Nonprofit, nonpartisan journalism. Supported by readers.


Bipartisan group proposes restrictions to use of Minnesota presidential primary voter data

Plus: light-rail operators say they fear for their safety while on the job; Median home price in Twin Cities hits $280,000; not-so-subtle signs hint that the Rolling Stones are coming to Minneapolis; and more.

Secretary of State Steve Simon
MinnPost file photo by Briana Bierschbach
Minnesota Secretary of State Steve Simon
The AP reports: “There’s time to protect the privacy of Minnesotans who vote in the Super Tuesday presidential primary on March 3, Democratic Secretary of State Steve Simon and a bipartisan group of lawmakers said Wednesday. Under current law, the state must provide the names and party preference of primary voters to the four parties with major-party status in Minnesota — Democrats, Republicans and two pro-cannabis parties. A bill rolled out Wednesday by Democratic Sen. Ann Rest, of New Hope, and Democratic Rep. Ray Dehn, of Minneapolis, would tightly restrict that data.

For the Star Tribune, Janet Moore writes: “Metro Transit light-rail operators told state lawmakers Wednesday they often fear for their safety while on the job, adding another point of view to a budding narrative at the State Capitol about transit safety. LRT operator Jerry Ziegler told members of the Legislative Commission on Metropolitan Government that he frequently worries at the beginning of each shift … Ziegler and colleague Honey Darling testified in favor of a bill proposed by Rep. Paul Torkelson, R-Hanska, which calls for an independent assessment of public safety on the Twin Cities’ two light-rail lines.”

At MPR, Martin Moylan says, “The Twin Cities housing market still greatly favors sellers: The average sale price hit another record last year, as most homes changed hands quickly for nearly 100 percent of what sellers asked, according to data released Wednesday. The Minneapolis Area Realtors group said the median selling price for area homes rose nearly 6 percent last year to $280,000. That benchmark has now increased by more than 5 percent every year since 2012.”

For Fox News, Alexandria Hein says, “Health officials in Wisconsin have confirmed the state’s first case of coronavirus. The patient is described as an adult with a history of travel to Beijing prior to becoming ill and was exposed to known coronavirus cases while in China, the Wisconsin Department of Health Services said in a news release. The individual has been in isolation at home and is doing well, the health department said, adding that while the risk to the general public remains low, multiple agencies are working together to evaluate close contacts of the patient and health care workers who helped care for the patient.”

Article continues after advertisement

MPR’s Tim Nelson says, “Two Minneapolis lawmakers are introducing legislation to require fire sprinklers in all high-rise residential buildings. DFL Sen. Kari Dziedzic and DFL Rep. Mohamud Noor represent the neighborhood where a public housing high-rise fire killed five people in November. The Cedar High Apartments building was constructed before sprinkler systems were required. … Minneapolis officials say retrofitting public housing buildings could cost $1 million each. But Rep. Noor said the deadly fire shows the time has come to require sprinklers.”

Also from KSTP-TV: “From Nicollet Mall to U.S. Bank Stadium, it looks like The Rolling Stones are coming to the Twin Cities. The last time the band performed in Minnesota was in 2015 at TCF Bank Stadium. …  All around downtown Minneapolis, there are hints a return is imminent. There’s an ice sculpture along Nicollet Mall and two giant video screens at U.S. Bank Stadium with the band’s iconic logo on them.”

In the Star Tribune, Chao Xiong says, “A Wisconsin high school teacher facing federal child pornography charges in his home state was charged Wednesday for allegedly hiding cameras inside hotel rooms while chaperoning students on a trip to Minneapolis last year. David Kruchten, 37, of Cottage Grove, Wis., was charged in Hennepin County District Court with three counts of interfering with a minor’s privacy in connection with the December incident. Authorities allege that he hid cameras in two air freshener cans and a smoke detector in three bathrooms on the eighth floor of the downtown Hyatt Regency at 1300 Nicollet Mall.”

In the Wisconsin Examiner, Erik Gunn writes, “If there is one constant among residents of the Racine County community that is the site of the state’s most expensive economic development project, it’s how much uncertainty remains about the ‘Wisconn Valley’ Foxconn plant that is still under development. … For now, Foxconn’s next progress report to the [Wisconsin Economic Development Commission] is due in less than two months, on April 1, and will be used to evaluate tax credits for the project.”