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Keyword: mn

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  • In search of change, sex offenders at Moose Lake run for office

    10/17/2014 5:23:41 AM PDT · by TurboZamboni · 9 replies
    Star Tribune ^ | 10-16-14 | CHRIS SERRES and GLENN HOWATT
    Sex offenders at a treatment center in northern Minnesota, fed up with political gridlock over their controversial program, are taking matters into their own hands: They are running for elected office. For the last three months, a group of sex offenders has quietly run a voter-registration drive up and down the hallways of the prisonlike treatment center in Moose Lake, where about 460 convicted rapists, pedophiles and other offenders are locked away indefinitely behind razor wire. Some 155 are now registered to vote — amounting to nearly 20 percent of all voters registered in Moose Lake. Their goal is to...
  • MNsure says 2015 premiums going up but will remain nation's lowest

    10/01/2014 7:50:32 PM PDT · by TurboZamboni · 3 replies
    Pioneer Press ^ | 10-1-14 | Nick Woltman
    Premiums on the state's MNsure health insurance exchange will rise in 2015, but they will still likely be the lowest in the nation. The Minnesota Department of Commerce said Wednesday that the rates offered by the four insurers still participating in the exchange will increase an average of 4.5 percent over their 2014 levels. "Not only is the average rate increase low for companies returning to the exchange, but Minnesotans living in each area of the state will have more product choices available this year to fit their individual health insurance needs," Commerce Commissioner Mike Rothman said in a statement....
  • Somalis say: Show us the money

    09/30/2014 1:53:07 PM PDT · by afraidfortherepublic · 21 replies
    Powerline ^ | 9-30-14 | Scott Johnson
    We’ve got a problem in the Twin Cities that is based in our large and still growing population of Somali immigrants. Somalis have been immigrating to Minnesota for more than twenty years now. They have taken advantage of all the services that our state and local institutions offer. They have been welcomed with open arms, in Minnesota’s characteristic style. Yet Minnesota’s Somali community — a/k/a “Minnesotans” — is the most fertile ground in the United States for the recruitment of terrorists by foreign terrorist organizations in Africa and the Middle East. We are concerned that they may choose to return...
  • DNR Talks Safety After Hunter Attacked By Bear, More Details Released

    09/29/2014 6:05:07 PM PDT · by TurboZamboni · 8 replies
    wdio ^ | 9-29-14 | Laurie Stribling
    Family members said a hunter is undergoing a second surgery after a bear attack in Pine County. Brandon Johnson is from North Branch and was attacked by a wounded bear early Saturday morning. The 9-1-1 call came in after 3:30 a.m. in a remote part of the county called Duxbury. Pine County deputies said Johnson was alone at the time of the attack, but was with a group scattered in the woods. Johnson told deputies he was tracking the wounded bear after bowhunting. Johnson told deputies the animal knocked him to the ground clawing and biting him. Officials with the...
  • MN:CCW Holder Cleared in Shooting

    09/26/2014 10:44:48 AM PDT · by marktwain · 13 replies
    Gun Watch ^ | Dean Weingarten
    Earl Malone, Suspected Armed Robber One adult attempts to rob another, using the threat of deadly force.  The victim is an armed adult with a concealed carry permit.  He defends himself, and the attempted robber dies.   Cause for muted thanks, correct?  The good guy won, and there is one less hardened criminal on the street to make the city a slightly less dangerous place. The CBSMinnesota headline: Man Released After Claiming Self Defense In Fatal Mpls. ShootingThis from cbslocal.com: Authorities believe he was acting in self-defense when he fatally shot 18-year-old Earl Malone Saturday night at the intersection of...
  • Amazon to collect Minnesota sales tax starting Oct. 1

    09/23/2014 2:13:50 PM PDT · by TurboZamboni · 12 replies
    MPLS Star & Sickle ^ | 9-23-14 | KAVITA KUMAR
    Amazon.com Inc. will begin collecting sales taxes from Minnesota customers next week, ending a cost advantage it’s enjoyed over brick-and-mortar retailers in the state. The news also triggered a mystery. Online-only retailers don’t need to charge sales tax in Minnesota unless they have physical presence or affiliated business here. Monday’s revelation led to speculation that Amazon may open a warehouse, data center or some other operation in the state or buy an existing firm. The company was vague about what prompted the change, though it said it “will be required” to do so starting Oct. 1. “We’re considering various opportunities...
  • His name is Jeff Johnson. He wants to be governor.

