Most Minnesota public colleges and universities to see tuition freeze

The GleanSays Maura Lerner of the Strib, “All seven Minnesota State universities and its 30 community colleges are freezing tuition, under a legislative mandate. At the same time, the University of Minnesota has proposed a tuition freeze at three of its five campuses, in Crookston, Duluth and Rochester. On Friday, the Board of Regents is expected to vote on the plan, which also calls for raising in-state tuition on just two campuses, in Morris and the Twin Cities, by 1 to 2 percent. … After years of sometimes eye-popping tuition hikes, the rate of increase for Minnesota residents on public campuses has slowed to a crawl.

Protesting Amazon. MPR’s Emma Sapong reports: “A group of East African workers at Amazon’s warehouse in Eagan, Minn., demanded safer work conditions from the online retail behemoth Monday at a news conference outside the facility. The employees made claims of exhaustion, dehydration and injuries they said they suffered while doing work as individuals that is meant to be done in teams at the facility, without air conditioning.” 

Grand Forks has a Grand Wizard problem. The Strib’s Dan Browning writes: “It’s a rare school board candidate who brings together issues like Nichiren Buddhism, the Ku Klux Klan, the Church of Scientology, the John Birch Society, racial purity, neo-Nazism, refugee and immigration policy, Common Core education standards and President Donald Trump. But James ‘Jamie’ Kelso does it. Which has made the 69-year-old retiree and a director of the white nationalist American Freedom Party a controversial and polarizing figure in Grand Forks, N.D., heading into the June 12 local school board election.” 

I liked “It’s Not Too Late to Stop and Not Be in Wisconsin”: KIMT-TV says, “South by Southeast” is the winner of the Name Our Region contest for southeastern Minnesota. Journey To Growth, an economic development effort covering Dodge, Fillmore, Freeborn, Mower, Olmsted, Goodhue, Houston, Steele, and Wabasha counties, organized the contest and says it received over 90 entries.…‘South by Southeast’ won out over ‘Venture Southeast Minnesota.’”

Stauber gets a primary opponent in CD8. Says Brady Slater for the West Fargo Pioneer, “On Monday, June 4, Harry Welty filed in the 8th District race as a Republican, meaning Stauber, despite being the unanimously endorsed GOP candidate, will be taken to the primary election on Aug. 14. ‘I couldn’t live with myself if I let a Trump cheerleader go unchallenged,’ Welty said.”

Six weeks after the Husky Energy, MPR’s Elizabeth Dunbar reports, “The worst-case scenario remained just a scenario. Yet the explosions and fire that tore through the Husky Energy Superior Refinery nearly six weeks ago, forcing the overnight evacuation of thousands, hurt. To date, Husky Energy has received nearly 3,000 claims from businesses and residents who incurred extra expenses or suffered losses during the incident: hotel bills, lost wages and other items associated with the evacuation. The company says it has reached agreements on most of those claims, though it is not disclosing how much money is involved, which could climb into the millions of dollars.”

Also from Wisconsin. Josh Verges of the PiPress says, “The husband of a former St. Paul school administrator is expected to plead guilty next week for his role in stealing over $200,000 from a Wisconsin church. Michael LaVenture, 47, is charged with five counts of felony theft. … His wife, Kara Amundson-LaVenture, was sentenced in October to two years in prison for felony theft. She admitted stealing at least $203,000 over about 10 years from New Centerville United Methodist Church, where she volunteered as treasurer.”

Turnover in St. Paul. Says Frederick Melo for the PiPress, “St. Paul Mayor Melvin Carter promised to think outside the box when it came to appointing directors to oversee the 3,000 public employees in city departments. But his decision not to reappoint the director of the Office of Technology and Communications — St. Paul’s IT department — even took some long-standing supporters by surprise. Tarek Tomes, who had led the department of 68 employees for almost four years under former St. Paul Mayor Chris Coleman, had reapplied for the position but was moved into a new role within City Hall last December, despite winning high praise from Coleman. …Since then, departures and resignations within OTC have mounted.

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