Brodkorb's affair; Frac sand setbacks; The vanishing Eelpout
Posted at 7:33 AM on March 16, 2012
by Michael Olson
Filed under: Around MN
What's this Michael Brodkorb story all about?
Brodkorb asserts other staffers had affairs with government officials, weren't fired
MPR News: "Attorneys for former Senate Republican caucus spokesman Michael Brodkorb said Thursday that they would pursue legal action against the Senate for firing Brodkorb because he had an affair with his boss, former Senate Majority Leader Amy Koch."
MPR News: What are both sides claiming?
Since Brodkorb was fired on Dec. 16, 2011, the Senate has maintained that he is an "at-will" employee, meaning he can be let go at any time. Brodkorb's boss, Koch, stepped down as Majority Leader, so his services as her chief spokesman would no longer be needed, the Senate contends. Like all new employees of the Legislature, Brodkorb signed a document when he was hired acknowledging his "at-will" status. Brodkorb's lawyers say he was fired illegally. They say the only reason Brodkorb was terminated was for having an intimate relationship with Koch. Brodkorb's lawyers also say his personnel file did not contain a record of poor work performance.
Minn. House passes bill to tap reserves to pay back schools
Star Tribune: "The House approved a Republican-backed measure to use state reserve funds to pay down debts to public schools following a debate that previewed some of the themes that may reappear in Legislative elections in November." MPR News: "The future of the legislation is unclear. The Senate has not yet taken up a companion bill, and the governor has publicly criticized the measure as not fiscally responsible. Dayton, too, is concerned about cash flow problems. He accused Republicans last week of using the issue to try to 'remedy themselves' for November. 'It sounds good. Everybody wants to repay the schools. It shouldn't have been borrowed from them in the first place. It wouldn't have under my proposal,' Dayton said. 'But to try to bail the legislators out before the election on the backs of fiscal responsibility for all the citizens of Minnesota I think is very inappropriate.'"
Lawmakers take aim at hospitals over life and death decisions
KAAL: "A growing number of parents say hospitals make them feel pressured to let their babies die rather than face a life with disabilities."
Chris Cook trial: Jury acquits Vikings cornerback of assaulting girlfriend
Pioneer Press: "As the court clerk rose to read the verdicts, the defendant, Minnesota Vikings cornerback Chris Cook, bowed his head. A man sitting in the gallery, a fan, clutched a football he'd brought into the Minneapolis courtroom."
Winona passes 1-year moratorium on frac sand mining
MPR News: "Winona city officials held an emergency meeting this week and passed a one-year moratorium that temporarily bans any new or expanded silica sand mining operations within city limits."
Town of Gale denies frac sand mine rezoning
Winona Daily News: "The town of Gale Board of Supervisors voted Tuesday to deny a rezoning application that would have allowed building a frac sand mine."
Op-Ed: Minnesota eyes cut to fat program
Brainerd Dispatch: "If SHIP funding is cut or dries up, it should be recommended that people adopt their own health and wellness programs. One option most Minnesotans might wish to engage in (at minimal cost) is walking around their own neighborhoods and meet the folks on their block. Another option available to everyone is getting up off the couch and riding a bike on the beautiful Paul Bunyan Trail. Another healthy consideration is to take a kid fishing and eat the healthy catch with the family."
Op-Ed: Sen. Secretary conflict of interest in Brodkorb dispute
Clucking Stool: Cal "Ludeman has a huge conflict of interest here. He's playing with house (well, actually the Senate's and by extension the taxpayers') money to hire a lawyer to protect the Senate Republican caucus and himself. ... Cal Ludeman ought to be the last person in charge of this litigation."
Future looks rosy for Cloquet mill
Pine Journal: "Construction is expected to start in April on a conversion at the Sappi mill in Cloquet that Project Director Mike Schultz said will add at least 20 years to the life of the mill."
Fewer Eelpout found in area lakes
Grand Forks Herald: "The eelpout or burbot, that beady-eyed freshwater cod widely known as the "ish of fish" for its unsightly appearance, doesn't get a lot of attention, but fisheries managers in Minnesota and North Dakota say the species is in decline."