luxury suites at U.S. Bank Stadium cost taxpayers $32,120, according to a letter sent by the Minnesota Sports Facilities Authority (MSFA) to three Republican legislators who are investigating the use of two suites. Many suite guests were friends and family of MSFA members. House Government Finance Committee Chairwoman Sarah Anderson, R-Plymouth, said Tuesday she will seek reimbursement for the food cost when her committee delves into the MSFA operation and the use of the suites.”
Jacking around American Indian tribes never stops. This just in from the AP in North Dakota. “A Native American tribe whose land accounts for about a fifth of North Dakota’s oil production has renewed threats to pull out of a revenue-sharing agreement with the state, saying a reduction in taxes on the industry violates the accord. ‘We’re not bluffing,’ Three Affiliated Tribes Chairman Mark Fox told the North Dakota House’s Finance and Taxation Committee on Tuesday. The panel is examining legislation, introduced by Republican House Majority Leader Al Carlson, that would cut tax increases for producers if oil prices rebound above $90 a barrel, which is nearly twice was North Dakota sweet crude was fetching Tuesday. Fox said the measure ‘perpetuates an ongoing violation’ of the tax agreement, and shortchanges the tribes in revenue.”
I like yer style, dude. But do you have to use so many cuss words? For the Forum News Service, Phyllis Mensing writes, “ … there are different lessons to be learned at Hancock Concrete, headquartered in the lake country of west-central Minnesota. And a big one is that swearing is not OK. At one of the entrances to the plant, about 160 miles northwest of the Twin Cities, a big poster lists the rules: ‘No swearing; No jerks; We like what we do.’ and ‘Have fun.’ ‘The first two are really to allow the next two to happen’, said David Schmidgall, Hancock Concrete’s vice president.” Your average newsroom would be an empty cavern.
Goldman Sachs, investing in your children’s future! Says Josh Verges in the PiPress, “In its push for high-quality preschool, Minnesota could turn to investment bankers and philanthropists for the upfront capital that lawmakers have been reluctant to provide. If preschool later proves to save the government money, whether on unspent special education services or by other markers, the investors would get back their seed money and potentially much more. The model, known as Pay for Success, was pioneered in Salt Lake City, where the investment bank Goldman Sachs and the Pritzker Family Foundation received their first preschool payouts in 2015. Sen. Orrin Hatch, R-Utah, succeeded in inserting the concept into the federal government’s new education policy law.”
Update on solar from Elizabeth Dunbar at MPR. “Minnesota’s solar energy capacity is skyrocketing after a breakthrough year. It took about 10 years to go from virtually nothing to 35 megawatts of capacity in 2015, but last year that jumped to 250 megawatts. State officials don’t expect the pace to slow. Within the next two years, they expect solar panels scattered throughout the state will be capable of producing as much electricity as a coal-fired power plant. The biggest chunk of last year’s jump in capacity occurred in the solar capital of Minnesota — Chisago County, just northeast of the Twin Cities. It has more solar capacity than any other Minnesota county.”
Diseased deer. The Forum News Service tells us, “Two more deer suspected of having chronic wasting disease have been found in Fillmore County, the Minnesota Department of Natural Resources said Tuesday, Jan. 10. The DNR received preliminary test results Jan 6. Final results are expected later this week. The two adult female deer were killed within a mile of the first two positive deer. As a result, a ban prohibiting the feeding of wild deer now includes all of Fillmore, Houston, Mower, Olmsted and Winona counties.”
An AP story says, “A 16-year-old northern Minnesota girl died from injuries sustained in a head-on collision with an Itasca County sheriff’s deputy on Tuesday morning. Sierra Rose Matthews, an 11th-grade student at Greenway High School, was killed on U.S. 169 at Itasca County Road 69, according to the Minnesota State Patrol. She was from Pengilly. … Matthews struck a 2015 Dodge Ram, driven by Itasca County Sheriff’s Deputy Cory Michael Rondeau, 32, of Grand Rapids. At the time of the collision, Rondeau was responding to a medical emergency with the emergency lights activated.”
Way more than their fair share of police service. Says Nick Ferraro in the PiPress, “A West St. Paul man on bail in connection with a February shooting in St. Paul was shot at his house Friday, police said. Officers called to 210 Logan Ave. W. about 9:45 p.m. found 25-year-old Daiezon Broadbent inside the house with a gunshot wound to his side. … Officers have been called to the small brick 1950s-era rambler 43 times over the past year, records show.”
Well, you know, it’s the charge that counts. Says Martin Moylan for MPR, “On New Year’s Day, as the Minnesota Vikings were playing the Chicago Bears at U.S. Bank Stadium, protesters climbed into the rafters and hung a banner urging U.S. Bank to ‘divest’ from the Dakota Access oil pipeline. On that and other occasions, opponents of the pipeline have cast U.S. Bank and other banks as ‘investors’ in the project. But U.S. Bank is arguably better described as a lender, or potential lender, to one or more companies working on the pipeline.”
Ok, take a guess. Ross Raihala of the PiPress says, “There’s a concert coming to Target Field that’s such a big deal the Minneapolis baseball stadium is holding a press conference to announce it. The headliner won’t be revealed until 10 a.m. Thursday, giving fans some time to speculate. Here are our guesses about who it could be – and who it probably isn’t. … On Monday, [U2] announced a summer tour to celebrate the 30th anniversary of their album ‘The Joshua Tree,’ but the closest it’ll get to here is a Chicago stop on June 3. Target Field is open the first week of June, so it’s possible the band is adding a local stop. … There’s plenty of pent-up demand for [Pearl Jam], who last visited the Twin Cities for an October 2014 show at Xcel Energy Center, which was their first local gig in eight years. In August, they played two-night stands at Boston’s Fenway Park and Chicago’s Wrigley Field.” Trump fans can keep their hopes up for the big Kid Rock/Ted Nugent “duets” tour.
On my will-not-miss list: Jay Boller at City Pages says, “Patti Smith, the incomparable ‘Punk Poet Laureate,’ is bringing her best album to Minneapolis. The 70-year-old Rock and Roll Hall of Famer announced Tuesday that she’ll perform her classic 1975 LP, ‘Horses,’ in its entirety on March 8 at Northrop Auditorium in Minneapolis.” “Free Money,” Patti!
Also in show biz news, the boys from The Park are turning to TV. For Variety, Justin Kroll reports, “Joel and Ethan Coen are the latest auteurs moving into television, with a new event anthology set in the Old West. Annapurna Television is partnering with the Coen brothers on a limited series Western called ‘The Ballad of Buster Scruggs.’ Sources tell Variety that Annapurna intends to pursue an innovative approach that could combine television and theatrical. … Plot details of ‘The Ballad of Buster Scruggs’ are unknown, though it will intertwine six different story lines. The brothers are no strangers to the genre, with ‘True Grit’ and ‘No Country for Old Men’ on their resume.”
Oh, we all know it can be a lot more miserable than this. Says Nancy Yang for MPR, “We’ve already lived through a brutal deep freeze this winter (psst: another cold spell is on the way) and this week may end up being the most challenging of the season for commuters because of back-to-back rush-hour snowfall. So surely that means we’ve had a pretty bad winter so far, right? Actually, no. It’s been ‘mild.’ That’s according to the Twin Cities Winter Misery Index, compiled by the Minnesota Department of Natural Resources State Climatology Office.” Kind of like “slightly putrid.”