- 6/18/13; West Hancock vs. Corwith Wesley Luverne Baseball will play varsity first at 5:45 p.m. No JV. :
MINNESOTA ORCHESTRA-LOCKOUT Vanska pleads for end to Minn. Orchestra dispute (Information in the following story is from: Star Tribune, http://www.startribune.com) MINNEAPOLIS (AP) – The music director of the Minnesota Orchestra is calling for an end to the orchestra’s labor dispute. Osmo Vanska (AHZ’-moh VAN’-skah) has sent a letter to board members and musicians, pleading for a return to negotiations. The Star Tribune reports Vanska says he is “desperately anxious” about the orchestra’s future. Vanska has not been involved in negotiations, and has refused all media requests for comment in the past six weeks – typical for a music director during a labor dispute. Principal trombone Doug Wright, a member of the musicians’ negotiating team, says he hopes Vanska’s letter spurs a return to negotiations. Board chairman Campbell says he empathizes with Vanska’s concerns. The musicians were locked out October 1st after their contract expired. Concerts have been canceled through December 23rd.
MNSCU-FUNDING REQUEST MnSCU to ask Legislature for more money (Information in the following story is from: Star Tribune, http://www.startribune.com) ST. PAUL, Minn. (AP) – The Minnesota State Colleges and Universities system plans to ask legislators for more money over the next two years. In return, MnSCU (MINN’-skew) leaders are pledging to bump up enrollment, cut administration by $44 million and cap tuition increases at 3 percent. The public system’s Board of Trustees unanimously approved the $1.2 billion budget request Wednesday. The Star Tribune reports that’s an increase of $97 million over two years, or nearly 9 percent. Officials say the request makes unprecedented promises to match state funding using private sources. For example, MnSCU pledges to match $21 million in state funding for equipment and technology with equal funding from businesses. The MnSCU system includes 24 two-year colleges and seven state universities and enrolls more than 420,000 students.
RED BULL CRASHED ICE-MINNESOTA St. Paul’s Red Bull Crashed Ice race to be longer (Information in the following story is from: Star Tribune, http://www.startribune.com) ST. PAUL, Minn. (AP) – The Red Bull Crashed Ice race will feature a longer and higher track when the race returns to St. Paul in January. The race returns to St. Paul for a second straight year on January 24th through 26th. The track will again start near the Cathedral of St. Paul and wind its way down the hill. But Team USA Coach Charlie Wasley says this time, the track will start higher and run for more than 1,300 feet. That will allow skaters more room to recover on the course’s many obstacles. St. Paul Mayor Chris Coleman says last winter’s event generated an estimated $20 million in economic activity for the city. The Star Tribune reports the St. Paul race will be the only Red Bull Crashed Ice event in the U.S.
SOCIAL NETWORK-GIRL PUNISHED Charges: Girl punished for joining social network APPLE VALLEY, Minn. (AP) – An Apple Valley woman is accused of striking her 13-year-old daughter with an extension cord after the girl joined an online social network. The 34-year-old woman was charged Tuesday in Dakota County with a gross misdemeanor count of malicious punishment of a child. According to court records, police were called July 25th about a runaway girl. Police found the girl, who told them she left home after her mother struck her with an extension cord and a flip-flop shoe. The girl says her mother began yelling at her for opening a social networking account. The girl says after she was struck, she tied sheets together and climbed out the window. Police say the girl had welts, lacerations and abrasions. Online court records do not list an attorney for the mother.
DIAPER DISCIPLINE Minn. woman gets jail for daughter’s ‘diaper duty’ (Information in the following story is from: Star Tribune, http://www.startribune.com) ANOKA, Minn. (AP) – A Fridley woman has been sentenced to three months in jail for forcing her 12-year-old daughter to run outside in a diaper with her head shaved as punishment for a failing grade. Anoka County Judge Barry Sullivan Wednesday called the May incident an “assault” on the girl’s dignity. The Star Tribune reports the girl’s mother was immediately taken to jail. The 38-year-old woman will be on supervised probation for two years after she completes her sentence. The judge also ordered that the mother’s boyfriend have no contact with the girl. The 34-year-old man pleaded guilty to gross misdemeanor aiding and abetting malicious punishment and to a misdemeanor domestic assault case from 2010 for repeatedly hitting his stepdaughter in the legs with a belt. He will be sentenced next week.
WOLF HUNT-MINNESOTA Wolf season closing in northeast Minnesota ST. PAUL, Minn. (AP) – The state is closing the early wolf hunting season in northeastern Minnesota at the end of shooting hours Thursday. The Department of Natural Resources says that’s because hunters have nearly reached the zone’s harvest target of 58 wolves. Fifty-seven were registered as of Wednesday afternoon. Hunters in all three zones have registered 125 wolves so far. The harvest target is 200 wolves for the early season. Much of the northwest zone is expected to remain open through Sunday, although the season closed along the western and southern edges of the northwest zone this past Sunday when the deer season ended there. The DNR closed the east-central zone November 5th after hunters took eight of that zone’s target of nine wolves. A separate late wolf hunting-and trapping season opens November 24th.
FOOD SAFETY-MINNESOTA Federal food safety program to end in Minn. (Information in the following story is from: Minnesota Public Radio News, http://www.mpr.org) ST. PAUL, Minn. (AP) – Minnesota agriculture officials are phasing out a federally funded program that allows them to test produce for contaminants like E. coli and salmonella. The U.S. Department of Agriculture’s Microbiological Data Program had operated in 11 states, including Minnesota. Congress decided not to fund it in 2013, so USDA officials have asked states to stop taking new samples so the program can shut down by Dec. 31. Heidi Kassenborg, who directs the Minnesota Department of Agriculture’s Dairy and Food Inspection Division, tells Minnesota Public Radio News the program has played an important role in catching disease-causing pathogens in produce. She says the program recently found salmonella contamination in grape tomatoes. Kassenborg says Minnesota will continue to test food, but produce won’t be getting the scrutiny it did under the program.
FATAL FIRE-STUDENTS On-scene investigation of fatal Wis. fire complete EAU CLAIRE, Wis. (AP) – Inspectors have completed their on-scene investigation into an off-campus apartment fire that killed two University of Wisconsin-Eau Claire students from Minnesota last month. Fire Inspector Gary Puljas says in a news release Wednesday that physical evidence gathered at the scene will now be analyzed. He says it’s not known how long that analysis will take. Earlier, Puljas said the fire likely started in one of the apartment’s bedrooms. Jacob Clarkson and Ross Livermore, both 21, died as a result of the October 8th blaze. Two other roommates escaped the blaze. The four friends graduated from high school in Stillwater, Minnesota in 2009. The property was returned to the owner Wednesday. The cause of the fire remains undetermined.
MOTEL STANDOFF Inquiry into fatal Minn. motel standoff complete (Information in the following story is from: St. Paul Pioneer Press, http://www.twincities.com) ST. PAUL, Minn. (AP) – The Minnesota Bureau of Criminal Apprehension has completed its investigation into an officer-involved shooting that left an unarmed man dead at a Woodbury motel. A BCA spokeswoman tells the St. Paul Pioneer Press that agents have presented their findings to the Ramsey County attorney’s office for review. The Washington County attorney’s office asked Ramsey County to review the case to avoid a conflict of interest. Woodbury police shot and killed an unarmed man they mistakenly believed had a weapon as he fled a hostage-filled motel room early on the morning of August 31st. The Ramsey County attorney’s office will review the case for possible criminal charges against the officers if there is evidence of wrongdoing.