    09/22/2014 5:26:08 AM PDT · by TurboZamboni · 2 replies
    Pioneer Press ^ | 9-21-14 | Bill Salisbury
    Johnson, a Hennepin County commissioner and former state legislator, also is trailing in the polls. In four statewide surveys taken since the Aug. 12 primary, Dayton led Johnson by an average of 9 points -- 48 percent to 39 percent, according to RealClearPolitics.com. A recent poll in the Minneapolis-based Star Tribune newspaper showed about one third of registered voters didn't recognize Johnson's name and 40 percent had not formed an opinion about him. The polls do not alarm the GOP candidate. Four years ago, he said, Republican Tom Emmer trailed Dayton by 18 points in early September and lost the...
  • Lowest-Cost Insurer Drops From Minnesota Exchange

    09/16/2014 3:11:22 PM PDT · by smartyaz · 10 replies
    CBS Minnesota ^ | 9/16/2014
    The insurance company that grabbed the most customers on Minnesota’s health care exchange by offering the lowest rates told state officials Tuesday that it’s pulling out of MNsure, a major blow to the exchange as the next open enrollment period approaches. The decision by Golden Valley-based PreferredOne may mean higher rates and again puts the troubled exchange front-and-center in Minnesota’s governor and House elections. PreferredOne had 59 percent of the private-plan market for MNsure enrollees as of early August. Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Minnesota had 23 percent, HealthPartners 12, Medica 5 percent and UCare 1.
  • Big Minnesota insurer leaves Obamacare site

    09/16/2014 3:09:45 PM PDT · by TurboZamboni · 6 replies
    yahoo ^ | 9-16-14 | Dan Mangan
    Minnesota Obamacare is calling it quits. PreferredOne, the insurer that sold nearly 60 percent of all private health plans on Minnesota's Obamacare exchange, on Tuesday said it would leave that marketplace. PreferredOne's plans were the lowest-cost options on that exchange, known as MNSure. PreferredOne cited the costs of doing business on MNSure as the reason for its surprising decision, saying that selling plans is "not administratively and financially sustainable going forward," according to KSTP.com, the website of that Minnesota TV News network.
  • Bachmann: FBI Told Me Americans Who Joined ISIS Would Be Allowed To Return To US

    09/14/2014 8:15:27 AM PDT · by TurboZamboni · 35 replies
    cbs ^ | 9-11-14 | cbs
    WASHINGTON (CBSDC) — Rep. Michele Bachmann says she was told by the FBI that Americans who joined the Islamic State of Iraq and Syria in the Middle East would be allowed to return to the U.S. Speaking to Newsmax, the Minnesota Republican detailed a private meeting she had with the federal agency earlier this summer when she asked them if any Minnesotans had joined ISIS. “The FBI told me … that there were two Minnesotans that had joined up with the Islamic State. I asked the FBI, ‘If they choose to return to Minnesota, will they be allowed to?’ The...
  • At least THREE young Minnesota women have traveled to Syria to aid ISIS jihadis

    09/11/2014 5:57:20 PM PDT · by ButThreeLeftsDo · 35 replies
    MailOnline ^ | 9/11/14 | Martin Gould In St. Paul, Minnesota For Mailonline
    At least three young Minnesota women are now believed to have traveled to Syria to give aid to the ISIS terror group responsible for the brutal beheadings of American journalists, MailOnline has learned. The trio left some three weeks ago, Omar Jamal, a leader of the Somali community in the state capital, St. Paul, tells MailOnline. They said they intended to become nurses tending to fighters injured in ISIS' violent surge in Syria and Iraq. The news comes as 19-year-old suburban Denver woman Shannon Conley who federal authorities say intended to wage jihad has pleaded guilty to trying to help...
  • St. Paul police defend skyway arrest; charges dismissed

    08/29/2014 7:10:25 AM PDT · by TurboZamboni · 86 replies
    Pioneer Press ^ | 8-28-14 | Mara H. Gottfried
    St. Paul police responded Thursday to criticism over officers' interaction with a man, including police use of a Taser, saying a video doesn't tell the whole story. Chris Lollie, 28, said he was sitting on a chair in a downtown skyway Jan. 31 when a security guard told him it was a private area and he couldn't be there. No signs were posted saying it was private, Lollie said. The guard called police. Lollie, of St. Paul, told an officer he was heading to pick up his children and didn't have to identify himself because he had done nothing wrong....
  • Suspect Dead, Officer Uninjured in St. Paul Officer-Involved Shooting

    08/28/2014 9:12:05 AM PDT · by TurboZamboni · 19 replies
    kstp ^ | 8-28-14 | Jennie Olson
    The St. Paul Police Department is investigating an officer-involved shooting Thursday morning. Police confirm that the officer was not injured and the suspect is dead. The shooting reportedly happened around 7 a.m. outside of a Holiday gas station near Wabasha Street and Plato Boulevard. A witness tells KSTP he saw the suspect and police involved in an altercation. He says the suspect was throwing rocks and at one point punched one of the officers. He allegedly continued to “physically and aggressively” interact with the officers before the shooting. No other information has been released at this time.
  • Home values rising on St. Paul's East Side. So will taxes.

