Statewide: January 24, 2012 Archive
Posted at 7:35 AM on January 24, 2012
by Michael Olson
Filed under: Around MN
State Legislature Reconvenes
Gov., legislators share goal to get Minnesotans back to work
MPR News: Democratic Gov. Mark Dayton and Republican legislative leaders agree that job creation will be their shared priority for the 2012 session, which gets underway Tuesday.
DFL leaders: Our Minnesota agenda
DFL: "Jobs are our priority. Our state does not want distractions" (Star Tribune)
Our view: Minnesota Legislature back at it
Duluth News Tribune: "On Tuesday, they return, Minnesota's 67 state senators and 134 House members; they get back to the task for which they were elected: lawmaking. They didn't do it so well last year when a budget battle reinforced partisan divides and led to the state's longest-ever government shutdown."
Dayton to Vikings: Metrodome site is only option this session
Star Tribune: "Gov. Mark Dayton told the Minnesota Vikings on Monday that the only workable site this year for a new stadium is the Metrodome, apparently bringing the team's long search for a new home back to where it started."
Legislators hope for short session
Capitol Chat: "Part of the reason a short session is predicted is so those running for re-election can campaign. And with new district maps to be released Feb. 21, that could speed things up even more as lawmakers feel the need to check out their new districts."
Local leaders ask state for more flexibility
Ground Level: "Leaders from Minnesota's cities, counties and school districts have banded together to plead for more flexibility from the state to let them try new ways of delivering local services."
Local officials, legislators prepare for new state session
The Faribault Daily News reports that mandate reform is a pressing issue. "More than 85 percent of Rice County's activity is mandated by the state -- and after trimming staff consistently for nearly four years, resources are now strained because while mandates remain in place, funding does not."
Dill's bill on Minnesota wolf season gets first hearing Thursday
Ely Echo: "Just as the state begins to take over management of Minnesota' wolf population, a local lawmaker will be holding a hearing in St. Paul. Rep. David Dill (DFL-Crane Lake) has put together a bill to allow wolf hunting and trapping seasons starting this year."
Legislative session will start with a bang
MinnLawyer: "Rep. Tony Cornish, R-Good Thunder, introduced a bill that will enhance penalties for assaulting or causing the death of a prosecuting attorney and a bill that will authorize county attorneys to carry firearms on duty. Both will be discussed in a house floor session Thursday afternoon."
Also on MN Today
St. Croix bridge bill clears Senate
MPR News: "The U.S. Senate Monday night passed a bill authorizing a replacement for the aging Stillwater lift bridge over the St. Croix River. The bill, sponsored by DFL Sen. Amy Klobuchar, passed the Senate with no debate under a procedure known as unanimous consent that is used for legislation considered uncontroversial."
Franken responds on internet piracy bills
"If we don't protect our intellectual property, international criminals - as well as legitimate businesses like payment processors and ad networks - will continue to profit dishonestly from the work these Americans are doing every day," wrote Sen. Al Franken. "And that puts these millions of jobs at serious risk." (Capitol View)
Twin Ports coalition launches anti-racism campaign
Duluth News Tribune: "A new anti-racism campaign focusing on what white people can do to help reduce racial disparities in the Twin Ports will make its public debut today."
Tim Pawlenty, Mitt Romney's attack dog
Washington Post: "Belatedly, Pawlenty has found his venom sac. And on Monday morning, he poured it on Newt Gingrich during a conference call with reporters."
Rep. Ellison: Time to get corporate money out of politics
Rep. Ellison writes in HuffPo: "Saturday marked the second anniversary of the Citizens United v. Federal Election Commission Supreme Court decision. This decision allows corporations to use their general treasury funds to pay for political advertisements that expressly call for the defeat or election of a candidate."
Sleep-malady drugs now in short supply in Twin Cities
Star Tribune: "The sudden shortage is disrupting the lives of hundreds of patients."
Bilked by agent, family loses nest egg
Forum of Fargo Moorhead: "On a dairy farm in Barnes County, Keith Radke's parents toiled for 25 years to save for retirement and send their son to college. They were proud, frugal people who paid their bills on time and skipped vacations to milk the cows, he said."
