Romney wants Americans to 'turn the page'by Perry Finelli, Minnesota Public Radio,
Hart Van Denburg, Minnesota Public Radio
As the Republican National Convention ends, we talk to disgruntled Minnesota delegates, take a look at Mitt Romney's speech, and check in with the pundits and scratch our heads over Clint Eastwood. We've obtained emails showing that officials were slow to respond to the crisis at the St. Paul crime lab. Loggers tell us they're worried their industry is dying. And we ponder the meaning of 10,000 people showing up at the Walker Art Center in Minneapolis for a cat video festival.
Minnesotan Republican leaders say they are leaving the GOP convention confident that conservative voters at home will unite behind the party ticket. However, some delegates are heading home angry with the national Republican Party and its nominee, Mitt Romney.
'Turn the page'
Lifted by a show of Republican unity that once seemed so distant, Mitt Romney plunged into the presidential campaign's final 67 days focused more than ever on jobs and the economy, and depicting President Barack Obama as a well-meaning but inept man who must be replaced.
On The Daily Circuit Friday, we examined the speech's effectiveness and wrapped up our coverage from the Republican National Convention with a panel of experts, including GOP insider Vin Weber of Minnesota. And we posted a full, uncut video of Romney at the podium.
#Eastwooding the empty chair
He got a lot of applause from the convention floor, but Clint Eastwood earned plenty of bad reviews for his sometimes bizarre, rambling endorsement of Mitt Romney. We link to some of the Hollywood tweets in question.
Crime lab emails
More than 5,000 pages of internal police documents also show crime lab employees were taken off guard by basic questions from public defenders about the drug testing they performed at the lab. The St. Paul Police Department released the documents, which include emails from June to August, in response to a data request filed by MPR News.
The boards of directors for HealthPartners and Park Nicollet Health Services said Thursday they signed an agreement to combine operations. If approved by federal regulators, the agreement would go into effect January 1st. The new nonprofit would be a health care delivery and finance organization named HealthPartners with 1,500 physicians. Bilingual workers
Ernesto Cantu is the only bilingual staffer in the Austin Police Department. He takes a lot of takes a lot of phone calls from Spanish-speaking residents who prefer to call him before they call 911. And he's part of a growing a trend.
Loggers take stock
August was a tough month for Minnesota's timber industry. The Verso paper mill in Sartell and the Georgia-Pacific hardboard plant in Duluth both shut down permanently, putting 400 people out of work. The plant closings were among the latest blows to an industry that's been on the ropes since the last recession began.
Tough but promising Gophers
Despite winning almost every offensive category, Minnesota found itself in triple overtime against UNLV Thursday night. But MarQueis Gray threw two touchdown passes to John Rabe in overtime, and Jordan Wettstein hit a 32-yard field goal in the third extra session to lift Minnesota over the Rebels 30-27 in the season opener for both teams.
St. Jude cuts
Medical device maker St. Jude Medical Inc. says it will eliminate 300 employees as part of a restructuring plan designed to save the company more than $50 million per year.
Taconite mine strife
Five taconite mines on Minnesota's Iron Range and two in Upper Michigan could shut down at midnight Friday if the plants' owners and the United Steelworkers union don't reach agreements on new contracts.
St. Paul is considering a 55-cent-a-mile increase in taxi fares. The increase would bring the city in line with Minneapolis and the Metropolitan Airports Commission, which each cap fares at $2.75 cents a mile. St. Paul would also join them in having some of the highest taxi fares in the country.
LOLz! The Walker's cat video fest draws 10,000
It's funny but true. It also raises some serious questions: What should we take away from the fact that the Walker's most popular events involve either rocking out to bands (Rock the Garden) or watching cat videos that have gone viral on the internet? How do you generate the same level of enthusiasm for the art inside the building?