    08/17/2014 11:31:03 AM PDT · by TurboZamboni · 8 replies
    Pioneer Press ^ | 8-17-14 | Freddy Milo
    On St. Paul's East Side, homeowners in the 1900 block of Hawthorne Avenue are in line for property tax increases of 40 percent or more -- an additional $430 on their tax bills. Property owners along the 700 block of Summit Avenue will see just as much in savings. The city's middle-class property owners will feel the biggest bite in their wallet come tax time, and nowhere more so than on the city's East Side. After years of mild tax breaks, the owners of median-value homes in St. Paul likely will do a double-take when "Truth in Taxation" statements arrive...
  • Stanley Cup winner's son scores the 'Spamboni'

    08/15/2014 9:56:41 AM PDT · by TurboZamboni · 2 replies
    Pioneer Press ^ | 8-15-14 | Nick Ferraro
    The old "Spamboni" ice resurfacer has sold for the $2,000 asking price -- and it's going to a family with deep Minnesota hockey roots. Dave Langevin, whose dad grew up in St. Paul and won four Stanley Cups as a defenseman with the New York Islanders in the early 1980s, is now the owner of the Hormel-sponsored Zamboni that once wheeled around the St. Paul Civic Center while promoting the Austin, Minn.-based company's canned meat. The 1972 HDB Zamboni (Serial No. 1566) was the Civic Center's original machine.
  • Off-duty officers may bring guns to Vikings games

    08/14/2014 7:34:35 PM PDT · by TurboZamboni · 13 replies
    KARE ^ | 8-14-14 | ap
    <p>MINNEAPOLIS - A court has struck down an NFL policy preventing off-duty Minnesota police officers from bringing their guns to Vikings games.</p>
  • Arden Hills shooting suspect had business, romantic ties to victim

    08/14/2014 4:18:19 AM PDT · by TurboZamboni · 50 replies
    Pioneer Press ^ | 8-12-14 | Joseph Lindberg, Mara H. Gottfried and Sarah Horner
    A Boston Scientific executive who was fatally shot Monday at an Arden Hills gas station once had his life intertwined with the shooting suspect -- they had been life partners and started a popular Minneapolis nightclub together. But Kelly L. Phillips, 48, had moved on. He was to marry another man this month and had ended his business relationship with Lyle "Ty" Marvin Hoffman, 44. The Ramsey County sheriff's office said Tuesday that it was seeking Hoffman as a suspect in Phillips' homicide. Five police agencies searched for Hoffman in two hangars at the Anoka County Blaine airport Tuesday afternoon,...
  • St. Paul police officer allegedly left scene of accident

    08/11/2014 6:52:53 PM PDT · by TurboZamboni · 9 replies
    Pioneer Press ^ | 8-11-14 | Mara H. Gottfried
    A St. Paul police officer drove through a red light, struck another vehicle with his squad car and left the scene of the accident last spring, according to two misdemeanor charges filed against the officer Monday. Officer Vosinick "Nick" Kellum, 39, was on duty at the time, according to the police department, though the criminal complaint said he hadn't been assigned to respond to any police calls that day and there were no police calls for service in the immediate area of the incident. Kellum, a St. Paul officer since 1999, "admitted to driving the vehicle and being involved in...
  • U-Minn. seeks to bar Redskins’ name at school’s stadium on Vikings game day

    08/08/2014 7:03:50 AM PDT · by ConservativeStatement · 76 replies
    Washington Post ^ | August 6, 2014 | Ian Shapira
    The University of Minnesota is working with the Minnesota Vikings in an effort to keep the Washington Redskins’ name from being used in “promotional and game date materials” during the NFL teams’ Nov. 2 game at the school’s stadium in Minneapolis, according to an Aug. 1 letter from university President Eric W. Kaler to U.S. Rep. Betty McCollum (D-Minn.).
  • Stillwater cafe now charging customers a "minimum wage fee

