Nonprofit, independent journalism. Supported by readers.


Vehicle services staff told to speed up application process despite risk of errors

Plus: Twin Cities tie for lowest unemployment rate nationally; new loon center proposed; Metro Transit to test driver shields; and more.


People are usually so understanding about this sort of thing. The Pioneer Press’ Dave Orrick report: “The backlog of vehicle titles and registrations in Minnesota’s new computer system has gotten so big that a supervisor recently instructed staff to focus on speed and ‘accept the additional risk of errors in our work.’ … An internal memo obtained by the Pioneer Press also described bureaucratic work for more expensive vehicles as “more critical” than the same tasks for lower-priced ones. … The directives raise further questions about how troubles with the computer system, known as MNLARS, will affect hundreds of thousands of vehicle transactions, at least some portion of which are already known to have errors.”

Shhhhhhhh. City Pages’ Mike Mullen reports: “The Twin Cities is tied for the lowest unemployment rate of any large metropolitan area in new numbers released by the United State Bureau of Labor Statistics. The statistics cover some 1.9 million people in Minneapolis-St. Paul-Bloomington’s ‘civilian labor force,’ of whom, only 2.3 percent were out of work in October. That ties Minneapolis with Nashville for the lowest urban unemployment rate among 51 metropolitan areas with more than one million people.”

A pretty important Minnesota symbol. The Star Tribune’s Tony Kennedy reports: “The organizers of a new nonprofit loon foundation in Crosslake, Minn., have echoed a tremolo call for help — one that’s being answered by a flock of influential supporters intent on building the first-ever National Loon Center. … The ecotourism project is a year in the making and its leaders are just starting to pursue the millions of dollars in public and private money needed to secure a shoreland site on Minnesota’s highly visited Whitefish Chain of Lakes in Crow Wing County.”

Unfortunate that it’s come to this. The Pioneer Press’ Ryan Faircloth reports: “Metro Transit announced Friday that protective enclosures for drivers would be installed in 20 buses ‘as soon as possible.’ … Transit officials say the installation is meant to test the effectiveness of plexiglass shields for possible future implementation in its fleet. The move has evoked mixed reactions from transit operators and union representatives, who recently threatened to go on strike during the Super Bowl if safety concerns were not addressed.���

In other news…

Not funny:Stillwater schools in session after source of threatening message identified” [Pioneer Press]

Article continues after advertisement

Moving to natural gas:Willmar Municipal Utilities turns away from coal” [West Central Tribune]

Ouch:23 percent tax increase? Alexandria School District explains” [Echo Press]

Oh, roast is pretty close to roost:Espresso rescue: Alakef Coffee Roasters employees find wayward owl” [Duluth News Tribune]

Supermoon alert:Get Ready For A Supermoon Weekend” [Astro Bob blog]