Statewide: November 7, 2011 Archive
Posted at 1:11 PM on November 7, 2011
by Mark Steil
Filed under: Courts
The latest stop for the down-sizing of Minnesota's public defense system is in the southern part of the state. The Fairmont Sentinel says a public defender's office serving four counties from the south-central Minnesota city will close.
Public defender's represent people in court who can't pay for their own attorney. Budget cuts have made life tough for those lawyers. Detroit Lakes attorney David Stowman chairman of the Minnesota Board of Public Defense, says the system is "struggling". He says budget cuts means the average state public defender works about 70 percent more cases per year than is recommended by the American Bar Association.
MPR News reporter Jessica Mador reported on the system last year, finding that one public defender figured his caseload meant he could spend about 12 minutes per client per day.
Stowman says one thing which may help ease caseloads a little is the legal system's growing reliance on electronic communication. For certain courtroom proceedings, he says, public defenders in some cases may be able to appear through a video hookup and save the driving time.
Virginia hospital's future on ballot, sugar union wants CEO off of United Way board, Rybak key leader for Obama
Posted at 7:15 AM on November 7, 2011
by Michael Olson
Filed under: Around MN
Virginia, Minn. voters to decide fate of local hospital
The hospital has lost millions of dollars and seen patient admissions plummet in recent years. City leaders say it won't survive unless voters allow it to affiliate with a larger health system. But many residents are deeply suspicious of Duluth-based Essentia Health, the leading candidate.
"It's the biggest thing probably from a governing standpoint that the city of Virginia has ever faced" -- Virginia mayor Steve Peterson (MPR News).
Foley police services: No deal yet for city, Benton County
After spending almost five hours in mediation Friday, representatives of Foley and Benton County failed to come to an agreement over a police services contract (Saint Cloud Times).
Sugar union questions United Way connection
The presidents of the North Dakota and Minnesota AFL-CIO union federation want American Crystal Sugar CEO Dave Berg to either end his firm's lockout of union workers or be removed from the United Way of Cass-Clay board of trustees (Forum of Fargo-Moorhead).
Rybak joins front lines of Obama re-election
Democratic leaders hope Minneapolis mayor will be one of chief message-carriers for president (Star Tribune).
Best Buy reluctantly joins the Black Friday midnight madness
Best Buy will usher in Black Friday by opening at midnight Thanksgiving, its CEO said Friday, but he's not happy about the race to unlock retail store doors ever earlier."I feel terrible because it impacts," chief executive officer Brian Dunn said. "It'll change some Thanksgiving plans for some of our employees (Pioneer Press).
If public helps fund new stadium, gambling is top choice
Scratch-off lottery tickets, racinos and other new forms of gambling are preferred to tax hikes, the Minnesota Poll found. But Minnesotans disagree with Vikings' site choice (Star Tribune).
Supporters turn out for Ron Paul in St. Cloud (MPR News)
New Yorks Mills breeder permanently barred from selling dogs (Forum of Fargo-Moorhead)
Smaller institutions busy on 'Bank Transfer Day' (KARE11)
Thank to EmilySue over at Perfect Duluth Day for posting this.