    08/07/2014 1:59:23 PM PDT · by TurboZamboni · 10 replies
    City Pages ^ | 8-5-14 | Aaron RUpar
    Last Friday, for the first time in nearly a decade, Minnesota's minimum wage went up. The first in a series of incremental hikes brought the wage floor from $6.15 to $8 per hour for relatively large companies, and from $5.25 to $6.50 for small ones. As you'd expect, some businesses aren't thrilled about that -- especially bars and restaurants, as the new law doesn't include a tip exception. But the Oasis Cafe in Stillwater is generating a stir for transparently including a "Min Wage Fee" on all customer checks:
  • Lake Superior, the Great Lakes and Europe Defy Climate Experts

    08/03/2014 8:55:36 AM PDT · by citizen · 37 replies
    Canada Free Press ^ | July 31, 2014 | Jack Dini
    A little over one year ago, The New York Times and USA Today were reporting that the Great Lakes hit all time lows in water levels. According to those reports, Lake Huron and Lake Michigan were 29 inches below their average measurements taken since 1918. Scientists warned communities that they could only expect more tragedy with the Great Lakes. With a lack of rain from climate change, they told everyone to expect levels to continue to drop. In an April 2013 report from the International Joint Commission, a group with members from the United States and Canada that advises on...
  • 3 climb through McDonald's drive-through window in St. Paul during fight, charges say

    08/02/2014 5:59:11 AM PDT · by TurboZamboni · 41 replies
    Pioneer Press ^ | 8-1-14 | Richard Chin
    In a decidedly unhappy meal, three men were charged with first-degree burglary after they climbed through a McDonald's restaurant drive-through window and fought with employees, according to charges filed in Ramsey County District Court. The three also were accused of third-degree riot for the benefit of a gang in the incident early July 24. According to the criminal complaint: The three -- Willie Charles Lassiter, 18, St. Paul; Evan Kasadine McMillan, 18, St. Paul; and Keith Lamar Garrett Jr., 20 -- were in an SUV at the McDonald's at 1388 E. Maryland Ave. when they argued with a 24-year-old employee...
  • ‘He Could Have Brought Ebola Here’: Minnesota Widow on Her Husband

    07/30/2014 9:24:09 AM PDT · by TurboZamboni · 19 replies
    daily beast ^ | 7-30-14 | Michael Daly
    Patrick Sawyer was supposed to be at his kids’ birthday party in a few weeks—but he died of the virus before he could board a flight to Minneapolis. His wife on the epidemic’s toll. Nigeria felt a chill from the hot zone when a 40-year-old man collapsed and died from the dread Ebola virus after flying there from Liberia. That hot zone chill now reaches America, with word that the same man was scheduled to fly to Minneapolis in time for an August 16 party celebrating the birthdays of two of his three young daughters. Patrick Sawyer was a naturalized...
  • Mother and daughter take a shot at Minnesota firearms-safety class

    07/30/2014 7:01:20 AM PDT · by TurboZamboni · 6 replies
    Pioneer Press ^ | 7-19-14 | Maren Longbella
    Minnesota began hunter education in 1955 in response to a growing number of hunting accidents. "The curriculum ... has greatly contributed to a steady decline both in non-fatal and fatal firearms accidents," the DNR website states. In an effort to make hunting even safer, the Minnesota Legislature passed a law in 1990 requiring anyone born after Dec. 31, 1979, to have a firearms safety certificate before a hunting license can be issued. About 4,000 volunteer instructors around the state teach the hunter education course to about 23,000 students annually. Safe handling of firearms and hunter responsibility are the goals of...
  • 173 unaccompanied immigrant children placed in Minnesota; 50 in Wisconsin

    07/26/2014 6:47:57 AM PDT · by TurboZamboni · 26 replies
    Pioneer Press ^ | 7-24-14 | Administration Propaganda
    The federal government says 173 unaccompanied immigrant children have been placed in Minnesota since the start of the year. The Office of Refugee Resettlement on Thursday issued a state-by-state breakdown of unaccompanied child placement. The figures show more than 30,000 children have been released to sponsors this year through July 7. The specific locations of the placements were not specified. Fifty have been placed in Wisconsin. Texas, New York, Florida and California are receiving the most unaccompanied children caught at the U.S. border, according to the information. Federal and state governments are scrambling to find shelter for the children fleeing...
  • MNsure failing to produce results

