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University of South Carolina provost named sole finalist for U of M president

Joan Gabel
University of South Carolina
Joan Gabel
MPR’s Peter Cox reports, “The Board of Regents named Joan Gabel as the sole finalist to become the next president of the University of Minnesota. She’ll come to Minnesota for final interviews soon. Gabel is executive vice president for academic affairs and provost at the University of South Carolina. If hired, she would be the first female president of the U of M.”

The Star Tribune’s Mukhtar M. Ibrahim reports: “The Minneapolis City Council passed Mayor Jacob Frey’s $1.55 billion budget Wednesday night, after three hours of contentious public comments over removing money from the police budget. … Most of the three hours of the public comments on Wednesday night was taken up by opposing voices over the reallocation of $1 million of the Police Department’s budget next year for community-based initiatives to reduce violence.”

Says Peter Passi in the Duluth News Tribune, “Duluth Mayor Emily Larson proposes a 4 percent increase in tourism tax spending next year after freezing those funds for 2018. In all, she hopes to spend just shy of $12 million in 2019 — 4 percent more than this year. Wayne Parson, Duluth’s chief financial officer, expects the increase will be supported by the growth the city has seen with its tourism tax collections, which have been running 4.3 percent above last year’s level, year-to-date through October.”

Also in the Strib, Miquel Otarola reports: “The Minneapolis City Council on Wednesday voted to move the 2040 Comprehensive Plan forward for likely approval later this week, after debate over the guiding document for the city’s growth captured neighborhood interest for most of the year. Council members had a brief discussion about the plan during a committee meeting before unanimously voting to move it forward. … They made some final adjustments, approving small changes to maps that outline future development across the city.”

WCCO-TV has this story. “Five Midwestern states rank at the top of a new list of the best places to drive — with Minnesota sitting at No. 4. The list, curated by, compiled data considering low driving costs, good driving quality and safe driving conditions. North Dakota ranked first, followed by Iowa, Ohio, Minnesota and Nebraska. California ranked last in the nation due to poor road conditions, long commute times and high rates of theft and fatal crashes.”

For the Strib, Mary Lynn Smith reports, “Minnesota officials are considering mail-only ballots for the state’s 2020 presidential primary, which will be a dramatic change from the state’s often chaotic and time-consuming party caucuses. Beginning in 2020, Minnesota will switch to a more straightforward primary system that allows voters to cast ballots for their preferred choice for president rather than jam into classrooms and community centers for their party caucuses. Most other states use a primary system but Minnesota has only done so a handful of times.”

At MPR, we have this from Max Nesterak. “A Twin Cities affordable housing developer plans to build a 70-unit apartment building in Minneapolis in response to the homeless encampment along Franklin and Hiawatha avenues. Beacon Interfaith Housing Collaborative announced this week a campaign to raise $1 million in private contributions for the project, which is expected to cost $18 million to $20 million. Executive director Lee Blons says the idea came out of a community meeting of people from its member congregations last month.”

At The Huffington Post, Amanda Terkel reports, “Republicans in the Wisconsin state Senate rushed to approve 82 of Gov. Scott Walker’s appointees, a month after voters chose not to reelect the Republican. The GOP-controlled Legislature has been working with Walker to make sure that the incoming governor and attorney general, who are both Democrats, won’t have as much power as their Republican predecessors. They’ve passed a series of bills in a lame-duck session that amount to nothing less than a brazen partisan power grab, taking responsibilities away from the governor and attorney general and giving them to the heavily gerrymandered Wisconsin Legislature. Walker is expected to sign them in the coming days.”

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