Statewide: December 8, 2011 Archive
The riders in 2008 MPR photo
A horseback ride commemorating the mass execution of 38 Dakota warriors following the U.S.-Dakota War of 1862 is set to start this Saturday in South Dakota.
The group of predominantly Native American riders will cross into Minnesota a week or so later. They're scheduled to arrive in Pipestone on Dec. 17.
Darwin Strong, the Minnesota coordinator of the ride, says the annual event will end with a Dec. 26 ceremony in Mankato, at the site of the hangings.
"People need to know and understand that the blood of those 38 plus two men, still runs today, their ancestry is still here today," says Strong.
Strong's 'plus two' comment refers to Dakota chiefs Little Six and Medicine Bottle, who were executed in 1865 for their roles in the war which was fought in and near the Minnesota River valley.
Posted at 8:00 AM on December 8, 2011
by Michael Olson
Filed under: Around MN
Dayton: Electronic pull-tabs for stadium are best option so far
Gov. Mark Dayton says he thinks the recent hearings in the Minnesota Senate are helping build consensus about the best way to finance a new Vikings stadium (MPR News).
Op-Ed: Lutheran leader confronts state's Catholic bishops over gay marriage
"Church leaders should embrace, engage all, says the former presiding bishop of the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America," from the Star Tribune. The commentary is from Herbert Chilstrom, former presiding bishop of the Evangelical Lutheran Church of America. Chilstrom challenges his Catholic "brothers" to allocate 30 hours to have 15 one-on-one conversations with gays and lesbians. "Thirty hours are a pittance compared to the time you are investing to promote adoption of the marriage amendment. Use the time, not for confession, but to listen to them describe what it is like to live in our culture in Minnesota."
Sutton admits signing agreement for gov recount legal fees, failing to tell other party officials
"Party officers and insiders have maintained that the state GOP is not legally required to pay back nearly $500,000 in legal fees racked up during the 2010 gubernatorial election recount," reports Politics in Minnesota.
Minnesota cattlemen happy that TB is controlled and they can sell anywhere
"Minnesota cattlemen are celebrating the reopening of markets nationwide after tuberculosis found in one cow six years ago hurt their sales. Gov. Mark Dayton today issued a proclamation proclaiming TB free day for the state's cattle industry after 58 herds were destroyed," Forum Communications reports.
Rich around the world snapping up Minnesota firewood at $40 a box, plus shipping
Pioneer Press: "We Americans might depend on places like Saudi Arabia for the gas we burn in our cars. But guess where a well-heeled Saudi goes if he wants some white-barked birch logs, like the kind you see in designer magazine layouts, to burn in his fireplace."
Company hired to roust Rochester's roosting crows
"Rochester is calling in professionals to roust roosting crows from downtown," reports the Post Bulletin. "The details of the plan are similar to an announcement several weeks ago except now, instead of saying Mayo Clinic will be hiring the professional company, the city is doing it."
Minnesota Sounds and Voices: Ignore 'The Birds,' embrace the crows
As they do with the coming of winter every year, thousands upon thousands of crows -- maybe even millions -- have started to swarm, caw and roost each night in downtown Minneapolis. They're likely attracted by the city's warmer climate compared to the countryside (MPR News).
Group: North Dakota among 'filthy 15' states
"An environmental advocacy group issued a report Wednesday ranking North Dakota among the nation's "filthy 15" in emissions of toxic pollutants from coal-burning power plants," reports the Forum of Fargo Moorhead.
Occupy Duluth changes tactics after breaking camp
"About 15 people connected with the Occupy Duluth movement hopped on a bus Sunday night for a 24-hour trip to Washington, D.C.," reports the Duluth News Tribune.
Bachmann book sells just 3,000 copies in two weeks
Michele Bachmann's weak poll numbers may be showing up in slow sales of her memoir, Core of Conviction. In the two weeks since the book was released, it's sold just 3,000 copies despite a media blitz and numerous book-signing events by Bachmann (MPR News).
National Endowment for the Arts Chairman Rocco Landesman visited Fargo Thursday to talk about a public art project he says the NEA will use as a model across the country.
Fargo received a $100,000 NEA grant to turn a large drainage basin into a public art space. The funding comes from the NEA Our Town program. The city will provide matching funds, mostly in staff time coordinating the project.
The city has been building these drainage basins for the past 10 years to catch runoff from heavy summer rains and prevent street flooding. The basins are empty most of the year, typically only holding water for a short time after a heavy rain.
Local artists will work with Jackie Brookner, an ecological artist from New York, to develop a plan for making the drainage basins into a space that's pleasing aesthetically and can be used for recreation.
Landesman says he liked the Fargo idea of incorporating art into community infrastructure.
"We're going to do much more public art, community based, and this is a perfect example," he says. ""We're making the point the arts are part of the real economy of this country. There are five million arts related jobs in this country."
The project will be designed over the next several months.
Fargo Mayor Dennis Walaker says the basins are now used only by ducks and geese.
He challenged local artists to come up with ideas to make the sites useful and beautiful.
Walaker called the project a great example of "thinking outside the box".
Posted at 3:00 PM on December 8, 2011
by Michael Olson
Filed under: Around MN
Another round of Schwan layoffs
"Approximately 60 Schwan Food Co. employees were notified Thursday that their position with the company has been eliminated.Schwan said the moves, which will affect employees in the company's Marshall and Bloomington offices, are part of a cost-reduction initiative," reports the Marshall Independent.
Tests suggest Asian carp spread north of key dam
AP: "Minnesota officials say tests have detected signs of Asian carp north of the Coon Rapids dam on the Mississippi River, the last major physical barrier to their spread northward."
Are Tea Partiers racists?
"There is consistent and strong evidence of a correlation between racial negativity and Tea Party identification," MinnPost quotes University of Minnesota Prof Howard Lavine.
Duluth dives into Minnesota's gay marriage debate
Next year, Minnesota voters will decide whether to approve a constitutional amendment banning same-sex marriage. About 200 opponents of the amendment rallied Wednesday afternoon at the University of Minnesota Duluth," reports John Meyers in the Duluth News Tribune.
Op-Ed: To city and school elected officials: Thank you
"Local elected officials are not thanked enough," writes Paul Groessel in Sun Newspapers. "They spend a lot of time outside of their full-time jobs and away from families. They sort through issues that you don't have to worry about. The majority of their time is spent doing thankless, unrecognized work."
North Dakota: The rise of an American Petrostate
"North Dakota is suing Minnesota, alleging the Land of 10,000 Lakes is discriminating against it because it is black. Lignite black. Lignite coal black. The lawsuit contends that the Next Generation Energy Act," writes Abe Sauer in The Awl. Sauer also provides and interesting glimpse into the Bakken Oil operations.
Disability a focus as school bullying protections grow
"Nearly all states now have laws prohibiting school bullying, but just 16 offer specific protections for those with disabilities," concludes Disability Scoop.
Op-Ed: Let's send a stronger message to school bullies
Alexandria Echo Press: "Minnesota needs to take a tougher stand against bullies. A new law would help do it. It's being proposed by Minnesota Attorney General Lori Swanson and it's patterned after one passed in North Dakota on a bipartisan basis earlier this year."
From B student to bully target
"14-year-old Jasmine Gonzalez went from being a cheerleader for football and basketball and a B and C student at the middle school in Charles City, Iowa, last year to being an F student and an outcast in Albert Lea this year," writes Tim Engstrom in the Albert Lea Tribune.
A view from downtown St. Paul by Josh Ebbers via Flickr.