    07/23/2014 9:12:27 AM PDT · by TurboZamboni · 6 replies
    Quad Community Press ^ | 7-22-14 | Linda Runbeck
    It’s been almost one year since Minnesota rolled out its state version of Obamacare, called MNsure. How is this experiment with government-run health care working? Let’s start with the basic fact that Minnesota’s health care is second to none. Before MNsure, close to 97 percent of Minnesotans had health insurance coverage or were eligible to procure it at very low or no cost. This was among the highest percentage of insured people in the nation. Some $160 million in taxpayer money has been spent to launch MNsure, and we are no better off today. The state had two unique programs:...
  • Gov. Dayton: Minnesota should eliminate coal use

    07/21/2014 5:11:11 AM PDT · by TurboZamboni · 34 replies
    AP ^ | 7-18-14 | AP
    <p>MINNEAPOLIS (AP) -- Gov. Mark Dayton challenged energy policy and business leaders Thursday to find a way for Minnesota to eliminate coal from the state's energy production.</p> <p>Dayton, who has spoken of his aim to eliminate coal before, said it's time to start talking details so that Minnesota can lead the nation.</p>
  • 2 Administrators Charged for Failing to Report Alleged Sexual Abuse at St. Paul School

    07/15/2014 4:48:30 AM PDT · by TurboZamboni · 8 replies
    KSTP ^ | 7-14-14 | Cassie Hart
    Two former administrators at Linwood Monroe Arts Plus School in St. Paul have been charged for failing to report alleged sexual abuse by a former custodian. Beth A. Behnke, 48, of Burnsville was principal in 2011 when Walter Happel allegedly spied on an 11-year-old boy in a bathroom. Craig A. Guidry, 52, of Arden Hills was assistant principal. On Monday, Behnke and Guidry were both charged with one count each of misdemeanor failure to report the maltreatment of minors. According to the criminal complaint, on Dec. 26, 2011, a mother of the boy reported to St. Paul police her son...
  • Minnesota Home Care Workers Launch Union Vote

    07/08/2014 8:12:22 PM PDT · by TurboZamboni · 18 replies
    kstp ^ | 7-8-14 | ap
    ome health care workers in Minnesota are moving ahead with a union election, despite a recent U.S. Supreme Court ruling. Union organizers presented a petition to state officials Tuesday. Last week, the Supreme Court ruled that similar workers in Illinois don't have to pay any union dues. The 2013 Minnesota Legislature passed a bill that allows a unionization vote by workers who provide care to elderly and disabled people in their homes. Minnesota Public Radio News reports more than 26,000 workers are eligible to vote, and the 9,000 cards delivered to the state Bureau of Mediation Services exceeded the 30...
  • Joe Soucheray: St. Paul streetcars can't pay for themselves - so you'd pay

    07/08/2014 3:46:56 PM PDT · by TurboZamboni · 9 replies
    Pioneer Press ^ | 7-8-14 | Joe Soucheray
    Now that we have light rail, the progressives are ready to move on to the next step, streetcars along Seventh Street in St. Paul, with more lines to follow. The city council will vote Wednesday night to authorize a detailed study of a streetcar line between Arcade Street and Randolph Avenue on Seventh. That would be a second study, the first one being last year, your money paid out to a consulting firm from San Francisco. Progressives are dedicated to blocking the individual while encouraging the collective, but that offers no evidence of progress of any kind. There are already...
  • Sharia in America: Minneapolis Offers Sharia-Compliant Loans to Muslim Business Owners

    07/02/2014 8:39:43 AM PDT · by PoloSec · 18 replies
    DC Clothesline ^ | July 2 2014 | Pamela Geller
    How is this not a violation of the establishment clause? The government is funding sharia and sharia finance. Sharia financial institutions cannot fund pork, alcohol, gambling  or adult entertainment businesses (these are whole American business sectors).  A portion of sharia finance funds must go to zakat – Islamic charities which we know fund Islamic terror. Minneapolis may be helping to finance international terrorism. No American city should be in the sharia finance business. Taxpayers funding our own demise. Someone with standing - a Minneapolis taxpayer ought to sue. We need hearings on taxpayer dollars being used to fund Islamic finance...
  • Closed Church gets New Life as Islamic Center (Yes, that's the headline)

