LEGISLATURE-CONSTITUTIONAL AMENDMENTS Minn. lawmakers ease off constitutional changes ST. PAUL, Minn. (AP) – Democrats are taking over the Minnesota Legislature, but leaders are cool to any move to change the state constitution. That has something to do with voters’ rejecting two constitutional amendments earlier this month – one to ban gay marriage and one to require photo ID to vote. Republicans put those on the ballot, and they are being blamed for costing the GOP their majorities. Senator Tom Bakk (bahk) and Representative Erin Murphy, who will lead Democrats in their respective chambers, say amendments aren’t a priority for now. One factor may be that their party also holds the governorship. Republicans passed amendments in part to work around Democratic Governor Mark Dayton, who opposed them on both issues but had no power to block the amendments from a citizen vote.
MALL OF AMERICA-TEENS Mall of America tightens teen escort rules BLOOMINGTON, Minn. (AP) – The Mall of America is tightening its parental escort policy for some of the busiest parts of the holiday shopping season. Mall spokesman Dan Jasper says unsupervised teenagers won’t be allowed on Thanksgiving night, all day on Black Friday and the entire week between Christmas and New Year’s. It stems from last year’s melee the day after Christmas, when police say as many as 200 young people were involved and at least nine were arrested. The Bloomington megamall’s longstanding policy says unaccompanied teens 16 or younger are not allowed without an adult escort 21 or older on Fridays and Saturdays, from 6 p.m. until closing. More than 180 Mall of America stores will open at midnight on Friday. A record 219,000 shoppers visited the mall the day after last Thanksgiving.
TWINKIES-MINNESOTA Minn. grocery chain reports run on Twinkies (Information in the following story is from: Minnesota Public Radio News, http://www.mpr.org) ST. PAUL, Minn. (AP) – A Minnesota grocery chain says Twinkies and other Hostess snacks are flying off the shelves as the manufacturer shuts down. Eden Prairie-based Supervalu owns 44 Cub Foods stores in Minnesota. Spokesman Michael Siemienas tells Minnesota Public Radio that they’ve seen a surge in people purchasing Hostess products like Twinkies, Ding Dongs and Wonder Bread. Siemienas says the stores won’t be resupplied with Hostess products, so once the supplies are gone, they’re gone. North Texas-based Hostess Brands Incorporated filed a motion Friday with a federal bankruptcy court, seeking permission to shut down. The move comes after the company says striking workers across the country crippled its ability to maintain production. The company plans to liquidate its assets starting Tuesday, but some products are expected to find a second life with other manufacturers.
SCHOOL BUS CRASH-MINNESOTA Victims of car-bus crash were woman, 2 grandkids INVER GROVE HEIGHTS, Minn. (AP) – Authorities say the three people killed in a fiery crash between a car and school bus accident in Inver Grove Heights were a woman and her two grandchildren. The crash happened Friday afternoon. It remained under investigation Sunday. Authorities haven’t released the victims’ names, so far, but loved ones have already built a small memorial at the scene, with flowers and three small crosses. No children were on board the bus at the time of the crash and the bus driver was not injured.
RHODES SCHOLARS-MINNESOTA 2 Minnesotans named Rhodes Scholars MINNEAPOLIS (AP) – Two Minnesotans are among the 32 American students named Sunday as Rhodes Scholars. Clayton Aldern of Cedar is a senior at Brown University and is majoring in neuroscience. He plans to do a doctorate in neuroscience at Oxford University in England. His work focuses on how the brain processes visual information, decision-making, and toward a better understanding of how human memory functions. Georgianna Whiteley of Wayzata, is a senior at Luther College, where she’s majoring in chemistry and minoring in biology. She plans to do a masters in medical anthropology at Oxford.
MINNESOTA-BARKER QUITS Minnesota’s leading receiver Barker quits team MINNEAPOLIS (AP) – Minnesota’s leading receiver quit the team in a blistering email to coach Jerry Kill that he subsequently made public through his personal blog. A.J. Barker confirmed Sunday in a phone interview his intention to leave the Gophers and transfer to another school, preferably in the Big Ten. He is a walk-on who has 30 receptions for 577 yards and seven touchdowns, by far the most on the team. Barker has missed the last three weeks because of a sprained right ankle, the primary trigger in his decision to quit. Barker says Kill yelled at him in front of the team last Thursday for not following team orders on his rehabilitation. Kill made no mention of Barker’s frustration earlier Sunday in his regular media availability.