Canceled Beargrease opens door for revival of another sled-dog race
Duluth News Tribune: "The cancellation of this year's John Beargrease Sled Dog Marathon has prompted two Gunflint Trail businesses to revive the Mail Run Dog Sled Race, which was an annual event along the Gunflint Trail in the late 1970s before the Beargrease began."
New reports cast doubt on bio-cremation process, Cloquet Council votes 'no'
Pine Journal: "Reasons cited by Councilors for voting against the bio-cremation resolutions ranged from disputed scientific evidence regarding proper operational standards and the possibility that prions could be released into the sanitary sewer system (if inadequately treated) and from there into Lake Superior."
Norman County East now waits for Ulen-Hitterdal's decision to merge programs
Forum of Fargo Moorhead: "Faced with dwindling enrollment that threatens to wipe out some sports by attrition, the Norman County East School District will look to a partnership with neighboring Ulen-Hitterdal to bolster its ranks."
Posted at 3:15 PM on January 24, 2012
by Michael Olson
Filed under: Around MN
The Atlantic: Binge drinking varies from one in ten adults (10.9 percent) at the low end of the spectrum to more than one in four (25.6 percent) at the high end. There is something of a binge drinking belt across the north of the country, running westward from New England, Pennsylvania and Ohio to Illinois, Wisconsin, Iowa, Minnesota, Nebraska, North Dakota and Montana. Alaska ranks high too, suggesting that long, cold winters might play a role, though tropical Hawaii is in the top tier as well.
NPR's Talk of the Nation had a particularly interesting show recently about new binge drinking studies. "The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention has found that binge drinking, usually associated with young people, is an issue among adults as well. And the University of Connecticut recently found Dr. Dipak Das, who studied an ingredient in red wine, had falsified data on its benefits."
Board, union at odds over contract
Owatonna People's Press: "After negotiating teams from the Owatonna school board and the teachers' union failed to reach a compromise on a new two-year contract, a mediator will now be brought in to bring the two sides together."
Dayton: Metrodome can work for Vikes
Big Story Blog: "Gov. Mark Dayton this afternoon said the Metrodome site can still be a viable option for a new Vikings stadium and that team owners and lawmakers would meet Wednesday to talk about the newest turn in the stadium debate."
Poet, Dutch company will team to build cellulosic ethanol plant
Argus Leader: "The Sioux Falls-based company is working with Royal DSM, a technology company from the Netherlands, which will contribute enzyme and yeast technologies to the venture. Poet CEO Jeff Broin said the companies had been in talks for six months. The Department of Justice will need to approve the partnership."
2 women removed from rural Bemidji, Minn. home after deputies find 50-55 dogs
Bemidji Pioneer: "Two women were removed from a residence Monday afternoon after law enforcement officials found between 50 to 55 dogs and some cats at two mobile homes located in the 4500 block of Grant Valley Road Northwest, south of Grass Lake and west of Bemidji."
New Ulm, Sleepy Eye look at four-day school weeks
Mankato Free Press: "Faced with budget deficits and cuts, New Ulm and Sleepy Eye school districts are both eyeing four-day school weeks."
Legislature gavels in
Op-Ed: Minnesota's sex offenders -- dealing with the worst in a better way
Star Tribune: "The convening of a new legislative session wouldn't be complete without more or less far-fetched hopes of greater bipartisan harmony. Yet on one particularly toxic issue, Minnesota's leaders really have begun a calmer, more constructive discussion worth noting and encouraging."
Gridlock still haunts the halls of the Capitol
St Cloud Times: "With every legislator up for re-election this year, Republicans grappling with divisions in their ranks and the potential for more constitutional amendments on the ballot, there are plenty of potential landmines, threatening the quick and quiet session legislative leaders want."
Lawmakers discuss start of '12 legislative session
New Ulm Journal: "Sen. Mike Parry, during his stop in New Ulm for his campaign for Minnesota's 1st District, said he was hearing the most support he has ever seen for racinos, specifically to fund a new stadium."
Legislators list priorities for '12
Marshall Independent: "Minnesota politicians get back to work today, and local lawmakers say they are focused on putting more Minnesotans in that exact same situation: back to work."