    06/29/2014 6:36:59 PM PDT · by rabidralph · 37 replies
    Winona Daily News (Minnesota) ^ | June 29, 2014 | AP Staffer
    ST. PAUL, Minn. (AP) — One of the oldest Catholic churches in St. Paul had to close down because of a dwindling congregation, but it's been given new life as an Islamic community center. The Church of St. John parish, built in 1886, closed in 2013. It reopened Friday as the Darul-Uloom Islamic Center, the St. Paul Pioneer Press reported (http://bit.ly/1z0o5In ). "There are a lot of East Africans in the area, and we want to give them a place to worship, a place to be educated, a community space," center spokesman Feisal M. Elmi said. The former church held...
  • Allegations of Voter Fraud in MN DFL Primary

    Absentee voting started Friday, six weeks ahead of primary elections. Already there are strong allegations of voter fraud. The attorney for Phyllis Kahn says he got word Thursday night; there might be hundreds of people who are registering and voting using an address that's not their home. Absentee voting kicked-off Friday morning in a hotly contested democratic primary race for the state house between incumbent Phyllis Kahn and Mohamud Noor. Brian Rice, attorney for the Phyllis Kahn Volunteer Committee, claims there's voter fraud. "I think there is a coordinated effort to use this address to bring voters into the DFL...
  • Ex-cop charged with hiding corpses, including Farmington woman, in suitcases

    06/27/2014 1:22:11 PM PDT · by TurboZamboni · 26 replies
    pioneer press ^ | 6-27-14 | Steve Karnowski and Dinesh Ramde
    WEST ALLIS, Wis. -- A former police officer charged in the deaths of two women -- one from the Twin Cities -- whose bodies were stuffed into suitcases and left on a rural Wisconsin highway met his victims online, according to police and a criminal complaint. Steven Zelich, 52, a security officer, was charged Thursday with two counts of hiding a corpse. He was arrested Wednesday, when detectives wearing hazmat suits removed large bags of evidence and a refrigerator from his apartment in West Allis, a Milwaukee suburb. Highway workers discovered two suitcases containing female remains June 5 in the...
  • Man Charged in St. Cloud Home Invasion, Beating

    06/18/2014 7:22:00 AM PDT · by TurboZamboni · 2 replies
    KSTP ^ | 6-17-14 | Heidi Enninga
    Corey William Becker, 21, has been charged in connection with a St. Cloud home invasion on Saturday where he beat and sexually assaulted another man. Stearns County prosecutors charged Becker with burglary, first-degree assault, kidnapping, second-degree criminal sexual conduct and third-degree assault. Around 3:30 a.m. Saturday, the victim told police that he woke up and noticed a man he didn’t know in his bedroom. Police have identified that man as Becker, and said he then went over the victim’s bed and started strangling him saying he needed to die. The victim said there was a struggle, and that he tried...
  • Medtronic's Covidien deal spurs debate about corporate taxes

    06/17/2014 4:57:32 AM PDT · by TurboZamboni · 1 replies
    Pioneer Press ^ | 6-16-14 | Christopher Snowbeck
    Is Medtronic's massive international corporate merger a billion-dollar tax dodge, an indictment of the U.S. tax code or a business-savvy work-around that could spur investment and growth in the Twin Cities? The answer depends on whom you ask. The $42.9 billion cash-and-stock purchase of Covidien, which was announced Sunday, comes with plans for Medtronic to decamp its executive suite to Ireland, where Covidien is based. It also will nearly double the size of the Fridley-based medical device maker and likely result in no significant change in its 8,000-strong Twin Cities workforce. The company is talking about adding 1,000 workers locally....
  • Green Line opens soon, and St. Paul has a lot riding on this train

    06/08/2014 5:41:42 AM PDT · by TurboZamboni · 21 replies
    Pioneer Press ^ | 6-8-14 | Fred Melo
    Officials at all levels of government are banking that Metro Transit's $957 million investment will do more than simply shuttle existing bus riders in fancier vehicles between the downtowns of St. Paul and Minneapolis when it debuts June 14. They are counting on light rail to be a catalyst -- an economic game-changer for downtown St. Paul and much of University Avenue. Both areas have lost industry since the 1970s. The city as a whole lost 13.4 percent of its employment from 2000 to 2011, a period during which the U.S. shed 2.2 percent of its jobs, according to Wilder...
  • Minnesota ordered to cut carbon emissions 41 percent

    06/03/2014 5:25:09 AM PDT · by TurboZamboni · 35 replies
    Pioneer Press ^ | 6-2-14 | Amy Forliti
    emissions by nearly 41 percent over the next 15 years as part of a sweeping plan President Barack Obama announced Monday to reduce pollution from power plants. Obama's plan calls for a 30 percent reduction in carbon emissions nationwide by 2030, when compared with 2005 levels. It sets different goals for each state, and some that rely heavily on coal won't have to make as many reductions. Minnesota is one of nine states told to reduce their 2012 levels by more than 40 percent, to help meet the nation's overall reduction goal. Officials with the Minnesota Pollution Control Agency, utilities...
  • Exhausted moose gets help from deputy in northern Minnesota

