MPR News Update

Help wanted: Construction workers. Also, lawmakers jockey for Election Day, and the DNR wants you to eat bass, not walleye

Monday, May 19, 2014

  • Recession over, Minnesota construction firms scramble to fill open jobs
    In recent months, construction managers have found it much harder to find people with experience, like lead carpenters. The specialty trades, including carpentry, dumped 30,000 jobs in the housing downturn.
  • Politicking begins after legislative session ends
    Every seat in the 134-member Minnesota House is up for re-election this year, and lawmakers are already crafting their talking points to voters. Democrats say one-party rule helped deliver key agenda items for Minnesota. But Republicans say the DFL overreached.
  • What the 2014 Legislature did for you
    Last year: tax increases to fix a broken budget. This year: tax breaks from a budget surplus. Last year: A new gay marriage law grabbed tons of attention. This year: medical marijuana
  • Full Independence Party slate set for November elections
    The party of former Gov. Jesse Ventura has no members in elective office. Delegates decided which candidates to endorse Saturday at the party's state convention in Mankato.
  • Hagedorn re-enters race for Congress
    A candidate who pledged not to force a Republican primary in Minnesota's 1st Congressional District has changed his mind. Jim Hagedorn was one of three GOP candidates vying for the party's nomination last month.
  • Eat bass, not walleye, DNR urges Mille Lacs anglers
    Mille Lacs' battered reputation as the state's premiere walleye lake overshadows how it has become a premiere smallmouth bass fishery. It's not clear walleye purists will take the bait. There are cultural differences to overcome. Most walleye anglers catch them to eat them. But there's a strong catch-and-release ethic among bass anglers.
  • Search renewed for missing Amy Sue Pagnac, quarter century later
    "I don't understand their logic but they know, and they're doing something," said her mother, Susan Pagnac, on Sunday. "That's a big start in the right direction."
  • Warmest week in 7 months ahead
    A spectacular spring weekend in Minnesota delivered 72 degrees in the Twin Cities Sunday. Now another May low pressure system slides through with scattered to widespread rain and thunderstorms.
  • Ousted Target CEO to get $16 million in severance
    The package, disclosed in a federal securities filing Monday, comes two weeks after Gregg Steinhafel agreed to resign as pressure mounted over the fallout from Target's massive customer data breach and its financial struggles expanding into Canada.
  • Holy SpringCon, Batman! Comic book lovers come out to play
    Comic book lovers, creators and dealers gathered for the Minnesota Comic Book Association's 26th annual SpringCon at the Minnesota State Fairgrounds on May 17-18, 2014. Check out this photo gallery.
  • Report: Love's labors likely lost to Minnesota
    ESPN reported over the weekend that its unnamed sources -- likely Kevin Love or his agent -- have informed the Minnesota Timberwolves not to bother trying to sign Love to a contract extension because he intends to opt out of his contract at the end of the upcoming season.
  • Electrical brain hacks: Don't try this at home
    It's the latest craze for people who want to improve their mental performance -- zapping the brain with electricity to make it sharper and more focused. It's called "brain hacking," and some people are experimenting with it at home. The idea's not completely crazy. But there's serious doubts about its safety,
  • Oil Industry blamed for freight rail delays
    Many sugar beet and grain bins remain full in the northern Midwest, long after last fall's harvest, because the railroads are behind in shipping. A slowdown in rail service is delaying deliveries of other commodities too.
  • The million-dollar college president list is growing
    The Chronicle of Higher Education study found that nine college presidents earned more than $1 million in total compensation in 2013, compared to just four in 2012.
  • AT&T agrees to buy DirecTV in $48.5B deal
    Both companies described the deal as transformational as they seek to take on cable companies and online video providers, delivering content to multiple screens -- on living room TVs, PCs, tablets and mobile phones.
  • In Wisconsin, brat fest welcomes God
    Madison's annual brat fest will have a religious flavor this summer, with organizers adding a fifth stage to provide Christian music.
  • 'Al Di La' crooner Jerry Vale has died
    Born Genaro Louis Vitaliano, Vale started performing in New York supper clubs as a teenager and went on to record more than 50 albums. He was known for his high tenor voice and romantic songs, including his signature tune "Al Di La."

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Simply, it is Minnesota news on your schedule. The MPR News Update brings you up to speed with the state's top news, the best of our blogs and smart talk radio in the format that fits you best.

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