One officer is mourned in Collegeville; another makes Minneapolis historyby Phil Picardi, Minnesota Public Radio,
Hart Van Denburg, Minnesota Public Radio
Today in the MPR News Update, Officer Tom Decker is buried, Janee Harteau is sworn in as the new top Minneapolis cop, the state faces a $1.1 billion deficit, both Twin Cities orchestras are in the red, too, and St. Paul pulls back the curtain on a massive Union Depot rehab project.
COLD SPRING FUNERAL: Police from around the country attended Officer Tom Decker's service in Collegeville today, even as police released the suspect in Decker's shooting because of a lack of evidence. We have a new timeline of events the night Decker was killed. And we'll have a full report, including a photo gallery, from the funeral later this afternoon.
HARTEE MAKES HISTORY: Janee Harteau, the first female and first openly gay police chief in Minneapolis history, was sworn in Tuesday at a ceremony at City Hall. She took the oath of office near the marble Father of Waters statue in the ornate City Hall rotunda with her daughter by her side. Her longtime partner, Sgt. Holly Keegel, was nearby. For those of you who know us both, she's truly the better half," Harteau said.
RED INK HERE: Minnesota's latest economic forecast is showing a $1.1 billion state government deficit for the next two-year budget cycle. That's challenging enough, but state officials are also cautioning that the forecast has even more uncertainty than usual due to the fiscal cliff scenario that's unfolding in Washington, and Minnesota's unemployment rate could edge up above 7 percent if a deal isn't reached.
RED INK THERE: Meanwhile, the Obama administration and House Republicans have unveiled their opening offers in talks to avoid the so-called fiscal cliff. Details are scant but the White House estimates its plan would carve $4.4 trillion from the deficit over the coming decade, while the Republicans say their plan would cut deficits by $2.2 trillion over 10 years. Both draw upon ideas from 2011 talks between President Obama and House Speaker John Boehner. Here as the details, as far as we know right now.
ALL ABOARD: St. Paul has some impressive spaces. There's the cavernous sanctuary of the Cathedral of St. Paul and the Capitol rotunda that soars over the state's political heart. But the 80-foot arch that spans the Union Depot's football-field sized waiting room was the jewel of the city's commerce when it opened in 1924. On Saturday, the city will pull back the curtain on a $243 million makeover of the facility, aimed at anchoring a public transportation renaissance. We got a sneak peak at the majestic remodel, which you can see here.
OFF THE TRAIN: Canadian Pacific Railway will eliminate some 4,500 employee and contractor positions by 2016, the new chief executive of Canada's second largest railway announced Tuesday. The railroad operates in 13 States and six Canadian provinces, including 15 facilities in Minnesota. The reductions will be achieved through job cuts, attrition and fewer contractors as part of its restructuring plan, the company said.
SOUR NOTES: Minnesota Orchestra musicians have been locked out now for two months and St. Paul Chamber Orchestra players have been out for six weeks. On top of that, both organizations are announcing budget deficits at their annual meetings this week. The SPCO board sees $895,080 in shortfalls for the 2011-2012 season. The Minnesota Orchestra Board is expected to announce a deficit of about $6 million.
HOFFNER IN LIMBO: Minnesota State University Mankato football coach Todd Hoffner is still waiting to see whether he can return to work, after pornography charges against him were dismissed last week. Hoffner was charged with two felony counts for videos he made of his three young children using his university-issued cell phone. But a judge dismissed the charges last Friday.
B&B FIRE: Wrongful death lawsuits have been settled over a New Ulm bed and breakfast fire that killed six people last year. A Brown County judge approved a request Monday to keep the settlement amounts and allocations confidential. The fire at the Bohemian Bed and Breakfast killed the inn's owner, Roberta McCrea, her two daughters and three guests on July 2, 2011. Four others escaped the fire.
DIGGIN' IT: A huge Twin Metals copper-nickel mine proposed for just south of the Boundary Waters Canoe Area Wilderness has again increased the estimate of minerals at the site. The more we learn about it, the greater the magnitude," says company vice president Bob McFarlin, adding that the deposit is enough to mine for over a century.
ACQUIRED TASTE: "My first experience with lutefisk (was in) in 1995," Olsen Fish Co. boss Chris Dorf tells Minnesota Sounds and Voices. "I went to a lutefisk supper in my hometown, and I think I kind of got the bottom of the barrel or the bottom of the roaster and I wasn't all that impressed. I followed that up later that year with a dinner in Monticello and I was very happy with what I had there. I had my 2-year-old daughter at the time who kept asking for more 'apples.' We kept putting more lutefisk on her plate and she kept asking for more 'apples, more apples.' She won't eat it now at 15 now though, so I don't know if I did something wrong there."
Phil Picardi is a newscaster for MPR News, and occasionally fills in as Morning Edition host when Cathy Wurzer is away.