    05/23/2014 4:48:48 AM PDT · by TurboZamboni · 11 replies
    Pioneer Press/Forum News Service ^ | 5-22-14 | John Myers
    Sgt. Bernie Mettler has responded to a lot of calls in his 21 years as a St. Louis County sheriff's deputy, but until this week, never a moose rescue. Mettler was called to the north side of Aurora on Monday morning after reports from residents that a moose was on the loose and apparently unable to find its way back into the woods. "It looked like it came into the north side of town from the east ... and then got trapped,'' Mettler said. "There's a tall fence there that keeps people out of the old mine dumps and mine...
  • The Cost of Campaign Restrictions

    05/22/2014 4:12:57 AM PDT · by TurboZamboni · 1 replies
    Pioneer Press ^ | 5-22-14 | George Will
    MINNEAPOLIS -- Minnesota says it has 10,000 lakes. The state also has, according to Anthony Sanders, "10,000 campaign finance laws." He exaggerates, but understandably. As an attorney for Minnesota's chapter of the Institute for Justice, a libertarian public-interest law firm, Sanders represents several Minnesotans whose First Amendment rights of free speech and association are burdened by an obviously arbitrary, notably complex and certainly unconstitutional restriction. Linda Runbeck is a Republican state legislator who is allowed to spend in her campaign -- most spending finances dissemination of speech -- only $62,600. She is not challenging this speech limit, although it is...
  • Turning the Twin Cities Into Sim City

    05/20/2014 6:27:33 PM PDT · by TurboZamboni · 14 replies
    WSJ ^ | 5-19-14 | Katherine Kersten
    The Met Council, as it's known here, was founded in the 1960s to coordinate regional infrastructure—in essence, to make sure that sewers and roads meet up. Over the years, its power to allocate funds and control planning has expanded. Now, under Democratic Gov. Mark Dayton—who appointed all 17 current members—the council intends to play Sim City with residents' lives. Thrive MSP 2040 is part of a nationwide movement called "regionalism." Regional planning of infrastructure is important, of course. But regionalism, as an ideology, is about shifting power away from local elected officials and re-engineering society on behalf of "equity" and...
  • Report bashes University of Minnesota for 'huge administrative bloat,' Kaler calls it "dead wrong"

    05/20/2014 5:09:50 AM PDT · by TurboZamboni · 4 replies
    The University of Minnesota, which was criticized last year by a Wall Street Journal report for its administrative spending, is now slammed by a left-leaning think tank for the same thing. The Star Tribune has the story on U of M president's Eric Kaler's reaction to a report by the progressive Institute for Policy Studies, which put the school among the worst offenders of what it called "administrative bloat" at the expense of things like financial aid. His reaction: The report is "dead wrong." Kaler said that the U of M has increased financial aid "substantially." Read the University of...
  • Minnesota campaign donor restriction blocked by federal judge

    05/19/2014 8:22:17 PM PDT · by TurboZamboni · 2 replies
    Pioneer Press ^ | 5-19-14 | doug belden
    A federal judge on Monday blocked Minnesota officials from enforcing a state campaign finance law on donations. The Minnesota law's days were numbered, observers say, after a U.S. Supreme Court decision in a separate case last month. That ruling, in McCutcheon v. Federal Election Commission, struck down aggregate contribution limits in federal campaigns. About a week after it was announced, a group of Minnesota candidates and donors filed a First Amendment challenge to the state's "special sources" limit, which says no more than 20 percent of the total raised by a candidate can come from political action committees, lobbyists and...
  • Stormy time for Republican U.S. Senate candidate McFadden at tea party event (MN)

    05/10/2014 7:05:39 AM PDT · by cotton1706 · 21 replies
    <p>Storm clouds brewed outside the Mermaid event center in Mounds View Thursday night while inside Republican Senate candidate Mike McFadden endured a storm of his own.</p> <p>McFadden, considered a front runner in the GOP contest to vie against Democratic U.S. Sen. Al Franken, did not begin his appearance as a favorite. The leaders of the North Metro Tea Party had previously said unkind things about McFadden, including that he had dodged their group and calling him a phony.</p>
  • After 43 years, St. Paul's Union Depot marks return of passenger trains

