08/18/10: This week’s Minnesota news from other media

“Despite objections from the Historic Preservation Commission, the Duluth City Council unanimously approved plans Monday to purchase new windows for two sides of the City Hall building at a cost of $749,845,” Peter Passi reports in the Duluth News Tribune. He writes that “Penny Clark, president of the commission, objected to the windows because of the way they opened — cranking out from the bottom instead of sliding up and down, like the originals.” The story quotes City Councilor Sharla Gardner: “This effort is not only to make the windows look better, but it also is for better energy efficiency, which we desperately need.”

The Nicollet County Board of Adjustment and Appeals unanimously ruled against a variance request to allow advertising signage on a silo along Highway 169 just north of St. Peter, reports Brian Ojanpa in the Mankato Free Press. The story says, “Board members concurred that the silo’s usage as ad space for the Le Sueur quartz countertop company does not conform to county criteria regarding signage in a locale designated as a Conservancy Zoning District.”

More than 50 young double-crested cormorants on Lake Vermilion’s Potato Island were found dead this week by a tribal biologist, writes Marshall Helmberger in the Ely/Tower/Orr Timberjay, “and others were found with symptoms of neurological damage. The symptoms were similar to Newscastle’s Disease, an avian virus that has taken a toll on cormorant populations elsewhere in Minnesota, but DNR wildlife veterinarian Erika Butler said the actual cause of the bird deaths on Lake Vermilion likely won’t be confirmed for 2-3 weeks.”

Minnesota State University Moorhead is expecting at least a 4.4 percent enrollment increase over this time last year, Amy Dalrymple reports in the Fargo/Moorhead Inforum. She writes, “The preliminary figure was announced this morning at MSUM’s annual all-university meeting. Students are still registering and that percentage is expected to increase even more by next week, said President Edna Szymanski.”

One of two women charged in the abuse of residents at an Albert Lea nursing home has agreed to a plea deal, the Rochester Post-Bulletin reports. The article says, “Brianna Broitzman, 21, entered Alford pleas in Freeborn District Court on Monday to three counts of disorderly conduct. The counts are gross misdemeanors. Her trial, which had been moved to Rochester because of the publicity the case attracted, was scheduled to start Aug. 23 and last two weeks.” Broitzman will be sentenced on Oct. 22; County Attorney Craig Nelson said he anticipates that she will receive probation.

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