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Minnesota Appeals Court upholds Minneapolis minimum-wage law

Plus: Minnesota pollinator-policy lauded; students question direct-sales company’s presence at U of MN; how Minnesota lost its shrimp farm; and more.

Minnesota Court of Appeals
MinnPost photo by Peter Callaghan

Expect further appeal. MPR’s Bob Collins reports: “A divided Minnesota Court of Appeals has affirmed Minneapolis’ minimum wage ordinance. … In upholding a district court ruling, the Court of Appeals ruled Monday that the state law doesn’t prevent a city from requiring a higher minimum wage. It only prohibits paying less.

File under Minnesota Praise. MPR’s Dan Gunderson reports: “A new study puts Minnesota among the leaders nationally in addressing concerns about bee and butterfly populations. … Missouri State University assistant professor Damon Hall analyzed every pollinator law passed by a state legislature between 2000 and 2017. … He found that legislatures were taking what he called ‘nascent and anemic steps in addressing a pollinator health crisis.’ And while no state legislature offered a stellar example of responding to pollinator population decline, Hall said, the efforts of a few states stood out.”

On the other hand, what a great learning opportunity. The Minnesota Daily’s Audrey Kennedy reports: “Southwestern Advantage teaches college students to build their own business by selling books and advertises earning over $8,000 a summer. The company uses a direct sales method where those involved sell books from a parent company and earn profits depending on their sales. Students are not required to buy books to sell up front but are responsible for travel and living expenses. … After the company began recruiting this semester on the Twin Cities campus, students have raised concerns over their business model and methods of recruitment, which include visiting classrooms and renting tables at prominent buildings like Coffman Union.”

Crustacean negation. The Star Tribune’s Kristen Leigh Painter reports: “The idea seemed far-fetched from the start: build a warehouse 1,000 miles from the nearest ocean, heat it to tropical levels and fill it with saltwater tanks to grow shrimp. … But state and local officials bought in to the idea when one of western Minnesota’s largest companies, Marshall-based Ralco, four years ago started a shrimp company called Tru Shrimp. Regulators in St. Paul put together subsidies. And the small town of Luverne readied an industrial park for a $45 million shrimp-growing facility, dubbed a ‘harbor.’ … In early January, however, the company said it would instead build the harbor in Madison, S.D., citing a conflict with Minnesota’s environmental agency. State and local officials were shocked. Luverne Mayor Pat Baustian called it a ‘gut shot.’”

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Services no longer needed:Hennepin County prepares early retirement for K9 trained to detect marijuana” [KSTP]