    05/09/2014 4:59:55 AM PDT · by TurboZamboni · 25 replies
    Pioneer Press ^ | Fred Melo
    Passenger trains are again rolling into St. Paul's historic Union Depot. Ramsey County leaders joined their peers from St. Paul and the state Wednesday to welcome Amtrak to their meticulously restored depot. The first train, the westbound Empire Builder from Chicago, arrived at 11:13 p.m. -- 70 minutes late -- en route to Seattle and Portland, Ore. "Our beautifully restored building is achieving our vision as a multimodal transit facility and a unique gathering place for people," said Ramsey County Commissioner Rafael Ortega, chair of the Ramsey County Regional Railroad Authority, said during ceremonies earlier in the day. But don't...
  • Is it fair to cite drivers on Pockmark Pathway?

    05/09/2014 4:36:56 AM PDT · by TurboZamboni · 9 replies
    Pioneer Press ^ | 5-6-14 | Rubén Rosario
    Even before resident Allen Moe got socked with a ticket for trying to avoid hitting potholes, I had already renamed a badly pockmarked section of Shannon Parkway in Rosemount "Moon Crater Boulevard." Now, I'm sure many Twin Cities motorists have done similar nomenclature revisions, given the plethora of potholes from this past winter of woe. I hear Wheelock Parkway in St. Paul is now called Wheeloff Parkway. A motorist was seriously injured recently when his airbags deployed after he inadvertently hit a large pothole. Auto shops are overbooked with suspension, tire and alignment repairs. So I was taken aback by...
  • Mexican drug cartel allegedly tortured several people after St. Paul thefts

    05/07/2014 5:00:09 AM PDT · by TurboZamboni · 11 replies
    Pioneer Press ^ | 5-7-14 | Mara Gottfried
    A Mexican drug cartel had a "stash house" in St. Paul, and when drugs and money were stolen from it last month, several people thought to be involved were kidnapped and tortured, according to charges filed in Ramsey County District Court. A federal grand jury has indicted four men in the case. The kidnapping victims were released, but the little finger belonging to one of the men was nearly severed by his captors, according to the charges filed last month in Ramsey County. In addition, a woman said she was taken to the house in the West Seventh neighborhood, questioned...
  • Medical marijuana: Here's a look at differing approaches in Minnesota House, Senate

    05/05/2014 8:28:37 AM PDT · by TurboZamboni · 5 replies
    Pioneer Press ^ | 5-5-14 | Christopher Snowbeck
    With medical marijuana bills advancing at the Minnesota Capitol, both supporters and critics have been invoking the phrase "Wild West" when debating the merits of legislation. Without more scientific evidence about risks and benefits, the prospect of legalized medical marijuana "would be kind of like the Wild West of medicine," argued Sen. Carla Nelson, R-Rochester, during a hearing in April. In a Senate committee last week, Sen. Scott Dibble, DFL-Minneapolis, used the metaphor in a different way -- arguing that desperate patients currently face a Wild West situation of buying marijuana on the street, without knowing what they're getting. "Or...
  • Teens' deaths raise 'reasonable force' questions for instructors

    05/04/2014 9:26:54 AM PDT · by TurboZamboni · 41 replies
    Pioneer Press ^ | 5-3-14 | Erik Burgess
    When Jere Hilland teaches you how to defend yourself, he always preaches using "reasonable force." "In other words, if someone punches you in the nose, you can punch them in the nose," said Hilland, who has taught firearms classes in North Dakota for 10 years. "But you can't keep punching them in the nose. That's excessive force." That's where Hilland guesses Byron Smith went wrong. Smith was found guilty Tuesday of premeditated murder after fatally shooting two teenagers who entered his home in Little Falls, Minn., on Thanksgiving Day 2012. Smith, who admitted shooting the teens "more times than I...
  • What Minnesota's New Domestic Violence Law Really Does

    05/04/2014 7:57:12 AM PDT · by TurboZamboni · 7 replies
    TTAG ^ | 5-3-14 | Bruce Kraft
    There has been some confusion about the “Domestic Violence Gun Confiscation” bill recently passed in the MN House of Representatives. I have been updated on exactly what the bill does and does not do by someone in the know and it is important that people understand what’s going on. In addition, Rep. Tony Cornish really is a friend to gun owners. He worked very hard to turn this bill (which originated from Felonious Mayors Against All Illegal Guns) from a complete and utter disaster into something which actually pretty well mirrors federal law [1]. Interestingly enough . . . Even...