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Gustavus president under fire from alum, profs, students

Jack Ohle
Jack Ohle

The first paragraph of Amanda Dyslin’s story in Saturday’s Mankato Free Press says it all: “Numerous Gustavus Adolphus College faculty, students and alumni are calling for President Jack Ohle’s resignation following years of complaints about his leadership.” According to documents published on GustieLeaks, an anonymous website, the Gustavus Faculty Senate recently passed a motion to present Ohle a letter outlining its concerns over his “business-minded administration, his lack of concern for academic quality, and disregard for faculty involvement and concerns, among other things,” Dyslin wrote. The Faculty Senate wants Ohle’s resignation by the end of the academic year. The Gustavian Weekly student newspaper reports Ohle said he would treat the letter with serious consideration. A faculty survey of the president’s performance conducted in 2011 and 2012 was summed up like this: “Of the 77 responses, one very brief response rated the President’s performance in positive terms, three had an ambivalent view, and 73 rated his job performance in largely negative terms. The voluminous material contained a remarkable coherence of narrative and spirit and many iterations of the same concerns.” Ohle has deferred comments to the Board of Trustees. Through the college, Board Chair Mark Bernhardson acknowledged the board is reviewing the situation. Petitions by students and alumni have been circulated via the Internet calling for Ohle’s resignation.

There was a time when corn was not a good option for farmers in northwestern Minnesota. Those times are changingwrites Jonathan Knutson for Agweek in a story that appeared in the Grand Forks Herald. Corn was once considered too risky to grow in northwest Minnesota, but increasing prices makes it more attractive than most other crops. Corn acreage in Minnesota has risen 30 percent from 1995 and 19 percent from 2005, with most of those additional acres in northwest Minnesota. New varieties that mature faster and need less moisture have helped, as has drought in the Corn Belt, a steady world demand, and younger farmers who want to plant corn and stay away from rotating crops. Knutson also provided this interesting piece of information: “Here’s how the NDSU Extension Service’s 2013 crop budget projects costs, gross income and net return for corn, wheat and soybean: Corn costs an estimated $489.50 per acre, with the corn grossing an estimated $642.33 per acre. That produces a projected profit of $157.83 per acre; Soybeans costs an estimated $277.99 per acre, with the soybeans grossing an estimated $375.60. That gives a projected profit of $97.61; Wheat costs an estimated $338.59 per acre, with the wheat grossing an estimating $433.59 per acre. That leaves a projected profit of $95.06 per acre.”

Lack of snow cover is giving a break to northern pike, which were decimated by die-offs last summer, writes Brian Ojanpa of the Mankato Free Press. Waterville Area Fisheries officials said the extreme heat of 2012 “caused massive kills of northern pike, but this winter’s dearth of snow has allowed sunlight to penetrate ice. That enables aquatic plants to grow, which improves dissolved-oxygen levels for the fish,” Ojanpa wrote. However, another hot summer could hurt the northerns. These same officials said the southern part of the state will need snowfall and spring and summer rains to return lakes to normal levels.

The Rochester Post-Bulletin’s Answer Man was asked recently why Supreme Court Justice and famous Minnesotan Harry Blackmun didn’t have a chance in being included in a painting of other famous Minnesotans in the Hubbell House in Mantorville. His answer? “Because he's largely persona non grata in Rochester and Minnesota, despite the fact that he had a landmark career on the U.S. Supreme Court and wrote one of the most famous and important opinions in the court's history. Why? Because of the abortion issue. Blackmun, who was appointed to the court by President Nixon in 1970, wrote the 1973 opinion that legalized abortion. The court ruled 7-2 on Roe v. Wade, but because Blackmun wrote the majority opinion, he's the one who took the heat from abortion rights opponents over the years. … Blackmun's Rochester connection is largely unrecognized as well. He was Mayo's resident counsel from 1950 to 1959, and a biography by former New York Times reporter Linda Greenhouse says they were the happiest years of his career. A reliable source — well, he's a lawyer, but I think he's reliable — tells me there's a photo of Blackmun in the Olmsted County Public Law Library. For security reasons, it's covered with Plexiglas.”

Department of Natural Resources conservation officer Shane Osborne met Ronald Wayne Johnson, 69, of Carlos, as Johnson was about to pull his portable fish house off West Spitzer Lake in Otter Tail County, reports the Fergus Falls Journal. “I asked how the fishing was and he said he caught some fish, but it wasn’t that great,” Osborne said. When asked if he had any fish at home, Johnson said he wasn’t sure. “He then asked if I thought he had too many fish,” Osborne said. “I said I wouldn’t know that until I counted all of the fish he had. He said I could follow him home and check.” When Osborne visited Johnson’s home, he found 22 frozen half-gallon cardboard containers, six plastic bags and several loose fish and fish filets. The cache totaled 228 sunfish, seven bass and six northern pike, waaaaaay more than the legal limit. If convicted, Johnson could forfeit his fishing license for three years, face up to $3,000 in fines and one year in jail.

St. Cloud police were on high alert last weekend when word leaked of a hip-hop show at RumRunners that would attract hundreds of partygoers. The St. Cloud Daily Times reports that even though the show was canceled, officers made four underage consumption arrests, two disorderly conduct arrests, one case of providing false information to police, one fake ID arrest and a second-degree assault arrest from a prior incident. Officers also performed traffic enforcement that led to two driving after revocation arrests and one incident where marijuana was recovered, according to police reports.

A truck ran a red light in Moorhead on Monday night, leading police to make a “significant” drug arrestreports the Fargo Forum. An officer saw a pickup go through the intersection at Fourth Street and Main Avenue at about 8:09 p.m. After the pickup stopped in the Hornbacher’s parking lot, an officer noticed a large plastic bag of marijuana near the passenger’s feet, the police stated. Officers searched the vehicle and seized almost a pound of marijuana, 6 grams of methamphetamine, nine grams of mushrooms, $196 in cash and numerous items of drug paraphernalia, the release stated. The pickup’s driver, Rebecca Ann Myers, 34, of West Fargo, was arrested on suspicion of drug possession with intent to distribute, possession of drug paraphernalia, fleeing in a motor vehicle, no driver’s license and disobeying a traffic signal. The passenger, Ryan Dale Stark, 35, of Fargo, was arrested on suspicion of the same drug and paraphernalia charges and also on possession of a dangerous weapon for allegedly having brass knuckles.

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Comments (1)

Guess I will take the Hubbell House off my list of places to go

If your business is going to make a political statement I will feel free to boycott it to make my statement. All in all it is a foolish thing for a business to do.