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Journalists ask U of M regents to drop leak investigation

Plus: tuition hikes likely at state colleges and universities; fees for hunting and fishing will also go up; Legislators take the night off; and more.

MinnPost photo by Peter Callaghan

 The AP says, “A group of Minnesota journalists is asking the University of Minnesota Board of Regents to drop its investigation into news leaks about an alleged sexual harassment case at the university. A petition calls on the administration to concentrate on the issue of sexual harassment rather than pursuing any individuals who may have shared information with the media. The petition says the protection of sources is vital and the university’s investigation could have a chilling effect on confidential sources.” Talk about compounding problems.

Also at the U, Maura Lerner of the Strib writes, “The University of Minnesota says it will look to tuition hikes and program cuts to balance its budget now that state lawmakers have rebuffed its request for nearly $100 million in extra funding. Both the U and the Minnesota State system, with 37 public colleges and universities, received far less than they had sought from the Legislature. And that will have a direct impact on students starting this fall, officials say.” Does this mean there’ll be no hiring for the punting coach and foot trainer?

For the PiPress, Rachel Stassen-Berger and David Montgomery write: “Exhausted and frustrated, Minnesota lawmakers are taking a full night’s break before they finish passing a $46 billion state budget. … By the end of the day Wednesday, lawmakers hadn’t sent any of the seven bills they were supposed to pass in the special session on to Dayton for a signature or veto. Budget plans for education, transportation and tax cuts had been debated, as had a controversial measure to pre-empt recent labor ordinances in Minneapolis and St. Paul.”

Fees. John Enger of MPR says, “Hunting, fishing and riding a four-wheeler will cost a bit more in the environment and natural resources budget bill awaiting a signature from DFL Gov. Mark Dayton. The fee hikes will generate $23 million in funding for the Department of Natural Resources. Some GOP leaders opposed the increases, but they still passed in the final version of the budget.” But thank god, no tax increases!

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By now you’ve heard of Al Franken’s “affection” for Ted Cruz. At Salon we have Charlie May writing, “In Franken’s upcoming book, titled “Al Franken: Giant of the Senate,” and set to be released May 30, Franken details his experience becoming a comedian-turned-senator, as well as how he feels about his colleagues in Washington. The chapter about Cruz is called ‘Sophistry,’ an SAT word that means to use fallacious arguments, typically with the intention to deceive. In an interview with USA Today, Franken describes Cruz as ‘singularly dishonest’ and ‘exceptionally smarmy.’

Who loves winning? The AP reports, “Donald Trump will be returning to the campaign trail just a few days after he wraps up his first trip abroad as president. Trump’s campaign team says he will be holding a rally in Cedar Rapids, Iowa, on June 1. It’s the latest campaign-style rally Trump has mounted since his inauguration. At the end of April he marked his first 100 days in office with a rally In Harrisburg, Pennsylvania.” They’ve already had to turn away 1.5 million, people say.

So Frisbee golf is now so dangerous you need a gun?  The WCCO-TV story on yesterday’s incident in Crystal says, “Gunfire erupted inside a city park in Crystal just before 9 a.m. Wednesday. Officers arrived to find a man with a gun, who refused to drop it. … The man shot by police is expected to survive. Investigators have lots of questions and few answers at this hour. They hope to determine how many officers fired their weapon, and if the suspect fired his weapon. Revering said it also remains unclear as to why the man was in the park with a gun.”

Uh, no. Bob was not there. Christa Lawler in a Brainerd Dispatch story says, “If you ask Bill Pagel, he will say there is no chance that Bob Dylan would stop by his childhood home in Duluth’s Central Hillside on his birthday. No way. ‘This would be the last place on earth he would be,’ said Pagel, a Dylan memorabilia collector who has owned the duplex since 2001. ‘During Dylan Fest?’ A couple dozen fans did show up at the home where Dylan lived until he was 6. They filled Pagel’s front yard on Wednesday afternoon, May 24, in honor of the musician’s 76th birthday and were treated to a sheet cake from Mount Royal Market, Dylan-centric conversations with like-minded folks and Dylan tunes by Greg Tiburzi — another former Hibbing resident known to carry a harmonica.”