American Crystal impasse; Dream home nightmare scenario; Vampire theocracy
Posted at 8:00 AM on June 8, 2012
by Michael Olson
Filed under: Around MN
Locked-out American Crystal union members gather for a rally Wednesday, June 6, 2012, in the Moorhead Center Mall parking lot across from American Crystal headquarters in Moorhead, Minn. The contract dispute has lingered for 10 months, since American Crystal last Aug. 1 locked out about 1,300 union workers at sugar beet processing plants in North Dakota, Minnesota and Iowa. The two sides have not met since February. (AP Photo/The Forum, David Samson)
Union workers rally outside Crystal HQ
AP: "Locked-out American Crystal Sugar factory workers have completed a 200-mile journey by foot and hay wagon in advance of an expected Friday meeting between union officials and company representatives."
MPR News reporter Dan Gunderson: "When the lockout started 10 months ago, union members picketed around the clock at the Moorhead factory. Now on most days, a handful of picketers show up only for morning and afternoon shift change. Many workers have taken new jobs to make ends meet, or are going to school to learn a new skill. On a recent morning, Cary Bergene was one of four picketers outside the Moorhead factory. The 55-year-old Fargo resident worked at American Crystal for 29 years. Now he is taking classes in computer technology and looking for temporary work. Bergene is getting by on unemployment, which is about 40 percent of what he was earning at American Crystal. In a couple of weeks, his unemployment benefits will run out."
Op-Ed: Education reform that wasn't
Brad Swenson writes in the Bemidji Pioneer: "With the stroke of Gov. Mark Dayton's red veto pen, the Minnesota House Republicans' sweeping education reform measure fell by the wayside during the recently concluded legislative session. Had it passed, it could have put Minnesota on a path similar to that taken by Gov. Scott Walker of Wisconsin."
Jeff Anderson hopes roots count in race
AP: "Former Duluth City Councilor Jeff Anderson is aiming to make local connections count for more than money as he competes with two fellow Democrats for the right to challenge GOP U.S. Rep. Chip Cravaack in a nationally watched congressional race."
Bachmann misrepresents jobs report
FactCheck: "In a mailer to her constituents, Michele Bachmann incorrectly claims a new trade agreement with South Korea - which she supported -- will 'create almost 1,000 jobs' in her Minnesota congressional district."
Capitol View: Dayton China trip will include new trade office
Star Tribune: State justices to weigh fate of a proposed ID amendment
Poll: Romney trails Obama in Minnesota, Pawlenty pick wouldn't help
Pioneer Press: "Picking former Gov. Tim Pawlenty as his running mate wouldn't do Mitt Romney much good in Minnesota, according to a new poll. President Barack Obama leads Romney by a hefty 54 percent to 39 percent in Minnesota, the Public Policy Polling survey found."
Show of support turns into debate over Coon Rapids ban on rosaries
Star Tribune: "Coon Rapids High teen was told to remove it, over gang concerns. It's banned in Anoka-Hennepin schools as a possible gang symbol."
Winning dream home could be financial nightmare
Forum of Fargo-Moorhead: "On the southern edge of this city sits a house worth $500,000. It's a dream home, its builder says, and on Saturday, someone will win it."
Monthly costs of living in the giveaway home:
• $898.09 mortgage payment on $200,000 (to pay income tax)
• $741.32 for property taxes
• $353.12 for special assessments
• $145.83 for insurance
• $290 for utilities
• $416.67 maintenance
TOTAL: $2,845.03 per month
Bachmann inspires 'vampire theocracy' for True Blood creator
Entertainment Weekly: "When penning the fifth season of True Blood, the frightening yet disarmingly funny vampire drama that returns to HBO this Sunday, creator Alan Ball found inspiration (in all places!) by watching the scary-in-their-own-right presidential primaries."
A day in the life of Nice Ride bikes [Animation]
MinnPost: "The green bikes have come to downtown St. Paul with this week's installation of 25 Nice Ride stations ... It's the latest expansion of the popular bike rental system that lets subscribers pedal between automated, solar-powered stations scattered throughout Minneapolis and St. Paul."
Garden of your Mind - Fred Rogers (remix)
By the numbers
MPR News: "On average, the University of Minnesota system spends about $12,000 a year to teach an undergraduate."